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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Professional Communications

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Professional educators are held to a higher standard in which ethics are a critical component to our profession. Candidates must adhere to the ethical standards of the teaching profession as identified in the Code of Ethics for Teachers as well as demonstrate commitment and adherence to the professional dispositions identified as critical for Minnesota State, Mankato students.

General information

Professional Communication is the communication between initial and practicing teacher candidates and the College of Education (through its faculty), regarding the candidate's competency in education standards and demonstration of professional dispositions.

Faculty are expected to participate in ongoing monitoring and evaluation of candidates' academic achievements, dispositions and professional development and take steps to halt behaviors that are problematic. Isolated episodes of problem behavior or patterns of behavior warrant more formal methods than one-on-one conversations with the candidate, faculty are encouraged to follow the following process. Students can appeal to the Professional Education Policy, Procedures, and Review Board at any point in the process.

The Professional Communications process identifies four levels of intervention as well as a communication process for resolving patterns of problem behavior.


  • Informal - are designed for faculty to meet informally with candidates to discuss potential professional concerns in order to inform and improve the candidate's chances of success. This requires no formal documentation.
  • Advisory - are designed to inform the candidate of a professional concern(s) before they become serious problems. An advisory may be submitted at any point, from initial enrollment through completion of the program. A Professional Communication is completed online and sent to candidate, faculty advisor, the department chair and the Dean's office.
  • Remediation - is an assistance plan which is designed to bring the resources of the University and the candidate together to address problems/concerns before they reach the level of non-continuation in the program. An assistance plan may be submitted at any point, from initial enrollment through completion of the program and outlines the intervention strategies designed to remediate the problem identify. The assistance plan will also specify any limitations or prohibitions on the candidate's ability to enroll in subsequent courses or internships experiences prior to meeting all conditions of the plan.

Note: Candidates who do not fulfill the terms of their remediation by the date specified in the contract may, at the discretion of the department or faculty member be given an extension. Candidates who fail to correct academic and/or professional development deficiencies by the end of the extension period will, upon the recommendation to the candidate's advisor and concurrence by department committee, be dismissed from the program.

  • Non-continuance - academic consequences for a violation of professional dispositions or ethics, such as a failing grade or dismissal from a program, are determined by the instructor and the College of Education. Also, the matter may be subsequently referred to the Office of Student Affairs for possible University disciplinary action; please refer to the Universities; "Statement of Student Responsibilities".

A candidate who has been given a non-continuance in a program because of academic and/or professional development deficiencies may not reapply to the program until the following conditions have been met:

  1. a full academic year has passed;
  2. the candidate submits a letter petitioning the department for readmission and describing the steps taken during his/her absence to remedy the factors leading to dismissal; and
  3. the candidate's advisor agrees to provide a letter in support of the candidate's readmission to the program.

Communication Process

  • Faculty report all Professional Communications on the Student Information and Management System (SIMS).
  • The Coordinator of Professional Education submits a letter into the SIMS and sends the letter to the student with a copy to the advisor, department chair, and the person reporting the concern.
  • Department action-individual meeting with faculty who filed the communication or for more serious concerns a department committee (Professional Communication of concerns Committee). Committees should be set at 2-4 members with additional ad hoc member who is involved in the situation.
    Note: the committee may meet first without the student present for background information.

Follow-up Process

  • A follow-up letter outlining the concern(s) in detail; and when appropriate, a student assistance plan remediating the concern(s) is submitted into the SIMS and sent to the student with a copy to the advisor.
  • A follow-up check on the progress of the student assistance plan should be done first at 4-6 weeks and again later. The faculty responsible for the follow-up will be named in the student assistance plan.
  • A final follow-up letter when the student assistance plan is resolved should be submitted into the SIMS and sent to the student and copied to Coordinator of Professional Education for professional concerns website tracking and to the advisor.

For Further Information

Faculty Responsibility

  • Be aware of dispositions
  • Report concerns in timely manner
  • Maintain record of reported students
  • Follow up on concern ensuring that issue is resolved