School of Education

Timothy Wall, School of Education Dean and Director of Teacher Education

  • Department of Professional Education
  • Career Education
  • Horace Mann Laboratory School
  • Phyllis and Richard Leet Children and Family Center

The School of Education offers programs for three graduate degrees: the Master of Science in Education for those pursuing careers in professional education in nine areas; the Master of Science for those pursuing careers in higher education; and the Specialist in Education for those pursuing careers in educational leadership. A doctoral degree in Educational Leadership is offered cooperatively with the University of Missouri, which confers the doctoral degree.

The School of Education, in addition to offering on-campus programs, offers outreach courses and programs at Centers in the Kansas City and St. Joseph areas.

Vision Statement

The vision of the School of Education is to provide highly competent professionals who are lifelong learners, reflective thinkers and ethical leaders exemplifying the ideals of literacy, scholarship and social justice in a diverse and ever-changing world.

Mission Statement

The mission of the School of Education is to create learning communities in which students and professionals develop partnerships with families, communities, schools, businesses and other public agencies to assist students in acquiring knowledge, skills and values critical to a democratic society. As a result, we prepare students for leadership careers in business, industry, education, government, recreation, public service, health and wellness.

The goals of the college are to:

  • Provide students a strong knowledge base in general education.
  • Provide opportunities for specialization through majors and minors.
  • Provide opportunities to develop values and ethics within the academic discipline.
  • Provide opportunities for students and faculty to collaborate in research.
  • Provide services to the community and surrounding region.
  • Provide opportunities for continuing and graduate education.

Continuous Improvement and Program Quality

The organizational structure is designed to maximize input from and empowerment of the entire education community. Cross-functional teams of college faculty, PK-12 faculty, and students function to ensure continuous study and improvement of programs and processes. These improvements and initiatives may include issues of importance to the college, such as technology integration, a curriculum which is representative of our nation’s diversity and consistent evaluation of assessment data on program performance.

One source of input for program improvement is gathered from comment cards provided throughout the University and available online at the Northwest website for use in bringing issues of importance to the attention of the appropriate administrator. Students, faculty and staff may use these cards to share comments, suggestions, or complaints regarding an office, department, program or activity in the University community. All comment cards relating to teacher preparation are compiled for reporting of issues and opportunities for program or process improvements to the Council on Teacher Education.

Vision Statement for the Professional Education Unit

The Northwest Missouri State University Professional Education Unit prepares highly effective, ethical, professional educators who possess the knowledge, skills and professional dispositions in order to embrace the responsibility for the learning of all children in a diverse and dynamic society.

Mission Statement for the Professional Education Unit

The Northwest Missouri State University Professional Education Unit will be a catalyst for education excellence by preparing P-12 professional educators who apply best practices to positively impact learning.

Our Pledge for the Professional Education Unit:

Based upon our vision and mission, the Northwest Missouri State University Professional Education Unit serves education candidates as our primary focus in order to develop professionals who:

  • Possess the requisite level of knowledge, skills, and professional dispositions;
  • Model integrity and professionalism;
  • Promote social justice, the inherent worth of each individual, and the ideals of a democratic society;
  • Facilitate an educational environment that embraces diversity;
  • Collaborate and build partnerships with educational professionals, students, parents, communities, and other social agencies;
  • Use technology in a meaningful, purposeful, and authentic manner.

Competency Evidence and Assessment

All Northwest undergraduate and graduate education students are required to purchase a subscription to Tk20. This database system provides evidence to the state and national accreditation associations that educators have mastered the knowledge and skill competencies required for their degree and certification.

Education Degree Graduate Diversity Experience

Education degree-seeking graduate students and post-baccalaureate students seeking teacher, administrator or counselor certification are required to complete diversity experiences. It is expected that this will be a meaningful experience through which the student will evaluate assumptions about teaching/administration/counseling in diverse settings and reflect on how the experience may alter those assumptions. The overall goal is to enable the education candidate to observe and reflect on effective educational practice in diverse settings. All students approving their Degree Audit and Teacher Certification Contract are expected to fulfill this requirement. The Graduate Diversity Experience will be listed by the advisor on the Degree Audit as a requirement. For post-degree graduate students seeking certification only, this requirement will be included in the certification contract. Guidelines and forms for this experience will be presented to graduate students in one of two classes, either Issues in Education (EDUC 61649) and/or Philosophy of Education (EDUC 61695). Upon completion of the Graduate Diversity Experience, the student will submit the Graduate Experience in Diverse Setting Reflective Thinking Template and the Graduate Experience in Diverse Setting Verification Form to the Tk20 system.

Forms and information may be found online at  http://www.nwmissouri.edu.dept/edlead/tess/ExperienceDiversity.pdf 

Candidate Advanced Program Dispositions

Advanced program dispositions will be collected at four specific transition points during the academic program of all candidates in advanced education programs. The first transition point will be entry into the education program and will be completed by a supervisor who has professional knowledge of the candidate to be used in place of a reference letter. The second transition point will be during a midpoint (after 9-12 hours depending on the program) of the candidate’s degree program and will be completed by an advisor or a course instructor who has had the candidate. The third transition point will be at the end of his or her program and completed as a candidate self-report. Additionally, at the end of the program, an advisor or group of faculty who have had the candidate in advanced courses will complete a disposition form on the candidate.

Two Advanced Program Dispositions reports will be generated and data will be reviewed weekly and semi-annually. An aggregate report of all advanced program candidate dispositions will be reviewed by the Assessment System and Unit Evaluation Team (ASET) and departments on a semi-annual basis.

In addition to the disposition transition point, the dispositions form may be used at any time during a candidate’s career when a course instructor, advisor, supervisor, or cooperating teacher wishes to report dispositions which are below expectation. The Assessment Director will review the results from dispositions forms weekly. If the Assessment Director finds cause for concern or the need for remedial action based upon the review of disposition forms submitted, the advisor of the candidate and the Assistant Director of Teacher Education will be notified via e-mail. The Assessment Director will copy comments from the Tk20 disposition form and share these with the advisor and the Assistant Director of Teacher Education. The Assessment Director, the Assistant Director of Teacher Education and the Advisor will confer on next steps. The steps that may be taken are:

  1. An individual conference is held with the student;
  2. A letter is sent to the student with remedial actions and a timeline;
  3. The student is asked to develop a plan to rectify the disposition; or
  4. In the case of severe or multiple dispositional offenses, the student is referred to the Education Guidance Committee (EGC).