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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
Katie Guilbault Decker ’89

The Education Program at Siena Heights University.

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
Julie Ross
Assistant Professor of 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
  • English (Secondary)
  • History
  • Integrated Science
  • Language Arts (elementary)
  • Mathematics
  • Music Education
  • Social Studies
  • Spanish
  • Special Education (K-12 Learning Disabilities or Cognitive Impairment endorsements)



  • Biology (secondary)
  • Chemistry (secondary)
  • Cybersecurity (secondary)
  • English
  • History
  • Mathematics
  • Physical Education (secondary)
  • Planned Program (elementary)
  • Spanish

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 250 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 either elementary or secondary schools.

Other related careers include jobs in early childhood education centers, intermediate school districts, state departments of education, professional education associations, education publishing and the educational divisions of industry. Further education could prepare students for professions such as school administrators, librarians, guidance counselors and school psychologists.

The job market for teacher in Michigan is tight, but there are some shortages present. Students’ chances for full-time employment can be increased if they are able to move within Michigan or into states which have shortages. Careful selection of majors, minors and endorsement areas can also increase students’ chances for full-time employment.

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 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.


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.


An annual fee of $5 is required while an active member of T.E.A.C.H.

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).

1. Impact on P-12 Learning and Development
The Michigan Department of Education (MDE)’s surveys of cooperating teachers for all student teachers specifically asks this question: “During the experience, my K-12 school collaborated with the college/university’s preparation program to positively impact the learning and development of K-12 students in my classroom.”  Cooperating teachers indicate that indeed Siena Heights’ candidates positively impact the learning and development of their students.


Cooperating Teacher (n)

Score of Strongly Agree




Completers’ P-12 Student Growth Data
As another measure of how EPP graduates are performing in their teaching assignments during their first three years in public schools, the EPP initiated a pilot study in 2017-18 to look more deeply at a sample of graduates’ actual student achievement data used in their evaluations.  The sample included elementary, middle/high school (secondary), and special education teachers. (See also indicators of teaching effectiveness below.)

2016-17 Summary

Teacher, grade level

Student Growth Instrument


4th grade

DRA (reading running record) Fall to Winter

   Fall average = 34.43, N=23
   Winter average = 37.78, N=18

NWEA Reading RIT

   Fall average = 198.4, N=24, target=198.2
   Winter average = 206.2, N=23, target=203.6


   Fall average = 206.9, N=23, target=201.9
   Winter average = 212.1, N=23, target=208.7

3rd grade

Fountas & Pinnell
Fall to Spring, N=19

   At grade level Fall: 12/19 (63%)
   At grade level Spring: 14/19 (74%)
   100% made growth; 78% made expected growth

MAP: Reading
2-5 RIT

   Fall mean = 198.1, N=20, Norm grade level
    mean = 198.2
   Spring mean = 210.4, N=19, Norm grade level
    mean = 205.9

2nd grade

Fountas & Pinnell
Fall to Spring, N=25

   Students at grade level expectation: 23/24 (95.8%)
   Students who made growth: 24/24 (100%)

Pearson Realize Diagnostic Test

   Fall average = 28.32, N=25
   Spring average = 51.12, N=24
   Students who made growth: 24/24 (100%)

6th and 7th grades

6th grade

   Fall average = 215.3, N=83, target=217.6
   Spring average = 222.0, N=87, target 225.3

7th grade

   Fall average = 221.8, N=42, target=222.6
   Spring average = 227.5, N=44, target=228.6

High school special education

Teacher-created Pre/Post Test

   Pre-test average = 30%
   Post-test average = 70%

For the pilot study, five teachers who are graduates of Siena Heights University submitted student achievement data from their annual evaluation.  Regardless of their grade level (2nd grade, 3rd grade, 4th grade, 6th/7th grade, high school) or content area tested, every teacher recognized improved average scores on every student growth instrument.  As indicated in the table above, results generally exceeded the target outcome and/or grade level mean. Despite the small sample size, this growth reflects the teachers’ understanding of content, employment of effective teaching techniques, analysis of formal and informal assessment data, and attention to ongoing reflection and adjustment as practiced during their education preparation program.

Similar data will be collected and analyzed each year to monitor how graduates are impacting P-12 student learning. Within the next two years, participating teachers will be asked to survey their P-12 students to collect additional data on their impact. 

Due to COVID-19 and resulting lack of testing, data was not updated for the 2019-2020 year.

2.  Indicators of Teaching Effectiveness
Siena Heights’ graduates in their first three years of teaching rate above the state average on teaching effectiveness. In the 2014-15 and 2015-16, 100% of the graduates were rated effective or highly effective. In 2016-17, 97% (34/35) graduates were rated effective or highly effective. (See also the above, case study of completer P-12 student growth data for teaching effectiveness.)

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.