As the largest department at Aquinas College, the School of Education represents an eclectic mix of full-time faculty, adjunct instructors, and some of the best master teachers in their fields. We are surrounded by well-trained staff members who are approachable and highly qualified in their areas. We believe in our students and are adamant about allowing them to become the best teachers they can be.
At Aquinas, we don’t save the real-life classroom experiences until the end of our program. The School of Education offers a hands-on approach to teaching that models and emphasizes reflective, constructivist pedagogy. We have small class sizes and require classroom field experiences throughout the program. Roughly 80% of our Education courses will require some type of daytime field placements in area schools. It is our intention to have students gain valuable experiences in a variety of settings, including urban, suburban, private, and public, in order to gain a broad-based perspective of tomorrow’s classrooms today.
School of Education Mission Statement:
The mission of the Aquinas College School of Education is to empower our students to be capable, compassionate and committed educators with integrity.
School of Education Philosophy
In keeping with the mission of the college, the Aquinas College School of Education is dedicated to providing quality teacher education which supports service to society through education, resulting in social justice, community action, equity, and learning for all students. We believe teachers should be facilitators of the learning process who are compassionate, reflective models of integrity who are committed to research, inquiry, and lifelong learning. We believe our students need to have the following elements of quality teaching:
A foundation in the liberal arts and a proficiency in subject matter in specific endorsement areas(s).
Strong pedagogical knowledge and the ability to apply this to effectively facilitate learning by all students.
Ability to integrate technologies in ways which support effective teaching and meaningful learning.
Dispositions of caring individuals who understand and can address the academic, personal, and social needs of their students with integrity and professionalism.
Ability to work effectively with all partners, including students, staff, parents, faculty supervisors, and other teachers in order to create an environment which promotes collaborative support for student learning.
Demonstration of active participation in lifelong learning and professional development activities and reflective teaching practices.
Facts about the School of Education
Between Spring 2005 and Fall 2010, our Intro. to Education Students have had an average GPA of 3.254, and many excel with a far higher GPA.
In the 2009-2010 report from the Michigan Department of Education, Aquinas College ranked twelfth (of 36 colleges offering teacher certification) in cumulative pass rate on the Michigan Test for Teacher Certification with an 88.8% cumulative pass rate, which is well above the 85.0% State average.
Aquinas College was one of the first schools in the nation to offer a Masters in Education with Initial Certification, allowing students who have obtained a Bachelor's degree to work towards earning a Master's degree while becoming a certified teacher.
Flexible scheduling and personal attention:
Our class sizes are small to ensure all our students are incorporated into the learning process. Our experienced and professional faculty members care about the personal, intellectual and professional development of their students and provide many opportunities for classroom participation and mentor relationships. In the words of our students, "You can actually call professors and be able to talk with them!"
Our classes are offered in a variety of formats in order to fit into the busy time schedules of working students and adults. We offer classes in a semester long format, a quadmester (eight week) format, web-based format, weekend format, and a variety of summer class formats. These classes are offered during the day, afternoons, evenings, weekends, and throughout the summer. Although we do not profess to meet the specific scheduling needs of every single student, if you have the desire to become a teacher, then this is the place for you.
Our Programs for Teacher Certification:
Teacher Education candidates earn Elementary Certification to teach grades K-5 all subjects; 6-8 all subjects in self-contained classrooms; or 6-8 in major and minor areas. Coursework for Secondary Certification certifies candidates to teach grades 6-12 in their major and minor areas. >>More information on our Undergraduate Programs
Graduate Studies in Education offers the Master in the Art of Teaching (M.A.T.) degree, The Master in Education (M.Ed.) degree with initial certification, and the Master in Science Education (M.S.E.) degree. >>More information on our Graduate Programs
Each of the full-time faculty members in the School of Education possess a terminal degree. The majority of our faculty is engaged in research, both qualitative and quantitative, as evidenced in their faculty biographies. Faculty share the outcomes of their research, some of which is grant-funded, with multiple communities locally, nationally, and abroad through workshops, presentations, and publication.
Our faculty integrates their research into the School of Education curriculum, continually assessing the programs to ensure Aquinas College students are presented with current pedagogy. The range of topics in which the faculty has an interest is broad, and the depth of research is impressive. It is also of interest to note that, even while fully engaged in doctoral programs and full-time teaching, faculty are active participants as conference presenters and workshop conductors.
In short, the research undertaken by the School of Education faculty has allowed this department to move forward with initiatives that will enable Aquinas College to become progressive and remain competitive in the field of teacher certification.
For more information on our faculty, check out their bios on our faculty page.