Background

EPC at a glance 

The School of Education, Professional, and Continuing Education (EPC) has a comprehensive and dynamic structure, where 23 programs across all colleges and schools at the university work collaboratively to support best practices in teaching, learning, and leading.   The major units within EPC include:

The Department of Educational Studies prepares teachers for work in elementary and middle schools.  EPC also works collaboratively with departments in the College of Liberal Studies and the College of Science and Health to prepare teachers in art education, music education, world language education, secondary education, physical education, and school health education.  EPC oversees several graduate programs including School Psychology, Reading, Professional Development, Physical Education, and Adapted Physical Education.

Professional Studies in Education also offers a number of certificate programs to support the ongoing growth of in-service teachers.

Continuing Education and Extension works to connect the university and the community, offering diverse programs to meet the needs of individuals of all ages.

Our commitment both on and off campus supports an investment in strong education programs that lead, collaborate, and innovate to meet 21st century learning environments. 

Historical Background

The goal of preparing teachers has been central to the mission of UW-La Crosse ever since this institution began as a Normal school with 176 students and 14 faculty members in 1909. Today, the School of Education's administrative offices and faculty offices are located in Morris Hall, which honors the memory of Thomas Morris, the Regent and State Senator whose efforts resulted in the selection of La Crosse as the site of Wisconsin's eighth Normal School. Students were immediately attracted to La Crosse's teacher preparation program as demonstrated by the fact that La Crosse was one of only two Normal Schools (Milwaukee was the other) to achieve an enrollment of more than 1,000 students prior to World War II. La Crosse and Milwaukee also shared the distinction of being the first Normal Schools to offer graduate classes in education. 

Accreditation and Program Approval

In 2000, Wisconsin legislators approved Wisconsin Administrative code PI 34. This resulted in the implementation of an educator preparation program approval process and educator licensing process that are both standards and performance-based.

 Institutions are responsible for providing evidence that their programs prepare educators who are able to meet the standards established by the state of Wisconsin in Chapter PI 34. The evidence is reviewed during the program approval process. Institutions must demonstrate that all of the program approval components of PI 34 are met. Institutions undergo a comprehensive Initial Program Approval to ensure compliance with PI 34. Following the initial approval, continuing program approval decisions are based on a “Continuous Review Process.”

PI 34.01 (15) “Continuous review process” means a system of review and approval of teacher education programs whereby program results are reviewed by the department annually and approval is granted by the state superintendent on a 5-year basis.

PI 34.06 (3) Continuing program approval decisions shall be based on a continuous review process. Every institution shall be visited each year by the DPI department liaison or other department professional staff. The program evaluation and approval shall be based on the performance of candidates for license measured against the standards in such. II as described in s. PI 34.15 (1).

PI 34.06 (3) (b) If during the years of continual approval, an institution initiates a complete redesign of the professional preparation program, the state superintendent shall review and may approve the redesigned program following the procedure set forth in sub. (2).

PI 34.06 (4) Institutions shall submit new programs and substantive changes in previously approved programs to the state superintendent for approval prior to implementing a new program or change.