Albion College is committed to providing students with international learning experiences, and it’s important that our future teachers understand their profession on a global scale. The Fritz Shurmur Center for Teacher Development offers students two different opportunities to study abroad, both of which involve a comparative education inquiry project.
Top Five Learning Goals of International Education for Teachers
Learn how to critically analyze and contextualize the American educational experience.
Gain awareness of personal cultural experiences and values through conversations with host families.
Increase cultural competence by living with a host family and participating in a practicum in a foreign educational setting.
Enhance instructional skills (lesson planning and communication) by teaching lessons in literature, English conversation, and American culture.
Understand the scope of diversity, the influences of globalization, the challenges presented when bridging cultures, and the benefits of creating international opportunities for teaching and learning.
In this course, students will travel to Noisy-le-Roi for two weeks in January where they will live with a host family, visit French schools, and interact with students, faculty, and staff. Upon returning to the U.S., they will present their findings and experience to public school students and to Albion College peers, faculty, and staff during the Capstone Symposium on Teaching.
Heredia, Costa Rica
Students travel to Heredia, Costa Rica for four weeks where they will live with a host family, visit Costa Rican cultural sites, particpate in classes at Universidad Nacional de Costa Rica with Costa Rican peers studying to be teachers, and interact with children, youth, faculty, and staff at Pará School. Focused specifically on teaching English as a foreign language, students will develop an inquiry topic, teach a unit plan, and give a presentation on material culture to frame and focus the practicum. Upon returning to the U.S., they will present their findings and experience to public school students and to Albion College peers, faculty, and staff during the Capstone Symposium on Teaching. Read more!
Staff Accompanist Office: 112, Goodrich Chapel Phone: 517-629-0827 E-mail:
Nicholas Laban is a collaborative pianist based in Kalamazoo, Michigan. He has served as the Full-Time Staff Accompanist for the Albion College Music Department since Fall 2013. At Albion, Nicholas is responsible for accompanying vocalists, instrumentalists, choirs, and faculty performances, as well as overseeing scheduling and coordinating accompanist duties. During the summer, he serves as pianist and coach for the High School Vocal Artist program at the prestigious Interlochen Arts Camp.
Nicholas received his Bachelor’s degree from Albion College. He completed programs in Piano Performance and Economics & Management, graduating summa cum laude. He then pursued a Master’s degree in Piano Performance from Western Michigan University. At WMU he served as graduate assistant in Class Piano and Opera Accompanying, for which he received the 2013 School of Music Graduate Award for Excellence in Teaching. Principal teachers include Lori Sims, Lia Jensen-Abbott, and Ruth Goveia.
Prerequisities: 3.0 GPA; junior-level standing, interest in science, demonstrated maturity.
Length: Semester--Fall or Spring (12 wks), Summer (8 wks).
For up-to-date information on the whereabouts and activities of our vessels, check out the daily report on the SEA Web site at: http://www.sea.edu
Credit: Up to 17 semester hours or 4.25 Albion College units (4 semester hours = 1 Albion College unit). Credit is apportioned on the 2 components of the program in this way: 2.25 Albion College units for Shore component; 2.00 Albion College units for the Sea component.
Faculty: All of SEA's faculty hold doctorate level degrees. SEA's nautical science faculty are licensed professional Master Mariners who teach nautical science on shore and go to sea as masters of the vessels. The Oceanography faculty teach oceanography on shore and go to sea as Chief Scientists on board the vessels. SEA's Maritime Studies faculty teach maritime studies on shore, providing the humanities focus of ocean study. The SEA faculty is augmented by visiting scholars and lecturers. These men and women have all worked at sea and understand the challenges and rewards of living in and studying the world offshore.
Housing: Cottage dormitories during the shore component, on board a sailing ship during the ship component.
Costs Not Covered by Albion: Transportation to/from Woods Hole; transportation to/from ship (varies depending on which cruise selected); books; board on shore; incidentals.
As early as possible as Sea Education has a rolling basis admissions.
Faculty Advisor: Ruth Schmitter, Putnam 054, 517-629-0379,
Comments: Designed for students with or without oceanographic background or career interests. The program is in two parts: a 6-week shore component that provides classroom-based instruction in theories of sea life; and a 6-week Ship component on board a sailing ship that emphasizes learning through participation and practical experience. Some financial aid is available through the SEA Semester program. See program brochure for more details.
Contact: Elizabeth Dorr SEA Semester Admissions Office Sea Education Association P. O. Box 6 Woods Hole, MA 02543 Telephone: 800-552-3633, ext 770 Fax: 508-540-0558 E-mail:
Rae S. Corliss, '23, Endowed Pleiad Prize
This prize is awarded each year to the student(s) who have made the greatest contribution to the Pleiad in editing, writing, reporting, layout, photography, online editing, graphics, distribution, and/or business management.
This prize is made possible by donors Dr. Glenn A. Corliss, ’61 and Nan D. Corliss, ’63.