School of Education and Human Development
(2010 Undergraduate Catalog)
The Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development comprises research institutes, undergraduate and graduate programs, and community service centers that concern the areas of professional education, dispute resolution, counseling, applied physiology, wellness, liberal studies and lifelong learning. The mission of the school is to integrate the theory, research and practice of education and human development; promote academic rigor and interdisciplinary study; educate students for initial certification and professional practice; and nurture collaboration across the academic community.
Undergraduate programs include a major and three minors in applied physiology and sport management and a minor in education. The school offers one doctoral program, eight Master's degrees and a number of graduate certification programs. Its academic departments include Teaching and Learning, Education Policy and Leadership, Dispute Resolution and Counseling, Applied Physiology and Wellness, and Lifelong Learning.
The professional education programs fall under the auspices of the Department of Teaching and Learning
and represent SMU's commitment to the professional development of educators through innovative and research-based undergraduate, graduate and continuing education programs. The undergraduate curriculum prepares students for initial teacher certification. Graduate programs focus on research, literacy and language acquisition, teaching and learning, giftedness, mathematics, science, and technology. A doctoral degree, Master's degrees and graduate-level certifications are offered. A variety of enrichment opportunities serves the continuing education needs of practicing educators. The school promotes high-quality research that combines quantitative and qualitative methodologies, generates new hypotheses, and influences pedagogical practices in early childhood (or "EC") through grade 12 schools. The department's research efforts are driven in part by two institutes that are charged with the empirical study of education: the Institute for Reading Research and the Gifted Students Institute. One of the most productive literacy research centers in the nation, the Institute for Reading Research performs research concerning reading and reading disabilities, language acquisition, and teaching and learning. The Gifted Students Institute was founded on the premise that "giftedness" is a resource that should be nurtured for the benefit of all.
The Department of Education Policy and Leadership
focuses on preparing educators for leadership roles in complex school settings. Coursework and systematic applications of knowledge are designed to ensure that the education leaders of tomorrow are able to develop and support effective teachers and other education service providers; select and implement effective curricula and instructional programs; and identify, implement and sustain effective organizational practices to ensure high levels of student learning and achievement. In service to this mission, the department offers a Master of Education in educational leadership. The department is also dedicated to the preparation and continued education of education policy leaders. The department seeks to improve the quality and rigor of education policy research, development and analysis, and to encourage and facilitate the translation of research into policy and practice at the local, state, national and international levels.
The Department of Dispute Resolution and Counseling
offers an M.S. in counseling, an M.A. in dispute resolution and a graduate certificate in dispute resolution, all of which draw on social and behavioral science theories to teach the communication skills necessary for the resolution of personal and interpersonal conflicts. Additionally, the department operates two community resource centers: the SMU Conflict Resolution Center and the Center for Family Counseling.
The Department of Lifelong Learning
promotes personal enrichment and achievement of potential through a broad interdisciplinary curriculum. Its credit and noncredit offerings broaden students' perspectives, insights and understandings of the world by exposing them to the ideas and events that constitute the human experience. At the heart of the Lifelong Learning programs – which include the Master of Liberal Studies, Professional Development programs, Informal Courses and Nondegree Credit Studies – is the belief that people can continue to grow personally and professionally throughout their lives.
The Department of Applied Physiology and Wellness
offers the Choices for Living courses; completion of two such courses is required to earn a baccalaureate degree. Choices for Living courses are grounded in the belief that a well-rounded education should enhance the student's physical and mental well-being and growth. The department also offers a Bachelor's degree in applied physiology and sport management.