The College of Education at Wichita State University has changed its name to the College of Applied Studies. The change was made to better reflect the broad range of educational and applied learning offerings the college provides.
In addition, the college’s Department of Curriculum and Instruction is now the School of Education.
The Kansas Board of Regents approved the name changes at its meeting today (Wednesday, June 20).
Throughout its history, the college has grown and changed to meet the challenges of preparing professionals for an increasingly complex and specialized world, says Dean Shirley Lefever.
The college has expanded to include not only the preparation of teachers and educational leaders, but also counselors, educational psychologists, athletic trainers and professionals in sport management and exercise science.
“The new name of the college will enable us to communicate the breadth of programs and opportunities we offer students and industry partners, as well as the emphasis we place on applied learning, where experience is everything,” Lefever says.
Meeting industry and workforce needs
All of the programs within the college have built a reputation for success by engaging students in high-quality, engaging, applied learning experiences, preparing them to meet workforce and industry needs.
The new names are more inclusive in that they represent the full scope of the college.
“It is our desire that faculty, staff and students who are not in teacher education-centric majors perceive the new name as further validating their importance within the college, while those in teacher education and other education-specific majors continue to feel highly valued as part of our School of Education,” Lefever says.
Maintaining a strong identity
Kim McDowell, head of the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, says the name change for her program affords teacher educators the opportunity to maintain a strong identity as a teacher preparation department.
“Our new name allows us to showcase the variety of educator preparation programs housed within our department and lets us be more easily identifiable for those seeking a teacher preparation program online,” McDowell says.
Another added benefit is that the broader and more inclusive name may also open new avenues for external partnerships.
Since 1895, when the college was known as the Normal Department, it has had a rich and successful history of preparing teachers and educational leaders through high-quality, award-winning programs.
That will not change.
“What will change,” Lefever says, “is the ability to promote and better celebrate the success of all of our programs within the college.”