School of Education and Human Services

Nancy Wallace, Ph.D., Dean; Lorrei DiCamillo, Ed.D., Associate Dean, Undergraduate;  Kristin Kurtzworth-Keen, Ed.D., Associate Dean, Graduate; Virginia Carver, Administrative & 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.

Academic Programs

All teacher preparation programs in the School of Education and Human Services are accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). Specific accredited programs include the Counseling and Human Services by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) and the Physician Assistant program by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant, Inc. (ARC-PA). All programs are registered and approved by the New York State Education Department.

The School of Education and Human Services offers curricula leading to undergraduate degrees in a number of areas.

The Teacher Education and Leadership Department offers undergraduate degree/certification programs in childhood for a dual certification program in childhood education (1-6)/students with disabilities or childhood education (1-6)/teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL)(K-12). Each of these programs require candidates to select an academic concentration in one of six disciplines: English, mathematics, social studies, music, Spanish, or social justice. Candidates enrolled in childhood education programs may elect to take two additional courses in middle childhood education and apply for an extension to teach in grades 7 through 9 for all concentrations except social justice, and science. Candidates enrolled in childhood education programs may also elect to take two additional courses in early childhood education to apply directly to the State for certification to teach birth through grade 2.

Undergraduate degree programs in adolescence education lead to teacher certification (grades 7 through 12) in one of six academic disciplines: biology, chemistry, English, mathematics, social studies, and Spanish. Candidates enrolled in adolescence education programs may elect to take two additional courses in middle childhood education and apply for an extension to teach in grades 5 and 6.  A 4+1 dual degree option is available for those students who major in a content area (biology, chemistry, English, history or math) at the undergraduate level and complete the requirements for an MSED in adolescence students with disabilities to earn initial certification in both areas by the end of the fifth year of study. 

The Department of Kinesiology offers undergraduate majors in health and wellness, sports and exercise health care, and sport management. Initial teacher certification programs are available in physical education, and a dual certification program in physical and health education. A Professional and Technical Studies undergraduate degree is also offered through the department.

The School of Education and Human Services offers a variety of master’s degrees in the departments of Counseling and Human Services (clinical mental health and school counseling), Teacher Education and Leadership (adolescence education, childhood education (1-6)/special education (1-6), childhood education (1-6)/TESOL (K-12), special education-advanced, physical education, differentiated instruction, educational administration and leadership, instructional technologies and curriculum design, higher education and student affairs administration, literacy, and TESOL), Kinesiology (sport administration, sport product development, applied nutrition, health and human performance), and Physician Assistant (physician assistant studies). These programs are described in the Graduate Catalog.


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, linguistically, 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 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.

Admission, Assessment and Continued Progress for Education Programs

Although coursework for all teacher certification programs normally begins in the freshman year, continued registration as a major is contingent upon several assessments. Performance is evaluated at four transition points, providing candidates with ongoing and integrated feedback on their progress. The four major transition points are:

  1. Entrance into the program
  2. Prior to clinical practice
  3. After clinical practice
  4. Program completion

Transition to each successive level requires successful performance on all measures described at the transition point. Performance measures include outcomes based on InTASC (Interstate Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium) principles, New York State teaching standards, the standards of specialized professional associations, and faculty expectations of knowledge, service, leadership and professionalism. The 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.

Assessment at Transition Point 1 — Program Entrance:

  • Acceptance to the college: Standardized test score; high school GPA

Assessment at Transition Point 2 — Prior to Clinical Practice:

Successful final portfolio review (specific program courses)

  • Cumulative GPA of 2.75 or higher;
  • Grade of C or higher in all education courses;
  • Grade of C or higher in content courses for candidates seeking certification at the middle childhood or adolescence level;
  • Satisfactory performance in field placements.

Assessment at Transition Point 3 — After Clinical Practice:

Successful final portfolio review

  • Satisfactory integrated portfolio reflection;
  • Cumulative GPA of 2.75 or higher;
  • Grade of C or higher in all education courses;
  • Grade of C or higher in content courses for candidates seeking certification at the middle childhood or adolescence level;
  • Satisfactory performance in field experience II placements.

Assessment at Transition Point 4 — Program Completion:

  • Cumulative GPA of 2.75 or higher
  • Grade of C or higher in all education courses
  • Grade of C or higher in content courses for candidates seeking certification at the middle childhood or adolescence level
  • Successful completion of all program requirements

All candidates for teaching certification develop an assessment portfolio during their program of study. Specific common assignments from selected courses are compiled in Taskstream through which the candidate demonstrates successful performance according to the standards of professional organizations and InTASC. In addition, candidates may use Taskstream supports to develop a showcase portfolio for future job searches. 


To obtain initial teacher certification, candidates must complete the requirements (ie. SAVE, DASA, Child Abuse) and pass the examinations required by the New York State Education Department. The most up to date testing requirements are available on the NYSTCE website.

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.

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 SEHS outcomes page.