As of July 1, American University’s School of Education became a stand-alone school within the university. The school’s separation from AU’s College of Arts and Sciences will allow it to build on its rich tradition of excellence in academic research, external funding, teaching, and service across its four areas of study: teacher education, special education, education policy and leadership, and international/global education.
“As a stand-alone school, we will be able to build on the successes of our partnerships and programs, while enhancing our reputation in the Washington, D.C. region and across the globe,” said School of Education Dean Cheryl Holcomb-McCoy. “Importantly, we will have the opportunity to become a nationally ranked school of education. This will assist in student recruitment and with attracting talented applicants to our degree programs.”
The school’s first associate dean of academic affairs will be Corbin M. Campbell, who most recently served as associate professor of higher education at Teachers College, Columbia University. Campbell received her Ph.D. in educational policy from the University of Maryland. In her new role, Campbell will coordinate efforts to build programs and provide support for faculty professional development. Additionally, Brian McGowan will join AU in a dual appointment, as associate director of AU’s Center for Teaching, Research and Learning and associate professor of education. He hails from University of North Carolina-Greensboro and completed his Ph.D. in higher education from Indiana University. In the near future, several new term faculty positions will open for hiring.
In 2016, Holcomb-McCoy joined AU as the School of Education’s first dean, with the goal to lead the school to stand-alone status. Under her leadership, the School of Education has expanded its offerings and deepened its commitment to equity in education. During academic year 2017–2018, the school successfully launched two online master’s degree programs in teacher education and education policy and leadership. Over the past three years, student enrollment for the two degree programs has surged. The number of undergraduates seeking teacher education degrees has also gone up.
Last year saw the launch of The Center for Postsecondary Readiness and Success, a national research center charged with identifying new and effective models to strengthen college access for all students, especially low-income and first-generation students. This fall, in conjunction with Noodle Partners – the nation’s fastest-growing online program manager – the school will launch an online doctorate program, the Ed.D. in Education Policy and Leadership. It will be the only practice-oriented doctoral program on AU’s campus.
The School of Education has established long-term partnerships with regional school districts, nonprofits, and other organizations in Washington, D.C. One example is the Teacher Pipeline Project, begun in fall 2018, in partnership with District of Columbia Public Schools. Under the initiative, AU offers a dual-enrollment program for high-school seniors – the only such offering on AU’s campus. The eventual goal of the dual-enrollment program will be to fill the teacher pipeline and place skilled, diverse teachers in some of the most challenged schools in the District.