Benerd School of Education celebrates 90 years

Benerd School of Education celebrates 90 years

Jon Hill Over its long 90-year history, the Gladys L. Benerd School of Education has produced a myriad of teachers and professors.

Jon Hill
Over its long 90-year history, the Gladys L. Benerd School of Education has produced a myriad of teachers and professors.

This is an important year for California education: It is University of the Pacific’s Gladys L. Benerd School of Education’s 90th anniversary. The school has a long history, which has contributed to more than just University of the Pacific.

It has helped shape the California education system. The relationships between people in the Benerd School of Education are unique. Its students are an embodiment of its mission and success.

The school has been on the forefront of education since its inception.

On Jan. 10, 1924, it was one of the first schools of education to be accredited in California. Dean Lynn Beck, who holds a doctorate in education and human development, stated, “We have continuously been accredited, not just at the state but nationally, all the way through the doctoral level since the 1950s when such an accreditation was available.”

Later, it gave undergraduates an opportunity to become teachers.

“In the 1960s, the school offered one of the first undergraduate Teacher Corps programs in the United States,” according to the Gladys L. Benerd School of Education Mission and History. Teaching undergraduates to become teachers was an important step in American education because it represented a shift in education where the young could be trusted to teach the younger.

In the decades to follow, bilingual education was on the rise, and the BSE was yet again a leader in developments in education.

“In the 1970s and 1980s, it offered innovative programs to prepare bilingual educators, and, in the 1980s and early 1990s, its Title VII Doctoral Fellowship Program prepared… teachers and administrators in the fields of bilingual education and English as a second language,” the Gladys L. Benerd School of Education Mission and History reports.

As America becomes a complex salad bowl, bilingual education is becoming increasingly valuable.

Today, the school is multicultural and current. It has a large ESL population, many of whom are studying abroad to become professionals within education.

It stays ahead of the curve by offering many degrees, which cater to the ways people can improve society through education in our complex education system. It has an array of programs such as: single and multiple subject credentials, advanced degrees in curriculum and instruction, educational leadership, education psychology, special education and many more.

An outstanding characteristic of the school is the respect and appreciation the staff, faculty and students have for each other. Professor Kellie Cain, who holds a doctorate in education, told The Pacifican which characteristics of the BSE she believes makes it stand out.

“I think the fact that you really get to know your professors, and it’s more like a family. The relationships between students and faculty.” When asked what the highlight of her experience at the school has been, Beck enthused, “The highlight are the people. Students and the faculty and the alumni.”

The students in BSE are models of success and passion for teaching. How would Cain describe the students? She responded: “Passionate. Really concerned about being well-prepared to meet the needs of their future students.”
The School of Education has instilled this value in its students, who do their best to develop it. Many students exemplify this passion for teaching.

One of them is Jackie*, an international student from Shanghai. When asked how she heard about the BSE, she noted, “My college has a program with UOP’s education school, and it is a little girl’s dream to be a teacher….”
The BSE’s work to attract foreign students shows its commitment to finding passionate students who want to educate the world.

Another student who represents the mission and values of the School of Education is Elizabeth Lamanna, who won the Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities & Colleges award last year.

She explained, “I was motivated to attend the BSE after I heard about their Master’s/Single Subject Credential program. It seemed like an ideal path to enhance my resume while deepening my knowledge in both pedagogy and curriculum design.”

She later explained how the BSE contributed to her winning the award: “I fully credit the BSE for this honor: the caliber of our instructors and the rigor of our coursework produce invigorated students who are expected to work and think at the highest levels.

Every student in the BSE is a credit to our institution owing to the expectations and support provided by our staff. I look forward to bringing the knowledge and experience I’ve gained through the BSE to my own classroom and to the Valley’s learning community as a whole.”

The BSE is celebrating its 90th anniversary. The best word to describe its history is innovation. It has been on the forefront of education throughout its history and today.

Two ways the school has accomplished this is through valuing ESL education and offering many degrees, which equip their students to be advocates of change. None of this could be possible without the excellent relationships between the staff, faculty and students.

A shared characteristic between every student in the School of Education is a passion for becoming the best teachers they can.

To celebrate the school’s 90 years of success, Pacific is hosting a brunch during Homecoming on Oct. 18 from 10 a.m. to noon in the DeRosa University Center. Alumni will be attending and current students are welcome to participate in the event and will be compensated. As a current student in the Benerd School of Education, I am proud to be a member of a school, which has given so much to the world.

*Name changed at student’s request.

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