Oklahoma State University’s new College of Education and Human Sciences will launch July 1 on the Stillwater campus, uniting programs from the former College of Human Sciences and College of Education, Health and Aviation.
“This brings together the vast knowledge and skills of two outstanding colleges,” OSU President Burns Hargis said. “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.”
Gary Sandefur, OSU provost and senior vice president of academic affairs, points to other institutions that have seen enrollment growth and increases in research funding after similar decisions.
“We are building on the strengths of these academic programs in preparing the next generation of leaders in education, health and more,” Sandefur said.
Stephan M. Wilson, who has been serving as dean of the College of Human Sciences and interim dean of the College of Education, Health and Aviation, led the transition toward the new college beginning in early 2019.
“These two colleges have been around for more than a century, and both have strong, proud legacies,” Wilson said. “Together, we are leveraging our resources to make a larger, more direct and meaningful impact in the lives of Oklahoma citizens, current and future students and more.”
Programs across the new college prepare health professionals, teachers, counselors, psychologists, designers, education and aviation leaders and more. Faculty research, service and Cooperative Extension aim to improve the day-to-day lives of people, schools, communities and society at large.
“Our graduates are creative thinkers and problem-solvers,” Wilson said. “For this college, in all that we do, people are at the center. That’s a unique opportunity and responsibility. People are both the means to the end and the end itself.”
The College of Education and Human Sciences will focus on identifying and solving challenges facing the state.
"We can be proud to stand where we are now and on the shoulders of those that went before us."
Wilson noted the 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 well-being, whether that’s financial, relational, occupational, in a family context or beyond.”
Over the past year, current student leaders in the two original colleges have also begun to connect and plan for the future, and there is a sense of excitement about laying the foundation for a new academic college.
“(In the College of Education and Human Sciences), all of our majors have to do with serving others and helping people. I think everyone at OSU does that, but our majors are designed to help people and serve others. It is one big community of serving others,” elementary education junior Emmy Mueller said.
The College of Education and Human Sciences celebrates its rich history as it turns with excitement toward the future.
“We can be proud to stand where we are now and on the shoulders of those that went before us,” Wilson said. “At the same time there is a lot of work toward a more just, healthier and better-educated society. We are not done by a long shot. We are excited and energized about the opportunities ahead.”