The College of Education is a professional college committed to advancing the science and art of education including the practices and processes which occur from infancy through adulthood in both school and non-school settings. The college mission is to provide preparation for current and future teachers, counselors, administrators, educational specialists, and other related educational personnel, and to create and disseminate the knowledge needed by professionals and policy makers in education and related fields.
This excerpt about the College of Education is taken from the 1991-1992 Undergraduate Catalog, issued seventy-four years after the establishment of education instruction on the College Park campus in 1918. The college can trace its origin to the 1918-1919 academic year and the Division of Vocational Education, which offered courses in agricultural education, home economics education, and industrial education. A year later, this division became the School of Education, offering the B.S. and B.A. degrees, and then in 1921, the name was changed to the College of Education. From the inception of the Division of Vocational Education until 1923, H. Cotterman served as dean, presiding over the elementary and vocational education programs offered to students.
Throughout the late 1920s and 1930s, W. S. Small held the deanship as the college expanded to include training for secondary school teachers and administrators. In 1924, the M.A. degree was added to the curriculum. Small was followed by Harold Benjamin, from 1939-1943, for whom the present education building on the College Park campus is named. Benjamin served again as dean from 1947 to 1952, following brief stints by Arnold Joyal (1943-1946) and Henry Brechbill (1946-1947), each of whom served as acting dean between Benjamin's service in the dean's office.
During the 1940s, twelve areas of education curricula were available to students: academic, art, business, dental, elementary, home economics, nursery school, industrial, physical, health, recreation, and pre-physical. This decade also saw the degrees offered by the college expand to include the M.Ed. (1941), the Ph.D. (1943), and the Ed.D. (1949).
Following Benjamin's second term, Wilbur Devilbiss became dean of the college from 1952 until early 1955. In the latter part of 1955, Vernon E. Anderson began his fifteen-year term as dean. The college structure at that point included the Industrial Education Department, the Institute for Child Study, and the General Education Department, under which all other areas of study were grouped. One of these areas, the childhood education program, operated the college's first center, the Nursery School. During Anderson's tenure the areas of study were organized into departments, the basic structure of which survives today with some modification. In 1963, the Department of Early Childhood and Elementary Education was formed, along with the Department of Secondary Education. Four years later, the Department of Administration, Supervision, and Curriculum, the Department of Counseling and Personnel Services, and the Department of Special Education were all created. In 1969, the seventh department, Measurement and Statistics, was established. By 1970, the organization of the college also included a number of centers and resource units; in addiction to the Nursery School and the Institute for Child Study, the college supervised the Curriculum Lab, the Educational Technology Center, the Office of Laboratory Experiences, and the Bureau of Educational Research and Field Services. This expansion and reorganization corresponded with a 350% increase in student enrollment in the college during Anderson's term.
This fifteen-year period of stable leadership was followed by a decade of short-term office holders. From 1970-1973, Robert Carbone served as dean, followed by Donald Maley who served as acting dean for one year. Succeeding Maley was Robert Emans, who served as dean of the college until 1976. An interim dean, H. Gerthon (Buck) Morgan held from the fall of 1976 until the summer of 1977, when Dean C. Corrigan began his term of roughly two years.
From 1973 to 1987, the University of Maryland at College Park was organized in a division system. Colleges and departments were restructured into five divisions, each administered by a provost. One of the divisions was the Division of Human and Community Resources. Included in this division, along with the College of Education, were the Colleges of Human Ecology; Library and Information Services; and Physical Education, Recreation, and Health. The chief administrator of the college in the latter part of this period was George L. Marx, who took office in 1980. At this time, reorganization took place within the college, as well. The departments of early childhood/elementary education and secondary education were merged into the new Department of Curriculum and Instruction. The 1981 list of departments included Curriculum and Instruction; Counseling and Personnel Services; Educational Policy, Planning and Administration; Measurement, Statistics, and Evaluation; Special Education; Industrial Education; and Human Development, which was associated with the Institute for Child Study. Added to the centers and resource units were the Access Center and the Center for Education Research and Development.
Dale Scannell succeeded Marx as dean of the college in 1985. Jean Hebeler, the current acting dean, took over the dean's office at the end of the 1990-1991 academic year, following Scannell's term. The present structure of the College of Education includes the Department of Industrial, Technological, and Occupational Education, which evolved from the Department of Industrial Education. The list of centers overseen by the college has grown with the addition of the centers for higher education governance and leadership; mathematical education; young children; comparative education; career development; reading; and science teaching.
At present the College of Education continues to be one of the strongest academic units on the University of Maryland at College Park campus, with high numbers of declared majors, large enrollments, and vibrant programs.