Message from the Dean: Fall 2016

September 15, 2016

Dr. Michael K. McLendon
Dean, School of Education

McLendon - 200

At a time when Baylor has pledged itself to strengthen the bonds of community, the School of Education is embarking on exciting new initiatives and redoubling its commitment to existing ones, aiming to deepen our impact on the local community from which we benefit so tangibly.

This issue highlights several points of impact for the School. Through efforts in enrichment for local gifted students, more than 300 students with financial need have attended the University for Young People since 1999. New research indicates these students have subsequently shown remarkable academic success, marking a true impact in our city. The iEngage camp — a complement to Baylor’s connection with the iCivics program of former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor — inspires and equips young people for civic action and responsible citizenship. With the local camp having completed its fourth year, the innovative curriculum developed by our faculty is expanding to other parts of the country. In addition to these long-standing programs, the School launched a pilot summer project in math learning for prekindergarten students, an intervention which can have long-term benefits for at-risk students.

Through the constancy and depth of our field-based programs and our partnership with Waco and Midway ISDs, our students — who log more than 87,000 hours in schools each year — experience the incalculable value of strong leadership in a classroom, a campus and a district.

Indeed, every project and academic program of the School seeks to educate and prepare leaders for impact in the field of education — whether through classroom or university teaching, K-12 or higher-education administration, or research in the educational disciplines.

Baylor’s new provost and executive vice president, Dr. L. Gregory Jones, has written inspiringly of the need for and power of Christian social innovation, meaning direct actions that can bring the richness of the Christian faith to bear in renewing, revitalizing and transforming existing social systems for the better.

As we send forward our students, our graduates and ourselves into the Waco community, we receive back in full measure. Our investments, in turn, enrich our scholarship in developing evidence-based educational practices that can improve lives, enhance the preparation of leaders who will serve the region and the world, and strengthen our bonds of love for one another within the Baylor community. At the beginning of a new academic year, indeed, the dawning of an exciting new era at Baylor, we dedicate ourselves to building partnerships that can help transform Waco’s social institutions so children, families and neighborhoods truly can flourish.