About the College of Education


   The College of Education (COE) embraces the mission of Pacific University and its commitment to the liberal arts and sciences as it seeks to prepare aspiring and practicing educators to promote and nurture learners' intellectual, ethical, social, and emotional growth within a learning community committed to equity and diversity. The key elements of our teacher education program are embodied in the following phrase: "Transforming education through communities of learners, with a focus on promoting cultural competence, creating student-centered classrooms, and enhancing learning through technology." As a result we infuse the following values into our programs:

Transforming Education Through Communities of Learners

The faculty of the College of Education value:

  • Professional educators who, as reflective practitioners, continually study theory, research, practice, and available resources as they strive to improve the effectiveness of their teaching.
  • Participation of educators as leaders and agents of change in the education profession within and beyond the University.
  • Modeling of ethical behavior by professional educators in their classrooms and in their communities.
  • Education as a lifelong process for learners of all ages and backgrounds.
  • Modeling by professional educators of an inquisitive attitude and enjoyment of intellectual pursuits.
  • Professional educators who are confident, energetic and both physically and mentally healthy.

Promoting Cultural Competence

The faculty of the College of Education value:

  • A commitment by professional educators to respect humanity in all its diversity.
  • Professional educators who believe that all students can learn and who assume responsibility in furthering that learning.
  • Professional educators who interact constructively with students and their parents as well as colleagues, administrators, other school personnel, and the community - to achieve both instructional and relational goals.
  • professional educators as keen observers of the learner, family, community, and environment who use that data to the extent possible when planning instruction.

Creating Student-Centered Classrooms

The faculty of the College of Education value:

  • Professional educators who understand the subject(s) being taught and appreciate how knowledge in that subject is created, organized, linked to other disciplines and applied in real-world settings.
  • Educational environments that provide opportunities for developing and sharpening intellectual, analytical, and reflective abilities.
  • Promotion by professional educators of intellectual independence and active, responsible learning.
  • Professional educators who exhibit the energy, drive, and determination to make their school and classroom the best possible environment for teaching and learning.

Enhancing Learning Through Technology

The faculty of the College of Education value:

  • Professional educators who utilize a range of instructional resources and technology tools to support learning.
  • Professional educators who have the skills of technology literacy as described in the National Educational Technology Standards for Teachers (NETS-T).

   The COE offers programs leading to a master's degree, an undergraduate education major and licensure program, and non-degree programs for teachers who wish to add endorsements and/or authorizations to existing licenses. The majority of students seek an Oregon Initial Teaching License through one of these programs. Programs are offered at two Pacific University campuses (Eugene and Forest Grove) during the fall, spring, and summer semesters.

   We actively work with school district partners in many Oregon school districts, most notably those in a 50-mile proximity of our Eugene and Forest Grove campuses. As we seek to meet the needs of a rapidly changing world we partner with many organizations. We are institutional members of the American Association for Colleges of Teacher Education (AACTE), Oregon Latino Administrators Association (OALA), the Oregon Independent College Association (OICA), the Oregon Association of Teacher Educators (OACTE), and founding partners of the Lane County Teacher Pathways program. Our faculty members are leaders in many state and national discipline-based organizations: International Reading Association (IRA); National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM); National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS); National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC); National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC); National Association of Special Education Teachers (NASET); American Educational Research Association (AERA); International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE).


   Pacific University has been preparing teachers since it first offered the baccalaureate degree in 1863. Established in 1842 as a school to serve Native American children, Pacific began offering courses for teachers in 1911 as the Oregon public school movement expanded, one of only three colleges authorized by the State of Oregon to recommend graduates for high school teaching certificates at that time. Throughout much of its history in the preparation of teachers, Pacific offered a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in Education. In 1989, reflecting the growing national trend toward fifth-year teacher education programs, Pacific University became the first institution to gain approval from the Teacher Standards and Practices Commission to offer the Fifth-Year Master of Arts in Teaching program. Until 1992, this program offered only secondary endorsement areas, at which time it was expanded to include an elementary education component.

   Teacher education programs had been located within the College of Arts and Sciences for many years. However, as an increasing number of teacher education students opted for programs at the master's level, the opportunities and demands associated with teacher education extended substantially beyond the mission of the undergraduate College of Arts and Sciences. In 1994 the College of Education was founded and provided with the autonomy to implement policies and procedures necessary to support both graduate and undergraduate teacher education programs. Today we are one of four colleges (Arts and Sciences, Health Professions, Optometry, and Education) at Pacific University.