School of Education and Human Services

Nancy Wallace, Ph.D., Interim Dean; Lorrei DiCamillo, Ed.D., Undergraduate Associate Dean; Kristin Kurtzworth-Keen, Ed.D, Graduate Associate Dean and Assessment Coordinator; Julie Marzolf, Executive Associate; Virginia Carver, Administrative and Data Assistant.

Mission Statement

The faculty of the School of Education and Human Services (SEHS), in concert with our candidates, school/community partners, alumni, and the community, seek to prepare highly effective, socially committed professionals who value the Jesuit traditions demonstrated through their own cura personalis, work towards social justice, and leadership through service. The mission of the unit is to prepare professionals who possess content, pedagogical, and professional knowledge; use their gifts in the service of others; and demonstrate professionalism and leadership in their field.


Full accreditation of all educator preparation programs in the School of Education and Human Services was obtained  through the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) in 2017.

Canisius is currently pursuing accreditation of its educator preparation programs by the Association for Advancing Quality in Educator Preparation (AAQEP). Pursuant to §52.21 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education, the educator preparation programs offered by Canisius College are considered to be continuously accredited for purposes of meeting the New York State requirement that all such programs maintain continuous accreditation.


Master of Science (MS), Master of Science in Education (MSEd)

The School of Education and Human Services offers graduate-level programs leading to the master of science (MS) or the master of science in education (MSEd) degree in a variety of fields. 

Advanced Certificates

The School of Education and Human Services also offers several graduate level Advanced Certificate Programs including:

Dual degree Programs

  • BA/BS programs in English, Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry, and History combine with a MSEd in Teaching Students with Disabilities Adolescent Generalist 7-12 to provide both general and special education certifications in one dual undergraduate/graduate degree program.

Instruction in Child Abuse; Prevention of School Violence; Dignity for All Students, Fingerprinting

New York State requires that all persons applying for an initial or professional certificate or license in the areas of administrative or supervisory service, classroom teaching service and school service complete two clock hours of coursework or training on the identification and reporting of suspected child abuse or maltreatment. In addition, all candidates for certification must attend a mandatory two-hour course on the prevention of school violence and a six hour course on dignity for all students and submit fingerprints for law enforcement clearance.


Degrees are awarded three times a year:

  • August 31st for students completing their degree requirements during the summer;
  • February 1st for students completing their requirements during the fall semester;
  • and at the annual commencement program in May on the date designated in the College’s academic calendar.

All students, regardless of when the requirements are completed (May, August, or December), must file a graduation application.

Teacher Education Conceptual Framework

Canisius’ teacher education programs focus on knowledge, service, leadership and professionalism, the foundational tenets of our conceptual framework. Academic programs offer candidates the content, pedagogical and professional knowledge, skills and dispositions necessary for quality performance in their field of study. Candidates will demonstrate the ability to reflect on their instructional practice, apply knowledge, exhibit skills and develop dispositions essential for success in P-12 schools. In coursework and in practice, candidates will display a clear understanding of the historical, philosophical, sociological, legal and psychological bases of education and educational policy. Candidates must be committed to the education of the whole person and to the belief that all individuals can learn. Within the contexts of their work, candidates promote authentic learning, social and emotional development and a commitment to service and social justice in environments that foster respect for diversity and the dignity of all. Candidates are encouraged to participate in the urban community in which the college is located and, through a variety of field experiences and service-learning opportunities, to interact with an ethnically, racially, culturally, religiously and intellectually diverse population. Collaborative projects allow candidates to learn from others, develop a professional orientation and assume positions of responsibility and leadership. Candidates develop the ability to reflect thoughtfully on their experience in order to guide professional development and to improve practice and are encouraged to join professional organizations and actively participate in professional conferences.

Central to our conceptual framework is a symbol of infinity, representing four interrelated and evolving characteristics: Knowledge, Service, Professionalism, and Leadership. These elements are situated within the overarching Ignatian vision and Jesuit educational principles. These values include:

  • Cura personalis, concern for individuals, and desire to educate the whole person;
  • Magis, or seeking the greater good, striving for excellence and desire to have our candidates reach one’s full potential;
  • Sharing one’s gifts in the service for and with others in the pursuit of social justice;
  • Contemplation in action, that is being a reflective learner & educator striving for ethical decision-making and mindful creative solutions to today’s issues in Education.

To this end, with a vision of P-16 partnership, we strive to engage our students in their chosen field of study. As stated by Rev. Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, S.J., Superior General of the Society of Jesus (2000), “Students, in the course of their formation, must let the gritty reality of this world into their lives, so they can learn to feel it, think about it critically, respond to its suffering and engage it constructively” (p. 8).

Performance Outcomes

Performance outcomes aligned with knowledge, service and professionalism, and leadership are:

  1. Knowledge
    The acquisition, creation and dissemination of knowledge is a continuing, transformational process.
    Knowledge Outcomes
    The competent professional:
    • Applies theory and research in practice.
    • Applies effective teacher/counselor/administrator principles.
    • Demonstrates appropriate dispositions, emphasizing student responsibility for behavior and achievement.
  2. Service
    Each individual has gifts and talents that should be developed to the highest level.
    Service Outcomes
    The competent professional:
    • Is committed to diversity, equity and social justice.
    • Has a sense of purpose and power, and in all endeavors works for the benefit of all learners in their respective human service professions.
    • Demonstrates appropriate dispositions:
      • Enthusiasm toward content/subject areas
      • Appreciation of social/cognitive/emotional development for all learners
      • Appreciation of human diversity
      • Values development of students’ critical thinking
      • Engages in comprehensive and collaborative planning that meets curricular goals
      • Commitment to utilizing assessment information to inform decisions
  3. Professionalism/Leadership
    Each individual has an obligation to improve the world in which they live as advocates for social justice and through a dedication to education as a vehicle for positive social change.
    Professionalism Outcomes
    The competent professional is:
    • An effective communicator.
    • A reflective practitioner.
    • A lifelong learner.
    • Demonstrates appropriate dispositions:
      • Values and utilizes effective communication techniques in professional settings
      • Is committed to, and actively seeks out, opportunities to grow professionally
      • Is committed to advocating for the well-being of children and families
  4. Leadership
    Each individual applies knowledge, skills, and dispositions in such a way that they positively impact the performance and outcomes of those they teach or serve.
    A competent professional:
    • Is skilled at using outcome data to assess the effectiveness of their own professional practice.
    • Seeks to improve their practice with the goal being to positively impact students/clients.


Dispositions are professional attitudes, values, and beliefs demonstrated through behaviors as candidates interact with peers, students/clients, families, colleagues, and communities. In addition to the fundamental beliefs in fairness and justice, the Canisius College SEHS will foster the following dispositions in its candidates:

  • Enthusiastic  Demonstrates initiative and commitment towards the educational pursuit
  • Just  Appreciates value for human diversity and the ideal of fairness
  • Caring  Demonstrates an attitude of empathy, tolerance and acceptance of others
  • Ethical  Models behavior embodied in the mission of the School and college, and shows integrity in professional practice
  • Responsible  Demonstrates personal and professional accountability for themselves and the profession

The SEHS candidate will embody the SEHS dispositions with maturing expertise. With emphasis on the movement from theory to practice, our programs teach candidates to embrace leadership roles that influence classrooms, schools, districts, and communities.

The development and exhibition of dispositions appropriate to teaching all children is a requirement of all Canisius teacher preparation programs. Candidates who demonstrate an unwillingness or inability to act in a mature, respectful and professional manner will be referred to the departmental Candidate Concern Committee for remediation. Outcomes of the remediation plan can include but are not limited to: probationary status for student teaching, prohibited from participation in field experiences, including student teaching, and/or repeating a field experience, including student teaching.

SEHS Learning Goals

SEHS students will embody the characteristics of a Canisius College graduate. Our candidates will meet the college, state, and national standards and demonstrate proficiencies articulated by their discipline.

  • Learning Goal 1: Candidates will demonstrate content knowledge, pedagogical, and professional knowledge necessary for successful performance in their field.
  • Learning Goal 2: Candidates will demonstrate professional skills and dispositions necessary for successful performance in their field.
  • Learning Goal 3: Candidates will demonstrate willingness to use their skills to benefit and serve society. Within the contexts of their work, candidates promote authentic learning, social and emotional development, and a commitment to social justice in environments that foster respect for diversity and the dignity of all.
  • Learning Goal 4: Candidates will demonstrate self-reflection as a habit of mind, continuously assessing and refining their professional practice as they construct a rich repertoire of research-based knowledge, skills, and attitudes for effective performance ensuring that all students and/or clients have optimal opportunities to learn and grow.
  • Learning Goal 5: Candidates will become adept at applying their acquired knowledge in the process of evaluating their own professional performance and decision-making with respect to its impact on students and/or clients, organizations, and the wider community.


Men and women of character, ability and achievement are welcome in the graduate programs at Canisius College. Their acceptability is judged by the department and is based on achievement, aptitude and character.

Applicants for admission to graduate work in SEHS may be accepted as matriculants (master’s degree candidates) in a particular program, or as non-matriculants. Except in unusual cases, non-matriculants may take no more than 9 credit hours before matriculation is required.

Admission Procedures

All applicants for admission to a graduate program must submit:

  • One copy of official undergraduate transcripts indicating the receipt of a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution of higher learning
  • Two personal letters of reference

Graduate Application

Non-Teacher Education Applicants

Admission will require a 2.70 cumulative undergraduate GPA. Applicants who have an undergraduate GPA below a 2.70 may be required to meet additional requirements in order to provide evidence of their ability to be successful in graduate studies. These requirements may include a personal interview, and the GRE, GMAT, or MAT. Canadian and other international applicants must provide a completed Certification of Finances form.

Teacher Education Applicants

A 3.00 cumulative undergraduate GPA is preferred. Applicants who have an undergraduate GPA below a 3.00 may be required to meet additional requirements in order to provide evidence of their ability to be successful in graduate studies (ie. personal interview, additional coursework, etc). Applicants without a masters degree will also be required to complete a standardized test (ie. GRE, MAT, etc) with scores in the top 50th percentile. Canadian and other international applicants must provide a completed Certification of Finances form.

Transfer Credits

No more than six credits of graduate coursework will be accepted in transfer from other institutions. The grades must have been at least “B” and must have been earned within the five-year time limit for completion of degree requirements. All transfer credits must coordinate with the candidate’s program of study at Canisius College, as approved by the program director. Any exceptions to the above may only be made with the approval of both the program director and the associate dean.

Credit by Examination

Individuals who are applying for admission or who are presently in attendance may obtain credit for previously completed examinations sponsored by the College Level Examination Program (CLEP) of the College Entrance Examination Board (CEEB) or by the New York State College Proficiency Examination Program (CPE). The minimum acceptable grades for these exams are “Pass” for exams graded Pass/Fail and “C” for exams with letter grades. On exams graded on a standard score scale of 20 to 80, the passing score varies from 40 to 50 depending on the subject area. Candidates must consult with the associate dean for permission to use any credit by examination toward their graduate degree or certification requirements.

Assessment and Continued Progress

In designated courses throughout the program of study, candidates will complete specific assignments which reflect the conceptual framework of the School of Education and Human Services and the standards established by specialized professional associations and, for teacher candidates, the principles of the Interstate Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (InTASC). These assignments will be evaluated at specific transition points throughout the program and must be successfully completed prior to graduation.

Performance is evaluated at four transition points, providing candidates with ongoing and integrated feedback on their progress. The four transition points are:

  1. program entrance
  2. prior to Clinical Practice
  3. after Clinical Practice
  4. before graduation

Transition to each successive level requires successful performance on all measures described at the transition point. Faculty review the progress of each candidate and, if deficits are noted, a plan is developed to address and remediate shortcomings. Candidates who consistently do not meet program expectations may be counseled out of or dismissed from the program. The development and exhibition of dispositions appropriate to teaching all children is a requirement of all Canisius teacher preparation programs. Candidates who demonstrate an unwillingness or inability to act in a mature, respectful and professional manner may be prohibited from participation in field experiences, including student teaching and may be counseled out of or dismissed from their program.

Probation and Disqualification

Receipt of a grade of “F” will result in probationary status. A second grade of “F” will automatically disqualify a candidate from the master’s degree program. A candidate whose grade point average drops below a 3.00 will be placed on probation and will be dismissed from the master’s degree program if their overall grade point average is below a 3.00 in two consecutive terms.

Time Limitation

A candidate must complete all master’s degree requirements within five years. Exceptions to this policy must be approved by the chair of the appropriate program and the associate dean.

Teacher Certification

To obtain initial teacher certification, candidates must pass the examinations required by the New York State Education Department (NYSED). These include the Educating All Students Test (EAS), the educative Teacher Performance Assessment (edTPA), and the Content Specialty Test (CST). Current information regarding required certification exams may be found at NYSTCE. As required by the New York State Education Department, the pass rates for Canisius College on the New York State Teacher Certification Examinations can be found on the the outcomes page of the School of Education and Human Services webpage.

For the professional certificate, candidates will need additional professional development, three years teaching experience, and the completion of an appropriate master’s degree within five years. Contact the New York State Education Department for additional information.

All Canadian (Ontario) students will be required to obtain a New York State certification before the Ontario College of Teachers (O.C.T.) will issue a teaching credential. This is consistent with Ontario’s policy that if a person leaves the province to study to become a teacher, that person must complete and obtain certification in the jurisdiction in which he or she studied. Ontario students will follow the same procedure as U.S. students in applying for certification, including fingerprint clearance.

Dual citizens (U.S. and Canada) are required to first obtain New York State certification before receiving Ontario certification. Also, candidates applying for New York State certification must possess either a 4-year bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree to obtain New York State certification. Holders of a 3-year bachelor’s degree must complete the entire Master’s program before New York State will issue teacher certification.