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Description of Initiatives to Improve Pre-service Education
1. Curriculum Restructuring
Morningside College has been involved in a curriculum-restructuring program and subsequent evaluation of the current curricular changes. After consultation with the Education Department, the Physics Department moved from traditional lecture-based 4-credit physics courses to 2-credit interactive modules structured to align with teaching strategies and methods aligned to standards. The new modules utilize pedagogical techniques and laboratory equipment appropriate for adaptation into the public school system.
2. Education-Physics Collaboration
Both the Education and Physics Departments were actively involved in collaboration throughout curriculum change. Dialogues occurred at stages throughout course development, submission to the Curriculum Policies Committee, and faculty votes. Now that the courses have been taught, collaboration continues through the work of the Morningside Director of Assessment. Alignment with standards and assessment continues as both departments continue to meet standards of the college, teacher licensure standards for the state of Iowa, NCATE standards, and standards of the Higher Learning Commission.
Through the College for Youth summer program involving high school, middle school, and elementary students, local youth have had the opportunity to develop skills that educators and employers have found to be critical for success. These courses are designed to "stretch the minds" of students and allow for intense immersion in physical science and intensive interaction among the students. The Physics Department and Education Department collaborate to design courses, select instructors, to register students, and to assign students as assistants. more information