The Education Department is the academic unit housing the faculty and courses that support the mission of the Fritz Shurmur Center for Teacher Development and the teacher education program. Information about the program of study and certification may be found in this section. Summary information on the Shurmur Center may be found in the Academic Programs section.
The Ferguson Center for Technology-Aided Teaching and Learning hosts the Learning Café, a dynamic and flexible place for prospective teachers to use computer and Web-based technologies for designing lesson and unit plans, viewing and archiving videotaped examples of teaching and learning, and creating electronic and online portfolios of TEP achievements. There is a lending library of equipment (e.g., digital cameras, video cameras, digital audio recorders, individual response systems) and curriculum materials to support students in their field experiences. The Ferguson Center is a member of the Michigan Association of Computer Users in Learning (MACUL), the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) and the Consortium for Outstanding Achievement in Teaching with Technology (COATT). Albion College education students are eligible to apply for the COATT award, given to a pre-service and in-service teacher who creates a portfolio of his or her work in educational technology and teaching and learning.
Albion College’s teacher certification program in elementary, secondary and K-12 education is fully approved 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.
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 (TEP) after successfully completing Education 202. Requirements include: a 2.7 cumulative grade point average (GPA), a 3.0 GPA in the teaching major and teaching minor, a 3.0 GPA in education classes, confirmation of having taken and passed all three sections (Reading, Mathematics, and Writing) of the Michigan Test for Teacher Certification (MTTC) Basic Skills Test, a successfully written essay, two letters of recommendation and documented commitment by demonstrating previous work with children and youth in an educational setting. In accordance with State Board of Education policy, students are also required to complete three criminal history checks: in Education 202 prior to admission, in Education 203 as part of the application for admission, and again prior to recommendation to the Michigan Department of Education for provisional 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. A detailed explanation of requirements for admission may be obtained directly from the Education Department. Students are also encouraged to acquire additional educational experience through volunteer or ancillary work in tutoring, outdoor camps, and community and regional programs focused on children and youth such as Foreign Language in Elementary Schools (FLES) or Big Brothers/Big Sisters.
Further, students are required to maintain a 2.7 cumulative GPA, and a 3.0 GPA in their teaching major, teaching minor (or planned program), education concentration and in other course work required for the teacher education program. All required courses must be taken for a grade, except those offered only on a credit/no credit basis.
Student Teaching—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 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 participate in field experiences integrated into course work in 200- and 300-level education classes. All TEP students 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 includes full-time participation during three and one-half weeks in a classroom in May as part of the junior year or senior. 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. Students are expected to complete a digital (hypermedia) portfolio prior to completing their program of study.
Testing—Act 267 of the Public Acts of 1986 requires that all students seeking to enroll in student teaching in any Michigan teacher education program must take and pass the Basic Skills Test (Test Code 096) 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 Albion College TEP admissions process. Cost, dates and site information are available online at http://www.mttc.nesinc.com .
All education students need to pass Michigan Test for Teacher Certification (MTTC) subject area tests before they can be certified by the Michigan Department of Education (MDE). Elementary certification candidates must pass the Elementary Education Test (Test Code 083). If they wish to teach in their major in grades 6-8, they must also pass the subject area test in their teaching major. All secondary and K-12 certification candidates must pass the subject area tests in their teaching major and minor. K-12 music education students take only the Music Education Test (Test Code 099). 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 TEP adviser to prepare for this exam. It is generally recommended that students take content area exams once major course work in that area is completed, during the senior year prior to student teaching. As required by the MDE, we are reporting a 100 percent passing rate for Albion College students whose applications were approved for certification during the last academic year on all state-required certification tests. During test registration, students must request that their MTTC scores be officially reported to Albion College (Institution Code 02).
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. Candidates are billed online by the MDE. Albion College can only approve a candidate’s application for certification. The MDE does not certify until the candidate pays the certification fee.
Provisional Certification—The initial teacher’s certificate issued by the State of Michigan to qualified graduates of approved teacher education institutions is a provisional certificate which is valid for up to six years.