Overview

The overview of the College of Education as reported in the CAEP self-study

Context and Unique Characteristics

The Penn State College of Education is part of one university, geographically dispersed over 24 physical campuses throughout Pennsylvania and the World Campus online. This unique structure is at the heart of one of the University's foundational concepts, enabling access to education, and sets us apart from education colleges at other universities. It enables students to start at a Penn State campus close to home and finish in the College of Education at Penn State University Park, making a Penn State College of Education degree more accessible financially.

We have upgraded teaching and learning spaces to better serve our students. Over the past five years, we transformed older classrooms into flexible classrooms that expand the scale and scope of the work being done in the original Krause Innovation Studio. We are continuing that work, currently rebuilding the Science Education wing. We also renovated our CEDAR Clinic in the Department of Education Psychology, Counseling and Special Education, creating upgraded instructional space for graduate students with observation rooms and high-quality digital recording capacity.

Our faculty members raised the bar for research and teaching, including a focus on what has become known as the Learning Sciences, a wide-ranging modern effort within the field of education to build bridges among various related but often distinct areas of scholarship. The work going on both in the classroom and through research directly related to the Learning Sciences is changing our understanding of how we learn, and how we need to teach.

We also broadened our efforts to engage in interdisciplinary research, collaborating with colleagues throughout Penn State and beyond to do groundbreaking research that is relevant and applicable to the world in which we live.

Our students continue to excel as well. Just this year, one of our undergraduates earned an Erickson Discovery Grant to continue research she began last year in Ecuador. Another undergraduate won Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to conduct research in Taiwan. Our graduate students have made noteworthy achievements in their research and have been cited with excellence awards both University-wide and from external sources. We regularly hear from alumni who have career achievements to share as well.

Description of Organizational Structure

The College of Education is one of 15 colleges housed on the Penn State University Park campus. The college's faculty and staff are housed in four buildings on the northwest corner of campus: all of Chambers, Rackley and CEDAR buildings, and on two floors of Keller Building. The organizational chart can be found at https://ed.psu.edu/internal/college-of-education-organizational-chart online.

The college is organized into four departments: Curriculum and Instruction (B.S., M.Ed., M.S., Ph.D.); Education Policy Studies (B.S., M.A., M.S., M.Ed., D.Ed., Ph.D., Joint Law); Educational Psychology, Counseling and Special Education (B.S., IUG, M.S., M.Ed., D.Ed., Ph.D.); and Learning and Performance Systems (certifications, A.S., B.S., M.S., M.Ed., M.P.S., D.Ed., Ph.D.). It also is home to 16 centers, institutes and councils. Courses are taught in person, online and as hybrids.

The mission of the College of Education at Penn State is to deepen and extend knowledge about the formation and utilization of human capabilities. Its vision is as a world leader in the integration of (a) teaching and learning, (b) advancement of the knowledge base through research and scholarship, and (c) leadership in service and outreach. Further, the College will be a world leader in preparing professionals who provide leadership and exemplary educational and related services to improve the lives of individuals in a changing and complex global society.

The college's published values, found at https://ed.psu.edu/about-the-college/vision-and-mission, include the integration of teaching, research and service; diversity, equity and social justice; education across the lifespan; collegiality and collaboration; and excellence. Beliefs, found at the same URL, include: all people are entitled to a high-quality education, grounded in sensitivity to individual dignity, professional integrity, and a positive and nurturing environment; school improvement should be based on sound research, the application of theory as it relates to effective practice, policy development, and collaboration with practitioners; and interdisciplinary programs should be used to enhance human learning, growth, and development across the life span.

Vision, Mission, and Goals

The College of College of Education conducts its programs and activities guided by overarching Vision, Mission, Goals, Values, Beliefs statements. All are revisited periodically and revised, if appropriate.
VISION:
The College of Education will be a world leader in the integration of (a) teaching and learning, (b) advancement of the knowledge base through research and scholarship, and (c) leadership in service and outreach. Further, the College will be a world leader in preparing professionals who provide leadership and exemplary educational and related services to improve the lives of individuals in a changing and complex
global society. Please see our Conceptual Framework for the Preparation of School Personnel.
MISSION:
The mission of the College of Education at Penn State is to deepen and extend knowledge about the formation and utilization of human capabilities.
GOALS:
Help to prepare educational professionals recognized for the quality and significance of their teaching, research, scholarship, service, outreach, and leadership.
Provide widely recognized leadership in the improvement of teaching, learning, and the assessment of educational outcomes across the life span through research, scholarship, and technology.
Enhance the commitment of faculty, staff, and students to the centrality of diversity, social justice, and democratic citizenship.
Provide leadership in the development of collaborative , professional relationships with schools, organizations, and other institutions focused on the improvement of education in schools, communities, and workplace settings.
Sustain a caring, supportive climate throughout the College.
Enhance the effective and efficient management of the College.

EPP's Shared Values and Beliefs for Educator Preparation

The College of Education embraces the Penn State Conceptual Framework for Educator Preparation:
- Education occurs in communities of practice. Penn State educators understand that education takes place in economic, social, cultural, historical and geographic contexts. Penn State educators learn that they are members of these multiple communities, working collaboratively on the evaluation and improvement of education settings for all learners.
- Education is a complex problem-solving endeavor. Penn State educators understand that education involves continually making collective and individual decisions about their work in order to best help learners develop as active, knowledgeable citizens in a changing and complex global society. Challenges abound and are ever changing.
- Educators understand and use disciplinary knowledge and pedagogical knowledge. Penn State's programs require that students develop a rich understanding of the subject(s) under girding their school assignments, including the specialized knowledge required to promote student understanding of the subject matter.
- Educators teach and assess learning and development and accept their shared responsibility for student learning. Penn State educators are dedicated to creating just and democratic learning environments that support the learning and development of all students and clients. They learn how to create, enrich, maintain, and alter education settings in order to best provide learning opportunities for all learners.
- Educators contribute to the development and evaluation of theories of learning and development. Penn State educators recognize their responsibilities as contributing members of the field of education. They are focused on solving problems of practice and engage tools of inquiry, reflection, and research to better understand instructional problems and possible solutions.
The College of Education also has the following shared values and beliefs:
VALUES:
Academic excellence and integrity
Outstanding teaching and service
Scholarly research and professional leadership
Integration of teaching, research, and service
Individual and collective excellence
Diversity, equity, and social justice
Education of individuals across the life span
Collegiality and collaboration
BELIEFS:
A literate and educated citizenry is vital to a democratic society.
All people are entitled to a high-quality education, grounded in sensitivity to individual dignity, professional integrity, and a positive and nurturing environment.
A dynamic education system fosters an equitable, productive economy in a global environment.
Teaching and learning should be informed by scholarly research and effective practice.
School improvement should be based on sound research, the application of theory as it relates to effective practice, policy development, and collaboration with practitioners.
Technology should be used to improve the quality of teaching and learning, research and scholarship, and outreach to the state, nation, and the world.
Interdisciplinary programs should be used to enhance human learning, growth, and development across the life span.