More UMD education grads hurt by program’s review
Another graduating class of a relatively new University of Minnesota Duluth education program will be affected by the school's failure to complete proper documentation.
Another graduating class of a relatively new University of Minnesota Duluth education program will be affected by the school’s failure to complete proper documentation.
Twenty-four December graduates of the College of Education and Human Service Professions’ integrated elementary and special education program found themselves without the appropriate license to teach, despite completing the necessary work. In May, 27 students are expected to graduate from the program. Those students learned Friday that they, too, will need to apply for a temporary license while their program is under review by the state.
While the state Board of Teaching is authorizing temporary licenses, graduates are forced to do extra work and pay another fee before beginning a teaching job.
“This situation is unacceptable and we take full responsibility,” Andrea Schokker, executive vice chancellor of academic affairs for UMD, wrote in a letter to students of the program.
The letter, which Schokker sent to the News Tribune, said the unique nature of the dual-licensure program makes curriculum documentation with the state Board of Teaching “more challenging.”
The undergraduate program offers the chance to earn dual licensure for teaching both at the elementary level and in K-12 special education. The program, begun in 2011, is not approved by the state because of “incomplete and inaccurate paperwork/documentation.”
While the paperwork has been submitted, the program is no longer approved because of its “under review” status. That could take six months, the letter reads, noting no problems with the process are expected.
“The issue is not with the program, but rather with a lapse in ensuring we followed proper documentation with the Board of Teaching,” Schokker said.
Rules for special education licensure were changed by the Minnesota Department of Education in 2012, and such programs were to be resubmitted to the teaching board to show they were meeting new standards, the board’s executive director, Erin Doan, said in January. She also noted that school districts have been made aware of what happened, and that it was through no fault of the graduates of the program. UMD also has offered to talk with employers.
Jill Pinkney-Pastrana, dean of the College of Education and Human Service Professions, has called the issue a “glitch.”
If the UMD education program is approved, graduates will receive the appropriate license.