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, Hollingsworth STEAM, Walter Long STEAM and Walter Bracken STEAM academies, Las Vegas; Magnet Schools of America’s 2013 National Principal of the Year
apply online
request information
  • About: Education
  • Meet the Faculty
  • Effectiveness
  • 3 Things: Education
  • Accreditation
  • Field Experience
  • Career Opportunities
  • Clubs & Organizations
  • THE SIENA EFFECT: Education
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.

FAST FACT: 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.

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.


Approved Program Areas 

Major Endorsements Minors/Endorsments
  • 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)
  • Computer Information Systems (secondary)
  • English
  • History
  • Mathematics
  • Physical Education (secondary)
  • Planned Program (elementary)
  • Spanish

Child Development
This is a program that prepares child care providers to work in centers, homes and preschool classrooms. Michigan teaching certification endorsement (ZS) is also available through the Child Development Program.

Click here for more details about a Certification in Child Development at Siena Heights University.

Click here for more details about Teacher Education Endorsements at Siena Heights University.

Director, Division of Education
Division of Education
Assistant Professor of Child Development
Child Development
Associate Professor of Education and Coordinator of Special Education
Division of Education
Associate Professor of Education; Program Coordinator Elementary and Secondary Education
Division of Education
Assistant Professor of Education
Division of Education
Associate Professor of Education, Coordinator of Language Arts Program
Division of Education

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.

Our Candidates know their content. The average GPA of 2015-16 program completers was 3.70.

Our Candidates know how to teach. In 2015-16, 100 percent of Siena Heights teacher education graduates who are in their first three years of teaching received Effective or Highly Effective ratings on their annual teacher evaluation conducted by their districts. Additionally, our Teacher Candidate Survey on our Educator Preparation Program Efficacy for 2015-16 resulted in an overall program efficacy of 91 percent. The following table breaks this rating down by key areas of teaching:


Teacher Candidate Educator Preparation Program Efficacy Survey (2015-16)

Total number of respondents: 27

Source: Michigan Department of Education


#1. Nationally accredited undergraduate and graduate level programs

#2. A total of 180 years of combined faculty experience in Pre-K-20 education

#3. Hands-on minds-on courses to get experience doing: We model good practice

Siena Heights University’s Teacher Education Program was granted Accreditation by the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC) for a period of seven years, from May 3, 2013 to May 3, 2020. This accreditation certifies that the forenamed professional education program has provided evidence that the program adheres to TEAC’s quality principles.

For a Summary of the Case, click here.

Learn more about the Field Experience requirement at Siena Heights.


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.

For more details about the field experience requirements, click here.

Learn about the career opportunities you can have with a degree in Education.

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.

Learn more about 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.

In December 2016, SHU Professor Tyler George's Social Studies Teacher Education class took part in an innovative learning experience called Twitter Chat. Check out our Siena in 60 Seconds feature detailing this meeting of education and technology. Created by SHU students, Becca Penny and Matt Leppek.

Katie Guilbault Decker 

Major: Teacher Education

What Katie is Doing: Award-Winning Principal of the Walter Bracken STEAM Academy, Las Vegas, Nev.

Katie Guilbault Decker has made learning fun again for students, teachers and parents at the Walter Bracken STEAM Academy in urban Las Vegas. As the recipient of the 2013 Magnet Schools of America Principal of the Year Award, Decker has transformed an underperforming, underprivileged school into one of the best in the state of Nevada.

Decker, who spent the previous 11 years as a teacher and an assistant principal in the Las Vegas area, saw an opportunity to improve the failing school. She made the 
shift to more of a science, technology, arts, engineering and mathematics (STEAM) curriculum. The results have been nothing short of remarkable. Bracken is now one of the top schools in the state. It received High Achievement status from the state of Nevada for Adequate Yearly Progress and ranked among the top 5 percent of all schools in the district.

She said Siena Heights—especially the late Sister Eileen Rice—helped in-still those teaching values in her.

“I adored (Sister Eileen). I would love to be even half of what she was. We used to joke that she never slept.She was probably one of the bigger influential people in my life.”

“We’re showing our community what a school can be.”


Additional Info


  • Education Division