Education

Requirements & Courses

  • Michigan Elementary Standard Certification Requirements

    This certificate permits teaching in grades K-5 all subjects and K-8 self-contained classrooms, and grades 6-8 in a content endorsement area. To be recommended for certification by Alma College, the candidate must complete the following:

    1. Elementary Education Major, requirements listed above, with a 2.5 GPA and no course required for certification may be taken Pass / Fail or be graded below a 2.0 (C).
    2. An overall GPA of 2.75 is required for Alma College to recommend a student for certification. 
    3. A 2.5 GPA is required for each additional endorsement area and no course required for certification may be taken Pass/Fail or be graded below a 2.0 (C).
    4. Candidates must pass MTTC in Elementary Education. Note: Elementary candidates must pass MTTC in their majors or minors to be certified in these additional endorsement areas. For initial certification, MTTC subject-area passing scores will remain valid for five years. 
    5. Students must provide proof of valid CPR and First Aid cards as required by the Michigan Department of Education. 
  • Language Arts Major (PK-6)

    Thirty-six credits, which must include:

    1. ENG-120; 190; 225; four credits of any 300-level literature course
    2. Four credits in Literature from: ENG-250; 251; 260; 261
    3. Eight credits in Writing from: ENG-201; 202; 210; 220; 270; 291; 293
    4. Four credits in Communication Arts from: COM-101; 111; NMS-201
    5. Four credits in Multicultural and Interpersonal perspectives from: COM-123, 201, 220; ENG-240; 241; 367; 368; 381
    6. For certification, take and pass the MTTC Language Arts test.
  • Language Arts Minor (Elementary or PK-6)

    Twenty-four credits, which must include:

    1. Complete ENG-120; 225; and COM-220.
    2. Four credits in Literature from: ENG-250; 251; 260; or 261
    3. Four credits in Writing from: ENG-201; 210; or another writing class approved by the English Department.
    4. Four credits from Communication: COM-101; 111; 123; or 227
    5. For certification, take and pass the MTTC Language Arts test.
  • Integrated Science Group Minor (Elementary or PK-6)

    Twenty-four credits which must include:

    1. BIO-121 (4 cr); CHM-103 (4 cr); ENV-110 (4 cr); GEO-113 (4 cr); PSC-380 (4 cr)
    2. One elective class from ENV-105 (4 cr), GEO-101 (4 cr) or other four-credit class approved by the Education Department.
    3. For certification, take and pass the MTTC Integrated Science test.
  • Social Studies Group Major (Elementary or PK-6)

    Forty-four credits, which must include:

    1. ECN-111 (4 cr) and 112 (4 cr)
    2. POL-101 (4 cr) and 121 (4 cr)
    3. GGR -101 (2 cr), 102 (2 cr), and 201 (4 cr)
    4. HST-100 (4 cr), 101 (4 cr), 104 (4 cr), 105 (4 cr), and 206 (4 cr)
    5. For certification, take and pass the MTTC Social Studies test.
  • Mathematics Major (Elementary or PK-6)

    See MTH Department course listings.

Spanish Teaching Major Requirements
  • Spanish Teaching Major Requirements

    Thirty-six credits (thirty-four of which must be beyond SPN 203) and which must include:

    1. Successful completion of SPN-321.

    2. At least four credits from each of the following groups:

    • Spain Culture and Civilization - SPN-350, 355, 261/361
    • Latin American Culture and Civilization - SPN-334, 352, 364, 374, 263/363
    • Literature - SPN-331, 340, 343, 344, 360, 362, 370, 372, 373

    3. Successful completion of ENG-225 and EDC-445F.

    4. A minimum of one semester of approved international study in a Spanish-speaking country.

    5. Students will write and defend, in open forum, an acceptable paper of moderate length reflecting on their study of Spanish, study abroad experience and how the role of language and culture combines with the mission of a liberal arts education.

    In order to be recommended for teacher certification, students must pass the Michigan Test for Teacher Certification subject area test in Spanish as well as the ACTFL - OPI at the Advanced-Low level. The Teacher Education Program is proactive about informing students of opportunities for taking these tests.

  • Special Education - Learning Disabilities Major (K-12 Major Elementary)

    Thirty-six credits, which must include:

    1. EDC-151, 152, 250, 255, 205, 301, 374, 375, 376, 504, 505, 506;
    2. For certification, take and pass the MTTC Special Education - Learning Disabilities test.
    3. For Secondary Education majors, a candidate must complete the Secondary Education Program, a content endorsement area, and the Special Education Program to become endorsed in learning disabilities.
    4. No course graded below 2.0 (C) may count toward a Special Education Major; 2.75 GPA is required. Mathematics and English are recommended as the content endorsements for Special Education Majors.
Teacher Certification
  • The Michigan State Board of Education certifies all teachers. Alma College is authorized to recommend to the State Board those students who have completed a bachelor’s degree, passed state required Subject Tests in endorsement areas, and successfully fulfilled all requirements of the Teacher Education Program. The Education Department offers majors leading to teacher certification. The Department also offers a non-certification Educational Studies Major and Minor and Special Education Minor. Certification requirements are subject to change by action of the State Board of Education and may not be reflected in this catalog. 

  • Teaching Major and Minor Requirements: Requirements for Teaching Majors and Minors are in the subject area department listings; requirements for group majors or minors are listed in the Education Department listing. Student should consult with the Education Department about requirements. 

    Graduation Requirements: Students who are in the elementary or secondary Teacher Education Certification Program shall only be deemed as satisfying graduation requirements when all required courses for certification are complete.

  • DEPARTMENTAL HONORS

    Students may achieve honors in Education by: 

    1. Earning a 3.5 GPA in an Education major (elementary education, secondary education, or educational studies) and a 3.3 overall cumulative GPA.
    2. Performing at a superior level in the culminating departmental experience of student teaching (EDC 490 / 491) or an educational studies internship (EDC-470).
    3. Preparing a senior thesis of honors caliber and presenting it at an appropriate public forum.
  • Classroom Placement Students - Background Check

    Michigan school districts require anyone who has contact with children in their school buildings, including staff or volunteers, to provide the district with documentation of central registry clearance. All students who have an Education course with a classroom placement must have a background check completed at the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) prior to beginning in their assigned classroom. This is free of charge, and DHHS records must be current. See the Education Department for more details. School Districts may require additional screenings.

  • Student Teacher Fingerprinting Procedure

    The Education Department requires fingerprinting of student teachers. All student teachers must have the Criminal Background Check Livescan fingerprinting procedure completed by August 1 or prior to beginning student teaching in their assigned district. Livescan must be completed at a Michigan Department of Education-approved site and is a statewide procedure. A fee is charged for this service, and fingerprint records must remain valid throughout your student teaching period. See the Education Department for more details.

  • Admission to the Teacher Education Program (TEP)

    The Education Department reviews all applicants and judges their suitability for entrance to the program during the student’s sophomore year; students who decide to seek teacher certification after the sophomore year can be admitted late but may require extra time to complete the program. For full approval students must have the following:

    1. A completed application (on Tk20) for admission to the TEP submitted by the deadline.
    2. A cumulative GPA of at least 3.0.
    3. Demonstrate proficiency in writing and mathematics as determined by Alma College.
    4. Provide scores in reading, math, and writing on a nationally normed assessment.
    5. Evidence that the applicant has dispositions conducive to success in the teaching profession (as indicated by disposition assessment forms, Student Life reports, the recommendation of the Education Department, and a Felony Conviction Statement confirming that the student has not been convicted of any act contributing to the delinquency of a minor or involving moral turpitude).
    6. Good standing - student life. 
    7. All majors(s) and minor(s) must be declared through the Registrar’s Office at the time of TEP application.

    Be aware that these requirements are subject to change in accordance with state or national accreditation mandates. 

  • Admission to Student Teaching

    The Education Department reviews a student for admission to Student Teaching. For full approval, students must have the following:

    1. Admission to the Teacher Education Program
    2. A formal application for student teaching submitted by November 15 of the academic year prior to student teaching.
    3. A 2.75 overall cumulative GPA.
    4. For secondary: a GPA in the Teaching Major(s) of 2.75; if applicable, a C or above in all classes in the Social Studies and Special Education endorsements.
    5. For elementary: a GPA in the Teaching Major(s) of 2.5 with C or above in all courses including education major cognates (2.75 required for K-12 Special Education - Learning Disabilities major)
    6. A 2.5 GPA in Education courses and a grade of C or above in all courses.
    7. In compliance with State of Michigan specifications, satisfactory demonstration of:
    • high academic achievement
    • successful group work with children in classroom placements
    • knowledge of research-based teaching

    8. Evidence that the applicant has dispositions conducive to success in the teaching profession (as indicated by disposition assessment forms, the recommendation of the Education Department, and a Felony Conviction Statement confirming that the student has not been convicted of any act contributing to the delinquency of a minor or involving moral turpitude).

  • Additional Notes
    1. Admission to the Teacher Education Program is a prerequisite for all classes at the 300 level and above for certification candidates.
    2. Note on scheduling: it is expected that students attempt no more than 45 hours in placement class/es in any semester.
    3. Once approved for the student teaching internship, the requirements must be retained in order to begin the student teaching term.
    4. Student teachers may not participate in significant non-teaching activities such as arts or sports without securing prior written approval from the Education Department.

Courses

  • EDC
    100
    .
    Introduction to Diverse Learners
    2 credits
    An introduction to learners and learning. Students reflect upon their own schooling and learning experiences, applying the different perspectives and theories on learning introduced in the course. Students will consider the diversity of learning styles, aptitudes, interests, intelligences, and diverse learner backgrounds. They will begin to consider the role and responsibilities of classroom teachers towards all learners, thus developing understandings they will build on throughout the program. Required for elementary certification. Fall/Winter.
  • EDC
    120
    .
    Teaching in Context
    2 credits
    Introduction to perspectives on teaching. Historical, philosophical, sociological and comparative frameworks and models of teaching, including learning environments and teaching approaches. Examination of multiple purposes and goals of schooling; ethical and professional responsibilities of teachers to multiple stakeholders. Required for elementary certification. Fall/Winter
  • EDC
    160
    .
    Children’s Literature
    4 credits
    This standards-based course introduces students to a body of literature written for children and how it may be used across the curriculum; the interactions between readers, texts, and contexts; and critical issues in the selection and use of children’s literature. Students will explore, read, and respond to children’s literature in a variety of ways that include preparing collections of literary works and activities for use with children. Required for elementary certification. Fall/Winter
  • EDC
    180
    .
    Issues and Ideas in Education
    2-4 credits
    Survey of topics to broaden understanding of teaching and learning. Open to prospective teachers and others interested in education in the United States or in other societies. Course fee.
  • EDC
    190
    .
    Field Experience in Education
    1 credit
    Arranged assignment in an education setting intended to enhance a student’s understanding of teaching and learning. Requires instructor permission.
  • EDC
    203
    .
    Child Development and Education - Field
    1 credit
    Prerequisite: Sophomore Standing
    A 40-hour placement in classrooms concurrent with EDC-230. Provides an introduction to the professional roles and responsibilities of teaching all children. Students will be placed in a “home” classroom and work closely with that teacher to observe, assist, and work closely with students applying psychology principles and learning theories. Fall/Winter
  • EDC
    230
    .
    Child Development and Education
    3 credits
    Prerequisite: Sophomore Standing; EDC-203 concurrently
    An overview of psychological theories and research applied to classroom learning. The course includes study of concepts in human development - cognitive, affective, physical, emotional, moral, and social; study of learning, motivation, and assessment; developmentally appropriate practice; an overview of processes of human development in childhood and adolescence with a focus on socialization and education; and study of the influences of family, community, and culture on education. Required for elementary and secondary certification. Fall/Winter
  • EDC
    240
    .
    Learning Env and Reflective Teaching
    4 credits
    Prerequisite: Sophomore Standing
    Examination of characteristics of productive classroom learning environments. Analysis of cases of teaching and learning; evaluation of instructional strategies and activities, technologies, and resources that enhance learning for all learners; planning for classroom management. Includes peer teaching. Required for elementary and secondary certification. Fall/Winter
  • EDC
    262
    .
    Mathematical Thinking and Learning
    4 credits
    Prerequisite: Sophomore Standing
    Investigate particular teaching and learning strategies that may help or hinder different students’ learning of mathematics. Focus on interpreting children’s mathematical work and examine central questions in mathematics teaching. Develop familiarity with available resources and begin the development of skills and attitudes to learn from teaching and other opportunities. May include a service learning component. Required for elementary certification. Winter only.
  • EDC
    301
    .
    Elem Science and Social Studies - Field
    1 credit
    Prerequisite: TEP Approval; EDC-311, 361, and 363 concurrently
    Classroom observation and participation in teaching science and social studies. Includes 40 hours of classroom placement. Pass/fail only. Required for elementary certification. Fall only.
  • EDC
    302
    .
    Teaching Elem Lang Arts and Math - Field
    1 credit
    Prerequisite: TEP Approval; EDC 312, 360, and 362 concurrently
    Classroom observation and participation in teaching language arts and math. Includes 40 hours of classroom placement. Required for elementary certification. Winter only.
  • EDC
    311
    .
    Topics Seminar A
    1 credit
    Prerequisite: TEP Approval or EDS Major or Minor; EDC 301, 361, and 363 concurrently for Elementary majors; EDC-303 concurrently for Secondary majors.
    Introduction to issues and topics in instructional planning, differentiation, and instructional strategies. Required for elementary and secondary certification, and EDS major and minor. Fall only.
  • EDC
    312
    .
    Topics Seminar B
    1 credit
    Prerequisite: TEP Approval or EDS Major or Minor; EDC-302, 360, and 362 concurrently for Elementary majors.
    Introduction to issues and topics in the historical context of schooling and current issues in education, assessment, and the professional roles of educators. Required for elementary and secondary certification, and EDS major and minor. Winter only.
  • EDC
    360
    .
    Teaching Elementary Language Arts
    3 credits
    Prerequisite: TEP Approval; EDC-302, 312, and 362 concurrently
    Examination of reading and language arts methods. Survey of developmental reading including phonemic awareness, phonics, word recognition, fluency, vocabulary development, and comprehension. Use of assessment to inform instruction, classroom organization and management of the reading program, and methods of teaching language arts, including their interrelationships with reading. Required for elementary certification. Winter only.
  • EDC
    361
    .
    Teaching Elementary Science
    3 credits
    Prerequisite: TEP Approval; EDC-301, 311, and 363 concurrently
    Examination of methods and materials in elementary science education. May include service learning project and action research project. Required for elementary certification. Fall only.
  • EDC
    362
    .
    Teaching Elementary Mathematics
    3 credits
    Prerequisite: TEP Approval; MTH-202 and EDC-262; EDC-302, 312, 360 concurrently
    This course builds on EDC-262 and focuses on four areas: Teaching mathematics, working with students as individuals, organizing a class, and professionalism and reflective learning. Required for elementary certification. Winter only.
  • EDC
    363
    .
    Teaching Elementary Social Studies
    3 credits
    Prerequisite: TEP Approval; EDC-301, 311, and 361 concurrently
    Examination of methods and materials in elementary social studies education. Required for elementary certification. Fall only.
  • EDC
    370
    .
    Instructional and Assistive Technology
    2 credits
    Prerequisite: TEP Approval or EDS Major
    Builds on basic skills and knowledge demonstrated through successful completion of Technology Modules so that students are well prepared to use technology effectively and appropriately for multiple purposes in their teaching. Students learn to use technological tools, operations, and concepts to enhance learning and assessment, productivity, communication, and professional development. Students learn about the ethical, legal, physical, and psychological issues and principles of technology use in schools. Students utilize technology for curriculum planning and for instruction, including on-line learning experiences. Students learn to use assistive technologies to enhance the learning of all children in ways that best meet individual needs. Required for elementary and secondary certification.
  • EDC
    373
    .
    Special Education for Classroom Teachers
    3 credits
    Prerequisite: TEP Approval
    Introduction to the teaching of exceptional students. Review of historical and legal issues in special education. Characteristics of exceptional learners, birth through adolescence. Examination of materials and methodology appropriate for instructing exceptional learners in inclusive classrooms. Includes eight-hour practicum. Required for elementary and secondary certification (except Special Education major). Winter only.
  • EDC
    385
    .
    Education Practicum
    1 credit
    Requires instructor permission.
  • EDC
    399
    .
    Education Independent Study
    1 credit
    Prerequisite: Junior Standing; Permission
    Individual investigation of an educational problem planned with faculty in Alma’s Education Department.
  • EDC
    400
    .
    Issues and Contexts
    2 credits
    Prerequisite: TEP Approval or EDS Major; Senior Standing
    Research into current topics and perennially important issues in education. Required for elementary certification and EDS major. Fall only.
  • EDC
    430E
    .
    Student Teaching Seminar - Elementary
    3 credits
    Prerequisite: TEP Approval; ST Approval; Take EDC-490E and EDC-491E concurrently
    Reflection on student teaching and professional issues. Classroom inquiry and analysis; self-reflection and professional development plans; representation in portfolio, web, and interviews; legal and ethical issues. Required for elementary certification. Note: Students must be approved for student teaching and have completed all core education and teaching major/minor courses prior to beginning student teaching. See department for exceptions.
  • EDC
    445F
    .
    Methods in World Languages E/S
    2 credits
    Prerequisite: TEP Approval
    Students spend 30 hours in a language classroom placement specific to the student’s major and level (elementary or secondary) and will have specialized teaching methods support in World Languages with an emphasis on instructional planning, teaching, and assessment. Required for elementary (K-5) and secondary (6-12) World Language certification.
  • EDC
    460
    .
    Teaching the Struggling Reader
    4 credits
    Prerequisite: TEP Approval; Senior Standing
    Survey of theory and methods associated with reading instruction for struggling readers. Emphasis placed on assessment of reading strengths and needs as well as specific strategies for reading improvement. Includes supervised instruction. Required for elementary certification. Fall only.
  • EDC
    480
    .
    Topics in Education
    2-4 credits
    Prerequisite: Permission
    Survey of a selected topic chosen for study. May be taken more than once for credit.
  • EDC
    490E
    .
    Directed Teaching - Elementary
    5 credits
    Prerequisite: TEP and ST Approval
    Teaching under the direction of a cooperating teacher in the public schools. Applications must be filed by November 15 of the academic year prior to directed teaching. Required for elementary certification. Fall/Winter.
  • EDC
    491E
    .
    Directed Teaching - Elementary
    5 credits
    Prerequisite: TEP and ST Approval
    Teaching under the direction of a cooperating teacher in the public schools. Applications must be filed by November 15 of the academic year prior to directed teaching. Required for elementary certification. Fall/Winter.
  • EDC
    499
    .
    Education Independent Study
    4 credits
    Prerequisite: Senior Standing, EDC or EDS major, and Permission
    Individual investigation of an educational problem or development of a creative, usable project.
  • EDC
    500
    .
    Senior Thesis
    2-4 credits
    Prerequisite: Permission
    Required for departmental honors.