Dean’s Welcome

Wanda Blanchett

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
-Nelson Mandela

Thank you for your interest in the University of Missouri-Kansas City’s (UMKC) School of Education! Founded in 1954, the same year as the historic Brown v. Topeka Board of Education decision, the UMKC School of Education is committed to social justice, urban education, and to fulfilling the unfulfilled promises of Brown.

Celebrating our 60th anniversary this year, the School of Education’s mission is to recruit, prepare, and support outstanding teachers, mental health professionals, and administrators who will create lifelong opportunities through education for America’s diverse urban communities. Our undergraduate, post-bachelors, masters, educational specialists, and doctoral programs prepare a diverse population of educators across a wide range of professions ranging from teachers to principals and administrators, to counseling psychologists and other mental health professionals in order that they may transform the world of education as we currently know it.

Because our society has become more globally diverse, multicultural, and interdependent than ever before, we must equip our students to respond effectively to these demands. Education and mental health professionals must embrace diversity in all of its many forms, be prepared to recognize and eradicate social injustice, and employ democratic, and culturally responsive values, strategies, and techniques both domestically and abroad.

Our commitment to the field of education; however, extends beyond our classrooms and into the community. In addition to diligently creating new graduate programs—many of them online for easy access where and when our students need them—strengthening partnerships with local public and charter schools, supporting the work of our many centers—Berkley Child and Family Development Center, Center for Economic Education, and the UMKC Professional Development Center among them—we will launch our Urban Education Research Center later this fall which will focus on conducting and disseminating research that addresses local problems in urban schools with national applicability.

To be clear, gone are the days of excuses, today’s educators must work diligently and successfully to serve ALL children, families, and segments of our society, regardless of their past and current life circumstances. While we see great strides every day in positively impacting our urban communities, our work is ongoing. We invite you to join us! Your action today has the potential to influence children, families, and communities tomorrow and for generations to come.

Sincerely,

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Wanda J. Blanchett, Ph.D.
Dean and Ewing Marion Kauffman/Missouri Endowed Chair for Teacher Education