Dean's Welcome

The College of Education at Arizona stands between the world of research and scholarship and the world of professional practice. We are part of a land-grant institution, which is an institution of higher education in the United States designated by a state to receive the benefits of the Morrill Acts of 1862 and 1890 Signed by Abraham Lincoln, the first Morrill Act begn to fund educational institutions by granting federally controlled land to the states for them to sell, raise funds, establish, and endow "land-grant" colleges. Per the 1862 Act, the mission of these institutions is to focus on the teaching of practical agriculture, science, military science, and engineering (though "without excluding... classical studies") as a response to the industrial revolution and changing social class. This mission was in contrast to the historic practice of higher education to focus on a liberal arts curriculum. A 1994 expansion gave land-grant status to several tribal colleges and universities.

At the College of Education, we bring strong theoretical foundations and research methods to the study and improvement of education. And we work with our colleagues in professional education settings in Pre-K-12 and higher education to ground our work in the real settings in which our knowledge is used. We take the challenges that confront our nation’s education systems as our challenges.

Through our research, instruction, and outreach, we are engaged in programs to generate new knowledge about education, teach the next generation of educators and leaders, and engage educational and community groups in improvement. We partner with colleagues across campus, in the education and business sectors, and government and nonprofit agencies to leverage resources to make a difference.

Bruce Johnson
Dean & Professor of Teaching, Learning & Sociocultural Studies

The University of Arizona College of Education was founded in 1922 with an enrollment of 145 students.

Today, we have about 1,800 undergraduate students and 900 graduate students within our four academic departments, each featuring different curriculum, faculty, and degree opportunities. We have about 65 full-time faculty members and 30 clinical and adjunct faculty members. The college offers:

  • Bachelor’s degrees in Elementary Education, Early Childhood Education, Cross-Categorical Special Education, Deaf Studies, General Rehabilitation, and Literacy, Learning, and Leadership
  • Postbaccalaureate teacher certification
  • Master’s and doctoral degrees in education

Working with other colleges, the College of Education is responsible for the vast majority of teacher education on campus. We prepare special educators, school and rehabilitation counselors, school principals and superintendents, and leaders for P-12 and higher education. In recent years, there has been a national call for increased scientific-based research in education. Research is a valuable part of our agenda, and we recognize that a formidable college includes a wide range of scholarship and research — from insight-based, fundamental research to engineering-focused programs of research and development. As we contribute to the national debate about education research and investigate solutions to pressing problems of practice, we find that the plea for greater emphasis on research is consistent with our values and mission.

Enhancing Education Equity. Transforming Lives.

The College of Education promotes learning, research, and transformative action to create a more inclusive and equitable community and world.

We are committed to:
●          Dynamic learning experiences that help students connect theory and research with practice.
●          Innovative teaching and educational technologies that enhance all student experiences.
●          Research that speaks to core questions of policy and practice.
●          Strong partnerships and collaborations.
●          Diversity and inclusion within all college practices.

Why is the UA College of Education a standout? Here are just a few bragging points to give you an idea:

  • Our Native American doctoral students outnumber the national average by 2 1/2 times!
  • Our rehabilitation counseling program is ranked sixth in the nation, according to U.S. News & World Report.
  • We award about $465,000 in scholarships each year.
  • Three of our programs also are offered in the Phoenix area: Teachers in Industry, Teach Arizona, and the graduate educational specialist program in school psychology.
  • In the last five years, the College of Education awarded more than 3,000 undergraduate and graduate degrees, including teachers, of course, but also researchers, counselors, school psychologists, special education teachers, principals, and superintendents — just to name a few.
  • The STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) Learning Center was created in partnership with the Colleges of Science and Engineering. Now a university-wide center that facilitates institutional partnerships, supports effective initiatives, and advances scholarship to promote equitable access to high-quality, STEM experiences, resources, tools, and expertise.
  • Education Policy Center (EPC) is in the development stage and will be the only university-based center in the state dedicated to policy issues of K-12 education.  Its focus will be to disseminate education policy research, connect research to the community and policy makers and be a key resource for policy makers.
  • The Arizona Teaching Fellows Program enables the College of Education and southern Arizona school district partners to recruit students who intend to teach in southern Arizona by providing scholarships to reduce student loan debt. This initiative helps address teacher shortages in southern Arizona.
  • We’re home to the state’s only programs to prepare rehabilitation counselors and educators of the deaf and blind. Our college is dedicated to the empowerment and inclusion of culturally diverse people of all ages with disabilities and special abilities.
  • The Indigenous Teacher Education Project (ITEP) recruits preservice teachers from Indigenous communities across Arizona to increase the number of Indigenous teachers serving Indigenous communities throughout Arizona. Cohorts of Indigenous preservice teachers complete an Elementary Education degree, with a focus on Indigenous Education, and graduate with a teaching certificate.
  • The recently remodeled space on the fourth floor of the UA College of Education building is a magical place. It’s a place where lives change — thanks to the power of books. Worlds of Words: The International Collection of Children’s and Adolescent Literature is the largest collection in America, and it’s housed right here. In fact, there’s only one larger collection in the world!
  • Our field-experiences program is a nationally known model for teacher preparation. Here’s how it works: In the semester before student teaching, students take all of their methods courses at a local school. This not only orients students to their chosen field, it gives them the opportunity to apply what they are learning in a real classroom with real children. By the time our students graduate, they will have spent an entire year in a local public school.
  • For every dollar we invest in tenure and tenure-stream faculty salaries, there is a return of $1.42 in grant and contract revenue alone. These benefits are compounded by the hundreds of highly qualified education professionals we prepare for Arizona yearly.
  • We have a diverse student body. 42% of our undergraduate students and 38% of our graduate students are minorities. 4 percent of our student body is Native American. Compare that to under 1/2 percent nationally.
  • We have a diverse faculty. About 23 percent of our college’s faculty is made up of minorities (16 percent of which is Hispanic).
  • We are home to the first campus mosaic of the Ben's Bells Kindness Corridor, a series of kindness-themed mosaic art and murals created by local artists, students, and community members.
  • Our alumni are known throughout the world! Think that’s an exaggeration? Check this out: Just about everyone knows Big Bird, Elmo, and the Cookie Monster. Because of Sesame Street’s worldwide reach — it’s shown in more than 120 countries — the program is considered the world’s largest educator. What you may not know is that its creator, Joan Ganz Cooney, is one of our grads!

We also boast many firsts:

  • Arizona’s first International Teacher Education Program
  • Arizona’s first — and still the state’s only — programs to prepare rehabilitation counselors and educators of the deaf and blind
  • The university's first professor in the National Academy of Education (Professor Luis Moll in our Department of Teaching, Language & Sociocultural Studies)
  • The nation’s first institute (American Indian Language Development Institute) devoted specifically to training American Indian educators in all fields of American Indian language study and research
  • The nation’s first Eye Movement Miscue Analysis Research Laboratory
  • The nation’s first Center for the Study of Higher Education in the southwestern United States