About the Teacher Education Program
Teaching is a dynamic profession undergoing changes that will make careers in education far different in the future than they have been in the past. As a student in the Teacher Education Program at Central Michigan University, you will have opportunities to master the knowledge and skills you will need to enter the field of teaching. Your growth and development as an educator will require a continued commitment to understanding learners and learning and developing your problem-solving abilities. You will also be preparing for the multiple roles of a classroom teacher, school building team member, community leader and education advocate.
At CMU, the structure of the program to prepare teachers is clearly organized around five areas which provide a "knowledge base" for teaching:
- General education studies
- Content studies (major/minor)
- Professional studies
- Application of the theories learned in coursework occurs in your field experiences
- Assessment and Evaluation
1. General Education Studies
The University Program (UP) and the University Competencies provide the general education foundation upon which specialized study and professional learning are built. The Bachelor of Science in Education degree (B.S. in Ed.) with an elementary emphasis requires that teacher candidates take courses in language arts and humanities, science, social sciences, cultural and human diversity, mathematics, computer and technology education, health and physical education, and art and music education.
The B.S. in Ed. degree with a secondary emphasis requires courses in mathematics, communication, science, American history/western civilization, government, philosophy, literature, arts, human development and multicultural and global studies. Courses that fulfill these requirements may also satisfy some University Program requirements. Some degrees, such as the Bachelor of Music Education, have different requirements. Please refer to the appropriate pages under "Other Degree Requirements" in your Central Michigan University Undergraduate Bulletin.
2. Content Studies
The major(s) and/or minor(s) you select for teaching are the content studies component of the knowledge base for teaching. These are areas in which you will have particular expertise. For elementary candidates, they will provide an additional foundation for teaching in areas appropriate to the elementary grades. For secondary candidates, the major(s) and minor(s) are the subjects you will be certified to teach.
Note: Your early course selections should be aimed at satisfying UP requirements, and competency requirements, as applicable, and/or beginning your introductory courses in your prospective major and/or minor. You are encouraged to schedule an appointment with a CSS academic advisor who is familiar with the B.S. in Ed. degree prior to making final selections.
3. Professional Studies
The goal of the Teacher Education Program is to produce educators who will be Concept and knowledge-driven and LEArner-centered, focusing on the learners' needs, interests and abilities. The professional and pedagogical studies component of the program helps develop learner-centered teachers by incorporating both theory and practice.
The theory and practice components of professional education studies help to develop your ability to serve in the multiple roles expected of tachers and in the variety of educational settings in which you may find yourself as a professional practitioner. The goal is for you to develop a professional practice that is Reflective and relevant to the students of today and tomorrow and the world in which they live. Many opportunities for observing and experiencing a variety of roles and settings will be provided through EDU 107: Introduction to Teaching, the pre-professional and pre-student teaching experiences, and student teaching. Joining student organizations, for prospective teachers, and participating in special programs, workshops and presentations will expand your views of the context in which teachers help students.
4. Clinical Experiences
At a minimum, all students in teacher education have three field experiences: the pre-professional experience, including EDU 107: Introduction to Teaching, a pre-student teaching field experience and student teaching. In certain majors and minors, additional field experiences may be required.
The field experiences in teacher education serve several functions:
- The pre-professional experience and the EDU 107: Introduction to Teaching course are designed to introduce you to the realities of the world of teaching. These experiences should give you a basis for deciding whether to pursue a teaching career. They can also help you decide if elementary school, middle school or high school teaching is for you and whether you have an interest in a certain major, minor or special education emphasis.
- The Pre-Student Teaching clinical field experience provides a chance to work with children in applying the methods, theories, and knowledge gained in on-campus courses and in applying them to a PK-12 classroom setting.
- The student teaching semester is the opportunity to put everything you have learned into practice in the "real world." For 16 weeks (10 weeks in a special education setting and 12 weeks in a general education setting for special education majors), you live in a community and experience the joys and challenges of being a classroom teacher.
Note: In certain majors and minors, additional field experiences may be required.
5. Assessment and Evaluation
Assessment and evaluation of candidates' progress ( LEArner-centered assessment) is an on-going process in the Teacher Education Program. The primary purpose of assessment and evaluation is to assure graduates of the program possess the knowledge, skills and dispositions needed to be effective teachers in the PK-12 schools. Candidates are assessed at admission to the program, prior to beginning student teaching, at the completion of student teaching and at the completion of the Teacher Education Program at CMU. Some of the ways in which candidates are assessed include: grade point average, basic skills and subject-area tests, class assignments, field experience and student teaching evaluations, reflective journals and portfolios. The education program also conducts follow-up studies of graduates and their employers, and uses the assessment data to evaluate the efficacy of its courses, field experiences and programs.