College of Education > About > Mission and History > Timeline

Timeline: Facts & Firsts

Expand the items below to learn more about the history of the College of Education.

1962- Dean William J. Fenelon, who helped to establish the School of Education, is named its first dean of students.
Above: Schmitt Academic Center in 1968 / Dean Fenelon
1963- The school's Elementary Education program begins in the fall of 1963. The program prepares educators to teach kindergarten through ninth grade.

1967- Groundbreaking for the Schmitt Academic Center (SAC) commences. The SAC will serve as the home to the School of Education until 2013.

1967- The School of Education's Family Lab is established. The lab offers diagnostic and remedial tutoring in literacy to children and youth in the Chicago area for a moderate or sliding scale cost.

1968- The construction of the Schmitt Academic Center is completed and opens for student use. 

1968- The school's Secondary Education programs begins, which focuses on teacher preparation for grades six through 12.

1972- SOE professor Dr. Don Dinkmeyer developed a program of activities designed to stimulate social and emotional development in young children with the use of puppets, most notably "Dosu the Dolphin." By 1972, the program was being used in over 3,000 schools nationwide.

Above: SOE Professor Don Dinkmeyer / The Hayes-Healy Athletic Center
1973- The School of Education moves administrative and program offices from its Loop headquarters in the Lewis Center to the SAC. The entire school is now located on the Lincoln Park Campus.

1976- DePaul University acquires the "collegiate Gothic"-style Waterman gymnasium, which is renamed the Hayes-Healy Athletic Center. Hayes Healy was home to many physical education classes until it was razed in 2003 for the expanded Fullerton L stop.

1983- The School of Education and the Department of Math partner to offer a master's degree in Mathematics Education.

1988- Between 1983 and 1988, the school's undergraduate population doubles.

1989- The School of Education introduces the Teaching and Learning Program, an innovative master's degree option for those who wish to change careers and become educators. The school also begins offering its Early Childhood undergraduate degree.

1990- The school begins to develop its focus, philosophy and commitment to urban, multicultural, professional education. These principles remain the cornerstones of the College of Education to this day.

1992- Under the direction of Dean Barbara Sizemore, the School of Education created the School Achievement Structure Program, which trains teachers and principals to develop and implement effective methods of instruction for students in troubled Chicago Public Schools.

1995- The Stockyard Institute is founded. The institute is an arts and pedagogical initiative that established the collaborative community-wide arts and education project with youth, teachers, artists and residents in underserved Chicago communities.

1996- The SOE implements a Student Tutor Program in seven local schools. The initiative supplements the instructional program in the Chicago Public Schools and operates under the Chicago Public Schools grant.

1997- DePaul University hosts a screening and discussion of the groundbreaking documentary, "It's Elementary: Talking About Gay Issues In School." The discussion, led by the SOE's Dr. Amira Proweller, addressed the importance of framing discourses of sexuality more broadly in terms of multicultural discussion and debate. The event, co-hosted by The Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), confronts anti-gay prejudice and counters gay invisibility.

Above: Members of the growing student poplulation  / Dean Barbara Sizemore

1997- The School of Education's Glenview Teacher Training Program is renewed.

1997- The Human Development and Learning Program is founded at the O'Hare Campus. DePaul's Naperville Campus also opened in 1997.

1997- The SOE launches its online home page for the first time. The site includes information about undergraduate and graduate programs, outreach programs, admission requirements, administration and faculty, student services and links to other educational resources.

1997- The SOE makes an Internet Resource Handbook and distributes it to faculty. Syllabi are included online for the first time.

1998- School of Education establishes a doctoral program with strands in Educational Leadership and Curriculum Studies. After placing an ad in several local newspapers, the SOE promptly received over 500 inquiries regarding the programs.

1999- School faculty, staff and student body become more diverse; the student population grows to 1,800.

2000-The School of Education establishes a master's program in Social and Cultural Foundations of Education, with a focus on social justice.

2002- The SOE establishes a program in Bilingual/Bicultural Education.

2003- The School of Education establishes Reading Specialist and Visual Arts Education programs. A departmental administrative structure is established.

2004- The SOE begins offering seven online classes, which allow teachers and students to communicate through virtual classrooms and online chats. The online graduate courses lead to Illinois certification in Secondary Mathematics and Secondary Science.

Above: Naperville Campus
2004- The SOE teams up with public schools to enhance education for K-12 and student teachers. The central goals of the partnership are to improve student performance, prepare new teachers and educators, provide professional development for teachers and allow faculty at DePaul and the schools to work together to develop effective teaching practices.

2004- DePaul joins the Big East Conference.

2004- The Rev. Dennis Holtschneider, C.M., became DePaul University's president on July 1.

2004- Sister Frances Ryan, D.C., receives DePaul's highest faculty honor, DePaul's Excellence in Teaching Award. Ryan's pioneering spirit in the development of SOE's Early Childhood Education program, as well as her dedication to serving those in need, earned her this prestigious award.

2005- DePaul begins offering classes at the College of Lake County in Grayslake.

2005- DePaul's School of Education receives a $2.3 million donation from alumna Emily Zeman who wished the endowment be used to help students pay tuition and other expenses. Later that year, the SOE begins offering the Frank and Francis Zeman Memorial Endowed Graduate Fellowship in Education, making her vision a reality.

2008- The SOE and Chicago Public Schools receive a $345,000 grant from the Searle Funds at the Chicago Community Trust (CCT) aimed to improve the teaching skills of elementary school math and science teachers. The project encompassed 11 elementary schools.

2009- DePaul University receives a one million dollar donation from DePaul University Trustee Jack Greenberg and his wife, Donna, to create an innovative program promoting tolerance, social justice and social responsibility in the classroom.

2009- DePaul's SOE begins to offer a combined bachelor’s + master’s degree program with the School for New Learning (SNL) in Early Childhood Education.

2010- School of Education begins a combined bachelor’s + master’s degree program in Secondary Education in partnership with College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

2010-The School of Education joins DePaul's St. Vincent de Paul and St. Louise de Marillac 350th Anniversary Haiti Project. SOE faculty members travel to Haiti on a fact-finding mission to observe classrooms there. At the same time, a group of Haitian teachers are flown to Chicago to work with SOE on classroom management and differentiated instruction.

2011- The School of Education begins to offer Curriculum Studies and Special Education programs online. 

2011- SOE's graduate Counseling program becomes the first institution in Illinois and the 24th in the nation to affiliate with The Education Trust's National Center for Transformative School Counseling (NCTSC) Initiative, bringing national recognition to the program.

2011- The Katie Brown Memorial Library is dedicated. The library commemorates late student Katie Brown's spirit of service and dedication to fostering children's love of literacy.

2011- Increasing complexity of education offerings and activities within the school provide the stimulus for a change in name from the School of Education to the College of Education.

2012- Civil rights pioneer Carlotta Walls LaNier of the Little Rock Nine recounts her experience with integrating Little Rock High School in 1957. The speech, given to College of Education alumni, current students, and Chicago-area teachers and school counselors was part of a three-day seminar to bring historical perspective to current school dialogues about racism, antisemitism, intolerance and bullying.

2012- Melissa Ockerman, assistant professor in DePaul's College of Education, was named Counselor Educator of the Year by the Illinois School Counselor Association (ISCA).

2012- The College of Education establishes a collaboration with the social justice institution Facing History and Ourselves.

2012- DePaul reaches an agreement with Children's Memorial Hospital to acquire its three-story Belden Place building on the southeast corner of Belden Avenue and Halsted Street. The building will be used for academic space and as the headquarters for the College of Education.

2013- DePaul's College of Education relocates to its new building at the southeast corner of Belden Avenue and Halsted Street.

2014- DePaul’s was the only university school counseling program invited from Illinois to the White House Convening: Strengthening School Counseling and College Advising in San Diego.

2015- The University Assessment Advisory Board awarded the Department of Teacher Education with the 2015 Assessment Award for having the best assessment project/report of the year.

2015 - Dean Zionts and Jason Goulah visited Soka University and Soka High School in Tokyo, Japan. Representing DePaul University and the Institute for Daisaku Ikeda Studies in Education, they met with various leaders, instructors, and students at the two schools. Dean Zionts was invited to give the keynote address at the Soka Youth Peace Forum and engaged in a dialogue session with student representatives of Soka High School.

2016 - Amy Feiker Hollenbeck and COE student, Alyssa Kalb, collaborated to create the Future Teachers Club. This club provides a forum through which future teachers across disciplines can come together to learn about issues affecting schools today as well as best practices in education. The club also has a service aspect, with an emphasis on Chicagoland schools and organizations.

2016 - The COE hosted the third annual Inspiring InStem Girls camp. Through the hard work of Nell Cobb and Eunmi Lee, 6th, 7th, and 8th grade girls learn to code, engineer solar powered cars, and build robots.

2017 - Anne Butler, assistant instructional professor, and Linsey Sabielny, assistant professor, coordinated with the Theater School to create the first sensory-friendly performance.

2017 - OIPL successfully launched its online International Baccalaureate Educator Certificate in Teaching and Learning. The IBEC program is truly global and currently enrolls teachers from across the United States, China, South Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, Taiwan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe.

2023 - DePaul University names Jennifer Mueller dean of the College of Education effective August 1, 2023.