School of Education and Human Development

A Message from the Dean

Welcome and congratulations on your decision to pursue training with our school.

The School of Education and Human Development is committed to innovatively and responsively meeting the needs of a complex societyWe prepare professionals who will serve the fields of education and mental health with the highest level of competence, moral leadership commitment to justice and equity, discernment, and lifelong service to others​.

Our school embodies Fairfield’s Jesuit mission, where intellectual growth in service to others and social justice are primary. The SEHD develops advocates for social change and persons for others. Our School has a rich history and renewed commitment to issues of equity and inclusion for a more just world.  We work closely with our students and community partners to cultivate a spirit of social responsibility and values-based decision-making. Our commitment to community engagement and our strong alumni network allows our faculty and students to engage in meaningful internship and clinical experiences shaped by evidence-based practices.

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

Evelyn Bilias Lolis, Ph.D.
Interim Dean


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 (SEHD) (formerly the Graduate School of Education and Allied Professions) has awarded over 10,000 master's degrees and 2,500 certificates of advanced study. The current structure of SEHD consists of three departments that house over 20 distinct programs of study. Our programs are state-approved and many lead to initial or advanced certification. Additionally, several of our programs are nationally recognized and accredited by professional organizations. The School has earned the reputation of being a model of excellence and innovation within its various professional communities.


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)
  • Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP)
  • Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)