School of Education

John L. Watzke, Ph.D., dean

Julie Kalnin, Ph.D., division chair of graduate programs

Hillary Merk, Ph.D., division chair of teacher certification programs

Faculty: Anctil, Danielson, Hetherington, Hon, Kalnin, Ketelsen, Merk, Myers, Ralston, Smith, Watzke

The School of Education is accredited through the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE)/Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) and the Oregon Teacher Standards and Practices Commission. In addition, School of Education programs are approved by the Oregon Teacher Standards and Practices Commission (TSPC). The school receives further recognition by the University of Portland’s accrediting body, the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU). The School of Education is a member of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, the Association of Teacher Educators, and the Association of Independent Liberal Arts Colleges of Teacher Education and several other professional organizations.

Federal law requires that all schools of education report required teacher licensure exams and the percentage of graduates from their programs passing those exams. All candidates within our initial teacher preparation programs must achieve passing scores on the TSPC approved tests required for licensure. Any School of Education program which includes field work in schools and/or with minors requires a fingerprint clearance. Courses outside the designated program of study may be taken only with written permission of the division chair.


Affirming an ethos that each individual is a learner, that dignity and justice are achieved through education, and that education is a community responsibility, the School of Education continues a Holy Cross mission begun two centuries ago to prepare teachers and leaders to “educate the whole child: the heart, the mind, the hands” (Moreau, 1856). Through programs of professional preparation, service, and community building, the School engages society both in the present, and in the future, through generations of alumni in the pursuit of the common good.

“Education is the art of helping young people to completeness.

Rev. Basil Moreau, Founder of the Congregation of Holy Cross

Guided by the University commitment to be a premier comprehensive Catholic university, the School of Education prepares individuals at all stages of their careers to become exceptional professional educators who teach and lead. Such educators, the School of Education believes, demonstrate an array of knowledge, skills, and professional dispositions. They are life-long learners who are empathetic and respectful of others. They are exceptional communicators and can work effectively with others. Knowledgeable of both theory and practice, they have a broad and deep knowledge about students, the curriculum, and learning, and the concomitant skills to organize classrooms and employ instructional strategies to meet the diverse needs of learners.

Program Objectives

The objective of all programs in the School of Education stem from the mission statement to create teachers and administrators who exhibit the characteristics mentioned in the following shared values and allow these values to guide their practice.

  1. Exceptional professional educators are lifelong learners.
  2. Exceptional professional educators are empathetic and respectful.
  3. Exceptional professional educators communicate and work effectively with others.
  4. Exceptional professional educators have a broad knowledge about the diversity of individuals and world around them.
  5. Exceptional professional educators have deep knowledge about content.
  6. Exceptional professional educators have deep knowledge about how people learn.
  7. Exceptional professional educators have deep knowledge and skills necessary to use instruction and the organization of classrooms, schools, and school systems to assist all learners to succeed.
  8. Exceptional professional educators fuse theory and practice.

Additionally, all initial licensure programs adhere to the following Interstate Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (InTASC) standards:

Standard #1: Learner Development – The teacher understands how learners grow and develop, recognizing that patterns of learning and development vary individually within and across the cognitive, linguistic, social, emotional, and physical areas, and designs and implements developmentally appropriate and challenging learning experiences.

Standard #2: Learning Differences – The teacher uses understanding of individual differences and diverse cultures and communities to ensure inclusive learning environments that enable each learner to meet high standards.

Standard #3: Learning Environments – The teacher works with others to create environments that support individual and collaborative learning, and that encourage positive social interaction, active engagement in learning, and self motivation.

Standard #4: Content Knowledge – The teacher understands the central concepts, tools of inquiry, and structures of the discipline(s) he or she teaches and creates learning experiences that make the discipline accessible and meaningful for learners to assure mastery of the content.

Standard #5: Application of Content – The teacher understands how to connect concepts and use differing perspectives to engage learners in critical thinking, creativity, and collaborative problem solving related to authentic local and global issues.

Standard #6: Assessment – The teacher understands and uses multiple methods of assessment to engage learners in their own growth, to monitor learner progress, and to guide the teacher’s and learner’s decision making.

Standard #7: Planning for Instruction – The teacher plans instruction that supports every student in meeting rigorous learning goals by drawing upon knowledge of content areas, curriculum, cross-disciplinary skills, and pedagogy, as well as knowledge of learners and the community context.

Standard #8: Instructional Strategies – The teacher understands and uses a variety of instructional strategies to encourage learners to develop deep understanding of content areas and their connections, and to build skills to apply knowledge in meaningful ways.

Standard #9: Professional Learning and Ethical Practice – The teacher engages in ongoing professional learning and uses evidence to continually evaluate his/her practice, particularly the effects of his/her choices and actions on others (learners, families, other professionals, and the community), and adapts practice to meet the needs of each learner.

Standard #10: Leadership and Collaboration – The teacher seeks appropriate leadership roles and opportunities to take responsibility for student learning, to collaborate with learners, families, colleagues, other school professionals, and community members to ensure learner growth, and to advance the profession.