There has never been a more exciting time in education! Everything is changing, which means opportunity for everyone, including youngsters, educators, families and those of us in higher education. None of us would suggest that change is fun, but it does keep one focused. Change requires reflection on what is worth keeping, what must be discarded, and, of course, what new futures may be envisioned. In the CES, we have experienced a decade of major change during which every program has been substantially revised or redesigned.
Our mission has been to position ourselves for a new world in which innovation would be likely to come from a group of people working together rather than from an individual. Learning and discovery are likely to happen outside of the buildings of the university rather than within them, and more than likely would include people who speak different languages and live in different countries. Leaders are beginning to think differently: less as a top down bosses and more as team leaders. Teachers, school counselors, psychologist, speech therapists, athletic trainers, and school and agency leaders are gaining more control over what they do in their profession. If autonomy is not nurtured and promoted in their organizations, tomorrow's professionals will start their own organizations or businesses and will find better ways to provide services to consumers based on what they want and demand. And when they do, families, students, and clients would follow them. People will no longer settle for one-size-fits-all programs and ideas. People will gravitate to the best idea, the one that is best for them and their children.
Today’s professionals must be entrepreneurial, flexible and ready to embrace the notion their field is in flux and will change during their careers. We must change the way we develop professionals, which would include some of the successful methods we have used, many of which would be coupled with new methods. Professional education will operate on a world stage rather its present primary locale, the classroom. In the CES, our redesigned programs have been designed to be as flexible as the professional fields the students seek to enter. For example, our speech pathology students spend as much time in schools, clinics and hospitals as they do a university classroom; they graduate already "field-tested," as one employer indicated. Our undergraduate students in the Integrated Educational Studies major spend a great deal of their time learning about educational activities that occur outside of traditional K-12 schools, which prepares them to work not only in traditional educational settings, but also in not-for-profit agencies. Emerging educators must have career options because their 40 to 50 year careers are likely to be characterized by a variety of different jobs in multiple fields.
The CES is preparing every student, from bachelor’s degree through Ph.D., to not only be prepared for today's world, but also for a world of rapid and continuous change. These are more than mere words. We have designed the CES to develop critical-thinking professionals, who are on the cutting edge and "field-tested" for today's world. They will be bold if not fearless individuals who would be eager to lead in this rapidly changing world. Come and lead with us!