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Unity: People. Passion. Purpose.

Thursday, December 10, 2020

Oklahoma State University’s newest academic college is poised to advance the university’s land-grant mission with its focus on enhancing education, health and the well-begin of individuals, families and communities in Oklahoma and beyond.

On July 1, 2020, the new College of Education and Human Sciences was officially established at Oklahoma State, culminating an 18-month process that united the academic programs in the former College of Education, Health and Aviation and the College of Human Sciences.

“The new College of Education and Human Sciences combines our passion, expertise and resources to better deliver on our land-grant mission and serve our students and the world,” OSU President Burns Hargis said.

Gary Sandefur, OSU provost and senior vice president, points to other institutions that have seen enrollment growth and increased research funding after bringing together academic colleges in education and human sciences.

“We are building on the strengths of these academic programs in preparing the next generation of leaders in education, health and more,” Sandefur said.

The new College of Education and Human Sciences is home to nearly 4,000 students and 400 faculty and staff members. Through seven academic schools and departments, the college offers 24 undergraduate and 62 graduate degree programs across the core areas of education, health, family and community services, design and aviation. The college also offers a host of online degree and certificate programs.

Stephan M. Wilson, the longtime dean of the College of Human Sciences, began serving as interim dean of the College of Education, Health and Aviation in 2019, and led faculty, staff and students through the transition to the new college.

“For this college, in all that we do, people are at the center,” Wilson said. “That’s a unique opportunity and responsibility. People are both the means to the end and the end itself.”

Wilson notes some broad themes for the new college — contributing to a healthier, better educated and more just society, adding that working toward these goals will happen in a more integrated and holistic way than ever before.

“Whether it’s about educating people in K-12 or pre-public school settings or through the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at OSU, these programs are not really changing in an immediate sense. The impact does change as we begin to see them as integrated whole,” Wilson said.

“Similarly, when it comes to working toward a healthier society: How do we prevent obesity, hypertension and diabetes? How do we prevent some cancers? We are focused on health beyond the obvious physical health — also thinking about people’s wellbeing, whether that’s financial, relational, occupational, in a family context or beyond.”

“People. Passion. Purpose.” is the new tagline for the College of Education and Human Sciences, reflecting both the way the college values people as well as a commitment to service and to improving human lives with a motivating purpose that is larger than any one individual.

The college helps students discover their own passions and prepares them for their life’s purpose. The college’s new Academic Programs and Student Services unit encompasses student recruitment, advising, retention and personal and career development.

“I am proud of the work our team in Academic Programs and Student Services has done to develop a support structure for our students,” said Dr. Adrienne Sanogo, associate dean for academic programs and student services.

“The team works hard to ensure that our students receive the guidance and assistance they need to be successful and engaged during their time here at OSU and beyond. We help students to think deeply about their career goals and connect them to experiences that will help get them there.”

The College of Education and Human Sciences has more than 30 student organizations to help students make professional connections, develop leadership skills and serve the community. Applied exercise science senior Cailey Padgett is president of the first College of Education and Human Sciences Student Council. Padgett said she is honored to lay the foundation for a legacy of excellence.

“In my opinion, what sets our college apart from the rest on campus is our dedication and passion to serve people in any capacity,” said Padgett, who plans to go to physical therapy school. “We are a diverse college with many degrees, but all have a passion for serving a greater purpose. I am so excited that we are one, bigger college that has a stronger voice within the OSU campus community and beyond.”

In addition to its academic mission, the college also has a robust research portfolio that includes human development across the lifespan, K-12 and STEM education, nutrition and disease prevention, learning and technology, human environments and pilot and aerospace safety. During the 2019-2020 school year, college programs received $21 million in sponsored grants and contracts to support research activities.

“Our college is home to multiple research labs and centers that not only create new knowledge, but also translate that knowledge to support people across the lifespan,” said Dr. Christine Johnson, associate dean for research and graduate studies. “Best of all, the College of Education and Human Sciences involves students in our research endeavors.”

The College of Education and Human Sciences fully represents the university’s land-grant mission through its work in the areas of Extension, Engagement, and Continuing Education. The college is home to Family and Consumer Sciences Extension, which impacts quality of life for Oklahoma families, youth and individuals through resources and programming related to health, hunger, environment, finances, family resilience and much more.

The college’s community engagement efforts represent a mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge between the university and stakeholders.

“Service learning enhances teaching, provides learning opportunities for students, and assists stakeholders,” said Dr. Gina Peek, interim associate dean for Extension, engagement and continuing education.

“We provide programming that really embodies people, passion, purpose. We use our knowledge to reach people where they are with research-based knowledge. The long-term goals of all of the Extension, engagement and continuing education areas is to make a positive impact in the lives of our participants and their families.”

Students from across CEHS
“The new College of Education and Human Sciences combines our passion, expertise and resources to better deliver on our land-grant mission and serve our students and the world.” OSU President Burns Hargis

MEDIA CONTACT: Christy Lang | 405-744-9740 |

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