The Association for Advancing Quality in Educator Preparation (AAQEP) awarded full 7-year accreditation and the Minnesota Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board (PELSB) granted continuing approval to the Teacher Education Program at the University of Minnesota Morris.
After reviewing the evidence collected through a process of self-study and peer review, the AAQEP Accreditation Commission issued the decision at its February 3 meeting along with the following rationale:
The Commission evaluated the Teacher Education Program’s evidence for each AAQEP standard and determined that all four standards are met.
Teacher candidates benefit from early field experiences in diverse school settings, and completers of the program are prepared to work effectively as professional educators who can adapt to different contexts and continue to grow professionally. The program maintains quality by analyzing evidence of its own effectiveness and making revisions to benefit candidates. It engages with stakeholders and partners to mutually benefit the program and the community while strengthening the overall P-20 education system.
In addition to its long-standing work with local populations, the program is systematically centering Native people, issues, and perspectives throughout its curriculum and clinical experiences, indigenizing the program with culturally relevant pedagogy and deepening candidates’ understanding of privilege, equity, and justice.
“Congratulations to UMN Morris and to all of the faculty, staff, and stakeholders who have achieved their goal of national accreditation by AAQEP,” said AAQEP President and CEO Mark LaCelle-Peterson. “The institution’s respect for and ongoing work with native communities shapes a unique program, and teacher candidates experience deep engagement in a number of cultural and community settings.”
National accreditation assures the quality of professional preparation programs through a nongovernmental, nonregulatory process of self-study and peer review. This standards- and evidence-based process serves two broad aims: accountability and continuous improvement. The AAQEP model is also designed to honor local context and foster innovation and collaboration among institutions. AAQEP currently has members in 32 states and other jurisdictions with over 180 educator preparation providers participating in the accreditation system.
Division Chair Michelle Page cites the deep commitment to students, expertise, and work ethic of the teacher education faculty and staff as the foundation for a nationally-recognized, high quality teacher preparation program. “Our graduates work hard and are well prepared for a challenging, rewarding, ever-changing profession due, in good part, to the support the faculty and staff provide. Faculty and staff commitment allows our teacher candidates to reach their goals and become dedicated and effective educators who deeply care about the children and adolescents they serve.”
The University of Minnesota Morris is a rigorous, residential undergraduate liberal arts college with a mission distinctive within the University of Minnesota System. While the Morris campus shares the University's mission of teaching, research, and outreach and provides undergraduate students with the resources of the University of Minnesota, it is a small personal school where students can shape their own education. UMN Morris is recognized as one of the best public liberal arts colleges in the nation because of its instructional excellence, commitment to research, numerous extracurricular programs and services, and strong sense of community. The campus serves undergraduate students from Minnesota and across the nation and is a highly valued educational resource and cultural center for residents of west central Minnesota. UMN Morris attracts and serves a student body, faculty, and staff reflective of our multicultural society. The college empowers the campus community to participate fully and thoughtfully in a diverse society—regionally, nationally, and globally.
The campus mission states: The University of Minnesota Morris (UMN Morris) provides a rigorous undergraduate liberal arts education, preparing its students to be global citizens who value and pursue intellectual growth, civic engagement, intercultural competence, and environmental stewardship.
Founded in 2017, AAQEP is a membership association and quality assurance agency that provides accreditation services and formative support to all types of educator preparation providers. The organization promotes excellent, effective, and innovative educator preparation that is committed to evidence-based improvement in a collaborative professional environment. AAQEP is nationally recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. Visit aaqep.org for more information.