Dr. David A. Slykhuis, Dean
Room 2046, Education Center

Dr. Kate Warner, Associate Dean
Room 2047, Education Center


Dr. Crystal C. Randolph
Interim Head, Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders 

Dr. Heather Kelley
Head, Department of Human Services

Dr. Steven E. Downey
Head, Department of Leadership, Technology, and Workforce Development

Dr. Debbie Paine 
Head, Department of Teacher Education

The James L. and Dorothy H. Dewar College of Education and Human Services prepares professionals for a variety of roles in educational settings and community agencies; fosters a culture of reflective practice and inquiry within a diverse community of students, faculty, and staff; provides leadership in the improvement of the education, health, and well-being of citizens in this region, the nation, and the world; and develops effective, responsive scholars and practitioners who use theory and research to enhance their work in a global, diverse, and technological society. The College offers three levels of graduate degree programs: the master’s degree (Master of Education, Master of Arts in Teaching, Master of Science [with a major in psychology or in marriage and family therapy], Master of Library and Information Science, and Master of Social Work); the Education Specialist degree; and the doctoral degree (Doctor of Education and Doctor of Speech Language Pathology). Course Descriptions and programs of study leading to these degrees are listed by department. For detailed information about program majors and concentrations, visit the COEHS website


The Dewar College of Education and Human Services maintains accreditation with the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), and all of its educator preparation programs leading to initial certification are approved by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission (GaPSC). The master’s program in Communication Disorders is nationally accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Speech-Language Pathology (CAA) of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), and the master’s program in School Counseling is nationally accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs.The master’s program in marriage and family therapy is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT), and the master’s program in social work is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). In addition, the Master of Library and Information Science is accredited by the American Library Association Committee on Accreditation (ALA-COA).

The College of Education and Human Services also houses graduate programs that are nationally recognized by specialized professional associations:

  • Instructional Technology-Technology Applications and Instructional Technology [Ed.S.] (Association for Educational Communications and Technology),
  • Instructional Technology-Library Media (Association for Educational Communications and Technology and American Library Association/American Association of School Librarians)
  • Special Education/Deaf Education (Council for Exceptional Children)


Diversity is a foundational element in the mission and vision of the Dewar College of Education and Human Services. As defined, diversity refers to the variety of personal experiences, values, and worldviews that arise from differences of culture and circumstance. Such differences include race, ethnicity, gender, age, religion, language, abilities/disabilities, sexual orientation, gender identity, socioeconomic status, geographic region, and more. The Dewar College of Education and Human Services recognizes and embraces the critical role of diversity and concurs with the Valdosta State University Diversity Council that “Effective management of Valdosta State University’s unique cultural characteristics will provide benefits to students, faculty, and staff in the form of enhanced educational opportunities, respectful workplaces and classrooms, reduced workforce turnover, reduced rates of poverty and low socioeconomic status and stronger strategic approaches to long term planning.”


For initial guidance, new graduate students in the Dewar College of Education and Human Services should consult with the head of the department in which they plan to pursue a degree. Each student will be assigned an advisor in the appropriate area of study. The student and advisor will collaborate in designing the program to meet the individual needs of the student within the guidelines of the approved program of study. Students are expected to initiate contact with their advisors at least once per semester to ensure that all program requirements are being met.

Student Responsibilities

Graduate students are expected to become familiar with the rules and requirements of the Dewar College of Education and Human Services and to assume full responsibility for the regulations concerning their programs of study. In addition, students are expected to attend all classes regularly and abide by the student code of conduct published in the Valdosta State University Student Handbook.

Master’s Degree Programs

Master’s degree programs are designed to enhance and extend the knowledge and skills of students beyond the undergraduate level. Programs at the master’s level develop the students’ ability to use and apply research skills, become familiar with current issues and trends in their fields, and review material related to legal issues and ethics. The degree programs offered are as follows:

Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders

M.Ed. Communication Disorders

Department of Teacher Education

  • M.Ed. Elementary Education (online)
  • M.Ed. Middle Grades Education-Math/Science (online)
  • M.Ed. Curriculum and Instruction Accomplished Teaching (online)
  • M.A.T. Special Education--Adapted Curriculum or General Curriculum (online)
  • M.Ed. Special Education--Deaf Education (online)
  • M.A.T. Special Education–Deaf Education (online)
  • M.A.T. Education
  • M.A.T. Middle Grades Education
  • M.A.T. Secondary Education
  • M.A.T. Agriculture Education
    M.Ed. Health and Physical Education (online)
    M.A.T. Health and Physical Education (online)

Department of Leadership, Technology, and Workforce Development

M.Ed. Adult and Career Education (online and face-to-face)
M.Ed. Educational Leadership
M.Ed. Instructional Technology (online)

Department of Library and Information Studies

M.L.I.S. Library and Information Science (online)

Department of Human Services

  • M.Ed. Counselor Education
  • M.S. Psychology
  • M.S. Marriage and Family Therapy
    M.S.W. Social Work

Education Specialist Degree Programs

The Education Specialist (Ed.S.) degree is designed to enhance and extend the knowledge and skills of students beyond the master’s level. The core course at the specialist level is designed to develop the students’ ability to apply research skills in the field to solve problems and improve services in a variety of settings. The degrees offered are:

Department of Human Services

Ed.S. School Counseling (online)

Department of Leadership, Technology, and Workforce Development

Ed.S. Educational Leadership
Ed.S. Instructional Technology (online)

Department of Teacher Education

Ed.S. Coaching Pedagogy in Physical Education (online)
Ed.S. Special Education (online)
Ed.S. Teacher Leadership (online)

Doctoral Degree Programs

The doctoral degree program is an advanced program of study based upon the assumption that an interdisciplinary curriculum can serve as the primary intellectual framework for investigating, understanding, and affecting a broad range of academic, social, economic, cultural, and organizational issues. The degrees offered are as follows:

Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders

SLP.D. with a major in Speech-Language Pathology

Department of Leadership, Technology, and Workforce Development

Ed.D. Adult and Career Education
Ed.D. Leadership
Ed.D. Curriculum and Instruction

Certifications and Endorsements

The College also offers non-degree programs approved for GaPSC certification and endorsement:

  • Gifted Endorsement (online)
    Online Teaching Endorsement (online)
    Performance-Based Leadership Certification
    Reading Endorsement (online)
    School Library Media Certification
    K-5 Science Endorsement (online)
    K-5 Mathematics Endorsement (online)

The Department of Curriculum, Leadership, and Technology also offers an Online Teaching Certificate, a professional development program designed for individuals who teach in online environments outside the P-12 educational setting or who teach in school settings outside of Georgia.

Additional Education Degrees

Other education degrees and programs offered in cooperation with departments outside the Dewar College of Education and Human Services are listed below. Information related to these degrees may be found in the catalog section of the pertinent departments.

Department of Music, College of the Arts

M.A.T. Music/Music Education

Department of Modern and Classical Languages, College of Arts and Sciences

M.A.T. Education/French Foreign Language Education
M.A.T. Education/Spanish Foreign Language Education
M.A.T. Education/English to Speakers of Other Languages
ESOL Endorsement
TESOL Certificate

Graduate Admissions

Go to the Graduate School website and click on Our Programs, then click on the specific graduate program of interest for information on:

  • Specific Program Admission Requirements
  • Program Retention, Dismissal, and Readmission Policies
  • Program Graduation Requirements

To apply for admission to all programs in the Dewar College of Education and Human Services, click here.

Progression/Retention in Professional P-12 Education Programs

Students must enroll in EDUC 2999 or 5999 (course number depends on their program) the first semester of their program, and the course is prerequisite to progressing in the educator preparation program. The satisfactory grade in this course must be earned by the first day of classes in their second semester. Students who do not earn a satisfactory grade by this time may only enroll in EDUC 2999 or 5999 each semester until a satisfactory grade is earned in the course or they can change their major to a non-education preparation program. Education majors are required to earn minimum grades of "C" in all professional education courses. Students must also maintain a minimum 3.00 GPA, update criminal background checks as requested, and assure that professional liability insurance is current in order to continue to progress through the professional program. Student progress will be monitored through (a) GPA, (b) observations, (c) faculty's and public school teachers' documented feedback, and (d) demonstration of appropriate dispositions. Students who do not maintain these requirements will be prevented from continuing in professional education coursework, may be placed on a Professional Improvement Plan, and may be dismissed from the program.

Field Experiences in P-12 Educator Preparation Programs

Valdosta State University’s educator preparation program places a strong emphasis on professional field experiences in schools or other educational settings. Many of the major courses require that students be involved in field-based activities; these activities will be coordinated by the instructors responsible for the courses. With each of the field-based courses, students will be evaluated on their performances in the public school environment. A criminal background check, a GaPSC Pre-Service Certificate or other approved professional certification, and current liability insurance are required for all students participating in field experiences. The COEHS reserves the right to make all final decisions about field placements. For additional information, consult with the Office of Professional Education Services.

Clinical Practice in P-12 Educator Preparation Programs

Student teaching is the culminating professional experience and involves full-time teaching experience in an assigned P-12 school.is scheduled during the last term of university enrollment.

Student teachers are required to take the appropriate GACE Content Assessment for their major. Students do not have to pass the GACE Content Assessment in order to complete student teaching successfully, but they do have to provide evidence that they have taken both GACE Content Assessement tests for their major. Students who do not meet this requirement will receive and Incomplete ("I") in student teaching/internship for the semester and will not graduate.

A student who receives a grade of Unsatisfactory ("U") for student teaching or who has been withdrawn from the student teaching location at the request of the school may apply for student teaching only one additional time. At any time a student is removed at the request of the school, a COEHS Professional Improvement Plan must be completed. The Professional Improvement Plan will describe criteria for successful completion of the remediation. The student will be required to complete the prescribed plan before being permitted to attempt student teaching a second time. During the second semester of enrollment in student teaching, a student who receives a grade of Unsatisfactory ("U") or who is requested to be removed from the student teaching location by the school will be permanently dismissed from all COEHS teacher education programs and will not be recommended for teacher certification by Valdosta State University. The student may appeal this action through the COEHS appeals procedure.

The COEHS reserves the right to make all final decisions about student teacher placements. For additional information, consult with the Office of Professional Education Services.

Dissertation Credit Guidelines

Doctoral candidates will be required to register for a minimum of 2 semester hours of dissertation credit for each fall and spring semester in which written materials are to be submitted for feedback from their chairs and committees. Candidates who are not actively engaged with their chairs or committees would continue to register for a minimum of 1 hour credit for fall and spring. Registration for summer is dependent upon candidates’ active engagement with their chairs or committees. Candidates will be required to register for a minimum of 2 semester hours of dissertation credit during the summer if written materials are to be submitted for feedback from their chairs or committees.

P-12 Educator Certification

The Georgia Professional Standards Commission (GaPSC) requires applicants seeking initial certification to demonstrate proficiency in their certification area by passing the content tests appropriate to their program of study. These certification tests are the GACE Content Assessments (for Communication Disorders majors, the Praxis II Assessment), and registration applications are available online at http://gace.ets.org (for Praxis II, the website is www.ets.org). The GaPSC also required applicants seeking initial certification to pass the state-approved performance-based effectiveness assessment (edTPA) and pass the Georgia Educators Ethics Assessment--Exit. A passing score must be obtained on all of these assessments before a student may be recommended to the GaPSC for a certificate of eligibility or induction certificate. The GACE Program Admission Assessment (or exemption) and Georgia Educator Ethics Assessment--Entry are also required for certification, but these are met through the admission requirements for Teacher Education.

Certification Programs for Students with Degrees

Students who already have a degree and are coming to Valdosta State University to obtain a teaching certificate must meet the requirements for admission to Teacher Education and be accepted into a certification-only program. The student’s prior academic course work will be used to design a plan of study to satisfy the standards for certification through the approved GaPSC program. A part of the certification requirements, as determined by each department for individual students, must be completed at VSU.

The College of Education and Human Services reserves the right to refuse to recommend individuals for GaPSC certification who have not completed part of their course work at VSU.

Specific questions regarding certification should be directed to the department.

Program Dismissal

Earning grades below a “B” in graduate courses will result in the following consequences:

  • Students admitted in Fall 2011 and thereafter will be dismissed from the Graduate School if they accumulate three or more academic deficiency points unless otherwise indicated by individual program policy. A grade of “C” (although it may be credited toward a degree) equals one deficiency point. A grade of “D,” “WF” or “F,” or “U” (none of which will be credited toward a degree) equals two deficiency points. Students admitted BEFORE Fall 2011 and receiving two grades below “C” (“D,” “F,” “WF,” “U”) will be dismissed from the program. One grade below a “C” results in a warning. Courses attempted for zero credit hours will not be assigned deficiency points, and grades in these courses will not be counted toward program dismissal.
  • All graduate students in the COEHS educator preparation programs are required to maintain a minimum 2.75 graduate GPA to remain in the program. Exceptions to this policy include students enrolled in the M.Ed. in Adult and Career Education (Workforce Education and Development and Business Education and Information Technology), the M.Ed. in Educational Leadership (Higher Education and Student Affairs), the M.S. in Marriage and Family Therapy, the M.S. in Psychology (Clinical Psychology and Industrial/Organizational Psychology), and the M.S.W. in Social Work, who must maintain a minimum 2.5 graduate GPA. Doctoral students must maintain a minimum 3.0 graduate GPA. Please refer to individual programs for additional program retention requirements.

Appeals Process

The COEHS has an appeals process in place to help students and faculty resolve academic issues.The process endeavors to protect both faculty and students by assuring a process that allows dialogue at each step. In general, students who wish to appeal must first discuss the problem with their instructor/staff member or advisor. While the initial appeal may be informal, such as a conversation between the student and the faculty/staff member, if the situation is not resolved, the formal appeals process is initiated. The appeals process is student driven, so students may decide at each stage if they wish to go to the next stage. The student must initiate this process within 10 instructional days after notification of the decision. For an outline of the appeals process for all academic matters and other concerns, click here