Tift College of Education
 
Tift College of Education
 

About TCOE

Mercer University’s Tift College of Education is a place for people and ideas, for learning and change, for study and reflection. A place where what students learn, believe, and become is of primary concern. The core principles of our conceptual framework, the Transforming Educator, are reflected in not only our approach to teaching, but also by how we prepare our students to contribute to society through sharing their knowledge, skills and character.

The College is committed to preparing students to serve as teachers and school leaders in the schools of our state, nation, and world and is committed to the pursuit of excellence in every aspect of educator preparation. We are also committed to supporting the educational needs of all learners across their life span, and to working closely with educators, leaders and policymakers in the field. These are some reasons why TCOE has become the largest private preparer of educators in Georgia.

The College provides a variety of Professional Education Programs that are approved by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission and accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), in addition to programs for those serving in independent and charter schools.


History of TCOE

The history of the Tift College of Education and teacher preparation at Mercer University begins its journey back at the turn of the 20th century with the founding of a School of Pedagogy within the College of Liberal Arts on the Macon campus. The following timeline gives an overview toward the final coming together of three separate units within the University to form what is now the Tift College of Education. Those three units were: The Department of Education within the College of Liberal Arts in Macon; an Education unit from the College of Arts and Sciences in Atlanta; and University College, which received teacher education programs from the merger of Tift College in Forsyth, Georgia with Mercer University.

1894

In Macon, the departments within the College of Liberal Arts increase. Mercer President Gambrell establishes a School of Pedagogy to meet the needs of some 6,000 public school teachers then in Georgia. The first year enrolls 27 students with decreases in enrollment thereafter. After about five year, this certification program is discontinued. Around this time, Gambrell opens the door for women to enroll at Mercer. However, the only woman to earn a certificate in the School of Pedagogy is Pauline Gambrell, his daughter. (Dowell, p. 206)

Gambrell
Mercer President Gambrell

1895

At a meeting of the Georgia Baptist Convention in Waycross, a resolution to admit women to other Departments in addition to the School of Pedagogy was defeated.  (Dowell, p. 214)

In subsequent years, the Mercer University catalogs list the School of Pedagogy under varying names ranging from the School of Pedagogy; the School of Education, separate from the College of Liberal Arts, and finally, in the 1950s, the Department of Education within the College of Liberal Arts.

Catalogue1 Catalogue2
Catalogues

1904

William Heard Kilpatrick is appointed Acting President – 1904-1905. During this time, Kilpatrick changes the course of his interest from mathematics to the field of teacher training and psychology. When he leaves Mercer in 1906, these interests take him to Teachers College at Columbia University where he works with John Dewey and achieves national recognition as a teacher and philosopher.

Kilpatrick
William Heard Kilpatrick

1934

Mr. David Denton of Stapleton, Georgia gives a large share of his estate with “the whole to be used for the purpose of endowing in connection with Mercer University, a School of Education, intended for the training of teachers and workers in the field of education.” Additionally, the bequest to Mercer is conditional upon Mercer matching his gift. (Dowell, p. 307)

1942

Increased demand for teachers of physical education in the public schools prompts offerings in the subjects of health and physical education for teacher preparation in the summer quarter for both elementary and high school teachers. Porter Gym enlarges to accommodate these classes and three instructors are hired to teach the teacher preparation courses in these areas.

Porter Gym
Porter Gym

1946

The dual system of state certification and county certification discontinues in the state of Georgia and all teachers are required to hold a state teacher’s certificate.

March 15, 1951

Mercer’s Board of Trustees consider naming proposed School of Education the Spright Dowell School of Education. Mr. H. F. Reinhardt of the firm, Ward, Wells, Dreshman, and Reinhardt, meets with the Board of Trustees and offers the availability of his firm to administer the survey and to make recommendations. (Dowell, p. 368)

Spright Dowell
Spright Dowell

1972

Atlanta Baptist College, located on what is now the Cecil B. Day campus in Atlanta, merges with Mercer University. Education programs begin within the newly formed College of Arts and Sciences with one focus being Physical Education.

1986

Tift College, a Georgia Baptist women’s institution in Forsyth, Georgia, merges with Mercer University and brings early childhood and middle grades programs to the College of Liberal Arts’ College of Continuing Education or Evening College.

Tift entrance
Entrance to Tift College

1987

University College, formerly the College of Continuing Education, is established as a unit within the University with educational centers located in Macon, Thomaston, Griffin, Eastman and Douglasville. Joanna Watson is appointed the Dean of University College.

1989

The University’s Board of Trustees votes to discontinue undergraduate liberal arts education on the Atlanta campus by closing the College of Arts and Sciences. The mission of the Cecil B. Day Campus in Atlanta changes to focus on graduate and professional education.

1990

Atlanta’s Education faculty joins the College of Liberal Art’s Department of Education in Macon. Macon programs include both undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Atlanta faculty delivers graduate programs.

1994

The Board of Trustees approves plans to establish a School of Education.

1995

During its April meeting, the University’s Board of Trustees votes to transfer University College’s programs to the Eugene W. Stetson School of Business and Economics, the School of Medicine, and the School of Education.

1995

The School of Education is established to include faculty and programs within the College of Liberal Arts’ Department of Education as well as faculty and programs from University College.

1995

First appointed Interim Dean in 1995, Dr. H. Anne Hathaway becomes the founding Dean of the School of Education in 1996.

1997

The former Stetson Library on the Macon campus is rededicated in September as Stetson Hall and converted into office and classroom space for the Stetson School of Business and Economics and the School of Education.

Stetson Building
Stetson Building

1999

Dr. Richard Sietsema becomes Interim Dean of the School of Education. He is appointed Dean of the School of Education in 2000.

2001

The School of Education is renamed the Tift College of Education of Mercer University at the April Board of Trustees meeting.

2001

Tift College of Education faculty and students move into a new facility on the Atlanta campus.

2002

The Holistic Child, an early childhood/general curriculum special education undergraduate program leading to a Bachelor of Science in Education, is offered on the Macon campus. An ESOL endorsement is approved as an option for students in this program.

2003

Dr. Carl R. Martray becomes Dean of the Tift College of Education.

2003

Mercer opens a regional academic center in McDonough, providing opportunities for Tift College of Education students in Henry County and surrounding areas. Tift’s programs in Griffin and Covington merge into the Henry County location.

Henry campus
Henry County Regional Academic Center

2004

Eastman Regional Academic Center faculty and students move into new annex adjoining original structure housing RAC programs since 1986.

Eastman Campus
Eastman Regional Academic Center

2005

The Bachelor of Science in Education - Early Childhood General Curriculum Special Education program begins in the Regional Academic Centers (RAC) - including Douglas, Eastman, Henry, and Macon. Students seek certification-only in the areas of Early Childhood General Curriculum Special Education and Middle Grades Education.

2005

Tift College of Education in Atlanta offers a Master of Arts in Teaching for Early Childhood, Middle Grades, and Secondary. Continuing M.Ed. programs include degree programs in Early Childhood, Middle Grades, Secondary, and Reading.

2005

Tift College of Education’s Educational Leadership program initiates the M.Ed. in Educational Leadership as well as Add-on Certification in Educational Leadership.

2006

Tift College of Education begins the Early Care in Education program for teachers of Birth through 5.

2006

Tift College of Education’s Educational Leadership program offers a Doctor of Philosophy in P-12 School Leadership on the Macon and Atlanta campuses.

2006

The Atlanta campus begins a Specialist degree (Ed.S.) in Teacher Leadership to replace the Early Childhood and Middle Grades Specialist degree programs.

2007

The Tift College of Education adds a Higher Education track to its Ph.D. in Educational Leadership.

2007-2008

Tift College of Education achieves national accreditation from the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).

2008

Mercer’s Board of Trustees approves a new Ph.D. program in Curriculum and Instruction on the Macon and Atlanta campuses.

2008

The Educational Leadership program offers the Specialist (Ed.S.) degree in Educational Leadership.

Summer, 2009

The first Mercer on Mission initiative for the Tift College of Education begins with a partnership with Rick’s Institute in Liberia, Africa.

2010

Mercer opens the Newnan Regional Academic Center, offering the Bachelor of Science in Education programs in Early Care and Education and in Early Childhood/General Curriculum Special Education.

2011

Educational Leadership offers the M.Ed. in Higher Education degree program.

2012

The Atlanta and Douglas RAC campuses offer the Early Care and Education with Preschool Special Education Endorsement.

Douglas campus
Douglas Regional Academic Center

2013

The M.Ed. in Independent and Charter School Leadership degree program is implemented.

2013

Dr. Paige L. Tompkins becomes Interim Dean of the Tift College of Education.

2013

Tift College of Education’s Mercer on Mission to Haiti is approved.

Summer, 2014

The Macon campus offers a Secondary Master of Arts in Teaching.

2014

Mercer University and the Woodrow Wilson Foundation begin an initiative involving the collaboration among Tift College of Education and other University colleges and schools to develop a program and recruit students interested in a Master of Arts in Teaching in the fields science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). The target implementation date for this program is 2016.  


References:

  • Dowell, S. (1958). A history of Mercer University - 1833-1953. Macon, GA: Mercer University.
  • Professional Standards Commission
  • Tift College of Education Faculty Meeting Minutes, 2002-2014.
  • Mercer University Academic Catalogs through 2014-2015
  • The Mercerian