The Education Department is the academic unit housing the faculty and courses that support the mission of the Fritz Shurmur Education Institute and the teacher education program. Information about the program of study and certification may be found in this section. Summary information on the Institute may be found in the Academic Programs section.

Albion College's teacher certification program in elementary, secondary, and K-12 education is fully accredited by the Michigan Department of Education. We welcome students of all races, religions, or national origins and are in full compliance with the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Education Department Web site

Changes in certification requirements as determined by the Michigan Department of Education and/or in requirements set by Albion College and the Education Department may necessitate changes in programs described in this catalog. When such changes are implemented, efforts will be made to provide as smooth a transition to the new requirements as possible.

Admission--Students may formally apply for admission to the teacher education program after successfully completing Education 201. They need to have a 2.7 cumulative grade point average, have taken and passed all three sections (Reading, Mathematics, and Writing) of the Michigan Basic Skills Tests and documented commitment by demonstrating previous work with children/adolescents in an educational setting. In accordance with State Board of Education policy, students are also required to complete three criminal history checks: in Education 201, as part of the application for admission, and again prior to recommendation to the Michigan Department of Education for initial certification. As part of this process, students are required to access the Internet Criminal History Access Tool (ICHAT) through the Michigan State Police Web site ( ) and submit the report to the Education Department. Students are responsible for the ICHAT fee. Detailed requirements for admission to the teacher certification program may be obtained directly from the Education Department.

Teacher education program students are required to maintain a 2.7 cumulative grade point average, and a 3.0 average in their major, minor and in other course work required for the teacher certification program.

Students must sign up for student teaching no later than January of the preceding academic year. Student teaching is a capstone experience that brings many significant responsibilities and obligations, and involves time commitments during and after school as well as many evenings. Therefore, student teachers must petition to receive advance permission from the Education Department to take other courses, work, hold leadership positions in organizations on- or off-campus, or participate in any activity that would potentially interfere with student teaching. All student teaching placements are made by the field placement coordinator. Placements are made within a 30-mile radius of Albion in order to accommodate supervision, seminar and capstone commitments. In preparation for student teaching, students receive field experience integrated into course work in 200 and 300-level education classes. Students are expected to complete a digital (hypermedia) portfolio prior to completing their program of study. Students are also encouraged to acquire additional educational experience through volunteer or ancillary work in tutoring, outdoor camp, and community and regional programs focused on youth such as Foreign Language in Elementary Schools (FLES) or Big Brother/Big Sister. All students in the teacher education program are required to complete either Education 396: Boundary Crossings in Elementary Schools or Education 397: Boundary Crossings in Secondary Schools (aka “Maymester”). These courses require an integrated field experience that begins during the spring semester and concludes full-time during three and one-half weeks in May as part of the junior year. There is no additional tuition charged for the Maymester portion of the course; however, students will be charged for room and board during this period.

Albion College is a member of the Consortium for Outstanding Achievement in Teaching with Technology (COATT), a partnership of higher education and K-12 institutions that is committed to promoting and recognizing excellence in teaching with technology. Student teachers and practicing teachers may apply for the Michigan Certificate of Outstanding Achievement in Teaching with Technology (MCOATT) through Albion College. Further details are given at:

Testing--Act 267 of the Public Acts of 1986 requires that all students wishing admission to any Michigan Teacher Education Program must take and pass the Basic Skills Test administered by Pearson Education, Inc. This test should be taken during the freshman year and no later than the sophomore year as part of the teacher education admissions process. Cost, dates and site information are available online at

All education students need to pass state subject area tests before they can be certified by the Michigan Department of Education. Elementary certification candidates must pass the elementary education test. If they wish to teach in their major in middle school, they must also pass the subject area test in their teachable major. All secondary and K-12 certification candidates must pass the subject area tests in their teachable major and minor. Students seeking certification to teach French, German or Spanish are also required to pass the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages’ Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) exam at an “Advanced Low” level of proficiency (or higher). Students should consult closely with the Modern Languages and Cultures Department and consider taking this exam directly after the study abroad experience. It is recommended that students take content area exams once major course work in that area is completed, generally during the senior year, prior to student teaching. As requested by the Michigan Department of Education to release information on institutional reports for teacher tests, we are reporting that Albion College students who completed the education program for certification during the last academic year had a 100 percent passing rate for all the state-required certification tests.

Credentials--A professional service of maintaining and supplying recommendations for teacher education graduates is offered by the Office of Career Development.

Certification Fee--Michigan Act No. 339 requires that all teacher candidates pay a fee of $160 for the issuance of a certificate. Albion College is not involved in the collection of the fee. A Detroit bank bills the student and then remits payment to the State of Michigan. Albion College can only recommend a student for certification. The State of Michigan does not certify until the student pays the fee.

Professional Certification--The teacher's certificate issued by the State of Michigan to qualified graduates of approved teacher education institutions is a provisional certificate valid for up to six years.

All persons issued an original professional certificate are required to renew that certificate every five years on the basis of six semester hours of academic credit from an approved teacher preparation institution or the equivalent in State Board-approved professional development programs or activities that will award credits obtained as State Board Continuing Education Units.