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Mission and History

The mission of the Gladys L. Benerd School of Education is to prepare thoughtful, reflective, caring, and collaborative professionals for service to diverse populations. The School of Education directs its efforts toward researching the present and future needs of schools and the community, fostering intellectual and ethical growth, and developing compassion and collegiality through personalized learning experiences.

Undergraduate, graduate, and professional preparation programs are developed in accordance with state and national accreditation standards and guidelines to ensure that students who complete these programs will represent the best professional practice in their positions of future leadership in schools and the community.

Beginnings
From its beginning, University of the Pacific emphasized the preparation of "preachers and teachers," and those who planned to teach made up a large proportion of its student body during the University's first 50 years. In 1915, the University began issuing elementary and high school teaching credentials, and a Department of Education was created in 1920 as the third academic unit in the University.

The School of Education was formally organized in 1923, recognized by the California State Department of Education on January 10, 1924, and officially established shortly after the College of the Pacific moved to Stockton in 1924. In the middle 1950's, the School began a Doctorate of Education program, and it was among the first institutions in California to prepare educational administrators, school psychologists, and special education teachers.

In the 1960s, the School offered one of the first undergraduate Teacher Corps programs in the United States. In the 1970s and 1980s, it offered innovative programs to prepare bilingual educators, and, in the 1980s and early 1990s, its Title VII Doctoral Fellowship Program prepared exemplary teachers and administrators in the fields of bilingual education and English as a second language.

In 1992, the School was formally renamed the Gladys L. Benerd School of Education following an endowment gift of $6.5 million from Ms. Benerd, a friend of the School of Education and a long-time teacher in local schools.