Sept. 15, 2011

Proposed school of education introduced to senators

by Erin Rosacker

Members of the Faculty Senate, gathering for their first meeting of the school year Sept. 13, got a first look at a proposed school of education in the College of Human Sciences. The senate's vote next month will serve as a recommendation to university administrators, who will decide whether to forward the program to the state Board of Regents for final approval.

The proposed school combines two existing departments -- curriculum and instruction, and educational leadership and policy studies (ELPS) -- and the University Teacher Education Program (UTEP). The centers and institutes associated with the departments would be included.

The proposal calls for division coordinators to head up three academic programs:

  • Educator Preparation Studies, such as STEM education; language, literacy and culture; and special education
  • Educator Foundations Core, such as research methods; social justice and multicultural education; and educational psychology
  • Educator Leadership Studies, such as school-based leadership; and higher education leadership

Faculty and staff in the units voted 53-9 in favor of bringing the proposal forward. A transition committee is in place, with faculty, staff and student representatives from the two departments and UTEP.

"Assuming that everything goes as planned, the school of education would be rolled out July 1, 2012," said Linda Hagedorn, Human Sciences associate dean of undergraduate programs and interim chair of ELPS.

Other business

Senators also will consider a request to rename the apparel, educational studies and hospitality management (AESHM) department. Department faculty initiated the process by requesting a name change when the family and consumer sciences education and studies program moved to the human development and family studies department. The majority of AESHM faculty voted in favor of renaming their unit the apparel, events and hospitality management department (and keeping the AESHM acronym, pronounced "awesome"). The event management program was added in 2010.

A sustainability minor, introduced in the spring, earned unanimous approval. The cross-disciplinary program was strongly endorsed by faculty in the programs and departments that already provide the coursework. A steering committee with representatives from the colleges of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Design, Engineering, and Liberal Arts and Sciences will administer the 15-credit program, which will reside in LAS.