Our Mission

The College of Education at Michigan State University has a mission of LeadershipScholarship and Service.

We prepare professionals for leadership roles in education.

Teaching is central to our scholarly identity and to the way we serve the educational needs of communities. We strive to develop and implement excellent, dynamic programs for the preparation of educators.

We seek to understand, reform and improve education.

We study the processes of human learning and development. We move beyond analysis to promote education policy reform and assist in implementation. We seek to improve the conditions of learning and teaching for everyone in a technological society. We conduct comprehensive, rigorous research that addresses the needs and problems of practice. We strengthen connections between theory and practice through partnerships with schools and communities.

We examine issues of education across the lifespan.

We seek to understand how children and adults learn and develop, and how educators can best use that knowledge for the benefit of all learners. We recognize that all educators are themselves learners and we are committed to providing opportunities for their continuous professional development. We strive to sustain our college as a scholarly community for students, faculty and staff.


Maude Gilchrist

1902:  First course in education offered. Dean of Women Maude Gilchrist teaches “History of Education.”

1903: “Practice teaching” established at Lansing elementary schools. Cooking and sewing are taught.

1906: Michigan Agricultural College recommends certification through one-year program.

1908: First course in agricultural education. Study of pedagogy and practice teaching established, and new division in agriculture created. 

1918: First practice teaching center established in East Lansing.

1924: The Department of Education established to offer teacher training through one- and two-year courses for rural schools, and four-year courses for preparation of teachers for secondary schools.

1925: Course in school administration and tests and measurements offered for first time.

1939: First full time student teaching in residence established in Mason, Williamston and Charlotte. First teacher certificates required by the state.

1941: Center in Grand Rapids and Flint for full-time student teaching in home economics established.

1942: Elementary education program started, requiring student teaching in two schools: one rural (ungraded) and one graded.

1944: The Basic College established, and schools set up within the university. Education becomes a division.

1945: Board of Agriculture approves the creation of the Institution of Counseling, Testing and Guidance.Millard
Cecil Millard

1946: Off-campus credit courses offered.

1947: First professor of higher education appointed.

1950: First course in college student personnel taught.

1952: The School of Education is established. Cecil Millard becomes acting dean.
Clifford Erickson

1953: Clifford Erickson appointed dean. The Department of Physical Education becomes part of the new School of Education.

1954: Adult Education program established.

1955: School of Education becomes College of Education when Michigan State College changes its name to Michigan State University, New teaching curriculum established. 

1956: Extern Program for Administrators initiated.

1958: The Education Building completed.

1959: Student Teacher Experimental Program (STEP) started with a Ford Foundation grant. Collaborative arrangements are made with community colleges throughout the state.
John Ivey

1960: First group of faculty members heads to Nigeria to help establish a national university at Nsukka.

1962: John Ivey replaces Erickson as dean. 

1963: The Education Building is renamed Erickson Hall after Clifford Erickson’s death. STEP renamed the Elementary Intern Program (EIP). Six EIP centers in place throughout the state. 
William Hawley

1970: Training Teachers of Teachers (Triple T) initiated.

1971: William Hawley appointed acting dean. In recognition of his service to college, title of “acting ” removed upon his retirement, making him the third dean in the college’s history. 

1972: Keith Goldhammer appointed dean. College forms a partnership with the Middle Cities Education Association. Intercollegiate athletics are separated from the Department of Health, Physical Education and Recreation. 
Keith Goldhammer

1974: Master of Art in Classroom Teaching (MACT) program in the Southwest Center in Benton Harbor becomes operational.

1975: Triple T program becomes known as Excellence in Elementary Education (EEE).

1976: College wins competition; establishes Institute for Research on Teaching (IRT). The Michigan Legislature establishes the Institute for the Study of Youth Sports based in the Department of Health, Physical Education and Recreation.

1978: Career Resource Center (later to be renamed the Michigan Center for Career and Technical Education) established in the College.
Judith Lanier

1980: Judith Lanier assumes the deanship of the college. 

1981: Alternative Teacher Education Programs approved as pilot programs after two years of research and planning.

1983: Thematic programs adopted as formal parts of teacher preparation. Former Secretary of Education T. H. Bell travels to Erickson Hall to honor the Institute for Research on Teaching and release A Nation at Risk. 

1984: The Office of International Studies in Education established, and Jack Schwille appointed assistant dean in charge of its operation.

1985: College establishes National Center for Research on Teacher Education (NCRTE). 

1986: Holmes Group issues its first report, Tomorrow’s Teachers.

1988: Professional Development Schools initiated. Task force recommends yearlong internship in Professional Development School.

1990: College establishes National Center for Research on Teacher Learning (NCRTL). 

1992: Professor William Schmidt becomes head of U.S. participation in Third International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS).
Carole Ames

1993: Carole Ames is appointed dean. First pilot cohort of students begins yearlong internship.

1994: U.S. News and World Report issues first ranking of education school graduate programs. College has several programs ranked in the top 10, and elementary and secondary education programs ranked as best in the nation. 

1995: Technology Exploration Center inaugurated. The Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology and Special Education launches the Technology Certificate Program.

1997: The Center for the Improvement of Early Reading Achievement (CIERA) established in the college under the direction of Hannah Professor P. David Pearson.

2000: The Education Policy Center at MSU and the Center for the Scholarship of Teaching initiated. 

2002: 50th Anniversary Celebration. 

2003: MSU begins campus-wide project to improve teacher preparation as one of the first four institutions in the Teachers for a New Era initiative.

2003: Broad Foundation provides $6 million to establish the Broad Partnership between Michigan State University and Detroit Public Schools. Initiatives have included scholarships for future teachers, the Summer High School Scholars Program and the Urban Immersion Fellowship.

2004: Literacy Achievement Research Center established at MSU.

2005: Teacher Education and Development Study-Mathematics (TEDS-M) begins with MSU as international research center.

2006: Confucius Institute at MSU established. 

2006: First cohort in the Urban Educators Cohort Program begins classes.

2008: First cohort in the Global Educators Cohort Program begins classes.

2010: MSU selected to offer W.K. Kellogg Foundation Woodrow Wilson Michigan Teaching Fellowship to prepare mathematics and science teachers for urban schools.

2012: Donald Heller is appointed dean.

2016: Robert Floden is appointed dean.

2022: Jerlando F. L. Jackson is appointed dean and MSU Foundation Professor of Education.