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Dean’s From the Message Dean

Dean’s Message


am sometimes struck by the breadth of our mission, which calls on us to deepen and extend knowledge about the formation and utilization of human capabilities. This is, indeed, a wide-ranging agenda, but it is also quite coherent and, I think, elegantly focused. At the risk of revealing my bias, I can’t imagine anything more important than the formation and utilization of human capabilities. Fundamentally, we are all about realizing potential, both at individual and collective levels. In this latest issue of Penn State Education, we share with you some exciting examples of how we pursue this mission. The College has a longstanding commitment to special education, and I note that the term “special education” has always been a bit problematic for the field as it seems to imply that only some students are “special.” In contrast, we take the view that every learner is special and arguably unique, and our colleagues in special education have blazed an important trail for the entire field and have demonstrated the power of individualized interventions. We have all benefited from the insights they have gained, and you will learn more about these gains in the following pages. We have a significant number of American Indian and Alaska Native students who relocate to Pennsylvania to complete advanced degrees in Educational Leadership through the American Indian Leadership Program, which celebrated its 40th anniversary this year. These students leave behind home, family, and familiar environments to hone their leadership skills. More than 220 students have graduated from this program and are hard at work leading education efforts for American Indians and Alaska Natives throughout the nation and beyond. Throughout the College, we serve returning adult students who typically have interrupted careers to earn degrees that permit them to help others learn and grow. We share the story of some of these students in the pages that follow. One of our recent graduates is a new teacher who is using state-of-the-art tools and knowledge, including video and podcasts, to deeply touch the lives of students in her classroom. She learned these things in our EDUCATE program and in her experiences as a student here. The new Innovation Studio (see page 4) has been established to help faculty at Penn State deepen their own knowledge about how best to harness technology to enhance teaching and learning for students of all ages. Our commitment to the service of others is not just concentrated on the Penn State campus. In this issue, you will find stories of College alumni who serve others through the “formation of human capabilities” as they pursue their careers. We are pleased to take this opportunity to announce the largest gift that the College has ever received. Paula Donson has committed to an estate gift of $2.4 million to the College to provide scholarships to support students who are committed to innovation through education. The students who will receive these scholarships will become innovators and leaders in education, extending the value and import of this gift for years to come. Our budget challenges continue, and we are looking carefully at ways to economize and stretch our resources. We appreciate very much the generosity of our alumni and friends and can assure you that the dollars you commit to the College are immediately put to work in support of our students. I encourage you to consider visiting State College and spending some time in the College of Education. I think you will be pleased and impressed with what you see. You can also visit the College online at I hope you enjoy the summer months that lie ahead, and please let us hear from you with your ideas and suggestions.

Penn State Education

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5/25/10 6:38 AM

Profile for Penn State College of Education

Penn State College of Education 2010 Magazine  

The 2010 issue of Penn State Education features the many ways Penn State College of Education faculty, staff, students, and alumni are invol...

Penn State College of Education 2010 Magazine  

The 2010 issue of Penn State Education features the many ways Penn State College of Education faculty, staff, students, and alumni are invol...