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College of eduCation

IN LESS THAN 20 YEARS, FGCU has made an indelible impact on Southwest Florida. It is a catalyst for the area’s economy and a cultural hub for the community. Our students enjoy one of the highest graduate employment rates among the state’s universities. Our campus and region serve as a living laboratory from which life-improving discoveries emanate. And our sports teams energize the entire region. Inspiring those who inspire others – that’s

The FGCU Effect.



Teachers are special people. Not everyone can teach. It is both an art and a science. We must learn the science in order to teach effectively. But the art…that must come from the heart.” Dr. Mark Simpson Associate Professor—C&I, ESOL

CONTACT Office of the Dean College of Education 10501 FGCU Boulevard South Fort Myers, Florida 33965-6565

(239) 590-7800

Fax (239) 590-7801

Welcome to FGCU’s

College of Education

Impacting lives as an educational leader is a profound joy and privilege.

It is also a significant responsibility—one we want to be sure you’re prepared for. That preparation is the strength of FGCU’s College of Education (COE). Our students benefit from one of the state’s most rigorous and diverse internship programs, leveraging our deep community ties to gain comprehensive hands-on experience in the field. We also make research part of your practice, giving you the feedback and methodologies you need to hone your craft. As a result, FGCU has earned Florida’s highest graduate employment rate for educators.

In addition, our class sizes are small, offering the intensive, individualized attention you need to meet our high standards. And our faculty has significant practical experience, instilling you with the foundational knowledge and realworld insights you need to truly make a difference. After all, you will be shaping lives, communities and futures each day you’re an educator. We won’t rest until you’re fully prepared to shoulder that challenge.

That’s our FGCU Effect. 1

Become one of Florida’s best-prepared educational leaders. At Florida Gulf Coast University’s College of Education, we believe in the power of education to change individual lives and uplift society as a whole. We take our role in shaping future educators seriously and deliberately. As a result, we’ve established nationally accredited undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs that emphasize attributes we believe uniquely prepare FGCU graduates for meaningful careers in pre K-20 education, curriculum, research and leadership.

Small class sizes.

Two key attributes of our programs are our small class sizes and our 22:1 student-to-teacher ratio. This paves the way for a personalized education supported by professors who have the bandwidth to pay individual attention to ensuring the success of each student.

Dr. Cecil Carter

Associate Professor Educational Leadership

Unmatched expertise.

At FGCU’s COE, 83% of your classes will be taught by full-time faculty. This means that most classes are taught by doctoral-level professors with extensive backgrounds in the subjects they’re teaching. It also means your professors are fully committed to the mission of creating Florida’s best-prepared educators. This is not a part-time pursuit for them. This is what they live to do.

Employment-ready degrees.

According to the Learning Policy Institute, by 2018 the country’s teacher shortage is expected to rise to 100,000. In just Lee County alone, more than 1,000 teachers are hired each year. With pre K-20 student enrollments expecting to rise over the next decade, the need for teachers, administrators, curriculum specialists, instructional designers and researchers is expected to remain strong. As a result, COE graduates can look forward to 88%-100% graduate employment outcomes.

Comprehensive hands-on learning.

The COE is located in Southwest Florida, one of the state’s most diverse regions. The primary and secondary schools we use for our internships represent every demographic in the US, from migrant populations to the affluent. In Lee County alone, more than 90 dialects are spoken, providing an incredible opportunity to develop state-required English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) skills. 2

FGCU is not a huge university. You’re not just a face here. You’re not just a number. People actually know folks by name. And that’s a very important point of distinction, because education is a people enterprise.”

Educational research.

Research plays a big role at FGCU in a few ways. First, leading educational research forms a basis for our curriculum, teaching strategies and methodologies. Second, our professors engage in research of their own, often getting groundbreaking work published in leading educational journals. And because active engagement, critical thinking and reflection produce better learning outcomes, we also require our students to cultivate those skills by performing studies of their own, whether they use them to hone their own efficacy in the classroom or inform their doctoral dissertation.

FGCU works very closely with the community, which is extremely diverse and unique. You see and work with the entire spectrum of demographics and socioeconomic backgrounds. The training ground is unparalleled.� Sydney Trombly

B.A. Secondary Mathematics Education ‘17 STAR Program


Forge connections that lead to success. One of the big stories behind the COE’s effectiveness is the connections made here—connections to professors, other students, alumni and the community at large. Most educators will tell you their job is highly rewarding, but it is also extremely challenging. The symbiotic relationships you create with others, and the support you receive in return, are integral to your success. So our culture is designed to create valuable connections you can call upon long after graduation.

Faculty support.

A huge differentiator of FGCU’s COE is the level of support our faculty provides to students, along with research-informed teaching. Our school’s smaller size enables relationships to form and professors become involved in ensuring your success. We want you to become a hero in your students’ lives, so we play that role in yours.

Brooke Bothun

B.A. Special Education ‘17

Community ties.

One of the hallmarks of the COE’s program is the strong, mutually beneficial relationships we maintain with Southwest Florida’s five school districts. These counties— Charlotte, Collier, Glades, Hendry and Lee—can’t hire educators fast enough to fill their need. Our interns and graduates help ease this shortage. As a student at FGCU, you’ll be exposed to multiple schools, as well as to leaders in the community. Each serves as an opportunity for you to forge relationships with future employers.

Student connections.

Because of the way the COE’s program tracks are structured, you will take classes with the same classmates, enabling a supportive community to form. While incidental in undergraduate studies, students learn within formal cohorts at the graduate and doctoral levels. This is extremely valuable in providing the support you need to excel in our rigorous programs, and students tend to form lifelong connections because of it.

Sustainable practices.

Another connection FGCU is passionate about is each individual’s connection to the environment. All FGCU students take a class on sustainability to help them understand what it is and how to implement it in their work and personal life. It is designed to create an awareness of the value of the environment, other people and cultures and to help students become lifelong agents of sustainable change. 4

I made an amazing connection with one little girl in my first internship. She had Down Syndrome. We started doing activities and she couldn’t do them. By the end of semester, the little girl could separate colors and differentiate objects. It was the world for her and her parents. When you can make that kind of impact, it makes everything worthwhile.”

FGCU Family Resource Center

Service learning.

As a community-centered school, volunteerism is a requisite part of FGCU’s culture. You’ll find COE students chaperoning school dances, volunteering at conferences, working at book fairs and otherwise getting out into the community and serving others.

Community-informed opportunities.

When FGCU sees a need in the community, we are not shy about developing programs around it that benefit our students as well. Some of these include:

} Annual seminars and conferences designed to increase

understanding of issues critical to working effectively with children. These include Promising Pathways, which focuses on autism; the Literacy Festival, inspiring a love of reading in local schools; and the Children and Youth Mental Health Conference, addressing critical mental health needs among student populations.

} FGCU’s Family Resource Center is an NAEYC-accredited educational research center for early childhood development. Here, students can work with and care for the pre-K children of students and university employees. The center also acts as a working lab environment not just for COE students, but also for students from all over the university, from nursing to music therapy. 5

Undergraduate Programs The six undergraduate teacher education programs are integrated programs, meaning all candidates complete a common set of courses and experiences that provide them with the skills needed to work with second-language learners and students with special needs. Each major also includes coursework, field experiences and internships specific to that degree. With the exception of the Child and Youth Studies major, graduates are prepared to earn the necessary certifications and endorsements required to work as teachers in the pre K-12 school environment. For those who wish to teach, a job in Florida is virtually guaranteed as we have an almost 100% employment rate following graduation.

Kevin Morrow

B.A. Special Education ‘17

I owe a lot of my confidence to FGCU and the COE. I’m blown away by how much they prepare us. We spend two years focusing on every little aspect of teaching. So we are extremely prepared to walk into a classroom right after graduation.”


Hands-on experience and internships.

Our experiential programs are structured to build upon your skills, semester after semester, until you’re fully prepared for a professional career. You start out by observing classrooms, volunteering with youth in the community and easing into teaching through supervised tutoring and small group lessons. Then you begin your Level I internship, co-teaching two days per week with the help of a classroom teacher, a community mentor and your FGCU internship supervisor. The feedback and insights you receive from this support team are invaluable in informing and shaping who you will become as an educator. FGCU requires another supervised semester, the Level II internship, in which teacher candidates teach in community schools five days a week. As co-teachers, you’re learning what “the teaching life” is like, but you also have the safety net of teaching alongside a veteran teacher. Another key element of the program is that each internship occurs at a different school, exposing you to different types of students and environments. In addition, there are three ways for exceptional students to dive even deeper into their hands-on work:

} STAR PROGRAM. The need for teachers in our five-district community is so great that we developed a program whereby exceptional students can spend their Level II internship teaching solo in stable classroom environments without a co-teacher. The student teacher is provided a seasoned support team to help them navigate the issues inherent in teaching alone for the first time. The STAR Program is a paid internship. } HONORS COHORT. The COE’s Honors Cohort is an immersion program for members of FGCU’s Honors College. Beginning in their junior year, teacher candidates take three professor-taught classes each semester in local elementary schools where they can immediately apply their learning in the classroom. The hands-on portion of the program is heavy on classroom observation, tutoring and teaching small groups.

Programs Include B.S. Child and Youth Studies B.A. Early Childhood Education B.A. Elementary Education B.A. Secondary Biology Education B.A. Secondary Mathematics Education B.A. Secondary Social Science Education B.A. Special Education

} STUDY ABROAD. Each year, a small group of senior

teacher candidates travels to Jaszbereny, Hungary for a 2-or 3-week cross-cultural experience teaching English to K-12 learners, sharing American culture, learning Hungarian culture and seeing how schools operate outside of North America.


A look inside our Teacher Education Programs Freshman & Sophomore Years

} Complete 60 credit hours of general liberal arts classes

Junior Year

} First semester: Take foundational skills classes, such as

} Take “Introduction to the Teaching Profession”

} Complete 15 hours of observation in community schools

} Join education-oriented clubs like Eagles Educate and KDP } Declare your major by the end of freshman year

teaching theory, behavior management and inclusion

} Second semester: Begin methodology classes that teach

you how to teach English, Math, Social Science and other pre K-12 classes

} Start tutoring in the community

Senior Year


} First semester: Continue your methodology classes and

complete your Level I internship—spending two days per week co-teaching in community schools } Second semester: Co-teach five days a week in local schools } Perform CAEP Capstone Project, a research-based impact project required by the state and necessary for certification

Master’s Programs FGCU’s rigorous master’s programs emphasize the consultative, supervisory and transdisciplinary skills needed by educators who aspire to assume leadership roles in public or private schools, businesses, community and governmental settings. For those seeking to advance their knowledge of instructional technology, digital media and related research in non-school settings, the master’s in educational technology is offered online or as a hybrid. Whichever program you choose, your graduate degree will help advance your career, allowing you to take on larger roles and earning a higher salary as a result. Graduates of our programs earn starting salaries of $55K-$60K in Southwest Florida and our employment rate is almost 100%. The connections you form within the master’s program are invaluable. Before you graduate, you will perform a 200hour internship tailored to your degree and professional aspirations. Through your internship, you’ll work in local schools, governments or NGOs forming the network of contacts that will enhance your career. In addition, the program is cohort-based, meaning you study with the same group of students throughout your time here. The support you receive from your cohort will be invaluable in helping you complete our program successfully. The program is also designed to meet the needs of working professionals by offering evening classes on FGCU’s campus, as well as online and hybrid courses to suit your schedule. As one of Florida’s most affordable master’s degree programs, the value you receive here simply can’t be beat. The five degrees available in this program are:

M.Ed. Curriculum & Instruction M.Ed. Special Education (online) M.Ed. Educational Leadership M.A. Educational Leadership M.A. Educational Technology (online)

Scott Bass

M.Ed. Educational Leadership ‘03 Superintendent, Glades School District

The connections I’ve made through FGCU are tremendous. I’m still in touch with my master’s cohort and I’ve even hired some in my district. In addition, we have a professional mentoring partnership with FGCU in our district. The relationships I formed there have persisted long after graduation.”


Doctoral Program FGCU’s Doctor of Education program takes a cohortbased approach to meeting the needs of educators, administrators and others who aspire to work in areas such as staff development, curriculum development, program evaluation and assessment, technology management, and higher education. The program also prepares you to become a change agent in educational organizations by serving as a leader among the ranks of principals, superintendents and chief executive officers. The COE’s doctoral program is heavy on research, requiring 15 credit hours of qualitative and quantitative research courses for graduation. You will also perform fieldwork, working in school districts, alongside FGCU faculty or at other universities to gain valuable hands-on preparation so you will graduate ready to move into your new position. Each candidate will also choose a cognate area or minor to focus your education even more. Currently all of the COE’s Ed.D. students are employed, putting us at the upper end of typical postgraduation rates of 90% to 100%. Salaries vary widely, from $55K-$100K for higher education faculty and administrators to well over $200K for those based in industry. Because most of our doctoral candidates are working professionals, we offer evening, online and hybrid options with which to pursue one of the two following concentrations:

Ed.D. Curriculum & Instruction Ed.D. Educational Leadership

Certificate & Other Programs The COE offers five programs in addition to our undergraduate, master’s and doctoral programs to enhance your degree:

I’ll never forget the day I defended my dissertation. People can tell you what to expect, but when you walk into the room and the entire committee is there, it’s nerve-racking. All these eyes are on you and you have one hour to defend something you’ve been working on for a year. Then you’re sent out of the room. And you sit. And you wait. I’ll always remember when the door opened and they said, “We’d like to call Dr. Karen DiBella back into the room.” It was very emotional. That was my moment. I made it to the finish line.”

Certificate for Disability Services Educational Media & Learning Certificate Instructional Technology Certificate Education Undergraduate Minor Teacher Immersion Program

A four-semester program for degreed individuals who currently work in another field and want to teach. 10

Dr. Karen S. DiBella

M.Ed. Reading ‘10 Ed.D. Curriculum and Instruction ‘14 Assistant Professor, Education Studies, University of Tennessee at Martin











Dr. Jackie Greene

Instructor II, Clinical and Student Teaching Assistant Director, Lucas Center for Faculty Development Ed.D. Curriculum and Instruction ‘13 Ed.S. Curriculum and Instruction ‘11



88-100% 100% AVERAGE STARTING SALARY* $41,000+ Undergraduates

$55,000 and higher

We want to lift everybody. That lifts all of society. We have to be the social change agent that we want our students to be.”

Master’s and Doctoral graduates *In Southwest Florida

1,500 30+ Number of scholarly



available to COE students


Live, laugh and learn on a campus unlike any other. FGCU’s College of Education is in Fort Myers, just a few miles from Florida’s white, sandy Gulf of Mexico beaches. But you won’t even have to go that far to experience the appeal of our location. Our lakefront campus is built for water sports and many of our highamenity residences offer unrivaled waterfront views. Our campus also features a lush, natural setting where sustainable practices and environmental preservation are part of the culture. In addition, we’re set back from the hustle and bustle of Fort Myers in a scenic enclave that includes nature trails, state-of-the-art facilities, dining establishments and all the conveniences of daily life. With more than 240 student organizations, you’re sure to find many clubs, activities and events to get involved with that will enhance your professional and personal development. And our athletics programs routinely command national attention, giving you the experiences of a bigger university at an intimate campus that is conducive to learning and forging the kinds of connections you will maintain for a lifetime.


We like to call FGCU the gem of Southwest Florida. The education programs are especially outstanding and I know a lot of people who landed jobs right after graduation. If you’re looking for a career in education, this is the right school for you.” Lisa Ray

B.A. Communication ‘15 M.A. Educational Leadership ‘18

Teachers are special people. Not everyone can teach. It is both an art and a science. We must learn the science in order to teach effectively. But the art…that must come from the heart.” Dr. Mark Simpson Associate Professor—C&I, ESOL

CONTACT Office of the Dean College of Education 10501 FGCU Boulevard South Fort Myers, Florida 33965-6565

(239) 590-7800

Fax (239) 590-7801





College of eduCation

IN LESS THAN 20 YEARS, FGCU has made an indelible impact on Southwest Florida. It is a catalyst for the area’s economy and a cultural hub for the community. Our students enjoy one of the highest graduate employment rates among the state’s universities. Our campus and region serve as a living laboratory from which life-improving discoveries emanate. And our sports teams energize the entire region. Inspiring those who inspire others – that’s

The FGCU Effect.



FGCU College of Education Viewbook  
FGCU College of Education Viewbook