College of Education *
College of Education *

Department Mission and Goals

The Department of Teaching and Learning, Policy and Leadership is committed to the creation of educational opportunities that enable all individuals to realize their full potential as citizens in a pluralistic society and an interdependent world. To advance that ideal, the department supports cutting-edge research and offers graduate and undergraduate programs that apply a range of theoretical orientations, discipline-based perspectives and research methodologies to the study of educational problems, policies, learning processes, and learning environments, especially those housed in schools and school districts. The department’s graduate programs prepare students to assume a variety of roles, including scholars, researchers, policy analysts, teacher educators, instructional specialists, curriculum developers, teachers, education leaders, and advocates. The department’s initial certification programs prepare students to assume positions as education leaders and teachers in various content areas and specializations. The department also offers education minors and general education courses for undergraduates who have an interest in educational issues but may not pursue a career in teaching.  

Through research, teaching, and service, the department seeks to create and sustain a diverse, deliberative and responsive academic community dedicated to informing education policy and practice at the local, state, national, and international levels. More specifically, the department’s goals are to:

  • Produce high-quality research, grounded in empirical, interpretive, and critical traditions of inquiry, and cultivate the scholarly habits that are essential to the formulation, design, implementation, and evaluation of effective education policies and practices;
  • Promote the systematic analysis of alternative ways to achieve equitable educational opportunities; foster fair, open, democratic decision-making processes; engender a deeper understanding and appreciation of diversity and create a more just and benevolent society;
  • Support initiatives that advance our knowledge of learning processes and environments, enhance our understanding of policy and leadership as a catalyst of organizational and social change, foster an understanding of the context in which education occurs and integrate theory, research and practice;
  • Cultivate collaborative relationships with school systems and other educational organizations and develop, in consultation with various constituency groups, strong partnerships and outreach projects;
  • Create exemplary teacher education, leadership preparation and professional development programs that promote innovative educational practices and culturally responsive pedagogy.