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“Education is not the filling of a pail,
but the lighting of a fire.”

W. B. Yeats

In the traditional perspectives of the Séliš, Ql̓ispé and Ksanka people, children are honored, loved, and held with the highest regard within communities. Young peoples’ education is 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), Secondary programs (grades 5-12) in Science and in Mathematics, and a Masters program in Curriculum and Instruction. 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 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. The Native Language Teacher Education program is our newest undergraduate program, offering intensive language training along with skills that all effective teachers will need. 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 open to everyone. They are evaluated, approved, and accredited by the Montana Office of Public Instruction and the Montana Board of Public Education.

New in 2022, SKC’s Division of Education and the Division of Graduate Studies are proud to announce the Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction degree program. To learn more, please visit https://grad.skc.edu/masters-ed/


Why SKC?

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.

The core beliefs and guiding principles that distinguish Salish Kootenai College’s teacher education programs include:

A. Culturally revitalizing and sustaining instruction and curriculum will lead education to its promise of opportunity and equity.

B. Creating connections with the larger community promotes the construction of knowledge.

C. Reflective practice leads to the continuous flourishing of both teacher and student.

D. Each learner’s uniqueness, when valued and invited in all its diverse forms, enriches the learning experience.

E. Demonstration and application of communication, critical thinking, cultural understanding, and the principles of citizenship cultivate teachers as community leaders.


For more information on the foundations of SKC’s Division of Education, please refer to our 2023 Div. of Education Conceptual Framework.

Thank you for visiting our Education programs! Please use the links above to explore the information and resources located here, and feel free to contact us!
Douglas S. Ruhman
Dean, SKC Division of Education
douglas_ruhman@skc.edu     (406)275-4763