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History of the School of Education

The original charter of North Carolina Central University issued by the General Assembly of North Carolina in 1925 (Chapter 56, Private Laws, 1925) set forth an institutional purpose that included the training of Negro high school teachers and principals. By 1927, the institution had in place sets of "combination courses" especially designed for high school teachers (English and French or Latin, English and History, History and French or Latin, Mathematics and Science, Mathematics and History, History and Science).

In 1928-29, the Department of Education became one of the units of the College of Liberal Arts, and it offered six courses in professional education—expanding to 20 courses by 1937. By 1939, the General Assembly enacted a statute which authorized the Board of Trustees at North Carolina College to establish graduate programs. Majors included the Master of Arts degree in Administration, in Secondary Education, and in Elementary Education. In 1952 the first Ph.D. program was offered in Administration and Supervision, Elementary Education, and Guidance. Five graduates were awarded the Ph.D. degree before the program was discontinued in 1964.

The Master of Education degree in Graduate Elementary Education was established in 1954 replacing the Master of Arts degree which had been established in 1939. The Sixth-Year Program leading to the Advanced Principal’s Certificate was established in 1960 but was discontinued in 1972.

The following undergraduate programs were added in the order shown:

  • 1939 – Elementary Education
  • 1939 – English Education
  • 1939 – Music Education
  • 1942 – French and Spanish Education
  • 1950 – Mathematics Education
  • 1952 – Art Education
  • 1966 – Social Studies (History)*
  • 1968 – Family and Consumer Sciences
  • 1975 – Physical Education
  • 1976 – Theater Arts
  • 1988 – Middle Grades Education
  • 1997 – Birth-Kindergarten
  • 2006 – Comprehensive Science
  • 2006 – Reading (Add on)
  • 2006 – ESL (Add on)
  • 2006 – AIG (Add on)


The following graduate programs were added in the order shown:

  • 1939 – Library Media Specialists
  • 1952 - Educational Administration – (Discontinued in 1998)
  • 1952 - Counselor Education (School, Career, Agency)
  • 1954 - Instructional Technology (Non Licensure)
  • 1954 – Elementary Education
  • 1954 – Special Education (MD)
  • 1968 – Family and Consumer Sciences
  • 1975 – Special Education (BED)
  • 1976 – Communication Disorders
  • 1984 – Middle Grades Education
  • 1997 – Special Education (VI)
  • 2000 – Special Education (LD)
  • 2002 – School Administration
  • 2003 – Instructional Technology – Computer Specialist
  • 2005 – Special Education (BK)
  • 2008 - Instructional Technology – Online Instruction
  • 2008 - Secondary English (9-12)
  • 2008 - Secondary Mathematics (9-12)

Distance Education Programs:

  • Elementary Education Graduate – 2001
  • Middle Grades Education Graduate -
  • Elementary Education Undergraduate – 2008
  • Middle Grades Education Undergraduate – 2008
  • Educational Technology Graduate - 2008

Department Chairs

According to archival records, the first chair of the department was Dr. Ruth Rush, appointed around 1937. Others who followed her include Dr. Joseph Pittman, Dr. Rose Butler-Browne (1948 - ), Dr. Norman Johnson, Dr. Charles Alcorn (Interim), Dr. Furman Moody, and Dr. Waltz Maynor (1987- 1989). Dr. Rose Butler-Browne is credited with organizing the department and laying the foundation for today’s modern School of Education - a complex organization that provides sixteen undergraduate licensure areas and eight graduate programs.


In 1989, the Department of Education was elevated to School status. Dr. Walter Brown served as the first dean (1989-1992). Others included Dr. Carolyn Whitted, Interim (1992-1995), Dr. Sammie Campbell-Parrish (1995-2001), Dr. Cecelia Steppe-Jones (2001-2011),  Dr. Wynetta Lee (2012-2015), and Dr. Audrey Beard (2015- ).


Today, departments now consist of Allied Professions, and Curriculum and Instruction.


The first “real” home for the Department of Education was the Taylor Building, which was named for Dr. James T. Taylor, a faculty member of 33 years. The Taylor building was dedicated November 6, 1970 on Founder’s Day. This three-story building also housed the Departments of Geography, Psychology. The Dark Room Production Studio, Conference Room, Lounge, Auditorium, and offices were located on the first floor. The second floor had classrooms only. The third floor housed the Departments of Geography and Psychology.

The School of Education moved into its present facility in August 2000. It was named in honor of The Honorable Representative H. M. Michaux, Jr. of the North Carolina House of Representatives and was dedicated on June 15, 2007. The 109,000 square foot state of the art building has full wireless capability and contains the following resources:

  • A teleconference classroom
  • 17 classrooms, 350 seat auditorium, 8 conference rooms, 6 workrooms, and a student and faculty lounge
  • Dean’s Suite with 9 offices for administrative use
  • 35 faculty offices and 4 offices for adjunct faculty and graduate assistants
  • A Technology wing that includes 5 faculty offices, a digital video editing lab, and one Mac lab
  • One computer lab on the first floor in the classroom wing
  • One Praxis Suite
  • A Modern Curriculum and Materials Center
  • The Speech and Hearing wing with 11 faculty and clinician offices, 15 therapy rooms, 2 group therapy rooms, 1 graduate student workroom, Audiology Testing Suite, Augmentative
  • Communication lab and a client waiting area

Conceptual Framework

“Preparing Educators for Diverse Cultural Contexts”

School of Education Program Accreditation

The School of Education is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), the North Carolina State Department of Public Instruction and the Council on Academic Accreditation of Audiology and Speech Language Pathology Programs (CAA). The School of Education is also accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP).

Signature Programs of Excellence

In addition to academic programs, the School of Education faculty conducts many supplementary programs of excellence including the following:

  • Visual Impairment Training Consortium
  • On-Campus Licensure-Only
  • Bilingual Therapeutic Preschool
  • Josephine Dobbs Clement Early College High School

International Travel

Students and faculty have engaged in study-travel opportunities in Kenya, China, Belize, Ghana, Mexico, Canada, England, Ethiopia, Costa Rica, and the Dominican Republic.

Scholarship Programs

Students are awarded scholarships through these resources: Teaching Fellows, Principal Fellows and Wachovia Scholars. For more information, contact:

Sharon A. Coleman
Executive Assistant to the Dean of the School of Education
North Carolina Central University
H. M. Michaux, Jr. Building
700 Cecil Street
Durham, NC 27707
(919) 530-6466

Endowed Chair

The Brenda Brodie Endowed Chair is currently held by Dr. William R. Wiener, who is highly respected in the field of Visual Impairment.

School of Education Grants

The School of Education has been awarded major grants to assist us in research, service, professional development, and public school/community partnerships. Some of these grants include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Teaching Matters Quality Counts (3.4 million)
  • Leave No Educator Behind ($2.1 million)
  • NCQuest Project Meter ($297,000)
  • Community Partners - Special Education ($800,000)
  • Culturally Responsive Teachers for Exceptional Children ($798,000)
  • The Culturally Responsive Early Intervention in Assistive Technology Training Program ($797,625)
NCCU complies with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in all programs and activities (including sexual harassment and sexual violence) in the University's educational programs and activities. For additional resources or to file a Title IX complaint, visit the NCCU's Title IX webpage.
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