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Accreditation StandardsWelcome!
The Accreditation and Educator Preparation Division provides leadership, oversight, and support of elementary, secondary and postsecondary education in Montana. The division is committed to continuous improvement in teaching and learning ensuring all students meet today’s challenges and tomorrow’s opportunities.

Click Here to learn more about the Accreditation and Educator Preparation Division’s commitment to Putting Montana Students First.

We're here to help. Contact us.
Linda Vrooman Peterson, Division Administrator, 406.444.5726
Michael Hall, Gifted and Talented Education Program Director 406.444.4422
Julia Cruse, Regional Education Service Area Specialist, 406.444.0769
Patty Muir, Accreditation Program Director, 406.444.4317
Nathan Miller, Accreditation Data Specialist 406.444.2410
Kimberly Vinson, Data Control Technician 406.444.1852
Rehanna Olson, Administrative Specialist 406.444.3114

Accreditation Standards

Standards of accreditation as per 20 – 7-101 Montana Codes Annotated: (1) Standards of accreditation for all schools must be adopted by the board of public education upon the recommendations of the superintendent of public instruction. Chapter 55 of the Administrative Rules of Montana contain the standards that guarantee students the benefits of attendance in accredited schools.

We’re here to help.  Contact us.

Patty Muir, Accreditation Program Director, 406.444.4317
Nathan Miller, Accreditation Data Specialist, 406.444.2410


Endorsement Codes

The Montana licensure endorsement codes are mapped to a common course numbering system aligned with these endorsement codes.
MT Teacher Licensure Endorsement Codes 2016-2017

Montana Course Codes

Montana course codes are a subset of the NCES (National Center for Education Statistics) Standard Codes. Along with the course code, a content description for each course is provided.
2016 – 2017 Montana Course Codes

Variances to Standards

The revised ARM 10.55.604 Variances to Standards rule allows a local board of trustees to apply for a variance to a standard or a section of standards, excluding standards stating statutory criteria, standards pertaining to educator licensure and endorsement, and content standards. The intent of the revised Variance to Standards is to: (1) provide options and innovation to school districts to help ensure educational quality and accountability, and (2) create a pre-appointed review board that will make recommendations to the Superintendent of Public Instruction for approval, modification, or rejection of all variance to standard applications.

Variances to Standards Review Board Membership
February 2017 

ARM 10.55.604(1)(d)(iii) The review board members shall serve five year terms with no limit to the number of terms any one person may serve. Terms shall be staggered where half of all positions shall be filled every three years prior to the first meeting of the review board in the third year.

Fred Anderson
Term Expires: 2021


Elementary School Principal
Great Falls

Tony Kloker
Term Expires: 2018


District Superintendent
Montana City Elementary

Matt Bell
Term Expires: 2021

Board Member

High School Teacher
Missoula Public Schools

Harvey Capellen
Term Expires: 2018

Board Member

Board of Trustee Member
Havre Public Schools

John Fleming
Term Expires: 2021

Board Member

High School Teacher
St. Ignatius K-12 Schools

Kelly Haverlandt
Term Expires: 2021

Board Member

Elementary School Teacher
Whitefish Public Schools

Anne Keith
Term Expires: 2018

Board Member

Elementary School Teacher
Bozeman Public Schools

Dan Kimzey
Term Expires: 2018

Board Member

High School Principal
Hamilton Public Schools

Download list of Board Members

Date Location Applications Documentation

Office of Public Instruction, Conference Room 1300, Helena, MT

Beaverhead County High School
Darby K-12 Schools

Darby K-12 Schools

Bigfork - Bigfork Elementary, Bigfork 7-8
East Helena – Eastgate School, Radley Elementary School
Fort Smith Elementary School
Frontier Elementary
St. Ignatius Middle School
Thompson Falls 7-8
Troy 7-8

Frontier Elementary

BPE Minutes – Available after July BPE Meeting
04/11/16 Radisson Colonial Hotel, Helena, MT

Billings High Schools
Powell County High School
Kalispell - Flathead High School, Glacier High School
Sweet Grass County High School

Libby High School, Troy High School
Bozeman High School

10.55.704 and 10.55.705
Independent Elementary

Bonner Elementary School
Joliet Public Schools
Malta K-12 Schools

10.55.709 and 10.55.1801Polson High School

Corvallis - Quentin Brown Primary

Billings Elementary Schools

BPE Minutes – Available after July BPE Meeting
August 4 & 5, 2015 -- No applications – meeting cancelled
03/31/15 Comfort Inn, Helena, MT

Beaverhead County High School

Cayuse Prairie 7-8 School
Canyon Creek 7-8 School

Troy 7-8 School
Thompson Falls 7-8 School
Bigfork 7-8 School

Corvallis (Edna Thomas & Corvallis 7-8)

Applications not considered due to request of variance to licensure:

Kila Elementary 
Smith Valley Elementary 
Swan River Elementary
Vaughn Elementary
Fair-Mont-Egan Elementary


Annual Reports

The Accreditation Unit primarily serves schools and districts in the area of accreditation standards and practices and program accountability; Terms of Employment, Accreditation and Master Schedule (TEAMS) technical assistance; P20 on-site review criteria, protocol, follow-up technical assistance to schools, research and reporting; and continuous improvement (CSI Plan).

Distance, Online and Technology Delivered Learning

Accreditation StandardsDistance Online and Technology Delivered Learning is formal learning where students and teachers are separated by time and/or location with synchronous or asynchronous content, instruction, and communication between students and teachers. This instruction may consist of learning opportunities provided through a variety of media including web-based interactions online and through other emerging technologies. Distance learning options provide school districts with increased capacity to meet the education needs of their learners

Administrative Rules of Montana 10.55.907 establishes the requirements for such programs and/or courses the fulfill elementary or middle grades basic education programs and/or high school graduation requirements for Montana schools.

Distance Learning Provider Registration

Montana Digital Academy


Accreditation Standards

Educator Preparation

Standards of Accreditation as per Administrative Rules of Montana (ARM) Chapter 58 direct the accreditation of educator preparation programs in Montana. There are nine post-secondary campuses offering teacher education programs approved by the Montana Board of Education to provide educational programs leading to licensure for teachers and administrators. Each institution offers its own combination of programs.

Institutional Report (effective July 1, 2015)

Reports by Section

10.58.102 Process Leading to Accreditation of Educator Preparation Providers

10.58.103 Accreditation Site Reviews

10.58.104 Accreditated Programs

10.58.311 Initial Content and Pedagogical Knowledge

10.58.312 Initial Clinical Partnerships and Practice

10.58.313 Initial Candidate Quality, Recruitment, and Selectivity

10.58.314 Initial Program Impact

10.58.315 Initial Provider Quality Assurance and Continuous Improvement

10.58.501 Teaching Standards
10.58.502 Agricultural Education
10.58.503 Art K-12
10.58.505 Business Education
10.58.507 Theatre
10.58.509 English Language Arts
10.58.510 Students With Disabilities P-12
10.58.511 World Languages
10.58.513 Health
10.58.514 Family and Consumer Sciences
10.58.515 Industrial Trades and Technology Education
10.58.516 Journalism
10.58.517 Library Media K-12
10.58.518 Mathematics
10.58.519 Music K-12
10.58.520 Physical Education
10.58.521 Reading Specialists K-12
10.58.522 Science
10.58.523 Social Studies
10.58.524 Commmunication
10.58.526 Traffic Education
10.58.528 Computer Science
10.58.531 Early Childhood Education
10.58.532 Elementary
10.58.533 Middle Grades (4-8)

10.58.604 Advanced Programs

10.58.605 Advanced Content and Pedagogical Knowledge

10.58.606 Advanced Clinical Partnerships and Practice

10.58.607 Advanced Candidate Quality, Recruitment, and Selectivity

10.58.608 Advanced Program Impact

10.58.609 Advanced Provider Quality Assurance and Continuous Improvement

10.58.610 School Counseling K-12

10.58.705 School Principals, Supervisors, and Curriculum Directors

10.58.706 Superintendents

10.58.707 School Psychologists

10.58.802 Approval of New Curricular Programs

Montana has 9 post-secondary campuses offering teacher education programs that have been approved by the Montana Board of Education for teacher, administrator, specialist certification in Montana. Each institution offers its own combination of programs. Both historical and current combinations of programs can be accessed through this site.


  • Select the institution.
  • Current approved programs will have a "yes" in the "if still approved" column and/or a date of last on-site review.
  • Historical (discontinued) programs will have the last year of approval in the "if still approved" column and may or may not have a date of last on-site review.
  • If a program is still current as a major but not as a minor (and vice versa), "minor 19--" will be in the "if still approved" column (the last year it was approved as a minor) and a date will be in the last on-site review column (last review of the current major program.)
  • If you have specific questions regarding the institutions' education programs, please contact the certification official for the respective institution(s). Contact information is provided.
  • On-site reviews occur on a rotating schedule with every campus being reviewed every five years. Provisional approval may be awarded by the Board of Public Education on recommendation from the Teacher Education Division of the Office of Public Instruction for programs instituted between on-site reviews.

This legislation calls for a State Report Card on the Quality of Teacher Preparation. It requests states to provide a description of the teacher certification and licensure assessments, and any other certification and licensure requirements, used by the State. It asks for the percentage of teaching candidates who passed each of the assessments used by the State for teacher certification and licensure, disaggregated and ranked, by the teacher preparation program in that State from which the teacher candidate received the candidate's most recent degree, which shall be made available widely and publicly. It asks for information on the extent to which teachers in the State are given waivers of State certification or licensure requirements, including the proportion of such teachers distributed across high- and low-poverty school districts and across subject areas.

An initial report was due April 7, 1999, giving basic information about the state's certification, which in Montana includes the only state mandated testing requirement. Following this, the state was to establish (with the cooperation of appropriate institutions) a procedures report which was due October 7, 2000.

An unexpected complication with the law was the absence of definitions and the unanticipated variety of state rules, laws and assessments (varying from none to many). It took nearly a year of meetings to determine how the desired goal of the legislation might be collected. A set of guidelines for implementing Title II was not available until January 2000.

The act includes penalties for states and institution for failure to comply. "Fines.--In addition to the actions authorized in section 487(c), the Secretary may impose a fine not to exceed $25,000 on an institution of higher education for failure to provide the information described in this subsection in a timely or accurate manner."

'In order to receive funds under this Act, a State, not later than 2 years after the date of enactment of the Higher Education Amendments of 1998, shall have in place a procedure to identify, and assist, through the provision of technical assistance, low-performing programs of teacher preparation within institutions of higher education..." This is the context for the attached report, dated October 5, 2000.



Educator Performance Appraisal SystemAEP

Administrative Rules of Montana (ARM) Chapter 55 Standards of Accreditation Revised provides the framework for the evaluation process used in Montana schools. The standards outline the minimum guidelines and requirements of the evaluation system used by a school district.

Implementation of the requirements of ARM 10.55.701 (4)(a) began in all Montana school districts in the 2013-14 school year. As directed by the standard, model evaluation instruments have been developed and published to assist school districts in meeting the state standards for educator evaluation. Model instruments promote the inclusion of professional growth components in the overall system.


Montana New Teacher Induction Project 

Accreditation Standards

The OPI is partnering with The New Teacher Center (NTC), a one-of-a kind national resource dedicated to accelerating new teacher development and impacting student achievement through the design and implementation of high-quality teacher induction programs

For further questions, contact Patty Muir, OPI Accreditation Program Director, at 406.444.4317 or