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General Information


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.


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.

Our Pledge

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; and
  • Use technology in a meaningful, purposeful, and authentic manner.


The Professional Education Unit at Northwest Missouri State University is accredited by the Association for Advancing Quality in Educator Preparation (AAQEP), This accreditation covers initial teacher preparation programs and advanced educator preparation programs at the Maryville campus and Northwest-Kansas City and online programs.

However, the accreditation does not include individual education courses that the institution offers to P‑12 educators for professional development, relicensure, or other purposes.


While policy approval responsibility is assigned to the Council on Teacher Education (COTE), due to the diversity and volume of work coming before this team, additional teams have been established to accomplish the staff work necessary to accomplish the sound and data-based/customer focused decision making, which can contribute to sustained continuous improvement. It is recommended that teams be comprised of persons that will not only ensure continuity across the unit, but also share the responsibility of unit leadership and service.

In addition to standing teams, the COTE may periodically appoint teams to function for a specified period of time, under a charge to study and make recommendations about issues of importance to the COTE's functioning, from decision making, to the creation or the evaluation of a process. In the interest of good time management and maintenance of balanced faculty loads, as well as good governance procedures, the team is then disbanded.

Similarly, each standing team, under the direction of the team's chair(s), may also form ad hoc teams to address a particular issue, make a recommendation, study or evaluate a process, or for other work deemed necessary by the team. 

View the organizational chart View PDF for Northwest's Professional Education Unit (PEU).

Council on Teacher Education (COTE)

The Council on Teacher Education represents the teacher education faculty in the development of policies relating to the standards of instruction in teacher education programs, compliance with teacher certification requirements, admission to and retention in teacher education programs, and approval of teacher education student organizations.

View COTE Meeting Minutes »

Continuous Improvement Leadership Team

This team meets at least monthly to achieve the following:

  • Review annual reports prepared for submission to CAEP and DESE for accuracy and completeness
  • Discuss/explore learning from attendance at the national conferences of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE), Association of Teacher Education (ATE), The Renaissance Group (TRG), etc., and information from state conferences and organizational such as Missouri Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (MACTE) and Missouri Advisory Council of Certification for Educators (MACCE)
  • Monitor and propose efforts/approaches to ameliorate weaknesses identified by visiting teams and in other evaluations, both internal and external (such as five-year reviews)
  • Manage all preparations for visiting teams relating to accreditation.

Candidate Knowledge, Skills, and Dispositions Team

Ensures that candidates preparing to work in schools as teachers or other professional school personnel know and demonstrate the content, pedagogical, and professional knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary to help all students learn. Assessments indicate that candidates meet professional, state, and institutional standards.

Assessment System and Unit Evaluation Team (ASET)

The unit has an assessment system that collects and analyzes data on the applicant qualifications, candidate and graduate performance, and unit operations to evaluate and improve the unit and its programs. This is a cross-functional team which carefully monitors the performance of the assessment and admissions processes by conducting research studies in order to evaluate the efficacy of current and potential policies and to recommend policy direction for the PEU and COTE.

Field Experiences and Clinical Practice Team

Ensures that the unit and its school partners design, implement, and evaluate field experiences and clinical practice so that teacher candidates and other school personnel develop and demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary to help all students learn.

Diversity Team

Ensures that the unit designs, implements, and evaluates curriculum and experiences for candidates to acquire and apply the knowledge,skills, and dispositions necessary to help all students learn. These experiences include working with diverse higher education and school faculty, diverse candidates, and diverse students in P-12 schools. This team includes working groups designated for Ploghoft lectures and an external diversity advisory group.

Faculty Qualifications, Performance, and Development Team

Ensures that faculty are qualified and model best professional practices in scholarship, service, and teaching, including the assessment of their own effectiveness as related to candidate performance. They also collaborate with colleagues in the disciplines and schools. The unit systematically evaluates faculty performance and facilitates professional development. This team includes designing and implementing Best Practices workshops, the oversight of direct and periodic involvement of faculty, and other unit-wide professional development activities.

Unit Governance and Resource Team

Ensures that the unit has the leadership, authority, budget, personnel, facilities, and resources, including information technology resources, for the preparation of candidates to meet professional, state, and institutional standards. Secondary Education Coordinating Committee (SECC) functions as a part of this team.

Teacher Education Admissions Committee (TEAC)

Ensures that the admissions process to the Professional Education Program is managed carefully and fairly and that students entering Northwest as teacher education majors have early feedback on any and all expectations and deficiencies and that the Assessment System empowers students to utilize multiple measures to demonstrate their capability to be a teacher. The primary focus of this team is to assure talented students have the support necessary to qualify for entry into the Professional Education Program, although the team must also hear cases of students who have not yet met these expectations.

Teacher Education Guidance Committee

This committee is responsible for issues affecting teacher candidates after admission to the professional education program. This may include curricular issues, dispositional issues, and/or have deficiencies which are so serious that the candidate's success in the field of teaching would be in jeopardy. Such deficiencies may or may not relate to quantitative criteria.