Education Department Receives National Excellence Award

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Members of Albion College's Education Department. Front row (l-r): secretary Mary Weicht, associate professor Suellyn Henke, visiting assistant professor Mike Roessler. Back row (l-r): certification officer Jason Moritz, visiting assistant professor Nonye Alozie, Ferguson Center for Technology-Aided Teaching director Guy Cox, department chair Kyle Shanton, Fritz Shurmur Center for Teacher Development coordinator Karen Hoaglin.

Albion College's Education Department was recently recognized as a Model of Excellence by the Association of Independent Liberal Arts Colleges for Teacher Education (AILACTE). Albion was cited as the 2012 Liberal Arts College division winner.

"It says a lot about our commitment to future teachers, the mission of the College, and the way education happens here," said department chair Kyle Shanton of the award. "We do challenging but very rewarding work and this award is very deeply meaningful."

Shanton and other members of his department pointed out several distinctions of Albion's program that they believe were especially favored by the AILACTE judges. All of Albion's education courses include a field placement, emphasizing the importance of both theory and practice. The department also has long-term relationships with several local school districts, involving students on both sides with activities that enhance the classroom experience.

And, "our successes are built on the successes of Albion College," said visiting professor Mike Roessler. He noted that, in Michigan, teacher certification requires students to pass rigorous subject-area tests. "For the last few years, we've been rated very highly on student performance on these tests," said Roessler. "Our education students receive an excellent education across the board."

"We won the liberal arts division award from a national association of liberal arts schools," added Guy Cox, director of the Ferguson Center for Technology-Aided Teaching. "I think this recognizes Albion College as a liberal arts institution as a whole."

Albion College's Education Department has nearly 100 students currently in its teacher education program. AILACTE is a national consortium that provides resource and advocacy support to more than 120 affiliated teacher education institutions. Other schools receiving 2012 Model of Excellence awards were the University of Indianapolis (Partnerships division) and Whitworth University (Global Awareness and Action division).