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About Professional Education

Our Mission at a Glance...

"BSU prepares teachers through inquisitive, involved, reflective practice. The framework outlining our program sets a standard that is rigorous, exemplary and innovative. The curricular structure is research based and organized around the Standards of Effective Practice. Graduates are proficient, collaborative, technologically literate and environmentally aware teachers, who work effectively in various settings with diverse learners."

Consult Licensure Standards or the Teacher Education Handbook for more information concerning our Mission and Standards of Effective Practice.


Higher Learning Commission

All programs at Bemidji State University are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Minnesota Board of Teaching

The Minnesota Board of Teaching has approved programs at Bemidji State University leading to teacher licensure in a variety of areas.  The Minnesota Board of Teaching, created in 1973, provides leadership for improvements in teacher education programs in order to assure that the state has well-qualified, professional teachers.  More information is available on the Minnesota Board of Teaching website.

A Brief History of Professional Education at BSU...

In 1919, Bemidji State Normal School began its first regular school year with 38 students.  The school was chartered by the Minnesota State Legislature in response to a growing need for public school teachers, and teacher training was its primary curriculum.  Then, in a pattern familiar to rural American higher education, in 1921 Bemidji Normal School became Bemidji State Teachers College and offered a 4-year degree in Professional Education. 

Time passed with new programs added to the offerings and, in 1957, Bemidji State Teachers College was renamed Bemidji State College. Later, in recognition of its growing role as a regional comprehensive educational institution, in 1975 Bemidji State Teachers College became Bemidji State University. 

Fast Forward to the Present

In 2011, the newly appointed President of the University, Dr. Richard Hanson recognized this transformation of the institution from Normal School to a regional comprehensive University and the importance of bringing a renewed vitality to the Professional Education department and to the Liberal Education program. The President proclaimed these programs to be the legacy programs that are among the essential priorities in the University’s work plan.