College of Education History Highlights
The Florida Legislature consolidates higher education for teacher preparation into two schools – the University of Florida for men and the Florida State College for Women.
First education classes are held by the UF Normal School, which was the predecessor of the College of Education.
The Normal School is restructured as the UF Teachers College and Normal School, with John Thackston as its first dean.
The College’s first “permanent” home, Peabody Hall, is built in the center of campus.
The UF Teachers College and Normal School is renamed the College of Education.
The College moves into its new P.K. Yonge Laboratory School building, located on the southeast corner of the UF campus. Florida’s first “experimental” K-12 school was created to test, develop and disseminate the best methods of teaching and provide practical teaching experience for COE undergraduate teachers-in-training.
The Florida Legislature makes both state universities (UF and Florida State University) coeducational, necessitating a broader program of teacher education.
Alice McCartha earns a Ph.D. degree in education, the first woman to receive a doctorate from UF.
The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Accreditation (NCATE), in its founding year, grants accreditation to UF’s programs for teacher education.
The old P.K. Yonge School building is renamed Norman Hall in honor of former education dean James W. Norman and officially becomes the College of Education’s academic hall.
Also in 1957, UF education professor James Wattenbarger takes leave to develop and direct Florida’s community college system, based on a model he designed for his doctoral dissertation at UF. He would help guide the state junior college system for 10 years until returning to the College in 1968 to head the newly formed Institute of Higher Education.
In a decade of growth for both the College and P.K. Yonge, the laboratory school moves to its own new campus on a 37-acre plot near the university.
The College, a leader in desegregation in the South, enrolls its first black student.
A yearlong institute hosted by the College culminates a three-year effort to create a middle-school system in Florida to help educators handle a child’s formative years in a transitional setting. The College would become recognized as the hub of middle school education in the country, and UF education professor William Alexander as the “father of the middle school.”
Johnnie Ruth Clark becomes the first African American at UF to earn a doctorate in education.
In a national survey of laboratory school administrators, P.K. Yonge School at UF is voted the nation’s best laboratory school.
A new Norman Hall annex opens, doubling existing space for expanded research and clinical teaching, and housing a new media center and education library.
A pioneer in the establishment of a required, five-year teacher education program, the College launches its groundbreaking ProTeach (professional teacher) master’s program, with a heightened emphasis on education research and hands-on classroom and field experiences.
Alumna Therese Knecht, who received both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from UF’s College of Education, is selected National Teacher of the Year and would later serve as special adviser to the U.S. Secretary of Education from 1993-2001.
Focused on the changing demographics in public schools and the movement to include students with disabilities in general education classes, a movement begins to consolidate UF’s teacher education programs in elementary and special education into a formal Unified Elementary Program. The new, unified ProTeach program would produce graduates eligible for elementary certification with an endorsement in English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) and with expertise in special education, or graduates with dual certification in special education and elementary education and the ESOL endorsement.
The Florida legislature establishes the Florida Fund for Minority Teachers, with headquarters at the College of Education, to attract promising minority and underrepresented students into teacher preparation programs at UF and throughout Florida.
U.S. News and World Report rates UF’s counselor education program No. 1 in the nation in its specialty.
A gift to the college provides funding for the Irving and Rose Fien Endowed Professorship in Elementary and Special Education.
UF alumni Allen and Delores Lastinger contribute $2 million–the largest gift to the College to date–to drive efforts to wed cutting-edge education research and academic practice to improve teaching and accelerate learning.
The UF Alliance program is formed, linking the College of Education with urban schools around the state to explore new solutions to urban education issues.
With Don Pemberton as founding director, the vision of donors Allen and Delores Lastinger is realized with the launching of the Lastinger Center for Learning as the College’s education innovation and outreach hub. The Center quickly evolves into a marquee program for the college, partnering with educational organizations across the state and beyond to bring UF’s research-tested methods and intellectual resources to the front lines of public education.
Catherine Emihovich starts her nine-year tenure as UF’s 12th education dean and the College’s first woman dean. She immediately works with faculty to link the College’s innovative outreach initiatives under the rubric of the Scholarship of Engagement, an education model first promoted by noted educator Ernest Boyer. The SOE principle connects academic scholarship to the practical concerns of educators and work that contribute to the public good.
The College of Education offers its first online master’s degree program for teachers in curriculum and instruction, with a specialization in educational technology, using the latest distance learning technologies.
Retired COE emeritus professor of educational leadership, William Hedges, and his wife Robbie, commit $1.9 million for research to help marginal students learn and succeed.
The Office of Educational Research is established to improve the College’s research infrastructure and heighten support and development of sponsored, collaborative research by education faculty.
A yearlong celebration with myriad special events marks the Centennial Anniversary of the College’s 1906 founding.
Bolstered by a $1.5 million grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the College of Education teams with 50 UF academic departments in 10 colleges in a collaborative effort to close the critical gap in science education, starting with UF’s own student body.
UF creates the $1.5 million David Lawrence Jr. Endowed Professorship in Early Childhood Studies at the COE. A year later, the College appoints renowned scholar Patricia Snyder to the post.
A shared $10 million grant teams the College’s Lastinger Center for Learning with Miami-Dade Public Schools and a prominent Miami foundation in an all-out school-readiness effort to prepare all Florida preschoolers for success by the time they enter the classroom.
The College enrolls the first class of 41 students in its UFTeach program, a new, specialized education minor that recruits top UF science and math majors and prepares them to become teachers in those vital subject areas. COE associate dean Tom Dana co-directs the two-program with Alan Dorsey, a physics professor and associate dean at the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
Special activities commemorate the 50th anniversary of the College’s enrollment in 1958 of UF’s first black female student, Daphne Duval.
The College leads UF’s drive to establish the University of Florida Center for Excellence in Early Childhood Studies. With a $1 million gift from UF education alumna Anita Zucker, the center becomes a research, training and model demonstration site where top UF scholars—in fields as diverse as education, medicine, law, public health and the life sciences—collaborate with local, state and national partners to advance the science and practice of early childhood development and early learning. Patricia Snyder becomes the center’s founding director.
The College is granted full, continued accreditation of its educator preparation programs by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). Examiners cite exceptional strengths in faculty teaching and research, high-quality students, statewide outreach and school –improvement partnerships, and diversity efforts in faculty and student recruitment.
The UF Lastinger Center for Learning receives $6 million in federal education stimulus funds to expand its revolutionary Florida Master Teacher Initiative for early-learning teachers in Miami-Dade. The initiative offers a new degree track in early childhood education and teacher leadership as part of the job-embedded professional development and advanced degree program.
North Carolina Gov. Beverly Perdue, a genuine coal miner’s daughter and holder of two UF education degrees, receives UF’s 2011 Distinguished Alumna Award.
The College’s job-embedded Teacher Leadership for School Improvement (TLSI) graduate degree program wins the Association of Teacher Educators’ coveted 2011 Distinguished Program in Teacher Education Award. The national honor recognizes outstanding teacher preparation programs that are developed and administered through collaboration between local school districts and university-based teacher education programs.
P.K. Yonge Developmental Research School Director Lynda Hayes and COE science education Professor Rose Pringle receive $5 million from the National Science Foundation to transform how science is taught in Florida’s middle schools. The reform effort — called U-FUTuRES (short for UF Unites Teachers to Reform Education in Science) — further strengthens collaborative activities between the College and its longtime K-12 laboratory school.
Glenn E. Good, an education and counseling scholar and an associate dean at the University of Missouri College of Education, is named the 13th dean of the UF College of Education. He succeeds Catherine Emihovich, who steps down after nine years at the helm to resume teaching and research on the UF education faculty.
To better prepare its teachers-in-training, the Unified Elementary ProTeach program year introduces the yearlong internship as the culminating experience for teacher candidates in their graduate year of the five-year program.
The College improves 18 places to 24th in the U.S. News and World Report’s rankings of America’s Best Graduate Education Schools. UF’s College of Education is Florida’s highest ranking education school, is No. 1 among public education colleges in the Southeastern Conference and is UF’s highest ranked graduate school in any discipline. The College also has four academic programs ranked in the Top 20 nationally: special education (4th), student counseling/personnel services (9th), elementary education (18th) and curriculum and instruction (19th).
The U.S. Department of Education awards a grant worth $25 million over five years to UF special education scholars Mary Brownell, Paul Sindelar and Erica McCray to establish a landmark, 20-state program charged with transforming professional standards and the preparation of teachers serving students with disabilities. The award — leading to the creation of the Collaboration for Effective Educator Development and Accountability and Reform, also known as the CEEDAR Center — is the College’s largest grant ever.
Aiming to bring teacher education into the 21st century, the College converts a vintage 1979 reading clinic in Norman Hall into a prototype “smart” classroom, where professors incorporate the latest education technology into their teacher preparation instruction.
P.K. Yonge Developmental Research School, the College’s laboratory school since 1934, opens its new, beyond-state-of-the-art elementary wing. Experts describe the building’s “learning community” set-up as a national model for school building design in the 21st century.
UF’s historic, five-year Florida Tomorrow capital campaign concludes, with generous alumni and supporters contributing nearly $30 million to the College of Education—the College’s most successful fundraising campaign ever.
COE 1965 graduate Delores Lastinger, a leading Northeast Florida civic leader, philanthropist and former high school teacher, is recognized as a 2012 University of Florida Distinguished Alumna.
The Florida Department of Education awards $2 million to the College to create STEM-Teacher Induction and Professional Support, also known as STEM-TIPS, a statewide professional development support system for new science and math teachers in their first two years on the job. The “teacher induction” effort is aimed at reversing the lack of support that historically drives nearly one-third of new science and math teachers from the classroom by their third year of teaching.
Alumnus Eric Grunder (MEd ’94) is one of seven educators across the country to receive the 2012 Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching in a spring ceremony at the White House.
UF’s investment of state Preeminence funds in priority research initiatives involving the College of Education allows the College to hire four distinguished faculty scholars in early childhood studies (two appointments), educational technology, and research and evaluation methods.
In another Preeminence initiative, the university turns to the College of Education to help lead the campus-wide development of UF Online, one of the nation’s first fully-online bachelor’s degree programs at an accredited public university.
The Lastinger Center for Learning launches Algebra Nation, a powerful, Web-based tutoring resource that within its first year would support a quarter-million algebra students from 900 schools in all 67 Florida counties.
In a state-supported effort, the College collaborates with Florida’s six historically black colleges and universities to provide 150 at-risk minority students, particularly young black males, with role-model mentors and other services.
UF’s interdisciplinary Center for Excellence in Early Childhood Studies is renamed for education alumna Anita Zucker in recognition of her $5 million donation — the College’s largest gift ever by an individual — to expand the growth and outreach of the center’s programs in early learning and the healthy development of our youngest children.
The dual certification track of the COE’s Unified Elementary ProTeach program becomes one of the first teacher prep programs in the nation to receive accreditation from the International Dyslexia Association.
Film crews from two major online education outlets — Harvard University and Edutopia.org — visit the campus of UF’s P.K. Yonge Developmental Research School to film the laboratory school’s novel K-12 teaching and learning methods and record activities of the learning communities supported by the architectural design of its new elementary building.
Four philanthropic foundations contribute a combined $4 million to support the UF Lastinger Center’s creation of Early Learning Florida, a first-of-its-kind, online professional development platform for Florida’s 55,000 early learning educators. The spinoff benefit will be improved learning and development for hundreds of thousands of young children by providing new tools and resources to build the skills of early learning professionals.
Faculty researchers accumulate a record high $86.4 million in total external research grants, a 78 percent increase since 2010-2011.
With support from the Florida Department of Education, the COE establishes a new Center of Excellence in Elementary Teacher Preparation to help lead reform in the state’s elementary teacher preparation programs. The College partners with Alachua County Public Schools to work with several local high-needs schools serving as the effort’s proving ground.
The Lastinger Center creates the UF Coaching Academy to “re-imagine” teacher professional development, providing teachers and school leaders with access to collaborative peer coaching tools and a portfolio of seven individual teacher coaching certificate programs.
The College’s national standing continues to rise after earning four No. 1 ratings in the U.S. News & World Report magazine’s annual rankings of America’s Best Graduate Programs in Education. UF is the highest ranked education school in Florida and among public schools in the Southeastern United States. The College also received top billing for it online graduate program in education, and received the nation’s highest score for online student selectivity — considered a benchmark indicating the high quality of students enrolled.
COE prominent scholar Maureen Conroy is chosen as UF’s first Anita Zucker Professor in Early Childhood Studies. Conroy is a key player in one of the College’s and UF’s core research priorities to advance the practices and policies of early childhood development and learning.
Since its inception in 2011 with funding from the National Science Foundation, the College’s U-FUTuRES master’s degree program graduates 37 practicing middle-school science teachers who mastered intensive instruction on teaching a new and powerful, hands-on curriculum with demonstrated promise for increasing student engagement. With their new designation as Science Teacher Leaders, the graduates return to their schools and districts to pass on what they learn to hundreds of other teachers in 20 Florida school districts, impacting thousands of students . . . With the five-year NSF grant completed, the Science Teacher Leader program is rebranded as U-FUTuRES 2.0 and transformed into a one-year accelerated certificate program.
College of Education faculty hold $97 million in external research awards–an all-time high. The College’s external funding doubles in value over the past five years. A major award is a $9 million federal grant to create a Precision Education Virtual Learning Lab to test novel approaches for advancing and personalizing online and multimedia instruction.
For the second straight year, U.S. News & World Report ranks the UF College of Education’s distance-learning graduate program in education No. 1 in the nation.
UF has been the highest rated education college in Florida overall almost every year since U.S. News began the graduate school rankings in 1983. UF also ranks as the best public college of education in the southeastern United States for the second straight year.
Three programs were also ranked by U.S. News — Special Education was rated fifth, Counselor Education eighth and Elementary Education 14th.
College of Education faculty hold $102.1 million in external research awards – another all-time high. This included 47 new funded awards and a 5.2 percent total increase in award value.
The planning and design phase of long overdue renovations of aging Norman Hall begins after the Florida Legislature and Gov. Rick Scott allocate nearly $29 million for the project combined from the current and previous annual state budgets. The top-to-bottom building rehab project is expected to be completed by fall of 2019 and fully operational by January 2020.
Early-childhood leaders from the University of Florida and around the country gather in Orlando in February for a three-day national summit hosted by UF. The experts and scholars collaborate to develop ambitious action steps to elevate the early childhood movement to new heights. The college’s Anita Zucker Center for Excellence in Early Childhood Studies is the hub of UF’s top-priority initiative to advance early childhood learning, health and development.
The College is granted full, national re-accreditation of its educator preparation programs by the Council for the Accreditation of Education Preparation (CAEP), the nation’s sole accreditor of teacher education programs. Council examiners cited no areas for improvement and praised the college’s commitment to its students, its rigorous academic programs and the meaningful engagement between the college and its public school partners to create high-quality clinical experiences. The College has earned continuous national accreditation since 1954, when the accreditation process was first implemented.
Building on a $25 million award from the U.S. Department of Education in 2013, the Collaboration for Effective Educator Development, Accountability and Reform (CEEDAR Center) receives another $21 million to boost its efforts to improve teaching and school leadership for students with disabilities nationwide.
The School of Special Education, School Psychology and Early Childhood Studies launches the fully online Dyslexia Graduate Certificate program to help current educators and practitioners develop the knowledge and skills to provide individualized reading interventions for students with dyslexia.
UF continues to remain the highest rated education college in Florida. The College of Education remains the best public college of education in the Southeastern United States for the third straight year and garnered No. 2 in the nation for online graduate education programs.
Two programs were also ranked by U.S. News — Special Education maintained fifth and Counselor Education rose to fifth.
Reaching a record high once more — College of Education faculty gained a 26 percent increase in research funding, earning more than $128 million.
UF launches a bold initiative to tackle some of society’s most pressing challenges, committing more than $17 million to funding UF-wide projects. As part of this initiative, the Anita Zucker Center for Excellence in Early Childhood Studies creates the A to Z’s of Early Childhood. This national campaign offers robust, quality and up-to-date information and resources informed by the science of early childhood development and learning for families, caregivers, practitioners and policymakers.
Best-selling author James Patterson commits $3 million to double the number of Florida children who can read at grade level. In partnership with the UF Literacy Institute, Lastinger Center for Learning and P.K. Yonge Developmental Research School, the James Patterson Literacy Challenge is providing Florida schools intensive professional development and coaching.
The Institute of Higher Education celebrated its 50th anniversary. With this milestone came the retirement of long-time institute director Dale Campbell. Justin Ortagus, assistant professor of higher education administration and policy, is his successor.
Don Pemberton retires as director of the Lastinger Center and Philip Poekert succeeds him in this role.
The Southwest Advocacy Group, along with community partners including the Anita Zucker Center for Excellence in Early Childhood Studies, opens the CHILD Center for Early Learning to provide excellent, affordable childcare to families in Southwest Gainesville.
Thomasenia Lott Adams, professor of Mathematics Education and associate dean for Research and Faculty Development, delivers the commencement address at the UF 2018 Fall Doctoral Commencement Ceremony.
The College of Education co-hosts the 2nd annual UF Social Justice Summit: For the Gator Good, bringing together scholars, experts, members and advocates of marginalized groups, and other concerned individuals from the university and community to discuss priorities and set aggressive action strategies for eradicating social and racial injustices and biases in the greater Gainesville area.
Christopher Busey, assistant professor of Curriculum, Teaching, and Teacher Education, and Nicholas Gage, Special Education Assistant Professor are named the B.O. Smith Research Professors.
Triple Gator Gerardo González is named a UF Distinguished Alumnus, the highest honor a graduate can achieve.
UF continues its streak as the higher ranked education college in Florida. According to U.S. News & World Report. Additionally, the college regained its No. 1 position for online graduate education programs and ranked in four specialty program areas — No. 3 in Counselor Education, No. 7 in Special Education, No. 16 in Elementary Education and No. 18 in Curriculum & Instruction.
Yet again, College of Education faculty increased research funding by 21 percent to a record breaking $155.2 million.
The College of Education launches the Bachelor of Arts in Education Sciences degree program with four areas of concentration — Schools, Society, and Policy; Educational Technology; Education Psychology and Research; and Disabilities in Society.
The Lastinger Center for Learning, in collaboration with the University of Cambridge and Professional Development in Education, hosts the Leadership for Professional Learning Symposium opening a collaborative dialogue on the challenges facing education.
Erica McCray, associate professor of Special Education, becomes the director of the School of Special Education, School Psychology and Early Childhood Studies, succeeding Associate Professor of Special Education Holly Lane.
Patricia Snyder, director of the Anita Zucker Center for Excellence in Early Childhood Studies, is named a UF Distinguished Professor. She is only the seventh College of Education professor to receive this distinction.
Best-selling author James Patterson commits an additional $4.5 million to the James Patterson Literacy Project to begin phase two of the project and expand its reach.
Buffy Bondy, professor in the School of Teaching and Learning, receives the UF Academy of Distinguished Teaching Scholars Award for Education.
Nancy Dana, professor in the School of Teaching and Learning, is a 2020 Robert Foster Cherry Award for Great Teaching finalist.
Ester De Jong, director and professor of the School of Teaching and Learning, receives the UF Research Foundation Professorship.
Zhihui Fang, professor in Reading and Literacy Education, becomes the 2019-2021 Irving and Rose Fien Endowed Professor in Education, succeeding Maria Coady, associate professor of ESOL/Bilingual Education.
Angela Kohnen, assistant professor of Literacy and English Education becomes the 2019-2021 B.O. Smith Research Professor.
P.K. Yonge Developmental Research School breaks ground on Phase II of its campus revitalization effort, building a state-of-the-art secondary 6-12 building.
The Education Policy Research Center is established, with a mission to stimulate and support scholarly research on relevant and timely education policy issues and to disseminate the findings widely to students, educators scholars, and policymakers.
UF remains the top rated college of education in Florida and No. 12 among the nation’s top public colleges of education, according to U.S. News & World Report. Online graduate education programs ranked No. 2 in the nation and four specialty areas were also recognized — Counselor Education rose to No. 2, Special Education remained No. 5, Elementary Education received No. 23, Curriculum & Instruction gained No. 24, and Education Administration rose to No. 28.
College of Education faculty garner 146 active research awards and $102.8 million in active research funding.
Over the last three years, 45 new faculty have joined the College of Education ranks, expanding domain expertise in the areas including: advanced learning technologies, counselor education, early childhood, educational leadership, educational psychology, higher education administration, math education, school psychology, special education, teacher education, and research evaluation and methodology.
The $31.5 million Norman Hall Rehabilitation project is complete and Norman joins the list of green buildings at UF, receiving a Gold Level Certification from the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. In partnership with UF Sustainability, 96% of the existing building was preserved while meeting the needs of modern students.
In response to the growing need for online reading instruction following the global pandemic, the UF Literacy Institute launches the Virtual Teaching Resource Hub. The hub has more than 2.3 million global views and counting.
Mary Brownell, professor of Special Education and director of the Collaboration for Effective Educator Development, Accountability and Reform (CEEDAR) Center, is named a University of Florida Distinguished Professor.
UF regains its position as America’s Best Online Graduate Education Program, according to U.S. News & World Report. The college has held the top one or two spots since 2016 and remains the top college of education in Florida.
Among top public colleges of education, UF garnered No. 13. All eligible specialty program areas were also ranked — Special Education: No. 4; Counselor Education: No. 5; Elementary Education: No. 13; Secondary Teacher Education: No. 16; Higher Education Administration: No. 22; and Educational Administration: No. 26.