New Name, New Vision

New Name, New Vision

Dean Grupp standing and smiling in front of a Canisius Hall sign.

Dean Grupp is excited to welcome students to Canisius Hall for the 2021 fall semester.

Under Dean Laurie L. Grupp, PhD, the former Graduate School of Education and Allied Professions has expanded its offerings and is now called the School of Education and Human Development.

The EdD in Educational Leadership for teacher-leaders is a fantastic program with a social and racial justice focus, and the goal of preparing leaders in education who will create significant impacts for their schools and communities.

— Dr. Laurie Grupp, Dean of SEHD

After nearly two decades at Providence College, Laurie Grupp, PhD, now the dean of Fairfield’s School of Education and Human Development (SEHD), celebrated her one-year anniversary at the University in July with the announcement of a new school name for the former Graduate School of Education and Allied Professions.

According to Dr. Grupp, the name change had been in the works for some time. As the school expanded its offerings to include new courses and undergraduate majors and minors, the name needed to evolve as well. Stressing an emphasis on human development seemed the best way to encompass SEHD’s programs in counselor education, school counseling, social work, marriage and family therapy, and school psychology.

The change comes as SEHD also launches its first doctoral program, a Doctor of Education (EdD) in Educational Leadership. While the EdD had been under consideration for more than 10 years, current demand for advanced leadership in the field of education moved the program forward and made it viable. The three-year, hybrid, low residency program is designed for certified educators, and provides an opportunity for seasoned professionals to build on their years of experience.

EdD students will enroll as a cohort during the fall semester, and complete six credits each semester. Students will also complete two residencies with an in-depth focus on team-building, leadership, and communication. In their third year, EdD candidates will write and defend a dissertation.

“Some teachers aspire to serve as administrators, most commonly school principals, but many want to have an impact on what is happening in their building without having to leave the work that they love,” said Dr. Grupp. “The EdD in Educational Leadership for teacher-leaders is a fantastic program with a social and racial justice focus, and the goal of preparing leaders in education who will create significant impacts for their schools and communities. We look forward to enrolling the first cohort and growing that program, while considering additional EdD offerings — possibly in higher education administration, for example.”

The new dean had another notable success this summer, when under her leadership Fairfield was asked to lead the Connecticut College Corps: a program in collaboration with the Connecticut Office of Higher Education, and other public and private higher education institutions across the state. The $3 million government-funded program recruited and trained 500 college students to teach in K-12 educational programs over the summer, as part of Governor Ned Lamont’s plan to provide engaging educational experiences for elementary, middle school, and high school students who had their school years significantly disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Leading the College Corps’ Connecticut effort has been significant for SEHD and Fairfield University,” said Dr. Grupp. “The children who [benefited] from summer enrichment, the Corps members who [built] relationships while receiving compensation, and the host site directors all see and appreciate Fairfield’s role in launching and leading the program. We look forward to being involved in ongoing partnerships with the state, schools, and community partners to provide the best preparation possible within our programs, and to respond to emerging needs in the field.”

Before joining Fairfield, Dr. Grupp served as director of the Center for Teaching Excellence at Providence College, and as the provost’s advisor on faculty development initiatives. She also served as associate provost for faculty affairs, and associate professor in the Elementary Special Education Department. Her prior professional experience includes teaching at Buffalo State College in the Exceptional Education Department. She earned her MA and PhD degrees in curriculum and instruction, with a concentration in multicultural bilingual special education, from New Mexico State University. She holds a BA in psychology and philosophy from Boston College.

Of her first year at Fairfield, Dr. Grupp said, “We accomplished a lot during the past academic year, even in the midst of the pandemic and related challenges, because of the passion, commitment, and hard work of SEHD faculty and staff. I am so impressed by all that we have done, given the unique circumstances of the past year, and I look forward to continuing this work in person with SEHD faculty, staff, and students.”

Other Articles in the Fall 2021 Issue

Letter from the President

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Aquila’s Nest Vineyards

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Provocative Teapots

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Living Tributes

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Welcome Back, Fr. Mac

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Alumni Profile: Joe Murtha, BEI ’92

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Alumni Profile: Loan Le ’14, MFA’17

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Donor Profile: John Thompson III and Monica Moore Thompson, P’23

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