Message from the Dean — Spring 2024

Spring 2024

May 30, 2024
Dean Shanna Hagan-Burke

Dr. Shanna Hagan-Burke
Dean, School of Education

Each time we begin planning the next issue of Impact, I contemplate what I wish others knew about the field of education and, more specifically, what I wish others knew about Baylor’s School of Education (SOE).

We live in a society that underestimates the value of education degrees — both their importance and the advanced skills required to be an effective educator. Some question whether a degree in education limits one’s career options. I find this ironic given that education is the profession that makes all others possible.

Education majors acquire unique skills that are highly sought after by countless types of employers. To earn a Baylor education degree, students must excel at communication, conflict resolution, creativity, crisis management, critical thinking, cross-cultural understanding, leadership, mentoring, organization, problem-solving, curriculum development, community partnerships, and universal design. They must perfect their professional presentation skills, interpersonal communication, abilities to research and self-evaluate, and capacity to lead others. Virtually any career field offers jobs that require these kinds of skills.

Of course, Baylor SOE continues to offer award-winning degree programs that prepare exemplary K12 teachers and leaders, which is a continued source of pride. And the vast majority of undergraduate teacher-education students come to Baylor with K12 teaching as their chosen profession.

What you may not realize, however, is that Baylor’s SOE is preparing a growing number of graduates for vocational roles beyond traditional K12 classrooms. We offer nationally recognized programs that prepare licensed school psychologists, autism specialists, board-certified behavior analysts, museum educators, global missionaries, social science researchers, and business leaders. SOE even offers a graduate degree option for those preparing to work on college campuses in student affairs, and its PhD programs prepare graduates for a range of university roles including the professorate. Our sport management degree prepares students for vocations in a wide range of sports organizations spanning communities, schools, universities, and professional leagues. We offer a joint master’s degree with Truett Seminary that prepares students for work in churches and faith-based organizations. Our EdD in Learning and Organizational Change prepares graduates who lead change in a variety of professions spanning public service, nonprofits organizations, corporate environments, medical industries, education agencies, community organizations, and beyond. Students acquire an advanced understanding of human learning, motivation, and organizational change that enhances their effectiveness in the workplace.

There is science, skill, and art to educating others. Whether Baylor SOE graduates choose to be K12 educators or pursue one of the myriad of options an education degree can afford, acquiring the necessary skills to be an effective educator prepares them for a life of impact, which is why they come to Baylor.