On June 1, 2018, Wheelock’s School of Education, Child Life and Family Studies merged with BU’s School of Education. The merger created the Boston University Wheelock College of Education & Human Development. Pairing the resources of a major research university with one of the most progressive names in childhood development, the new college aims to be among the nation’s best, preparing outstanding teachers and other professionals, advancing field-changing research, and positively impacting communities.
For all its newness, there’s a lot that’s familiar about BU Wheelock. That starts at the top: David Chard, who will lead the college as interim dean until July 2020, is the former president of Wheelock College, but also taught at BU School of Education in the mid-1990s. The values and traditions that have inspired generations of students, faculty, and alumni to improve the lives and education of families and children throughout the world also continue. At BU Wheelock, undergraduates will take their first steps on the path toward careers in areas as diverse as science education, deaf studies, and early childhood education; master’s students will choose from dozens of specialist programs, including applied human development and counseling, educational leadership and policy studies, child life and family-centered care, and a range of education fields. The new college also offers doctoral degrees.
And faculty continue to pursue research that helps advance the practice of education, making a difference in classrooms, hospitals, homes, and beyond. Michelle V. Porche, a clinical associate professor in applied human development, is part of a five-year, multicity study with the BU School of Medicine to test a web-based cognitive behavioral therapy program for kids; Lynsey Gibbons, an assistant professor of mathematics education, is helping lead a $2.5 million project to better understand how elementary teachers approach different disciplines. The college also hosts the Center for Promise, a national research center focused on the academic and social factors that help young people succeed.
For both founding institutions, community service wasn’t an afterthought or an offshoot; it was embedded in their cultures. Having a positive impact in local and global communities remains central to everything the new college does:
- Upward Bound and Upward Bound Math Science help prepare low-income and first-generation college students to succeed in higher education.
- The Aspire Institute connects educators, community partners, and families to improve education, human development, and community wellness.
- Intergenerational Literacy Program offers English literacy classes to immigrant parents and children.
- Jumpstart allows BU Wheelock students to mentor preschoolers in Boston’s South End neighborhood.
- The Earl Center on Innovation and Learning allows teachers and students to explore technological advances and innovative practices.
- Educators Rising BU gives high school students hands-on teaching experiences.
- The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education Holmes Scholars Program provides mentorship and professional support to doctoral students from underrepresented communities.
Welcome to your new old alma mater.