The word is out that Albion College's Education Department is operating at the top of its craft, training the teachers of tomorrow.
It's also at the top of the list of teacher preparation institutions (TPIs) statewide.
The Michigan Department of Education recently awarded Albion's program 70 out of a possible 70 points as its TPI score for academic year 2009-10 (the scores typically are issued a year later). Albion, whose score puts it out front in the Exemplary category, was one of only two programs out of 33 in the state to achieve a perfect score.
Even more notable, it ranked first in students passing the Michigan Test for Teacher Certification (MTTC)—98 percent, measured over three years. MTTC Pass Rate is one of seven categories comprising the TPI score, but it is by far the largest component (30 points), making up more than 40 percent of the tally.
"We are proud of the Michigan Department of Education's Teacher Preparation Institution 2009-2010 ranking because the Exemplary rank actually reflects the liberal arts nature of our program," said Kyle Shanton, associate professor and department chair. "The Albion College Teacher Education Program values the rich quality of rigorous academic study. This ranking, therefore, features the outstanding education Albion College students achieve in their major programs of study via expert teaching and remarkable experiential learning from faculty across departments."
Albion's program received more good news this fall in the form of a five-year accreditation from the Teacher Education Accreditation Council. TEAC is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving academic degree programs for professional educators and whose primary work is accrediting undergraduate and graduate professional education programs in order to assure the public about the quality of college and university programs.
"National accreditation awarded by TEAC is significant for Albion College," Shanton said. "Reviewers note that program faculty know how their students develop, use exemplary self-inquiry to assess the program of study, and make clear efforts to continually improve."
Albion’s Teacher Education Program, in conjunction with the College's Fritz Shurmur Center for Teacher Development, helps develop the skills, knowledge, and dispositions needed to teach all students regardless of academic ability, ethnic or cultural background, home environment, or socioeconomic status. The program offers Michigan elementary and secondary certification in a range of subjects, as well as K-12 certification in French, German, Spanish, and music.
Students are meaningfully engaged in public school classrooms in every education course, beginning with the introductory courses which are offered in the sophomore year. A signature course, Boundary Crossings in Elementary/Secondary Schools, is taken junior year, prior to student teaching. Commonly referred to as Maymester, this course enables students to partner with a local classroom teacher throughout the semester and live on campus for three weeks after the normal academic year's conclusion in order to teach their own interdisciplinary unit and experience the daily life of a teacher.