Hillsdale's liberal arts emphasis means that students do not major in education. Instead, students major and minor in the subjects they will be teaching: specifically, biology, chemistry, English, French, German, history, mathematics, music, physical education, physics, science, Spanish, and speech studies. The choice of minors is slightly expanded, in order to include computer science and early childhood education, with early childhood education requiring the addition of a minimum of two minors, one of which must be English, history, mathematics or science.
Future teachers at Hillsdale spend many hours on campus observing, assisting, and, in many cases, student teaching in the College's Mary Proctor Randall Preschool and Hillsdale Academy, with all grades--pre-kindergarten through 12--available. Moreover, the future teachers are taught by the very faculty members who selected the entire curriculum for both schools and then wrote the schools' accompanying parent/student and teacher handbooks.
In addition to the approval of the Michigan State Department of Education, the Hillsdale College Teacher Education Program's effectiveness is recognized by other independent sources. The Mackinac Center for Public Policy in Midland reports that "while Hillsdale may be virtually alone in its diagnosis of the modern educational disease, it is confident that the future of teaching lies in the practices of the past." The National Monitor of Education in Alamo, California, writes, "The Hillsdale approach to teacher training is solid meat and potatoes, a practical approach opposed to theoretical, pie-in-the-sky doctrines often advocated in teacher training programs. There would be few, if any, failures of new teachers in the classroom if as student teachers they had the opportunity to participate in programs similar to Hillsdale's."
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