College of Education Reconfiguration Strengthens Departments, Sharpens Experience for Students

Thursday, June 17 2010

MOSCOW, Idaho – They say two heads are better than one, but three departments may prove more efficient and beneficial to students than four when it comes to the College of Education at the University of Idaho.

With the approval today from the University of Idaho Board of Regents/State Board of Education, students at the university will see few changes when the Department of Adult Career Technology Education is phased out and faculty and students merge into the college’s other departments.

“We’re pleased that the Board of Regents sees the merit in this reconfiguration,” said Jerry McMurtry, College of Education interim dean. “The College of Education’s programs have been a key part of the university’s mission for 90 years and these changes will help us both strengthen and focus the effectiveness of supporting students who seek out teacher education preparation programs, health and leisure science programs, and program in leadership and counseling.”

The reconfiguration will bring about a few changes to the college. First, the counseling and school psychology and educational leadership department will be renamed to leadership and counseling, and the professional technical and technology education program will be renamed to career and technical education to match national language. The adult career technology education department is being shifted: students, faculty and staff in career technology education will merge into the curriculum and instruction department, and the adult, organizational learning and leadership program will join the leadership and counseling department. The health, physical education, recreation and dance department will remain unchanged.

“The shift within the departments puts our programs into better position and more in line with the function of our departments,” said Kathy Browder, associate dean of the College of Education. “It gives our students and faculty more resources to draw from.”

McMurtry added that with the move, students and faculty in the career technology education program will join other curriculum and instruction students and faculty in the same department, which assists the college’s goal to integrate general education and career and technical education at the university level. Adult, organizational learning and leadership students and faculty will join with other leadership programs, which will become a graduate studies department.

The rearrangement follows a university directive that asked the colleges to look at smaller departments and see where efficiencies could be drawn from consolidating or merging. McMurtry said it was a good opportunity to look at the college’s structure and re-evaluate it for today’s and tomorrow’s educational needs.

“Education is not static; it is a flexible discipline and we realize that education is changing,” said McMurtry. “We strive to maintain a position that does not react to, but leads change in Idaho, the region and the nation.”

He said the department shifts would have a minimal impact on students, and would not affect their plans of study or degree attainment.

“This shift should be fairly seamless to students,” Browder added. “The reconfiguration will provide our students a better interdisciplinary perspective.”

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About the University of Idaho
Founded in 1889, the University of Idaho is the state’s flagship higher-education institution and its principal graduate education and research university, bringing insight and innovation to the state, the nation and the world. University researchers attract nearly $100 million in research grants and contracts each year; the University of Idaho is the only institution in the state to earn the prestigious Carnegie Foundation ranking for high research activity. The university’s student population includes first-generation college students and ethnically diverse scholars. Offering more than 130 degree options in 10 colleges, the university combines the strengths of a large university with the intimacy of small learning communities. The university is home to the Vandals, the 2009 Roady’s Humanitarian Bowl champions. For information, visit

About the University of Idaho
The University of Idaho helps students to succeed and become leaders. Its land-grant mission furthers innovative scholarly and creative research to grow Idaho's economy and serve a statewide community. From its main campus in Moscow, Idaho, to 70 research and academic locations statewide, U-Idaho emphasizes real-world application as part of its student experience. U-Idaho combines the strength of a large university with the intimacy of small learning communities. It is home to the Vandals. For information, visit