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Teacher Education at SHU focuses on education in its broadest vision. We believe teaching is both an art and a science. Students are encouraged to explore various aspects of the teaching/learning process, in addition to the formal preparation required for teaching.


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“I teach every day. I go in the classrooms. I am their coach and I am their helper. … If you are a teacher, then you are always a teacher.”
Katie Guilbault Decker ’89
Principal, Steam Academies, Las Vegas
Magnet Schools of America’s 2013 National Principal of the Year
Katie Guilbault Decker ’89

The Education Program at Siena Heights University.

SienaSiena Heights University’s Education Program was recognized as a College of Distinction outstanding and exemplary undergraduate program for 2023-24.

PREPARED. CONFIDENT. EMPLOYED. Those are some of the words our graduates use to describe their experience in the education program at Siena Heights University. We believe in experience. At both the undergraduate and graduate levels, students acquire significant hours of field experience. In fact, Siena’s program more than doubles the state requirement!

Our full-time faculty average more than 30 years of classroom experience. Additionally, students in our graduate programs bring their diversity of experience with them to class, providing an enriching learning environment.

The Division of Education is accredited by the Teacher Education Accreditation Council/Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation and has been approved by the Michigan Department of Education to serve as a preparation institution.

Teacher Education at SHU focuses on education in its broadest vision. We believe teaching is both an art and a science. Students are encouraged to explore various aspects of the teaching/learning process, in addition to the formal preparation required for teaching. 

Through rigorous academic study, clinical experience hours, and continuous reflection on one’s evolving philosophy of education, the Siena Heights education student not only learns from those who have gone before, but creates imaginative and innovative learning activities that will inspire prospective students to wholeheartedly engage in the learning process.


At Siena Heights University, Teacher Education students choose from a variety of teachable majors and minors for either initial certification or additional endorsements. Siena Heights University has authorization from the Michigan Department of Education to recommend certification and/or additional endorsements in a variety of grade levels and content areas, including post-BA initial certification and degrees for Master of Arts.

Carrie Mitchell
Associate Professor of Education and Coordinator of Special Education
Diane Brown
Interim Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences; Associate Professor of Education
Eleanor Wollett
Associate Professor of Education
Jennifer Haeussler
Assistant Professor of Early Childhood Education
Sally Rae
Associate Professor of Education; Program Coordinator Elementary and Secondary Education

With a student-teacher satisfaction rate of more than 96 percent, our students graduate prepared for the head of the class. We continue to be a resource for them even after graduation.


Approved Program Areas:

  • Major Endorsements:
    • Biology (secondary)
    • Chemistry (secondary)
    • Child Development
    • History
    • Music Education
    • Social Studies
    • Spanish
    • Special Education (K-12 Learning Disabilities or Cognitive Impairment endorsements)
    • Birth – Kindergarten
    • Preschool – 3rd Grade
    • 3rd – 6th Grade
    • 5th – 9th Grade Mathematics
    • 5th – 9th Grade English Language Arts
    • 7th -12 Grade Mathematics
    • 7th – 9th Grade English Language Arts

  • Minors/Endorsements:
    • Biology (secondary)
    • Chemistry (secondary)
    • Cybersecurity (secondary)
    • History
    • Physical Education (secondary)

Siena Heights University’s Division of Education was granted national accreditation by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) for the full seven years, from Spring 2020 to Spring 2027. This accreditation certifies the forenamed professional initial certification programs has provided evidence of meeting all CAEP’s standards.

We believe the more experience students have, the greater their chance of success. Field experience gives students the opportunity to apply theory into practice through a variety of placements. Siena Heights students will log more than 600 clock hours of field experience during their program of study.

The Michigan Department of Education requires a minimum of 100 clock hours of field experience prior to the student teaching placement. It is the belief of Siena’s Teacher Education Program that the more experience students have prior to student teaching, the greater their chances of a successful student teaching placement.

Students who graduate from the Teacher Education Program at Siena Heights University apply for an initial teaching certificate from the State of Michigan. They are prepared to seek employment as teachers in P-12 elementary or secondary schools.

Other related careers include positions in early childhood education centers, intermediate school districts, state departments of education, professional education associations, education publishing and the educational divisions of industry and more.

There is currently a teacher shortage in Michigan. Graduates are able to seek employment in their chosen area of education. Siena graduates are sought after because of the programs rigor, experience in the classroom through clinical field experiences and the competence our graduates exhibit.

Students at Siena Heights University can continue their education to the master’s level without attending another university. Siena Heights University offers graduate programs in early childhood, education and special education. Planned programs are available for candidates already holding bachelor’s degrees. These programs provide for teacher certificate renewal, upgrade, endorsementand work toward the Master of Arts degree.

The T.E.A.C.H. Organization – Teacher Education Association for Community Help

  • Mission Statement
    The Teacher Education Association for Community Help (T.E.A.C.H.) is an organization dedicated to reach out and help learners of the community who are in need, by providing supplies, support, and resources to enhance one’s education.

  • Statement of Eligibility
    Those who are eligible:
    • Must maintain an overall GPA of 2.5.
    • Must have three credits toward either educational or child development major at Siena Heights.
    • All SHU students who are working toward an Education or Child Development major/minor without regard to race, religious creed, gender, national origin, differing abilities, or sexual orientation are eligible to participate in T.E.A.C.H.
  • Membership Fees
    An annual fee of $5 is required while an active member of T.E.A.C.H.

Siena Heights University Aspiring Educators
The Siena Heights University Aspiring Educators chapter connects other people who are working toward teacher education. These groups meet at the college level as well as mentoring high school and middle students who are considering a career in education.

The Aspiring Educators will focus on the promotion and support for the improvement of education within our county and beyond; through reaching out to local leaders to see what is needed within the schools; through focusing on state bills that will directly impact the profession, and standing up for their beliefs through white papers and communication with those in Lansing; and through working with our state/national Educators Rising partners to see how we can support, grow and impact the teaching profession in positive ways.

How Effective is Siena Heights’ Teacher Preparation Program?

Our Candidates know how to teach and know their content. 
At Siena Heights University, we believe educator preparation programs should be held to high standards.  Our teacher preparation program demonstrates that we prepare teachers who have a positive impact on children’s learning and development.  We collect and analyze performance-based data to help us understand the answers to questions such as:  What do our candidates know?  Do their students learn? Do their employers feel they are well prepared?  By analyzing data, we are able to document the effectiveness of our programs and continuously improve the way we prepare teachers to meet the needs of students.

Guiding these high standards for continuous improvement are the following eight (8) annual reporting measures for accreditation by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).

Costs & Aid

We know that college can be expensive, but we don’t want cost to keep you from attending Siena Heights University! We offer numerous financial aid opportunities. Federal aid is available to students who qualify by completing the FAFSA. Feel free to contact us with questions about financial aid opportunities, or click on one of the links below.