Board approves MAT offering

November 12, 2015

Programs aimed at nontraditional, location-bound students

More candidates will have the opportunity to earn teaching credentials now after a decision was made this week by the State Board of Higher Education.

At a special meeting Tuesday, the Board voted unanimously to approve the Master of Arts in Teaching program for Dickinson State University, Mayville State University and Valley City State University. A similar teacher credentialing program currently exists at Minot State University.

Chancellor Mark Hagerott said it was part of an “ongoing effort to be responsible to the needs of our people.”

He added that he felt the decision to move forward with the new offering the potential to alleviate some of the stress felt throughout the state’s K-12 districts under the current teacher shortage.

“More professionals in the state will now have an opportunity to go back to school to get their credentials thanks to the Board’s decision,” Hagerott said. “Now that these three universities will be able to offer the program, those who want to attend won’t have to go far, either.”

Vice Chancellor of Academic and Student Affairs Richard Rothaus noted that the program wasn’t designed to give potential new teachers a how-to in any particular subject. Rather, it would aim to deliver pedagogical methodologies to teaching candidates who had built careers in those subjects already.

“What this will attempt to do is provide teaching credentials to people who have already become subject matter experts,” Rothaus said. “In doing so the offering could help create a brand new crop of teachers to supplement those already in the field.”

Rothaus stated that the intent for the programs was to provide a program for nontraditional students who were location-bound.

The three institutions will now apply to the Higher Learning Commission for approval to offer the program, and the first student could be admitted as early as this fall.

Other business

In other business, the Board set its tentative schedule for 2016, and revised language for the policy regarding president searches.