School of Education expands title

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School of Education expands title

Dr. Carruthers has served as dean of the school for 12 years. Photo: Melia Covington

The School of Education officially expanded its name to the School of Education and Human Services to better reflect its programs and advertise its offerings to prospective students after a yearlong approval process.

The change follows the creation of the Division of Educational, Child and Family Studies and is intended to reflect a broadened focus. According to Dr. Julie Hartman, the chair of the Division of Educational, Child and Family Studies, the new division arose from the addition of new programs and concentrations emphasizing the use of educational tools outside of the typical classroom environment. “What we found is a lot of people wanted to be teachers or wanted to be educators, but they didn’t want to work in the classroom,” said Hartman. 

More than 150 institutions have accepted graduates from the School of Education and Human Services for postgraduate work. Photo: Melia Covington

According to Hartman, in 2015 the education faculty started exploring the idea of offering programs that did not require teacher certification. 

The first of these new programs came in 2017 with the addition of the educational studies major, along with several concentrations including arts integration, social services and teaching English to speakers of other languages. Two years later, the child development program became available, further expanding the school’s scope.

While the School of Education and Human Services broadened its offerings, the new programs were not visible to current or prospective students. “Prospective students don’t call us on the phone and say, ‘Do you have social work?’” Hartman said. “They just go to the internet, … and we wanted to make it really easy for them to find us.” 

The decision for the name change was born out of the 2020 Division of Educational, Child and Family Studies review, which found that prospective students had difficulty discovering the available programs, and many of the current students had found them only after beginning college with another major. 

After examining academic benchmarks and hearing feedback from graduates, the school prepared to make adjustments to its courses and marketing strategy. 

“We began looking at our mission statement, our vision statement, our core values for the School of Education and our messaging,” Brian Carruthers, dean of the School of Education and Human Services, said. “It was through that process that we began to realize that a name change would benefit us.”

Dr. Carruthers has served as dean of the school for 12 years.
Photo: Melia Covington

Over the next year, the School of Education went through an approval process. First, the change was presented to the curriculum committee before being sent to the Office of Planning, Research and Assessment. Then, in March, the proposal was shared with the school’s newly formed advisory board, which is comprised of 18 members with experience or expertise in the field of education. According to Hartman, the board loved the idea and suggested moving ahead with the plans for the change.

On the following months, the School of Education and Human Services began producing material to reflect its new name, including a new viewbook and landing page for their website, education.bju.edu, in order to prepare for the official change. 

Finally on Sept. 9, Dr. Steve Pettit, president of Bob Jones University, announced the school’s new name in front of the student body during chapel, representing the culmination of over a year of work from the school’s staff.

“We’re excited because this is an opportunity for us to communicate exciting and new growth programs … to a constituency that really didn’t know these existed, and we’re trusting the Lord will use this opportunity to really lead students to the University in the future,” Carruthers said.