Content Skip to content.
San Diego State University

SDSU College of Education

Dean' Statement

San Diego State University’s College of Education has many strengths.  Our graduates include multiple local, state, and national teachers of the year; several school district superintendents and community college presidents; and the most diverse array of counselors, therapists, and school psychologists produced by any university in the nation.  Our current students are among our brightest ever, evidencing both outstanding academic potential and a deep commitment to make a positive difference in the lives of the children, youth, adults, and families they will serve.  Through their cutting edge research, innovative programs, and highly respected scholarship, our faculty and staff influence positive change in our local community and state, as well as throughout our nation and world.

We have many reasons to be proud, but we have even more reasons to focus upon improving.  Through our own programs, we see the powerful difference that outstanding teachers, counselors, therapists, and leaders make.  We see tangible evidence of our influence on the lives that our graduates touch.  At the same time, we see that there are so many more children, youth, and adults who struggle to achieve their potential.  Our successes give us reason to be proud, but also give us reason to re-double our efforts so that we make even more of a difference through our academic programs, our research and scholarship, and our service to our community.

As we welcome a new academic year, we embrace the challenge of building upon our strengths so that we make an even greater difference in San Diego and throughout the world.  This year our academic programs are working to ensure that our graduates will demonstrate clear evidence of the knowledge, skills, and attitudes that are essential to influencing positive change in the lives of the children, youth, and adults they serve.  Our faculty and staff are developing and implementing practical research that will influence the improvement of early childhood centers, elementary and secondary schools, institutions of higher education, and various community entities in San Diego and beyond.  We are working to become the best place in the nation to learn how to positively influence the lives of diverse populations of children and adults through careers in teaching, counseling, therapy, school psychology, and educational leadership.   We accept our university’s slogan as a mandate.  We truly believe “Leadership starts here!”


The College of Education produces effective professionals, new knowledge through research and inquiry, and partnerships with the field of practice that make a difference in the lives of the people served.


The College of Education prepares effective professionals for a variety of societal service delivery and leadership roles across a range of settings including schools, post secondary institutions, social service agencies, and vocational rehabilitation organizations. The College contributes to the knowledge base in both educational theory and practice through professional inquiry and scholarship. The College engages in strategic partnerships with the field of practice to improve client outcomes, to increase institutional effectiveness, and to promote social justice.

This vision and mission rest upon eight central tenets we believe are essential to the College of Education’s relevance in the 21st century:

Access to a Quality Education

A belief that access to a quality public education for all individuals is an essential and necessary condition of a democratic society and is critical in promoting social and economic justice for individuals, families, communities, and our nation;

Uniqueness of Individuals

A fundamental respect for the uniqueness of all individuals and confidence in their ability to learn and grow, whether they are the professionals we prepare or the clients they serve;

Excellence in Teaching

A belief in the central role that excellence in teaching plays in the mission of the college—an excellence reflected in the quality of our graduates that is measured against the highest professional standards;


A belief that diversity—including its multicultural and multilingual character—provides a rich venue for scholarship and reflective practice from which findings of state and national, if not international importance can be developed;


The belief that thoughtful scholarship is an efficient method for identifying effective practice which can be implemented to improve the quality of life in our community;


The belief in the capacity of technology as a tool to improve the quality of the learning environments we provide as well as increasing the universal access our students have to it;

Strategic Partnerships

A belief that the field of practice can be improved through the development and application of knowledge and use of strategic partnerships to facilitate positive change;

Community of Learners

The belief that the College is a community of learners encompassing not only the students we serve and their clients but also our faculty, staff, and administrators.

College of Education Norms

I take 100% responsibility.
I neither make excuses nor cast blame.

I seek equity of voice.
I participate, I support, I listen and I perform and contribute in a manner that encourages others to do the same.

I am willing to talk about sensitive issues.
I encourage dialogue and am prepared to discuss sensitive issues.

I listen for understanding.
I neither interrupt nor participate in secondary conversations.  I will go directly to the source for information and problem resolution.

I appreciate the strengths and contributions of others.
I need, I want and I value the strengths and contributions of others.

I bring positive energy and encouragement to the team.
I contribute positively; I have high expectations of others and I contribute synergy to the team.

I commit to the mission of the College.
I support and implement the mission; I actively encourage others to do the same.

Joseph F. Johnson, Jr. Photo


Dr. Joseph F. Johnson, Jr.


On This Page...

  • Welcome from Joseph F. Johnson, Jr., Dean
  • COE Vision
  • COE Mission
  • COE Norms