U approves new developmental

Liz Kohman

Three years ago the University’s General College noticed a trend: A growing number of students needed help with learning basic skills at the community college level.

As a result, the demand for teachers qualified in developmental education increased.

The General College’s dean approached the dean of the College of Education and Human Development about filling the demand.

The solution was a post-baccalaureate certificate degree program in postsecondary developmental education to train teachers for the community college level.

“Here’s an opportunity to get an additional emphasis in areas which will make students more marketable, given the need,” said General College Dean David Taylor.

The Board of Regents approved the new program during Friday’s meeting.

“It’s a very substantial partnership with our (Minnesota State, Colleges and Universities system),” said Executive Vice President and Provost Robert Bruininks.

“The focus is on training faculty and developing capacity in the area of developmental and remedial education in K-12 education as well as the first two years of post-secondary education,” he said.

“It’s the kind of leadership role that the College of Education and Human Development and General College should take in this area,” Bruininks said.

The program will provide students with the background to teach basic skills at the community and technical college level.

Students who have earned a bachelor of arts or bachelor of science degree and have a minimum grade point average of 2.8 can apply to the 12-to 15-month degree program. Students completing the program will also be licensed as teachers.

Both colleges said they have already identified a few students interested in taking the program and expect enrollment to be between 25 and 40 students at full operation.

College of Education and Human Development Dean Steven Yussen said the program will be effective because it incorporates the General College’s experience teaching developmental education with the College of Education and Human Development’s background in teacher training.

“I think this is a good thing we’re doing,” Yussen said. “It’s great to work in a cooperative way between the two colleges.”

Liz Kohman welcomes your comments at [email protected]