Simmons School of Education and Human Development - General Information
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 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. The school offers one doctoral program, eight Master's degrees, and a number of graduate certification programs through its five academic departments, which 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 – which include a Ph.D., Master's degrees and graduate-level certifications – focus on research, literacy and language acquisition, learning theory, giftedness, math, science, and technology. A variety of enrichment opportunities serve the continuing education needs of practicing educators. The school also promotes high-quality research that combines quantitative and qualitative methodologies, generates new hypotheses, and influences pedagogical practices in schools for students from early childhood through 12th grade. The department's research efforts are driven in large 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.
Established in 2008, 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 acquire expertise in developing and supporting effective teachers and other education service providers; selecting and implementing effective curricula and instructional programs; and identifying, implementing, and sustaining effective organizational practices to ensure high levels of student learning and achievement. 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, policy development, and policy 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. degree in counseling, an M.A. degree 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, a Mediation Clinic and a 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 both personally and professionally throughout their lives.
The Department of Applied Physiology and Wellness offers the Choices for Living courses, two of which must be completed in order to earn a baccalaureate degree. Wellness courses reflect the University’s philosophy that a well-rounded education should enhance the physical and mental well-being of the student. Beginning in fall 2009, the department will also offer a Bachelor's degree in applied physiology and sports management, contingent on approval from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, the organization charged with approving new degree programs at accredited institutions in southern states. Once the degree has been approved, detailed information will be available on the program's website at smu.edu/APSM.
Except where noted below, policies and procedures are the same for all of the graduate programs within the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development.
Except in the case of the Graduate Teacher Certification Programs (all of which share the same admission procedures), admission requirements differ among programs within the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development. Refer to the individual program sections in this catalog for information regarding each programís respective admission procedures.
Ordinarily, students will not be allowed to transfer more than six credit hours from other institutions. Only courses with grades of A or B may be transferred, and all are subject to the approval of the academic department. An official record of such work must be on file in the studentís department office by the end of the first term of study. All transferred work must be completed within six years of the graduation date. Any exceptions to these requirements and policies must have the approval of the dean of the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development.
Degree requirements differ among the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Developmentís graduate degree programs. Refer to the individual program sections for specific requirements.