With an eye on transforming teacher preparation and building strong talent pipelines for P-12 education, the University of St. Thomas announces the appointment of Dr. Kathlene Holmes Campbell as the dean of the School of Education beginning June 1, 2018. The completion of the dean search is the first step in fulfilling a new vision for St. Thomas’ impact on education in Minnesota.
Teacher education has been a vital undergraduate and graduate area of study at St. Thomas since 1917. Today, however, well-documented educational opportunity and attainment gaps in Minnesota coupled with the changing needs of students, families and our society are calling for a new vision in preparing educators to work in early childhood, elementary and secondary education. Beginning with the 2018 academic year, the College of Education, Leadership and Counseling at St. Thomas will be dissolved and the School of Education will be reimagined under Dr. Campbell’s leadership.
“Dr. Campbell will bring a collaborative and community-based focus to the complex problems in our PK-12 education system,” shared St. Thomas Executive Vice President and Provost Richard Plumb, PhD. “If we are to make an impact on the unacceptable achievement and prosperity gaps in Minnesota, we must focus on research-based, residency and practical teacher preparation and educational leadership programs. Dean Campbell will lead our transformation at the School of Education – including improvements to the teacher candidate curriculum, partnerships with our local Catholic schools and local school districts, and fully embracing the teacher residency model — all with a goal of positioning St. Thomas as a national leader in teacher preparation.”
Dr. Campbell earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her doctorate from the University of Texas at Austin. She currently leads the clinically-oriented teacher preparation program with the National Center for Teacher Residencies, where she has worked extensively with California State University campuses associated with the New Generation of Educators Initiative. She is also actively involved with the Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness. Prior to her current position, she spent seven years as a consultant with the National Urban Alliance for Effective Education, conducting professional development on effective, research-based instructional strategies for diverse student populations for public school systems in New York, New Jersey, and Minnesota. At the university level, she has served as an instructor at the University of Texas and professor of education, director of preparation, and interim dean of education at Florida State College. She started her career as a public school teacher in Tampa, Florida, and then in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
“I am inspired by the vision St. Thomas has for preparing the next generation of teachers in Minnesota,” shared Campbell. “The School of Education at St. Thomas will continue to
collaborate and positively impact education through our outreach, particularly with the Catholic PK-12 schools. I look forward to working closely with faculty, program chairs and educational leaders throughout Minnesota in reimagining an educational system devoted to equity and excellence for all children.”
“Dr. Campbell is a transformative leader with a proven record of excellence who will bring new energy and new ideas to St. Thomas in our shared desire to help reimagine PK-12 education for the 21st century,” said Dr. Yohuru Williams, co-chair of the search committee and dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at St. Thomas.
Concentrated in the heart of downtown Minneapolis, the School of Education at St. Thomas will prepare Minnesota's teachers and education leaders in 40 licensure areas, including K-6, 5-12 and K-12 teacher licensure, special education licensure, leadership and administration, Master of Arts in educational studies, and specialist advanced degrees. Grounded in the mission of the university and a clinically-based preparation program, St. Thomas’ School of Education graduates will be talented and skilled educators with cultural competency and compassion for all. Preparation programs will focus on professional skills, an ethical mindset, and hands-on practice for students through expertly taught coursework and engaging field experiences with professional education partners. All teaching licensure programs meet the most recent Minnesota licensure requirements and are accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and approved by the Minnesota Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board. The School of Education is accredited by the Minnesota Board of School Administrators. In addition, the School of Education prepares educators to lead in higher education through its Leadership in Student Affairs program.
As the School of Education emerges from the former College of Education, Leadership and Counseling, the departments of Teacher Education, Special Education and Educational Leadership will remain in the School of Education. In addition to teacher and administrator preparation programs, this includes programs associated with a 2016 $1.2 million federal grant program: Preparing Special Educators to Serve and Success in Diverse Communities (which is currently enrolling a new cohort for fall 2018), and the innovative St. Paul Urban Teacher Residency (SUTR) program in partnership with the St. Paul Public Schools. SUTR graduated its first cohort in 2017 and expanded to include Minneapolis Public Schools in 2017. The school is also in the midst of a one-year planning grant from the O'Shaughnessy Foundation to create a first-in-kind elementary education residency program for undergraduate students. The University of St. Thomas Charter Authorizing Program will also continue to be housed within the School of Education.
“The faculty and staff in the newly imagined School of Education are proud to welcome Dr. Campbell to the university and are excited to work with her in our goal to positively impact P-12 education in Minnesota,” said Dr. Amy Smith, co-chair of the search committee and associate professor of teacher education at St. Thomas. “The faculty and staff are energized by the opportunities ahead and look forward to working with Dr. Campbell to advance the mission of the university.”