2020-2021 Graduate Catalog

School of Education

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

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

The School of Education offers programs for two 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 professional 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 and asynchronous online programs, offers outreach courses and programs at the NW Kansas City Center.

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 graduate education students are required to successfully pass a comprehensive assessment. This assessment provides evidence to the state and national accreditation associations that educators have mastered the knowledge and skill competencies required for their degree and/or 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 embedded in the coursework through completion of a multicultural education course.  Forms and information may be found online at https://www.nwmissouri.edu/education/peu/tess/diversity.htm

Candidate Advanced Program Dispositions

Advanced program dispositions will be collected at three specific validation points during the academic program of all candidates in advanced education programs.

The first validation point will be yearly into the education program (either as part of the admission process or within the first 6 hours of coursework) and will be completed by a supervisor who has professional knowledge of the candidate.

The second validation point will be during a midpoint (usually 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 knowledge of the candidate.

The third validation point will be completed by the advisor, course instructor, or site supervisor in the final semester of the candidate's program.

In addition to the disposition validation points, the dispositions form may be used at any time during a candidate’s program when a course instructor, advisor, or site supervisor wishes to report dispositions which are below expectations. The candidate's advisor will review the results from dispositions forms each semester. If the advisor finds cause for concern or the need for remedial action based upon the review of disposition forms submitted, the advisor will note the action taken within the university's online system for documenting student records.

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 appropriate committee within the school or department.