College of Education and Professional Studies

Graduates from the College of Education and Professional Studies become leaders in their chosen career fields. One recent example is Greg Harrel, who has taken the position of Assistant Athletic Trainer with the Los Angeles Dodgers professional baseball club. Greg earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Education in 1986 and worked as a student athletic trainer under the tutelage of Mr. Jeff McKibbin, program coordinator of the Graduate Athletic Training Program.

The College of Education and Professional Studies regularly hosts professional conferences in disciplinary areas related to programs in the college. This represents one vehicle for connecting our students, faculty, and staff members to the broader professional communities we serve.

Graduates from programs in the College of Education and Professional Studies are recognized as leaders in their fields. For example, many Teacher of the Year honorees in local schools and districts are CEPS graduates.

Many courses in the College of Education and Professional Studies include a service component that involves students in making contributions to the various professional communities in our area.

Many faculty and staff members in the college have professional experiences in other countries including England, Saudi Arabia, Germany, India, and Brazil.

Graduates of master's programs in the college are frequently successful in pursuing doctoral degrees at many prestigious universities around the world. Recent graduates are now pursuing studies at institutions including the University of Texas - Austin, Texas A&M University, Arizona State University, the University of Florida, Oklahoma State University, the University of Oklahoma, and the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Students in the college have many leadership opportunities afforded them and there are approximately 15 student organizations in which hundreds of students are actively engaged.

The job prospects for graduates of our programs remain strong. A recent survey by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) indicates that the national demand over the coming year and beyond for occupational safety and health services will significantly surpass the number of men and women with the necessary training, education and experience. Although employers plan to hire at least 25,000 occupational safety and health professionals over the next five years, only about 12,000 new graduates are expected to be available from the academic programs that provide the national pool of expertise.

UCO has 13 educator preparation programs that have earned the distinction of being nationally recognized by virtue of thorough review through Specialized Professional Associations specific to each discipline and through the state program approval process overseen by the Oklahoma Commission for Teacher Preparation and as part of the accreditation process for the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education.

Dr. Diane Rudebock is the newly elected Chair of the Research Committee for the Labyrinth Society. The Labyrinth Society is an international organization whose purpose is to educate about the uses of labyrinths and provide opportunities to experience the labyrinth (a walking meditation).

UCO and the College of Education and Professional Studies has one of only six academic programs for the preparation of athletic trainers that have obtained full accreditation through the Council for the Accreditation of Athletic Training Education, the gold standard of accreditations for this field. Our program is the only graduate level (master's degree) program of its type in the state.

The Oklahoma Public Health Association added a Student Caucus in 2011. Of the five student chair positions, four of them are held by community health students from the Department of Kinesiology & Health Studies.

Students in the college are deeply engaged in many transformative learning opportunities that extend beyond the classroom. In the 2010-11 academic year more than 200 undergraduate and graduate students in the college attended regional, state, national, and international professional conferences to present original scholarly work and/or to serve in leadership roles within various professional organizations.

Our teacher education faculty members are well qualified, both academically and professionally. Most have over five years of teaching experience in public schools prior to university service and 90% hold doctoral degrees.

The teacher preparation programs at UCO are approved by the Oklahoma Commission for Teacher Preparation and are nationally accredited. The Teacher Education Unit at UCO has been continuously accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) since January 1, 1954.

The College of Education and Professional Studies serves approximately 4,000 student who have declared majors in fields within the college. Approximately one-half of these student majors are in education fields and one-half in "professional studies" fields.

The College of Education and Professional Studies includes many programs that utilize clinics and labs as part of the preparation experience for students in a large range of undergraduate programs. Among these are a Speech/Language Clinic, a program which serves the needs of hearing impaired children, a Reading Clinic, and a clinic that serves needs in both the areas of Counseling Psychology and Guidance and Counseling.

Faculty and staff members from the College of Education and Professional Studies hold leadership positions in the various professional organizations, associations, and societies affiliated with the various academic disciplines within the college.

A member of Governor Fallin's cabinet, Secretary of Veteran and Military Affairs Major General Rita Aragon (Ret.), holds two degrees from the College of Education and Professional Studies.