Teacher preparation programs accredited
The teacher preparation programs at VCSU have been reaccredited under the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) standards at both the initial teacher preparation and advanced preparation levels. The NCATE standards are administered by the Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). The recommendation to continue VCSU’s NCATE accreditation was approved by CAEP’s Selected Improvement Commission at its April 30–May 3, 2016, meeting in Baltimore, Md. “Special congratulations are in order because the Commission cited no areas for improvement relative to any of the standards,” said Christopher Koch, CAEP president, in a May 17, 2016, letter to VCSU President Tisa Mason conveying the reaccreditation news. The university now offers bachelor’s degrees in elementary education and in secondary education in the following areas: art, biology, business, chemistry, English, health, history, mathematics, music, physical education, social science, and technology. VCSU also offers a master’s degree in education.
Geisler wins national championship in javelin
VCSU freshman Seri Geisler won the national title in women’s javelin at the NAIA Outdoor Track and Field National Championships in Gulf Shores, Ala., on May 26. Geisler’s career-best throw of 51.37 meters beat the second place by more than two meters. A native of Grand Rapids, Minn., Geisler entered the meet with the top throw in the nation—50.20 meters—by more than three meters. In her first season ever throwing javelin, she set a VCSU school record and won conference and national titles.
Legislature’s Interim Higher Education Committee meets on campus
The Interim Higher Education Committee of the North Dakota Legislature met on the VCSU campus Tuesday– Wednesday, June 7–8. Included on the agenda were presentations and committee discussion regarding higher education budget issues, student financial assistance programs, the North Dakota University System (NDUS) campus master plan and space utilization study, and potential legislation to be recommended by the committee, along with updates on issues affecting VCSU. Chaired by Representative Mark Sanford of Grand Forks, the Interim Higher Education Committee heard from several NDUS administrators, including Chancellor Mark Hagerott; Tammy Dolan, chief financial officer; Rick Tonder, director of facilities planning; and Lisa Feldner, vice chancellor for information technology and institutional research, and interim chief of staff. VCSU presenters included President Tisa Mason; Peter Smithhisler, vice president for student affairs; and Julee Russell, professor of English. Russell presented on VCSU’s new three-year programs, which allow undergraduates to complete bachelor’s degrees in three years in business administration, elementary education, English education, mathematics education, and professional communication. Higher Education Committee members were also shown the construction work being done on the Valley City flood wall in front of Foss Hall, and offered tours of the Gaukler Family Wellness, Health and Physical Education Center, opening this fall. At an evening reception, area K–12 teachers working with the Great Plains STEM Education Center at VCSU presented some of the hands-on activities they are using to engage their students.