Philosophy of the Graduate Program
The Graduate Education Program at Siena Heights University offers opportunities to satisfy varying levels and kinds of needs regarding teacher certification and graduate-level education. The faculty work with students to develop programs that earn additional endorsements and the Master of Arts degree in education.
The Graduate Education Program requires students to examine the teaching-learning environment. This environment is one in which the teacher is also a learner. The focus of each concentration, comprised of both specific and general courses, is the development of a positive and non-threatening climate in which teachers and students may interact for mutual understanding and the appreciation of others. In this kind of climate, learning occurs. The Graduate Education Program also requires students to integrate their learning throughout the program and to reflect on their own learning in the practice of being educators.
The goals of the Graduate Education Program are to:
- Provide opportunities for educators to explore the research-base of the qualities associated with excellence in teaching.
- Encourage self-directed professional development;
- Enhance reflective teaching processes for self-assessment and self-improvement; and
- Encourage the educator to become a change agent and leader in the profession.
The graduate courses incorporate pedagogy, curriculum, assessment, technology tools, classroom management, developmental psychology, and reflection and metacognition. Successful students in the Graduate Education Program are individuals who have accepted the concept of teaching as a continuous process of learning and are prepared to commit their energies to support this belief.
The Master of Arts degree majors for certified teachers, if seeking additional certification, in the Graduate Education Program are:
Early Childhood Education (General and Montessori-based*)
Reading Specialist K-12
Special Education (Learning Disabilities and Cognitive Impairment)
*Degrees can be offered without certification
Additionally, the M.A. in Education (not for certification or endorsements) can be earned.
The Purposes of Graduate Education at Siena Heights University
For current educators:
- To provide programs designed to focus practicing educators on the improvement and enhancement of the learning/teaching environment in areas of interpersonal skills and communication, teaching effectiveness, logistical functions, and professionalism. Goal: Educators will impact the education lives of their P-16 students in positive ways.
- To provide guidance and programming authorized by the Michigan Department of Education and the Council for the Accreditation of Education Preparation (CAEP/TEAC) for the addition of endorsements to valid teacher certificates. Goal: Educators will retain the recognized credentials for their positions and responsibilities.
- To provide professional development opportunities for P-16 educators. Goal: Educators will satisfy state, national-mandated and locally-preferred professional development requirements while building and strengthening a repertoire of current “best” practices.
Prospective students must apply for admission to Siena Heights University as a graduate student and consult with a faculty advisor in the Division of Education. All applicants seeking to earn an additional teaching endorsement must hold a Michigan teacher certificate, a copy of which must be submitted with the student’s application for admission. All Siena admission and residency requirements must be fulfilled for the university to serve as the authorizing institution for endorsements.
Occasionally, Graduate credit earned at an institution other than Siena Heights University since the issuance of the teacher certificate, but before the program has been designed, may be applied toward the endorsements. For the credit to be considered, the student must supply the original transcript, the course description (and syllabus, if possible), and an explanation of the ways in which the credit is suitable for the purposes outlined in the program and its relationship to the learning outcomes of Siena’s Graduate Education Program.
Credit earned at institutions other than Siena Heights University, after the student has designed the program for the endorsement, must be approved by the Director of the Division of Education prior to the student’s enrollment in the course. The student is responsible for providing the course description (and syllabus, if possible), and an explanation of the ways in which the credit is suitable for the purposes outlined in the program and its relationship to the learning outcomes of Siena’s Graduate Education Program.
A student must fulfill the minimum residency requirement of nine (9) post-baccalaureate credit hours at Siena Heights University and be a graduate student in good standing for Siena Heights University to serve as the authorizing institution for the endorsements.
A student may not request an independent study or a directed study until the minimum residency requirement of nine (9) credit hours has been satisfied. Also, a student may not register for TED 678 /TED 690 Reflective Teaching Practicum and Seminar until the residency requirement has been satisfied.
Adrian Dominican Montessori Teacher Education Institute (ADMTEI) and Other Transfer Credit
Graduate credit from the Adrian Dominican Montessori Teacher Education Institute (ADMTEI) is converted to credit hours and transferred to the Siena Heights University transcript only after the student satisfies the minimum residency requirement of nine (9) credit hours of graduate credit at Siena Heights University. Requests to transfer graduate-level credit from any institution cannot be processed until the minimum residency requirement of nine (9) credit hours of graduate credit at Siena Heights University is satisfied.
Expectations of Students
Teaching is a profession. It demands specialized education and training, and continual learning. The Graduate Education faculty, with the approval of Graduate Council, has established general personal and professional expectations of the students in the Graduate Education Program. Additional expectations are set for specific courses and experiences throughout the program.
The Graduate Education student is expected to maintain the required grade point average for continuation in the Graduate Education Program. If a student earns a “C” grade in any of the professional core or specialization courses, the student must repeat the course and earn a “B-” grade or better. A graduate student who receives a grade of “C” in any course, is placed on academic probation for the next six (6) credit hours. The grade transcript of each student is reviewed by the Graduate College at the completion of each term.
The student is expected to meet the deadlines associated with successful progress through the Graduate Education Program.
The student is expected to demonstrate proactive social advocacy for the profession and for the individuals and organizations served by the profession. Examples of advocacy are identified on the student’s resume prior to the completion of the Graduate Education Program and the awarding of the Master of Arts degree.
The Graduate Education student is expected to demonstrate professional and lifelong learning habits through the reading of professional journals and books, attendance and participation at professional meetings, seminars, and conferences/conventions, use of technology as a learning resource, and the sharing of professional information with colleagues.
Graduate Education Program
The Education Program Learning Outcomes reflect the desired knowledge, understandings, skills, and dispositions of students who complete the education program at Siena Heights University. Consistent with a view of teaching as an art and science, the program highlights the following outcomes with the realization that valuable, but unanticipated, outcomes will also emerge. These are overall outcomes; no single course necessarily addresses every outcome. Students at the graduate and undergraduate levels demonstrate these outcomes in ways consistent with their varied levels of academic coursework, teacher candidate/certification status, and work experiences.
The education student demonstrates:
- Qualities consistent with the mission of the university to assist students in becoming more competent, purposeful, and ethical.
- The qualities of a reflective practitioner and a commitment to lifelong learning.
Theory into Practice
- The ability to analyze situations in classrooms and other educational settings, in light of current educational research.
- The ability to apply principles of best practice and use technology in pre-K-12 classrooms.
Politics, Ethics, and Professionalism
- An understanding of the political nature of educational institutions.
- An understanding of the demands that are placed on educators.
- The personal integrity, professionalism, and ethical behavior essential to the role of a teacher.
External Social Forces
- An understanding of the influence of major social forces on the lives of pre-K - 12 students.
- Partnership with families, specialists, and the larger community.
- Preparation and willingness to address and accommodate the education needs of students.
- An awareness of the social and emotional aspects of teaching and learning.
Diversity, Culture, and Climate
- An understanding of the diverse social and cultural factors that influence, challenge, and provide opportunities for enriching the teaching/learning process.
- The ability to identify characteristics of the educational community and how these characteristics impact the teaching/learning climate.
- An understanding of the impact of multiple intelligences and teaching/learning styles on the teaching/learning process.
- The ability to identify personal strengths and limitations.
- The ability to incorporate alternatives to preferred teaching/learning style in curriculum and instruction.
Developmentally Appropriate Curriculum and Design
- An understanding of the intellectual, social, physical, and emotional stages of development of pre-K - 12 students.
- The ability to plan, select, and design developmentally appropriate learning activities, materials, and assessments.
- An understanding of the content and methodology in various disciplines.
- The ability to identify meaningful learning outcomes consistent with national and state standards.
- The ability to initiate change in the classroom or other educational setting for the improvement of learning and teaching.
- The ability to work collaboratively with other educators to develop communities of learning.
Special Education Program
Philosophical, Historical, and Legal Foundations
The candidate will be able to articulate philosophical, historical, and legal foundations of special education that are consistent with national, state, and local standards.
Causes and Characteristics
The candidate will demonstrate knowledge of research-based causes and characteristics of individuals with learning disabilities and cognitive impairments (mild to severe).
Assessment and Evaluation
The candidate will be able to select, design, use, and interpret appropriate assessment, diagnosis, and evaluation techniques that are consistent with research-based information.
Instructional Content and Practices
The candidate will be able use instructional content and practices to include assistive technology that are based on research and “Best Practices.” Areas include, but are not limited to: reading skills, language arts skills, math skills, study skills, problem-solving skills, transition, pre-vocational skills, employability, social skills, daily living, and leisure/ recreation.
Design, Implement, and Manage Learning Environments
The candidate will be able to design, implement, and manage teaching and learning environments inclusive of early childhood through adulthood that stimulate learning in all areas including academic, social, daily living, and prevocational/vocational.
The candidate will be able to collect, organize, analyze, and transmit data using appropriate management and ethical skills.
The candidate will develop a sound understanding and application of appropriate communication and collaboration using a number of models in the IFSP/RTI/IEP/ITP/504 process, parent interactions, collaboration, and consultation in school and community settings and situations.
Ethics and Professionalism
The candidate will consistently demonstrate professionalism and ethical practices in classes and in field setting, recognizing the critical importance of how equity and diversity play in a productive professional setting.
The candidate will demonstrate the ability to manage and teach appropriate social behavior and social interaction skills to students with learning disabilities and cognitive impairments.
Information for Teachers Certified by the Michigan Department of Education Teacher Certificate Endorsements and Degrees
As of February 8, 2011, an individual teacher applies directly to the Michigan Department of Education for all certificate renewals, upgrades, and endorsements through the MOECS online system: (http://www.michigan.gov/moecs).
Endorsements are teaching areas and/or grade levels added to the elementary or secondary teacher certificate. Some graduate courses and majors lead to endorsements on an existing teacher certificate in the State of Michigan. Endorsements for K-12 reading, early childhood education, and special education (learning disabilities and cognitive impairment) are available through the Graduate Education program at Siena Heights University. The student applies for admission to the university as a graduate student.
All endorsements are dependent on the successful passage of the pertinent subject area components of the Michigan Test for Teacher Certification, or MTTC (required by Public Act 282), and the meeting of requirements related to the Criminal Conviction Disclosure Form (required by Public Act 138 of 2005). See http://www.mttc.nesinc.com/ for details about registration for the MTTC. All admission and residency requirements must be fulfilled for Siena Heights University to serve as the authorizing institution for the endorsement.