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DLiTE Program
Bemidji State University
ARCC - Coon Rapids Campus
11200 Mississippi Blvd. NW #H-137
Coon Rapids, MN  55433

Phone: (800) 723-3567
Direct: (763) 433-1484
Fax: (763) 433- 1485

Three Member - All DLiTE - Teaching and Learning Team!

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Grow Your Own Teachers –All in the Digital Learning Community Family

Beautiful little towns in out-state Minnesota often have difficulty recruiting and holding teachers in their rural schools.  Bemidji State University's DLiTE (Distributed Learning in Teacher Education) designed a solution over a decade ago and has trained teachers to find employment in their own small towns across Minnesota.  How did Bemidji provide a teacher licensure opportunity for teacher candidates living in small remote towns hundreds of miles from a university?

The DLiTE program is a hybrid-online, cohort-based elementary-education teacher licensure program that culminates in a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education.  This program was developed as a comprehensive, blended-technologies elementary education program for rural and urban students who, for various reasons, cannot attend a campus-based teacher education program.  A new cohort begins each fall. The courses in our program are offered in a hybrid format which means that a portion of each class is conducted in a face-to-face setting, both with faculty and students in Minneapolis at the beginning and end of the semester, and throughout the semester in K-12 classroom settings with mentor teachers, while the majority is completed online.

DLiTE is a three-year program, whether candidates have an AA or BS, BA degree. Ninety-eight percent passed their licensure tests on their first try and 87% of the candidates find a job in education.  The teacher mentor each DLiTE candidate selects from their community adds an integral component to the teacher candidate's success. 

We are excited to report our first three member "all-DLiTE" Teaching and Learning Team . DLiTE was 10 years old this year. Allison Biagi started the DLiTE program in January 2011. She chose teaching after seeing her mom, Elizabeth Biagi, complete the Bemidji DLiTE program and observing how the flexible  design allowed her mom to keep her full time job.

Allison said, "Seeing my mom complete her Bachelor of Science in Education at Bemidji was truly inspiring to me. I knew that if she could get her Bachelors on top of all the distractions in her life, then I could do it too.  Without the Bemidji  DLiTE program, I think my mom would have had a hard time finding a school to work around her schedule. I decided that the DLiTE program would be a great fit for me, as I work at a school during the day and I can do my homework at night.  Also, the Bemidji DLiTE program is affordable."

Allison chose Andrea Rhoads to be her mentor --because she was one of the greatest teachers she saw in her school.  "She really understands kids and gives them new chances each day," Allison said, "After spending a couple hours in her classroom, she is the teacher I want to become."  It was only after the selection, that Allison discovered that Ms. Rhoads was also a DLiTE graduate.

Between her mom and her mentor, Allison has a solid support system from two women who know what it takes to stay determined, motivated, and focused and know the DLiTE program from the inside.  They both tell her that she needs to set specific times each week to work solely on her schoolwork and both recommend that she pick somewhere quiet to work such as a library or coffee shop. 

Mentor Rhoads also tells Allison about the benefits of the discussions with her classmates.  DLiTE courses have very dynamic discussion topics focused on the curriculum. The students become quite passionate about debating the current topics and it is not unusual to speak directly to the professor several times a week on the pager, email or the phone.  "I hope my experience with the Bemidji DLiTE program will be just as positive as it was for my mom and my mentor," Allison reports. 

Allison will also be adding a new skill set to her teacher bag of tricks. She will be able to teach online in the new online K-12 classroom which is already here as you read this article.  Grow your own teachers!

This is the story of three teachers who were, and are, part of the DLiTE model. There are many others.  The rigor of the program, along with personal contact of the instructors and mentors, ensures teacher candidates who are ready to meet the challenges facing Minnesota as it educates teachers for a new century.

Bemidji DLiTE K-6 teacher licensure program

Bemidji FasTrack Secondary


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