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U of M, Crookston Earns Institutional Approval for Teacher Licensure from State Board
February 11, 2008

Contact: Bill Peterson, head, Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences Dept., 218-281-8265 (, Soo-Yin Lim-Thompson, Ph.D., early childhood education faculty, 218-281-8185 (, Krista Lemos, director of communications, 218-281-8438 (klem

CROOKSTON, Minn. (February 11, 2008) – The University of Minnesota, Crookston recently received initial institutional approval from the Minnesota Board of Teaching to prepare students for state teacher licensure. In addition, the state board also approved delivery of early childhood education degrees by the Crookston campus. Designed to qualify students to be effective teachers of young children – from birth through age 8 – and to manage high-quality early childhood programs, the degree program was previously a cooperative endeavor.

“Approval by the Minnesota Board of Teaching is a significant step for our campus,” said William Peterson, head of the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences Department. “Not only can we continue building our exceptional early childhood program, we can administer licensure for our own students. It also opens the door for exploration of other teacher licensures, at varying age levels, which will benefit the needs and interests of our students now and in the future.”

The state approval indicates that the U of M, Crookston has demonstrated its ability to ensure that teacher candidates have the opportunity to learn, develop and demonstrate the knowledge, skills and dispositions required for teacher licensure. Before any Minnesota teacher higher education degree program can be approved, institutions themselves must be approved. As a result, the U of M, Crookston sought to gain institutional approval in order to expand offerings on campus and meet student needs. The Board of Teaching granted initial approval with conditions until June 30, 2012. The next institutional evaluation is scheduled for fall 2011.

In a letter communicating the board’s actions, Minnesota Board of Teaching Executive Director Karen Balmer stated that it is Board policy to grant initial approval with “conditions” for first time approvals. Under the conditions, the institution has three years to implement the program and submit annual reports/updates; then a review is held at the end of the three years.

The approval comes after the preparation and submission of a self-study report addressing each of the state’s institutional standards, consisting of eight categories and 53 standards. An evaluation team visited the campus in November 2007 to verify the self-study and interview faculty, students and staff. The self-study report required the campus to demonstrate how the institution has responded to the standards, which require teacher education programs to be results-oriented, programmatically coherent, research supported and clinically focused. Obtaining the initial licensure also included a request for initial program approval for the Early Childhood Education program, which was also granted.

“Our faculty should be recognized for their outstanding work on the self-study and responding to the needs of the evaluation team,” Peterson emphasizes. “Faculty members Soo-Yin Lim-Thompson, Marilyn Grave and Marsha Odom have worked tirelessly on behalf of the program and the University. Credit for this step really lies with them and their great effort.”

The University of Minnesota, Crookston (UMC) delivers more than 25 applied-science undergraduate degree programs and 50 concentrations, including several online degrees, in agriculture; arts, humanities and social sciences; business; math, science and technology; and natural resources. Invent yourself at the University of Minnesota, Crookston – become a leader, innovate through technology and research and secure the career you want. To learn more, visit