Spring at the College of Education—and on the university campus—is a time of growth and transformation. Whether it be students who are soon to graduate and become degree holders, faculty whose work is recognized with an award, or a research project or initiative that gains momentum: you can feel the enthusiasm for progress in the air.
My enthusiasm for the College of Education and its mission has not waivered since I first arrived at Illinois in 1966. Over the years, I have had the privilege to work with pioneers in the field who have since paved the way for a new generation of scholars who continue our legacy of leadership at Illinois.
Certainly during my years at the university and in the College I have witnessed the higher education landscape evolving; from the demographic makeup of our student body to the type of research our faculty conducts to the tools we use to teach. One thing that hasn’t changed is Education's unwavering commitment to the university's land grant mission, as we stay engaged in meeting the needs of students throughout the state and worldwide.
This spring there are widespread examples of our scholars manifesting this mission, and I am humbled and proud to share this news. State of Illinois policymakers have made broad educational investments and reforms top priority, and our students, faculty, and alumni have stepped up to lead these efforts. New mandates for Illinois high school curriculum in media literacy, Asian American history, and of course, computer science, are all areas in which the College of Education is contributing significantly. The governor's commitment to training educators focused on improving early childhood education is a challenge that College leadership is tackling head on. And our new master's degree program in Mental Health Counseling addresses the dire need for instructors and practioners in social emotional health.
Indeed, seeing Education at Illinois scholars' passion and expertise for their work come to fruition toward great systemic impact is truly remarkable. May you experience renewal and transformation, as well, as the semester continues.
Yours in Orange and Blue,
James D. Anderson
Dean and Gutgsell Professor
College of Education