Our mission, vision & philosophy
The mission of the School of Education and Health Sciences is "Building learning communities through critical reflection."
Our vision is to prepare distinctive graduates who will effectively and efficiently utilize the highest quality of learning, leadership and scholarship to build strong learning communities and develop collaborative, caring partnerships.
Our work is framed by our Marianist history and heritage, a heritage that obligates us toward community-building and service to others. Our mission merges the practice of critical reflection with the broader obligation to foster a learning community that focuses on educational theory and practice. We define best practices through merging past practices and future needs to create a learning community that is responsive to current demands.
Our conceptual framework grounds all programs within the School of Education and Health Sciences. Outcomes common to all departments are expected of candidates graduating from the school. These outcomes are organized into four conceptual categories:
- Embracing diversity for the promotion of social justice
- Facilitating the development of scholarly practitioners
- Building community
- Engaging in critical reflection
Our curriculum fosters both specialization and integration. The collaborative curriculum of the school is most pronounced in undergraduate programs because of the ways in which Education and Arts & Sciences faculties work together. As candidates progress through their respective programs, they assimilate new ideas and experiences in ways that enable them to critically reflect. In turn, they interpret, analyze and generalize their understandings in order to better shape their own future professional practice.
Our graduate programs rely heavily on inquiry perspectives either through action research or critical reflection through field experience work. These inquiry perspectives are grounded in a knowledge base developed through the study of seminal works and current research and policy. Graduate candidates are expected to actively question the purposes of schooling and to discern the meaning of what educators as learners are expected to do in order to fulfill their responsibilities to the profession. Clinical and field experiences are essential elements of both undergraduate and graduate programs, and those experiences are distributed throughout the program offerings in ways that enhance the professional dispositions of the candidates in the program.
We seek to prepare professionals who possess both the disciplinary understanding and pedagogical skills needed to create value-added learning environments. They must possess in-depth content knowledge, understand the substantive structures of their disciplines and understand the syntactic knowledge that includes how new disciplinary knowledge is brought into a field. In order to ensure authentic professional success, they must know how to work within highly diverse settings and how to access and use the most scientifically-based and relevant findings to guide the professional work they do as teachers, administrators, counselors, health professionals and support providers of any type.