School of Education and Human Development

A Message from the Dean

Welcome to the School of Education and Human Development (SEHD). Our School is committed to preparing professionals to serve children, youth, adults, families, communities, and organizations. Our range of program offerings originates from a combination of faculty expertise and a commitment to the needs of our community partners.

Work across all disciplines within SEHD aligns perfectly with Fairfield’s Jesuit mission, where intellectual growth in service to others and social justice are primary. The School has a rich history and renewed commitment to racial justice and education in service of equity, diversity, and inclusion. We work closely with our students and community partners to cultivate a spirit of social responsibility and values-based decision-making. Our School’s rich history of commitment to community engagement and our strong alumni network allow our faculty and students to engage in meaningful internship and clinical experiences shaped by evidence-based practice.

Whether your goal is advancement in your current field, a change in career, professional certification, or an advanced degree, we invite you to learn more about what SEHD has to offer.

Laurie L. Grupp, Ph.D.
Dean

Overview

The School of Education and Human Development prepares students for professional roles in public and private schools, behavioral health and human service agencies, and for profit and non-profit corporations. Currently, the School enrolls two-thirds of all graduate students at Fairfield University. Consistent with Fairfield's Jesuit traditions and mission, the School of Education and Human Development reaches out to the community - engaging faculty and students in public service and providing career development programs to professionals in the state and region.

Unit Mission and Conceptual Framework

The School of Education and Human Development advances the mission of Fairfield University by providing advanced education and by preparing professionals to teach, counsel, evaluate, and serve the wider community in ways that reflect Jesuit values. Programs in the School share a commitment to prepare graduates who believe in the inherent worth and dignity of all people; promote the well-being of individuals, couples, families, communities, and organizations; serve a diverse society; possess strong content, pedagogical, and clinical knowledge relevant to their field; understand the impact of informational technologies on the individual, family, and community; and uphold the highest standards of professional conduct. The School promotes and supports the development of intellectual rigor, personal integrity, collaboration, informed decision-making, self-reflection, and social responsibility.

The knowledge base that informs the School’s approach to professional education, and that is central to its conceptual framework, is rooted in four key tenets of the Jesuit tradition found in the Mission of the University. They are:

  • Freedom: Belief in the inherent worth and dignity of each person.
  • Scholarship: Intellectual curiosity, rigor, critical thinking, and moral analysis.
  • Justice: Commitment to greater good through service and advocacy as change agents and/or leaders within the chosen profession.
  • Truth: Commitment to research and ethical decision-making.

These four tenets support the fundamental intellectual/ethical commitments that define our various courses of study: The Scholar/Practitioner Component; the Developmental Human Growth and Learning Component; the Reflective Practitioner Component; and the Advocacy for All Children and Families Component. Given the breadth of programs and faculty housed in the School, this knowledge base is diverse, drawing on various theoretical and philosophical perspectives. However, when we look across the programs, we find that our common philosophy and principles stem from core theories, research, and practical wisdom about how people develop, learn, teach, counsel, and serve others.

Disposition Statement

Education, psychology, and mental health professionals are vested by the public with a trust and responsibility requiring the highest ideals of professional service. Central to the mission of the School of Education and Human Development are the personal and professional qualities and characteristics of students who aspire to work in these fields. Therefore, candidates are required to adhere to the highest standards of ethical and professional conduct.

All prospective and admitted candidates of the School of Education and Human Development shall demonstrate personal and professional dispositions which are:

  • Embodied in the mission statement of the School of Education and Human Development and articulated in the school's expected student learning outcomes;
  • Outlined in the ethical codes, rules, policies and procedures, administrative regulations, and laws applicable to their chosen profession; and
  • Mandated by their particular graduate programs and departments as stated in the program handbooks.

If the program faculty and the Dean of the School of Education and Human Development determines that a candidate or admitted student does not meet these personal and professional dispositional requirements, the candidate or student may be denied admission, dismissed from the program following admission, required to withdraw from courses, complete academic remediation and/or undergo appropriate counseling or other intervention as a condition of continued placement in the program.

Students who believe they are treated unfairly by any such determination may appeal the decision by following the academic grievance procedures.

The School

Since its first graduation in 1951, the School of Education and Human Development (formerly the Graduate School of Education and Allied Professions) has awarded 10,509 master's degrees and 2,734 certificates of advanced study (as of May 2021). The current structure of the School consists of three departments that house 20 distinct programs of study. Ten of those programs are approved by the Connecticut Office of Higher Education and the Connecticut State Department of Education for the issuance of certificates to practice those professions. In addition to the state certification programs, the programs of Marriage and Family Therapy and Counselor Education are nationally accredited by their professional organizations. The School has earned the reputation of being a model of excellence and innovation within its various professional communities. By engaging in continual internal program assessment, the School is able to create and maintain curricular offerings and clinical field experiences that keep the School of Education and Human Development on the leading edge of all of our disciplines.

​Accreditation

The Programs in the School of Education and Human Development are also fully accredited by:

  • Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE)
  • Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP)
  • National Association of School Psychologists (NASP)
  • National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education/Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (NCATE/CAEP)
  • International Dyslexia Association

In initial phases of accreditation:

  • Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)

The School of Education and Human Development (SEHD) offers degrees in the following areas:

SEHD offers three levels of professional graduate degree programs: the Master's degree, the Sixth Year Certificate and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership.

Courses of Study leading to a Master of Arts degree:

  • Bilingual Education (Elementary and Secondary)
  • Clinical Mental Health Counseling
  • Educational Technology
  • Elementary Education
  • Family Studies
  • Marriage and Family Therapy
  • Reading and Language Development
  • Remedial Reading and Remedial Language Arts
  • School Counseling
  • School Psychology
  • Secondary Education:
    • English
    • Mathematics
    • Science (Biology, Chemistry, General Science, Physics)
    • Social Studies/History (7-12)
    • World Language (French, German, Latin, Spanish)
  • Special Education
  • Teaching and Foundations (TEFO)
  • Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)

Course of Study leading to a Master of Social Work (MSW) degree:

  • Social Work

Courses of Study leading to a Sixth Year Certificate (SYC):

  • Bilingual Education
  • Clinical Mental Health Counseling
  • Educational Technology
  • Foundations in Education
  • Reading and Language Development
  • Remedial Reading and Remedial Language Arts
  • School Counseling
  • School Psychology
  • Special Education
  • Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)

Course of study leading to a Doctorate (EdD)

  • Educational Leadership

Approved Connecticut State Department of Education certification programs at the graduate level:

  • Elementary Education (1-6)
  • School Counseling
  • School Psychology
  • Secondary Education
    • English
    • Mathematics
    • Science (Biology, Chemistry, Physics, General Science)
    • Social Studies/History (7-12)
    • World Language (French, German, Latin, and Spanish)
  • Remedial Reading and Remedial Language Arts
  • Special Education (K-12)
  • TESOL (PK-12)

Approved Connecticut Department of Higher Education Advanced Training Certificates at the graduate level:

  • Integration of Spirituality & Religion into Counseling
  • School-Based Marriage & Family Therapy
  • Substance Abuse Counseling

Degree Requirements Overview

Master of Arts

  1. Candidates must complete the number of credits specified by the program.
  2. Candidates must complete the number of credits in their major field and approved electives as specified by the program.
  3. Candidates are required to pass a written comprehensive examination or complete other program-specific culminating requirements in the work offered for the degree. To be eligible to register for comprehensive examinations, candidates must complete the minimum number of semester hours of coursework determined by their program. We recommend that candidates take the comprehensive examination at least one semester prior to their anticipated semester of graduation. Candidates who fail the comprehensive examinations twice may be dismissed from their program.
  4. Candidates must have a minimum grade point average of 3.00 to be eligible to graduate.
  5. Candidates must submit an online Application for Degree by the scheduled deadline.

All candidates must register for the comprehensive examination course relevant to their program of study at the beginning of the semester during which they plan to take the examination. Refer to the graduate school calendar for the registration deadline.

Sixth Year Certificate

  1. Candidates enrolled in a Sixth Year Certificate (SYC) program must complete a minimum of 30 credits in an approved program. Those whose previous program of study was in a field other than that selected for the sixth year of study will be required to complete certain introductory graduate courses before being accepted for advanced study.
  2. Candidates must have a minimum overall grade point average of 3.00. Any grade below a B- will not be credited toward a SYC.
  3. Candidates must submit an online Application for Degree by the scheduled deadline.

Doctorate

  1. Candidates must complete the number of credits specified by the program.
  2. Candidates are required to pass a comprehensive examination. To be eligible to register for comprehensive examinations, candidates must complete required coursework.
  3. Students must maintain a 3.0 grade point average; students who receive two grades below B- may be dismissed from the program.
  4. Candidates must write and defend a dissertation based on a relevant problem of practice in consultation with a dissertation advisor.
  5. Candidates must submit an online Application for Degree by the scheduled deadline.