The mission of the Fritz Shurmur Center for Teacher Development is to equip students seeking teacher certification and professional preparation with a distinctive and relevant undergraduate education that combines the following qualities: (1) the depth of a major in a discipline; (2) the breadth and interdisciplinary focus of an innovative core curriculum rooted in the liberal arts tradition; (3) an array of practical skills as a classroom teacher; (4) a thorough understanding of and engagement with broad issues impacting education; and (5) the ethics of civic responsibility and affirming diversity. Teacher candidates will become superior teachers, firmly grounded in the content of their subject areas and well-versed in traditional and innovative teaching methodologies. Moreover, their commitment to learning and their understanding of the place of education in American culture will enable them to serve as effective change agents for educational reform, within the classroom and in the public policy arena.
The study of the most successful practices in the profession, the development and testing of innovative ideas and educational technologies, and the insights and principles learned in internships, research, and travel will collectively provide a competitive advantage to teacher education graduates in securing an initial teaching position and in sustaining a meaningful career in education. Moreover, the Ferguson Center for Technology-Aided Teaching, in collaboration with the Division of Information Technology, will familiarize teacher candidates with best practice in the integration of technology into teaching and learning.
First year students in the teacher certification program will be admitted competitively in order to attract the brightest students into the teaching profession. Strongly qualified students may also be admitted after the first year. The Fritz Shurmur Center for Teacher Development will offer speakers, co-curricular activities, mentorship opportunities, and a sense of place that will create a special community of learners dedicated to having a significant positive impact on the teaching profession. The emphasis in the liberal arts tradition on superior teaching, coupled with the magic that occurs in the interaction between Albion College faculty and students, provide teacher candidates with models for intellectually stimulating and individually responsive styles of teaching.
Nationally, intelligent young people seeking careers in education are choosing well-respected liberal arts colleges. Consequently, this development center will build upon Albion's strong education program to make the College a leader for teacher preparation in the context of the liberal arts. The Shurmur Center will offer the unique opportunity to merge broad-based, logical, imaginative, and humane thinking with a major in a discipline and the study of teaching and learning in order to develop its students into outstanding educators.