The School of Education, organized officially as a separate academic division in 1954, was the result of the University of Kansas City’s involvement in professional education since 1940. At that early date the University offered an M.A. in education, heavily liberal-arts laden, with most classes conducted in the summer and evenings. An undergraduate major in elementary education was established in 1952, and the first University of Kansas City doctoral program, the Ph.D. in education, was inaugurated with the organizing of the School in 1954. Since then, the School has grown to include three disciplinary divisions with 21 programs, offering bachelor of arts, master of arts, educational specialist, doctor of philosophy, doctor of education and interdisciplinary degree programs. Several degree and certification programs are offered in cooperation with the Schools of Biological Sciences and Nursing and Health Studies, the Conservatory of Music and Dance, and the College of Arts and Sciences.
Mission and Values
The mission of the School of Education 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. This mission is centered on six key values which embody the knowledge, skills and dispositions expected of our candidates across the School of Education. The goals defined by individual programs are more specific subsets of these broader values:
- Academic excellence
- Strategic innovation
- Inquiry leading to reflective decision-making and problem-solving
- Skilled and knowledgeable professionals working collaboratively
- Democracy, diversity, and social justice
- Creating caring and safe environments
To be a leading urban-serving school of education in the nation.
- Foster and model a collaborative environment
- Ensure academic excellence
- Increase research focused on urban education
- Provide leadership for urban schools and healthy communities
- Ensure infrastructure for achieving strategic plan
- Optimize and increase resources
The overall goal of the School of Education is the development of broadly educated, competent practitioners who are able to engage in critical and cooperative inquiry rather than act merely as functionaries in an education system. The School aspires to provide for an increasing diversity of educational specialists who are grounded in both theory and practice and can deal effectively with the problems and needs of a culturally, linguistically, socially and politically diverse society.
The primary objectives of the School of Education, which stem from our conceptual framework, mission, and values, are to:
- Provide sound theoretical foundations and practical skills at the undergraduate and graduate levels required for competent performance by teachers, administrators and special-services personnel in schools, colleges and universities in a culturally pluralistic society;
- Provide graduate education and research skills which are supportive of and lead to advanced levels of scholarly achievement;
- Deliver a diversity of specialized education and training programs for persons engaged in educational roles in non-school settings such as governmental agencies, social service agencies, mental and physical health care institutions, business and industrial organizations, and private practice;
- Provide leadership, consultation and other support services for quality improvement in planning and conducting educational programs in schools, higher education institutions and community agencies and organizations;
- Furnish professional development opportunities for educators at all levels through specially designed programs in research, continuing education instruction, in-service programs and workshops;
- Impact the student learning in classrooms and communities throughout Missouri and the region in positive and meaningful ways; and
- Contribute to the broad field of professional education through basic and applied research by both faculty and students.