General Information
Academic Programs

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College of Education

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Course Descriptions

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MSC 8002, Harrisonburg, VA 22807

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College of Education

Dr. Phillip M. Wishon, Dean
Dr. Margaret (Peggy) Shaeffer, Associate Dean
Dr. Rich Clemens, Director of Educational Technology and Media Center

Mission Statement
Majors and Minors


Mission Statement

The mission of the James Madison University College of Education is to prepare educated and enlightened individuals who can skillfully contribute to the common good of society and who can enter competently into positions of teaching and educational leadership, civic responsibility, and national service. The personal and professional development of students is accomplished by emphasizing excellence and continuous innovation in quality undergraduate, graduate and professional programs.

James Madison University’s College of Education is distinguished through faculty and student achievements, academic rigor, excellence in teaching, student and faculty interactions and relationships, technological innovations, and national recognitions. The college maintains relevance through active and growing interactions with other colleges within the university and with local, state, regional, national and international communities.

The college is committed to providing:

  • Undergraduate programs that are composed of or complemented by strong liberal arts preparation, in-depth specialty studies and opportunities for students to develop professional knowledge and skills.
  • Graduate programs that emphasize advanced knowledge in a specialty area and the development of effective leadership and professional skills for addressing the needs of a changing society.
  • Continuing professional development and service programs in cooperation with public and private schools and agencies, other colleges, institutions, and businesses.

The undergraduate and graduate education programs are accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education and approved by the Virginia State Board of Education.

  • The basic philosophy of the college is reflected in the following goals:
  • To educate men and women for the multiple professions included in the college at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, not merely by transmitting skills and knowledge but by stimulating creativity, developing cognitive abilities and encouraging the testing of hypotheses and reinterpretation of the human experience.
  • To encourage a balanced faculty orientation toward teaching, research, scholarship, community service and professionalism that recognizes individual strengths and preferences of the college’s faculty.
  • To create an environment that fosters an atmosphere of open communication among students, faculty members and community.
  • To anticipate societal needs and provide necessary resources for implementing effective off-campus programs now and in the future.

The college has undergraduate and graduate programs that are designed to lead to majors and minors in interdisciplinary liberal studies, teaching, educational leadership, adult education, human resource development and military science.

The college is organized into five departments:

Department of Early, Elementary and Reading
Dr. Martha Ross, Department Head

Department of Exceptional Education
Dr. Maggie Kyger, Department Head

Department of Learning, Technology and Leadership
Dr. Diane Foucar-Szocki, Department Head

Department of Middle, Secondary and Math
Dr. LouAnn Lovin, Department Head

Department of Military Science
LTC. Rodney Lusher, Department Head


Majors and Minors


The College of Education does not offer majors. Individuals wishing to become licensed teachers in early, elementary, special or middle education major in Interdisciplinary Liberal Studies (IDLS) and minor in a pre-professional program specific to the teaching license pursued.

The IDLS major is assigned two advisers. On adviser is the adviser for the education minor who will guide the student through the licensure program requirements. The other adviser is the IDLS adviser who will guide the student through the IDLS major requirements. Students should plan on consulting both advisers regularly. Typically, the education adviser is assigned when the student meets with the head of his or her licensure program and elects the licensure program. This may be as early as the first semester of the first year. The IDLS adviser is assigned when the first year student advising folders are transferred to the IDLS office (second semester, first year). Students are required to check with advisers regularly to ensure timely graduation.

Individuals seeking licensure in secondary education major in the discipline in which they wish to become licensed. See the specific discipline major requirements in the individual colleges holding the major.



The College of Education offers undergraduate minors across a range of concentrations in both teaching and non-teaching areas. To become a licensed teacher, students complete a major in one of several approved fields of study, depending upon the type of teaching license pursued, in addition to a minor (pre-professional licensing program.) Other minors are available that are not pre-professional teaching programs. The College of Education offers undergraduate minors in the following areas; some require additional course work for teacher licensure.

  • Early Childhood Education (Teaching Licensure)
  • Educational Media
  • Elementary Education (Teaching Licensure)
  • English as a Second Language (Teaching Licensure Add-on only)
  • Human Resource Development
  • Middle Education (Teaching Licensure)
  • Military Leadership
  • Secondary Education (Teaching Licensure)
  • Special Education (Teaching Licensure and a Non-teaching minor option)

Undergraduate students pursuing licensure to teach through one of the five year M.A.T. or M.Ed. programs described in this catalog should:

  • Take the Graduate Record Examination and/or meet other requirements indicated by the respective program prior to submitting an application to the College of Graduate and Outreach Programs;
  • Be fully admitted to teacher education before applying to the College of Graduate and Outreach Programs;
  • Apply for admission to the College of Graduate and Outreach Programs according to departmental deadlines; and
  • Complete all pre-professional studies requirements before enrolling in graduate courses in education.
  • See the JMU Graduate Catalog for more information on the requirements for the M.A.T. and the M.Ed. degrees and for teacher licensure in the identified areas.