Mission, History & Accreditation
The School of Education Mission
The mission of the School of Education is to equip Christian educators to impact public, private, mission and home schools through biblically centered education, scholarship and service. Our vision is to equip a generation of influential educators, focused on God's calling, devoting their strengths, gifts and scholarship, to meet the needs of diverse students and to advance the kingdom of God.
School Accreditation and Academic Outcomes
The School of Education holds the following accreditations:
- The School of Education is included within Biola University’s institutional accreditation from the WASC Senior College and University Commission.
- The Teacher Preparation Program (credential program) is accredited by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing. The program is also accredited by the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI).
- AB2086 requires all teacher preparation programs to provide information to prospective candidates regarding the license examination passage rates of completers for the most recent available year. The most recent state report is available on page 44 of the Annual Report Card on California Teacher Preparation Programs for the Academic Year 2015-2016. There is more information about our general ed and special ed programs on the Title II data dashboards website.
Biola's commitment to biblically centered education shapes not only the values of its faculty and staff as they equip the next generation of influential educators, but also all of our undergraduate and graduate programs. The following are the learning outcomes for each of our graduate programs:
- Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies, Elementary Education
- Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies, Multidisciplinary
- Master of Arts in Education
- Master of Arts in Teaching
- Master of Science in Curriculum, Instruction and Publication
- Master of Science in Special Education
The Early Years
The School of Education has roots that extend back more than half a century. The original Department of Education sprouted up in the early 1950s at Biola College, located at Sixth and Hope streets in downtown Los Angeles. The post-World War II baby boom was creating a huge need for teachers, and Biola — which had developed from a Bible institute to include a Christian liberal arts college in 1949 — was looking to grow. So the venture into teacher education seemed like a natural "next step" to Dr. Wallace Emerson, chair of the Psychology Department, who first envisioned the program.
Dr. Samuel Sutherland, then president of Biola College, employed two founding full-time faculty in the education program: Mrs. Gloria Graham and Miss Betty McCoullough (later Dr. Betty Carden). They partnered with California State University, Los Angeles to grant California elementary teacher credentials to their graduates because Biola College's program was not yet accredited.
By 1960, a year after Biola moved from downtown Los Angeles to its current La Mirada campus, the teacher education program was able to secure its accreditation for teacher credentialing through the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing.
The department expanded during the '60s and '70s, as department chair Dr. Richard Jones initiated the addition of a single subject credential and a master's program in Christian school administration.
In 1981, Dr. Richard Chase led the expansion of Biola College into a university made up of three schools: the School of Arts and Sciences, Talbot School of Theology and Rosemead School of Psychology. The Department of Education made its home in the School of Arts and Sciences.
The '90s brought new beginnings. Finding its M.A. in School Administration program too narrow of a niche, the Department of Education replaced the administrative program with a new M.A. in Education. The program grew rapidly in the late '90s, mostly due to imbedding the credential within the degree and the teacher shortage caused by class-size reduction.
In 2000, Dr. June Hetzel became chair of the Department of Education, marking the beginning of a span that brought many skilled faculty members and a new, diversified leadership structure to the department. During this time, the department also made major changes to its program to align the coursework with California's new State Bill 2042 credential requirements — the largest teacher education shift in decades.
In 2003, facing the growing complexity of the undergraduate and graduate programs, the department's professors began to have serious conversations with the provost of the university, Dr. Gary Miller, regarding becoming a School of Education.
In March 2007, Biola University's Board of Trustees gave its final approval to allow the department to transition to the School of Education. The School of Education enjoyed a quiet transition from a department to a school on July 1, 2007.
Our prayer is that God uses us to transform our world by preparing teachers who will think with the mind of Christ, care for others with God's heart, and be empowered by God's Spirit to reflect his character so that the next generation will know him (II Timothy 2:2).