Dean Monk shares thoughts on College of Education's 95th anniversary

David Monk
June 20, 2018

On June 11, the Penn State College of Education celebrated the 95th anniversary of its founding. As I ponder the significance of this mark, it occurs to me that milestones are interesting phenomena. By definition, they mark a significant event or stage in the life, progress or development of a person, a relationship or an entity.

On one hand, a 95th anniversary is not as big as a 100th, or centennial, anniversary. On the other hand, we have accomplished a great deal in the five years since our last milestone, and those accomplishments are worthy of note.

We have made a concerted effort to upgrade our teaching and learning spaces to better serve our students. Over the past five years, we have transformed the second floor of Chambers Building, with the creation of multiple flexible classrooms that have expanded the scale and scope of the work being done in the original Krause Innovation Studio. We now are working on continuing that work on the first floor of Chambers, with the Science Education wing under construction. We also renovated our CEDAR Clinic, which created upgraded instructional space for graduate students with observation rooms and high-quality digital recording capacity.

Our faculty members have raised the bar for both research and teaching over the past five years, as well, including a focus on what has become known as the learning sciences. The learning sciences constitute a wide-ranging modern effort within the field of education to build bridges among various related but often distinct areas of scholarship. The work going on both in the classroom and through research directly related to the learning sciences is changing our understanding of how we learn, and subsequently, how we need to teach.

We also have broadened our efforts to engage in interdisciplinary research, collaborating with colleagues throughout the University and beyond to do groundbreaking research that is relevant and applicable to the world in which we live.

Our students continue to excel as well. Just this year, one of our undergraduate students earned an Erickson Discovery Grant to continue research she began last year in Ecuador. Another undergraduate won a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to conduct research in Taiwan. Our graduate students have made noteworthy achievements in their research and have been cited with excellence awards both University-wide and from external sources. We regularly hear from alumni who have career achievements to share as well.

Over the course of the next year, we will continue to celebrate our 95th anniversary and the progress we have made in the field of education since our founding in 1923. We hope you will join in the celebration by telling your story. Please email your fondest memories of your time in the College of Education, in no more than 300 words, to and include "95th anniversary memory" in the subject line. We plan to share some of these memories throughout the year through Bridges, on our website and via social media.

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Last Updated June 20, 2018