SOE News

School of Education implementing new strategic plan

The School of Education has begun implementing a new strategic plan that aims to guide efforts to strengthen the School’s ability to provide leadership and bolster impact in research, teaching, service and public engagement around core educational challenges.

“Carolina’s School of Education has a long history of innovation and leadership on the major questions our society has faced in education,” said Dean Fouad Abd-El-Khalick. “Given dramatic changes in the educational landscape in our state and across the nation, we sought to examine our capacities for engagement and impact on important educational questions and the preparation of educators and researchers, who will serve as leaders for continuous improvement.”

“Strategic Plan 2018-2022” was the result of months of deliberation by faculty, informed by benchmarking exercises and surveys of key stakeholder groups, initiated after Abd-El-Khalick joined the School in July 2016. The plan also drew on a series of focus group sessions and other conversations with faculty, students, staff, and alumni that examined the School’s strengths, challenges, opportunities and perceptions.

The plan established a set of goals, strategies to reach them, targeted outcomes to achieve and an internal reorganization.

The Goals
  1. Lead in research, teaching and public engagement to earn our position as one of the nation’s preeminent schools of education.
  2. Reimagine and transform the preparation of educators, professionals, and scholars for the 21st century in both formal and informal learning settings and institutions.
  3. Identify and cultivate core, distinctive initiatives to tackle persistent and emerging local, state and national public challenges.
  4. Achieve financial stability and sustainability to ensure substantial and lasting impact.
  5. Foster shared understanding and commitment to the School’s stated goals, and nurture a community that promotes the well-being, professional growth, and productivity among faculty, staff and students.

“Schools of education across the country are wrestling with problems related to the very place and value of public education in our nation’s future, and decreased capacity through tightening resources at the local, state, and federal levels, while also being confronted with increasingly complex demands that require our attention and work,” Abd El-Khalick said. “A key component of our planning was to identify clear directions that would provide avenues to invest in our current strengths, and bolster or build our capacities in other areas to meet crucial 21st century challenges, all while providing for the financial sustainability for our school. I’m confident we’ve done that.”

The School has invested in growing undergraduate programs, which are aimed to draw on the intellectual domains and strengths of the educational sciences in service of learning both within and beyond formal institutions of learning. We also are investing in recruiting the next generation of scholars who would the challenges we identified head on.

To provide greater coherence within the School, the faculty has been reorganized into three program areas: 1) Culture, Curriculum and Teacher Education (CATE); 2) Learning, Development and Psychological Sciences (LDPS); 3) Educational Policy, Organization and Leadership (EPOL).

“Our School is a community of scholars, practitioners, students and staff who are committed to or mission of helping break down barriers to opportunity and empower communities,” Abd-El-Khalick said. “We’ve been reimagining ways in which we can better do our work as we seek to deepen our impact.”