The Prentiss M. Brown Honors Program is designed for students interested in challenges and opportunities that go beyond those offered by traditional lecture and laboratory courses. Through small discussion-based classes, field trips, retreats, guest lecturers, independent research and individualized faculty mentoring, the Program provides a stimulating variety of academic experiences for talented students. All Brown Honors Program graduates culminate their academic experience with an extensive research or creative project. Participation in the Program may be combined with any major and with any of Albion’s career preparation programs in law, medicine, public service, environmental science, or business management.
Academic Program—The academic requirements and course descriptions for the Honors Program appear in the Programs of Study section of this catalog.
Special Features—The Prentiss M. Brown Honors Program Center is located in the historic Observatory building and contains a seminar room for Honors classes, the Honors coordinator's office, as well as meeting, library, computing and study areas for Honors students and their guests. Finally, the Program provides Honors students with opportunities to participate in our Prentiss M. Brown Common Reading Experience, attend popular cultural attractions, have special access to distinguished campus visitors, and to plan and run a variety of other social and intellectual activities through participation in the Honors Council.
Admission—Albion’s Brown Honors Program accepts applications from students who show superior academic promise. Recognizing there is no one criterion by which academic potential is measured, the Honors Committee annually selects a group of applicants whose high school records, scores on national tests, essays and personal interviews indicate exceptional promise. Currently enrolled Albion College students, as well as high school seniors, may apply for admission to the Institute. Contact the Brown Honors Program director at for more information.
Albion’s Institutes and Centers integrate theoretical and practical learning in distinctive and challenging ways. Intended for students who desire preprofessional preparation and academic work focused in a specialty area, the Institutes and Centers each have a specific curriculum and may include an internship, a capstone experience and opportunities for independent research. Successful completion of an Institute or Center’s program, which is noted on the student’s academic transcript, confers an advantage in gaining admission to graduate or professional school or in beginning a career.
The Gerald R. Ford Institute for Leadership in Public Policy and Service assures highly qualified students a broad liberal arts education with concentrated study in the areas of public policy and public service. Special emphasis is given to problem-solving, decision-making and leadership. The Institute carries out President Ford’s vision of training the next generation in the importance of public service in its myriad forms.
Academic Program—The academic requirements and course descriptions for the Ford Institute concentration appear in the Programs of Study section of this catalog. The academic aspect of the Ford Institute allows students of any major to graduate with an understanding of how public policy is made and how it impacts all aspects of American society. The program requires students to complete a one-unit internship in public service.
Activities—Students participate in a range of academic and social activities designed both to expand their understanding of public service and to enhance their ties with others who share their interest in community engagement. Most notably, students complete a customized internship that enhances their job prospects and allows them to work in places as diverse as Washington, D.C., Europe, Africa or closer to home. Students also have opportunities to meet and interact with visitors to campus, including many who are world-renowned scholars, elected officials, researchers or business CEOs. Past visitors have included United States senators, ambassadors, governors and members of Congress, as well as civil rights leaders, famous scientists and business leaders. Students also are provided with opportunities to engage in community service projects with leading organizations in Albion, Detroit, throughout Michigan and around the world.
Admission—Students are admitted to the Ford Institute only after being admitted to Albion College. Admission to the Ford Institute is selective. Participants are selected based on their proven leadership, interest in public service, academic ability and previous involvement in political, community and school activities. All students are expected to maintain a high level of academic performance and, once admitted, to continue their involvement in campus and community affairs and to become involved in Institute activities. Contact the Ford Institute director at for more information.
The Carl A. Gerstacker Institute for Business and Management combines the traditional strengths of the liberal arts education with business knowledge, skills and experience necessary for entry into leadership and management positions in today’s global business environment. Since 1973, the Gerstacker Institute has earned an excellent reputation for preparing students to be successful in the workplace. The business world is dynamic. By preparing students in the fundamentals of common business practices, as well as creating challenges that provide opportunities to develop critical thought into action, this program creates in-demand employees and future business leaders.
Academic Program—The academic requirements and course descriptions for the Gerstacker Institute appear under the business and organizations major in the Programs of Study section of this catalog.
Activities—Members of the Gerstacker Institute participate in workshops aimed at building a professional portfolio, developing career search skills, and practicing proper business etiquette. In addition, the Institute regularly hosts speakers from a variety of management fields who share their experiences with students, often one-on-one. Regular participation in these activities is a requirement for continued membership in the Institute.
Admission—The Carl A. Gerstacker Institute for Business and Management enrolls a select number of students each year. Students considered for admission typically have shown evidence of strong leadership and intellectual abilities as well as interest in and awareness of the world around them. They have above average high school grades and standardized test scores. The application process includes completion of an essay and a personal interview with the Institute director. Students may apply for admission to the Institute along with or subsequent to applying to the College. However, they cannot be admitted to the Institute until they have been accepted by the College.
Students admitted to the Gerstacker Institute may be considered for scholarships which are separate from other aid awarded by Albion College. These scholarships may be renewable each year for up to four years, contingent on a continued high level of academic performance and significant participation in Institute activities.
Due to the limitations on space and the strong interest in the Institute, early application is advised.
Albion College’s pre-health professions program has an excellent reputation for providing academic preparation for students wishing to enter healthcare professions, including medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, physician assistant, nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy, optometry, pharmacy, and public health. The Institute for Healthcare Professions (IHP) supports and enriches the undergraduate education experience of healthcare students by providing academic and career advising, offering health-related courses, and sponsoring workshops, speakers, volunteer and internship opportunities, and a variety of special programs.
By introducing students to key issues in healthcare and focusing on students’ interpersonal competencies as well as their academic competencies, the Institute offers students their critical first steps toward becoming well-educated, compassionate medical professionals.
Academic Program—Students are required to complete the appropriate prerequisite courses for the professional school they plan to attend. Pre-health students can major in any field and are encouraged to explore the full range of liberal arts course offerings in subjects including anthropology, sociology, economics, art, art history, psychology, history, philosophy and many other fields. To graduate as Institute members in good standing, students need to complete Introduction and Issues in Healthcare, a documented experiential learning project, and community service as well as maintain a GPA of 3.0. To graduate with distinction, Institute members must assume a leadership role in the Institute, be eligible to join Alpha Epsilon Delta, the health preprofessional honor society, and achieve a GPA of 3.5.
Admission—Prospective members usually apply for admission to the Institute during the process of applying for admission to Albion College by completing four brief essays about their healthcare interests and experiences. However, students may also apply during their first year of studies or upon transfer to Albion College. Once admitted, students are expected to maintain a high level of academic performance, to continue to explore the healthcare field, and to participate in Institute activities.
Apply to the Institute for Healthcare Professons.
The distinctive focus of the Fritz Shurmur Center for Teacher Development is to link the Albion College Teacher Education Program to the Albion Public Schools and other area schools in innovative and exemplary ways. This intentional engagement with area schools will enhance the preparation of Albion College’s prospective teachers and provide opportunities for a rich multicultural experience and a more meaningful involvement with policy issues.
With support from the Fritz Shurmur Center for Teacher Development, graduates of the Albion Teacher Education Program will become superior teachers—well-versed in their subject areas, highly skilled in developing knowledge with their students and dedicated to engaging their students in lifelong learning. Additionally, the Shurmur Center’s research and scholarship activities, such as the Shurmur Mentorship Practicum and public issues forums, create opportunities for prospective teachers to become knowledgeable about, and involved in, educational reform at the local, state and national levels.
Academic Program—The academic requirements and course descriptions for students in the Teacher Education Program appear under the Education Department in the Programs of Study section of this catalog.
Activities—In addition, the Fritz Shurmur Center for Teacher Development sponsors nationally known speakers for the student teaching capstone lecture, offers public roundtable discussions focused on topics related to education and public policy, and supports field trips to different educational settings to allow students to experience different models of educational practice in other regions of the country or the world. In conjunction with the Ferguson Center for Technology-Aided Teaching and Learning, students are encouraged to thoughtfully integrate the use of technology into their teaching and develop pilot projects, symposia and other structured study with academic technology.
Admission—Students with sophomore standing, who demonstrate both a strong intellect and an ethic of caring as well as successfully complete the two pre-admission courses (Education 202, 203) and the application, are eligible for admission. Applications are reviewed by faculty and staff of the Education Department and the Fritz Shurmur Center for Teacher Development. Similarly qualified students may also be admitted after the second year. Students interested in the Teacher Education Program are advised to fill out an interest form in the Education Department Office in Olin Hall. Contact the coordinator of the Shurmur Center for more information.
The Center for Sustainability and the Environment encourages students to understand the environment and the human place in it by combining the intellectual tradition of the liberal arts with the practical experiences gained in internships and research projects. The Center’s majors and concentrations in environmental science and environmental studies and its major in sustainability studies allow students to explore environmental questions through participatory learning and research in preparation for graduate studies and/or careers in regulation, remediation, policy formulation, education and the law. The Center also sponsors internship opportunities, service projects, seminars and travel experiences designed to confirm the relationship between the liberal arts and environmental concerns.
Academic Program—The academic requirements and course descriptions for the majors and concentrations offered through the Center for Sustainability and the Environment appear in the Programs of Study section of this catalog.
Activities—The Center sponsors several other opportunities for student enrichment, including field trips, student research and service projects, a student farm and a seminar program. The Center offers an annual field trip to see important ecosystems within the United States, and human impacts on these systems. To support student research, the Center provides stipends for students who elect to spend the summer on campus working on independent research or service projects. The bi-weekly environmental seminar provides an opportunity for students to hear about other students' research and internship experiences, recent graduates' experiences in work and graduate school, faculty lectures on environmental topics, and senior professionals' reflections on their careers. Albion is an affiliate member of the School for Field Studies, which offers environmental field studies in Australia, Buthan, Cambodia and Vietnam, Costa Rica, East Africa, Panama, Peru, and Turks and Caicos Islands.
Admission—Students must apply for admission to the Center and the majors and concentrations that it sponsors. Normally this step is taken as part of the application process to the College, and most members are admitted as incoming students. Students may also apply during their first two years at the College. Contact the director of the Center for Sustainability and the Environment at for more information.