Education at NMU
The School of Education, Leadership & Public Service offers professional studies courses leading to the Michigan professional or provisional teaching certificate at the elementary and secondary levels as well as courses for continuing professional development through the master’s degree. Students must be eligible for admission to the School of Education in order to enroll in education courses.
All NMU education programs are accredited by the Teacher Education Accreditation Council and approved by the Michigan Department of Education.
Northern’s School of Education carries primary responsibility for:
- Curriculum for elementary school teachers
- Curriculum for teachers of children with cognitive impairment
- Curriculum for teachers of children with emotional impairment
- A sequence of professional courses in education for secondary school teachers.
In cooperation with other departments, the school also sponsors graduate programs for teachers and school service personnel leading to the master of arts in education. These programs are described in the Graduate Studies Bulletin.
Most education courses at Northern Michigan University include field experience in K-12 classrooms. A number of education courses meet in public school buildings to expand teaching opportunities. Another learning opportunity is an apprenticeship in special education, which provides students with a chance to refine goals and polish skills.
- Michigan Student Council for Exceptional Children
- Student Michigan Education Association
Elementary Education Programs
Satisfactory completion of the program in elementary education qualifies a student for a Michigan elementary standard certificate, which is valid for teaching kindergarten through grade five and major and minor fields in grades six, seven and eight, and self-contained grades six, seven and eight.
Special Education Programs
Satisfactory completion of a program for teaching students with cognitive impairment (CI) or students with emotional impairment (EI) qualifies graduates for an elementary or secondary standard certificate and an endorsement to teach children in kindergarten through grade twelve in the specialty area, as well as elementary classrooms in kindergarten through grade five or middle school and secondary grades six through twelve in major or minor area only.
Secondary Education Majors
Students who satisfactorily complete a curriculum for secondary teaching qualify for a Michigan secondary standard certificate, which is valid for teaching grades six through twelve in majors and minors only. Some programs, however, are kindergarten through grade twelve.
Post-Degree Teacher Certification
Baccalaureate degree graduates without teaching certification may complete a standard certification plan of study for teaching at the elementary or secondary level by enrolling in undergraduate courses. If a student has completed courses as an undergraduate that are applicable to a teachable major or minor, the undergraduate credits may be counted toward the state requirement for standard certification. If additional credit hours are required, they may be obtained through enrollment in undergraduate courses. In addition to the major and minor requirements, the student must complete the State of Michigan requirement in professional education. Standard certification programs are available in elementary education, secondary education and special education.
Post-degree students who qualify for a Michigan provisional certificate do not automatically receive another Northern Michigan University degree. In order to do so, all requirements for earning a second degree must be met and verified.
Admission to Teacher Education Program
Admission to Northern Michigan University does not necessarily imply full admission to a teacher education program. Admission to teacher education is determined by the director of teacher education student services or the certification counselor in the School of Education or, on appeal, by the teacher selection and retention committee.
Students are not eligible to enroll in any ED prefixed courses above 100 level until they have gained full admission to the School of Education. Full admission requirements to a teacher education program of study are as follows:
All undergraduate and post-baccalaureate applicants must have:
- a cumulative GPA of 2.7 in undergraduate level college credits with at least 28 credits.
Applicants may be denied admissions if they do not meet the above requirements or if they have:
- more than five repeats in college courses;
- a combination of excessive repeats and withdrawals from classes.
Applicants who are already attending NMU or who are applying for re-entry must meet with the Director of Teacher Education Student Services and verify that all entrance requirements have been met. All college transcripts and transfer evaluations from all other colleges attended will be required.
New transfer and post-baccalaureate students must apply and have all transcripts submitted to the School of Education prior to the beginning of classes so that eligibility requirements may be determined.
Admission to Methods Phase
Admission to the methods level of the program enables students to take courses in their professional education sequence numbered from ED 306 through ED 409, and secondary education methods courses as long as deficiencies do not exist and prerequisite courses have been satisfactorily completed.
The screening of candidates for entrance to the methods phase of the program is extremely important. The Teacher Selection and Retention Committee is responsible for overseeing this function. The faculty is interested in determining whether or not the applicant possesses the characteristics that are necessary for effective teaching. Just as important, however, is the faculty’s interest in identifying students who need or should be given opportunities for remediation, further academic preparation, special assistance, or special consideration of some kind. In pursuit of these objectives, application forms, portfolios, recommendations, correction of deficiencies through remedial courses, etc., may be required. The information gathered about the student is combined with the information outlined below in reaching decisions about continuance in the program. Applicants who have deficiencies may be advised about suitable courses of action.
Methods Phase Requirements and Policies
Prior to entering the methods phase of the program, students must:
- Submit an application before registering for any methods level courses. Applications are available in the School of Education and online at www.nmu.edu/education.
- Possess a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above.
- Successfully complete required pre-methods level field experiences at the appropriate K-12 level.
- Declare a major and/or minor.
- Possess a GPA of 2.7 in the pre-methods education sequence (ED 201, ED 230 or 231, and ED 301); with no grades below “B-.”
- Complete EN 111, EN 211, MA/MSED 150 and MA/MSED 151 with a grade of “C” or above in each course where required in the curriculum.
In the event that more students qualify for admission to the methods phase of the program than University resources can accommodate, a selection system may be established. The criteria to be used in selecting students will include (but not be limited to), GPAs, faculty recommendations, representation from under-represented populations, and subject area demand.
Retention in the Program
To retain eligibility in the professional teacher education program, a student must:
- Maintain a GPA of 3.0 overall, in major and/or minor(s), and in the planned program and required cognates combined;
- with no grades below a ‘C’ in major, minor, planned program and required cognates; including HS 126/221, CS 255 and 15 credits of Social Studies for elementary students;
- and no grade below a ‘B-‘ in any ED course;
- Have no more than five repeats;
- Maintain minimum standards of behavior as prescribed in the section addressing professional integrity.
Students who are denied admission or are academically dismissed from the program may appeal the decision to the teacher selection and retention committee by contacting the committee’s chairperson or the director of teacher education student services. Hearing procedures are stated in the document titled “Academic Dismissal from the Teacher Education Program,” available in the School of Education.
Limitations on Acceptance of Transfer Courses and Validity of Courses
Students are expected to take their professional education sequence courses at Northern Michigan University. Guidelines for specific courses are:
A. ED 201 Introduction to Education
Transfer credit will be accepted but given only a satisfactory or unsatisfactory grade designation. An “S” grade will be assigned when the grade earned is “B-” or greater, and a “U” grade will be assigned when the grade earned is below “B-.”
B. Methods-level courses: a minimum of 20 credits of methods-level courses must be taken at NMU, including the following:
ED 311 (3 credits)
ED 316 (3 credits)
ED 420 (11 credits)
ED 450 (1 credit)
ED 319 (3 credits)
ED 380 (2 credits)
— 350 (3-4 credits)
ED 430 (11 credits)
ED 450 (1 credit)
ED 311 (3 credits)
ED 316 (3 credits)
ED 401 or ED 408 (4 credits)
ED 406 or ED 409 (2 credits)
Elementary Base (Special Education)
ED 423A (5 credits)
ED 423B or ED 423C (6 credits)
ED 450 (1 credit)
Secondary Base (Special Education)
ED 423B or ED 423C (6 credits)
ED 423D (5 credits)
ED 450 (1 credit)
All education courses are invalid after six years. MA/MSED 150 Mathematics for the Elementary Teacher I, MA/MSED 151 Mathematics for the Elementary Teacher II, and ED 353 Methods and Materials in Teaching Elementary School Mathematics Education are also invalid after six years.
These requirements apply to all standard certification programs of study. Exceptions to the requirements may be made by the director of teacher education student services or the certification counselor in consultation with the appropriate faculty member.
Repeats of education courses must be taken at NMU.
Eligibility for Student Teaching Placement
Students should plan to do their student teaching when they have completed all prerequisite course work. Students must submit a complete student teaching application one semester before student teaching. Forms, policies, procedures and other information are available at: www.nmu.edu/education.
Student teaching placements are made by the university. Students are not to contact school personnel to arrange student teaching placements.
Occasionally the university finds it difficult to secure a student teaching assignment. Although the university may request an assignment, school districts are under no obligation to accept a student teacher. Reasons such as a poor academic record or a lack of a suitable supervising teacher are responses typically given by districts when not offering a student teaching placement. Students should be aware of this possibility as they progress toward a degree in teacher education.
Eligibility for Recommendation for Certification
To be eligible to be recommended for certification, students must satisfy the following requirements.
A. Comply with all of the previously stated admission and retention requirements.
B. Complete the baccalaureate degree in accordance with the above criteria and any additional criteria as established by other academic departments, where applicable.
C. Satisfactorily complete the student teaching assignment with a recommendation for certification by the supervising teacher and the university supervisor.
D. Satisfactorily complete all Michigan Test Teacher Certification subject area competency tests as required by Public Act 451 as amended (major, minor(s), and elementary education where applicable).
E. As of July 1, 2004, in order to be certified, new teachers must possess a valid certificate of course completion for first aid training that includes cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Training must be approved by the Michigan Department of Education.
All education majors must complete EN 111 College Composition I and EN 211 College Composition II (or equivalent) with a grade of “C” or better.
Students who do not meet requirements for continuous enrollment (e.g., those who drop out for one or more semesters or withdraw from all courses in which they are enrolled) are required to re-apply for admission to the level of the teacher education program that they were enrolled in at the time of their departure.
Students may be required to complete other tests or evaluation procedures for admission to any phase of the teacher education program, for removal of any suspension from the program, or for teacher certification.
Title II Requirements
NMU complies with all federal and state Title II requirements. NMU’s teacher education program is nationally accredited. More information can be found at www.nmu.edu/education.
Information for Elementary Education Majors
The Academic and Career Advisement Center advises new freshmen elementary education majors for three semesters. Other students will be advised through the School of Education once they have been admitted into the teacher education program. Students are required to adhere to state standards that do not necessarily apply to students outside the program. We strongly encourage students to maintain contact with their advisers and to be familiar with the teacher selection and retention standards that they receive upon admission to the program. Detailed planning sheets for the various major/minor options are available in the Teacher Education Student Services Office.
Social Studies Component
All students in the elementary education curriculum must complete a 15-credit-hour social studies requirement. Any AN, EC, HS, PS or SO prefixed course fulfills this requirement, as well as ED 101, FR 310, GC 100, GC 101, GC 164, GC 300, GC 305, GC 360, HL 322, NAS 204, NAS 310, NAS 315, PL 270 and SN 314. These credits can be double counted with other program requirements.
Major/Minors Program Guidelines
A major or two minors are required. Majors are available only in the four core content subject areas listed below. If two minors are chosen, one of the minors must be selected from the four core content subject areas.
Core Content Subject Areas for Majors and Minors
- Language Arts (group) contains English, journalism, speech and reading courses.
- Integrated Science (group) contains biology, earth/space science and physical science courses.
- Social Studies (group) contains economics, geography, history and political science courses.
- Mathematics (straight) contains math and computer science courses.
Minor Subject Areas
Minors that overlap in content (e.g., reading and language arts) are prohibited.
Information for Secondary Education Majors
The Academic and Career Advisement Center advises new freshmen secondary education majors for three semesters. Other students will be advised through the School of Education once they have been admitted into the teacher education program. Students are required to adhere to state standards that do not necessarily apply to students outside the program. We strongly encourage students to maintain contact with their advisers and to be familiar with the teacher selection and retention standards that they receive upon admission to the program. Detailed planning sheets for the various major/minor options are available in the Teacher Education Student Services Office.
Prospective secondary school teachers are advised on course selection and other academic matters by faculty members of the department or area in which students plan to major.
The School of Education contributes professional studies courses in education to the secondary education curricula. Information about entrance, test and certification requirements is available from the Teacher Education Student Services Office.
Approved Secondary Education Majors and Minors
Art and Design Education Major
Secondary Education Biology Major
Secondary Education Chemistry Major
Secondary Education Earth Science Major (currently not accepting students)
Secondary Education English Major
Secondary Education French Major
Secondary Education Geography Major (currently not accepting students)
Secondary Education Health and Physical Education Major
Secondary Education History Major
Secondary Education Industrial Technology Major
Secondary Education Integrated Science Major
Secondary Education Mathematics Major
Secondary Education Music Major
Secondary Education Physics Major
Secondary Education Political Science Major (currently not accepting students)
Secondary Education Social Studies Major
Secondary Education Spanish Major
Secondary Education Special Education Major
Secondary Education Biology Minor
Secondary Education Chemistry Minor
Secondary Education Earth Science Minor (currently not accepting students)
Secondary Education Economics Minor (currently not accepting students)
Secondary Education English Minor
Secondary Education French Minor
Secondary Education Geography Minor (currently not accepting students)
Secondary Education German Minor
Secondary Education History Minor
Secondary Education Mathematics Minor
Secondary Education Physics Minor
Secondary Education Political Science Minor (currently not accepting students)
Secondary Education Spanish Minor
Bulletin Year: 2022 - 2023 Undergraduate Bulletin