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"The best thing we had reinforced at Calvin was a reformed world and life view. It has been helpful all our lives."—Class of '52 


Expanding Vision

After Calvin's establishment as a school to teach pastors in 1876, teacher training was the first program of study added. In 1900, the curriculum was modified to include courses that would allow students to earn a teaching certificate.

While among the earliest of programs at the college, education continues to be a dominant force, with nearly 20 percent of the students majoring in education. This means that each year about 200 new teachers graduate and enter the workforce hoping to have a lasting influence on the lives of children.

Calvin graduates go on to teach in a variety of settings including both public and non-public schools, special education classes, international settings and in a wide range of ethnic situations.

Because of the diverse range of opportunities for teachers, a relatively new prerequisite for entering the program is experience in a multicultural setting.

"What we are really trying to do is broaden our students' vision a little," said Susan Hasseler, education department chair. "Students are required to spend 15 hours throughout the semester in a situation where they experience an ethnic setting other than their own."

Creating these opportunities for students has really connected the Calvin education department to the community, she said. Students are in the community volunteering in after-school programs, computer labs, homework houses and tutoring.

"Taking students out of their comfort zone helps them understand the community in a more meaningful way," said Hasseler. "Students often find that their preconceived notions generally don't hold true; their perception of an urban school is often changed by working with caring teachers and wonderful kids."


Calvin student teacher Melissa Nichols.
Calvin student teacher Melissa Nichols.
Teacher Education Program Statistics
  • It is the largest program in the college.

  • The undergraduate teacher certification program includes 31 majors and minors that involve 24 departments outside of education.

  • Programs are offered in elementary, secondary and special education.

  • Special endorsement programs include early childhood, bilingual education and English as a second language.

  • The graduate education program offers master's degrees in learning disabilities and curriculum and instruction as well as a number of special endorsement programs.
Enrollment Information (Fall of 2001)
  • 428 in the undergraduate teacher education program

  • 868 undergraduates listing education as their area of focus

  • 185 graduates from the teacher preparation program in 2002
Placement Information
(2001 teacher certification graduates)
  • 90% currently teaching full time

  • Of these students: 42% public schools, non-public schools 58%

  • Michigan: 68%, other states in US: 28%, International: 4%
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