“Education is not the filling of a pail,
but the lighting of a fire.”
In the traditional perspectives of the Salish, Pend d’Oreille, and Kootenai people, children were honored, loved, and held with the highest regard within communities. Young peoples’ education was provided with great care and attention to the individual needs of the learner. These principles are among many that serve as the foundation to the education degree programs at SKC.
What Education Programs are offered at SKC?
Salish Kootenai College proudly supports multiple programs in teacher education, ranging from Early Childhood (birth to age 8), Early Childhood P-3 (preschool – grade 3), Elementary (K-8), and Secondary programs (grades 5-12) in Science and in Mathematics. The Early Childhood Education program prepares students to teach in numerous early learning settings- including child care centers, Head Start centers, and for leadership in the early childhood education field. The new Early Childhood P-3 program leads to state licensure for teaching in preschool and primary levels up through third grade. SKC’s Elementary Education program leads to licensure for teaching all subjects in grades K-8. The Division of Education also supports two distinct secondary teacher education programs- in Broadfield Science and in Mathematics- that prepare candidates for secondary (middle and high school) teaching in the state of Montana. These degree programs provide an opportunity for candidates to become highly qualified professional educators that serve students in diverse school settings. SKC’s teacher education programs are evaluated, approved, and accredited by the Montana Office of Public Instruction and the Montana Board of Public Education.
Students in the SKC Division of Education have several distinct advantages that set them apart from students in other teacher education programs. Our small size allows for close connections to Education faculty and staff, and to each other. This fosters a deep sense of commitment and purpose in students’ area of study, and provides an invaluable level of support and encouragement that can sometimes be harder to find in larger programs. Students are held to high standards, where the goal is excellence- not simply completion. Our student cohorts live, study, and work closely with each other and form personal and professional relationships that last far beyond the college classroom.
SKC’s education programs emphasize the value of cultural competence, regardless of the candidate’s individual personal background. As a tribal college, SKC’s mission is to provide post-secondary educational opportunities for Native Americans locally and from throughout the United States. The College’s teacher education programs were therefore developed to include the circumstances, issues, and methodologies known to be relevant for Native learners, whether in a PreK-12 classroom or in a college discussion group at our campus. Today’s classrooms are very diverse. New teachers need to be well equipped to understand, utilize, and celebrate this diversity so that all learners can succeed.
A. Culturally responsive instruction and curriculum will lead education to its promise of opportunity and equity.
B. Learning communities foster the construction of knowledge.
C. Reflective practice leads to professional development.
D. The unique contribution, learning style and ability of each learner brings an opportunity for the learning community to become enriched.
E. Effective communication, critical thinking, cultural understanding, citizenship, and a strong understanding of the content to be taught are essential to effective teaching.
For more information on the foundations of SKC’s Division of Education, please refer to our Conceptual Framework Summary.