School of Education

School of Education
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The American University School of Education is currently accepting graduate applications!


Raise Your Hand for Equity in Education


Teacher shortages, lack of diversity, outdated policies, inequitable access - learn how to be a part of the evolution of the education system at the American University School of Education.

SOE elementary education major Chloe Leeds, BA ’24 - who has long been inspired by the early years of a child’s education - is the recipient of The Karin A. Akerson Memorial Scholarship Fund, part of American University’s Elevate Scholarship Initiative. Her goal of being a teacher led her to SOE.

“AU really checked all the boxes,” reflects Leeds. “In terms of [SOE], I had just heard a lot of great things about the program and the different courses you take in terms of learning methods—like how to teach different subjects—but also things like social justice in relation to education.”

Read more about her educational journey here. Learn more about our Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education program here.

"I'm Emilia, a graduate student and proud member of SOE's Special Education and Learning Disabilities (SELD) Master of Arts program. I was born and raised in Ecuador and earned my undergraduate degree in Psychology. I chose the SELD program because I firmly believe that inclusion solves many global issues. Providing students with the opportunity to thrive regardless of their circumstances is a responsibility I feel passionate about spreading worldwide. The SELD MA program stands out for its unique and unwavering commitment to fostering inclusive, antiracist, and well-rounded individuals guided by outstanding professors and educators. So far, I've been learning about diverse teaching strategies, educational policies, and creating inclusive learning environments."

SOE Dean Named an Aspen Institute Ascend Fellow

The Aspen Institute announced SOE Dean Cheryl Holcomb-McCoy as one of its 2023 Aspen Institute Ascend Fellows - 20 leaders from across the United States who are transforming systems so that all children and families can thrive. With Ascend and their cohort, these Fellows will develop an action plan that aligns with their organizational goals and individual leadership journeys to advance the north star of intergenerational economic mobility and well-being for children and families. 

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How Book Bans Impact K-12 Students

Watch this recorded webinar where experts weighed in on the history of banned books, what is happening politically today, and the potential impact on students in the future. They took audience questions at the end. (58:56)

Watch the Recording

Student in colorful water alone

Combat Religious Harassment

Read the guide for school leaders to protect Arab and Muslim students and this related piece in Education Week.

Read the Guide

Dr. Robert Shand in his SOE office.

Education ·

Dr. Robert Shand Wins Early Career Award

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School of Education Student Lily Serber

Lily Serber '24 Promotes Literacy in Rome While Studying Abroad

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Alaysia Bookal ’22

New MAT Residency Program

New $1.8M grant enables teacher candidates to spend an academic year under the direction of a master teacher.

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Dr. Francesca Smith presenting at CPED

Alumna Wins Prestigious Award

Dr. Francesca Smith ’23 won the 2023 CPED Dissertation in Practice of the Year award.

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School of Education Students in Senegal

Students Travel to Senegal to Study the Impact of Racism

Exploring Community and Decolonization in Africa

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Learn about SOE Accomplishments

  • Dr. Amaarah DeCuir, senior professorial lecturer, published this guide to responding to religious harassement in schools in Muslim Matters, and this piece in Education Week about how they must support their Arab and Mustlim students.
  • Dr. Jennifer Steele, professor, spoke with USA Today about the increasing partisanship in the U.S. on education issues in the segment "‘Quantum-Leap Change’: How School Choice, Book Bans and Student Loans Are Taking Center Stage in 2024." 
  • Dr. Antonio Ellis, scholar-in-residence and director of the Institute for Education Equity and Justice in the School of Education, co-authored an article in Diverse: Issues In Higher Education about how accessibility and belonging are cornerstones of diversity, equity and inclusion in education. (Oct 22, 2023)
  • Professor Dr. Jennifer L. Steele wrote “Which College Types Increase Earnings? Estimates from Geographic Proximity,” in Education Economics. [Oct 13, 2023]
  • Senior Professorial Lecturer Dr. Antonio L. Ellis published "Black Scholarship in a White Academy: Perseverance in the Face of Injustice" about the experience of Black scholarship and faculty in a predominantly White academic spaces. [Oct 7, 2023]
  • Professor Dr. Jennifer L. Steele wrote an article in Fast Company about how AI may impact economic inequality. [Oct 6, 2023]
  • Director of the EdD Program and Professorial Lecturer Dr. William N. Thomas IV, Senior Professorial Lecturer Dr. Samantha Cohen, and Adjunct Professorial Lecturer Dr. Cheyenne Batista '23 co-presented "Co-Teaching as an opportunity to enact social justice and create humanizing communities" at the Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate's 2023 Convening in Florida. [Oct 5, 2023] 
  • Dr. Eugene Pringle, Jr., Senior Professorial Lecturer, wrote this opinion piece in The Hechinger Report on why educators must be on the front line of social activism, emphasized during teacher training. [Sep 25, 2023]
  • Acting Co-Dean Corbin M. Campbell's research was cited in this The Chronicle of Higher Education article on the value of "good teaching." [Sep 20, 2023]
  • Senior Professorial Lecturer Dr. Antonio L. Ellis published an op-ed in Diverse: Issues in Higher Education about the role of the Black church in response to the recent Supreme Court ruling on affirmative action. [Sep 14, 2023]
  • Senior Professorial Lecturer Dr. Phelton Moss was featured in this (paid access only) piece in Financial Times about how students and college are reacting to the affirmative action ruling. [Sep 7, 2023]
  • Dr. Eugene Pringle, Jr., Senior Professorial Lecturer, delivered the keynote address at the Community Action Organization of Western New York's school year kickoff.  The address titled "The Race" provided inspiration and practical strategies for a successful year in efforts to build with intentionality, engage community and families, and engage in purposeful self-care. [Aug 25, 2023]
  • There is hope from the Biden-Harris administration to continue to build a diverse student body, says Senior Professorial Lecturer Dr. Phelton Moss in this Inside Higher Ed opinion. [Aug 21, 2023]
  • Professor Dr. Jennifer L. Steele was interviewed on CGTN America about how inflation is affecting families during back-to-school shopping season. [Aug 17, 2023]
  • Read or listen to this EdSurge podcast where Dean Dr. Cheryl Holcomb-McCoy offered her opinion on why the time has come to reset college legacy admissions practices. [Aug 1, 2023] 
  • Nearly 15% of children are special education students—a 46-year high. SOE Adjunct Professor Brandi Smith was highlighted in an Education Week article about the impact of a good individualized education program (IEP). [July 27, 2023]
  • Senior Professorial Lecturer Dr. Phelton Cortez Moss weighed in on solving the Black male teacher shortage in this piece by ABC News. [July 24, 2003]
  • Professor Dr. Jennifer L. Steele published an op-ed on teaching students to do what ChatGTP cannot in The Hill. [July 20, 2023]
  • Dean Dr. Cheryl Holcomb-McCoy took part in this panel you can watch on what the Affirmative Action decision by SCOTUS may mean in higher education. [July 13, 2023]
  • Adjunct Professor Dr. Cheyenne Batista ’22 was highlighted for her award-winning dissertation in the AU Alumni news. [July 6, 2023]
  • SOE’s Associate Dean Corbin Campbell was highlighted in this Chronicle of Higher Education article about her participation as lead researcher in a new advisory panel to define, support, and elevate college teaching. [July 6, 2023]
  • Professor and Director of the Child Development Program Dr. Vivian Vasquez was quoted in this Forbes article making the case for teaching social media literacy in schools. [June 19, 2023]
  • Lynne Brenner Ganek, SOE adjunct instructor and former elementary- and middle-school teacher, was interviewed about her work on "Reading Rainbow," the children's television show that became the third-longest running children's show in PBS history and won 26 Emmy Awards. [June 8, 2023]
  • Dr. Brian L. McGowan, Provost Associate Professor in the School of Education, was quoted in a U.S. News and World Report article about what commuter students need to know. [June 6, 2023]
  •  SOE Sr. Professorial Lecturer Dr. Phelton Moss was interviewed about the importance of engaging with Black boys, even if it's over their footwear. [June 2, 2023]


  • EdD students Magen Barnett '21, Dylan Ravdin '23, and Randi Stone '24 presented to audiences in Columbus and Philadelphia on dyslexia and instructional methods. [Oct 14, 2023]
  • EdD student Aneesah Blount was a runner-up for Washington, DC Teacher of the Year. She is a kindergarten teacher at Van Ness Elementary School. [Oct 14, 2023]
  • EdD Class of 2023 graduate and Adjunct Professorial Lecturer Dr. Cheyenne Batista, along with Director of the EdD Program and Professorial Lecturer Dr. William N. Thomas IV, and Senior Professorial Lecturer Dr. Samantha Cohen, co-presented "Co-Teaching as an opportunity to enact social justice and create humanizing communities" at the Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate's 2023 Convening in Florida. [Oct 5, 2023] 
  • The Carnegie Project on Education Doctorate (CPED) recognized Dr. Francesca Smith ’23 EdD as the 2023 CPED Dissertation in Practice Award winner for her dissertation, "Asset-Based Biliteracy: Recentering Emergent Bilingual Students in Dual Language English Reading Instruction." [Sep 11, 2023]
  • Dr. Amanda Tatum ’22 was featured in the Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate (CPED) journal Impacting Education talking about the exploration of teachers' well-being through compassion, the focus of her dissertation. [Aug. 7, 2023]
  • Dr. Cheyenne Batista ’22 was highlighted for her award-winning dissertation in the AU Alumni news. [July 6, 2023]
  • Dr. Gary Deshun Hamilton EdD ’23 gave a rousing graduate student speech, "The Bold Promise of Tomorrow" at SOE's Spring 2023 Commencement Ceremony. [May 17, 2023]
  • Education Policy and Leadership (EPL) MEd program student Bailey Haines will serve as President of SOE's Graduate Student Council, alongside fellow EPL students Angeliki Paper-Kosiori (Vice President), Kissiah Valle (Dir. of Finance), Derrick Brown (Dir. of Communications), and others. [May 17, 2023]
  • AU education alum Florence Elizabeth Carmichael Adams will turn 100 this August. Read her grandson Jason Campbell's fascinating Washington Post op-ed, "My Grandma Has Always Made the Hardest Things Seem Simple — Even Living to 100." [May 17, 2023]
  • SOE secondary education majors Alli Sattler and Nathaniel Smith presented research projects virtually in conjunction with AU's Center for Teaching, Research, and Learning (CTRL) Student Partners program. Sattler presented "Increasing Inclusivity in STEM Classrooms" and Smith presented "Varying Means of Participation to Support All Learners." [May 17, 2023]
  • Emily Warshaw, a student in the Master of Arts in Special Education program, was quoted in an article about her taking part in the Future of Work Institute that took place in April. [May 17, 2023]
  • Amanda Muniz as the AU Recipient of the Maryland Association of Teacher Educators - Distinguished Teacher Candidate Award for 22-23. [May 17, 2023]
  • EdD 2022 alum Dr. Cheyenne Batista was awarded the 2023 Division A Outstanding Dissertation Award at the American Educational Research Association (AERA) annual meeting in Chicago. [April 15, 2023]
  • Shareen Fernanders (EdD '23), Gary Hamilton (EdD, '23), and SOE faculty contributed chapters to the bookCritical Literacy and Its Impact on Black Boys’ Reading Readiness. [April 15, 2023]
  • Dr. Cheyenne Batista (EdD ’22) was awarded the prestigious American Education Research Association (AERA) Division A 2023 Award for Outstanding Dissertation for her dissertation, “‘I Am Not Scary. I Am Strong. There’s a Difference.’ Disrupting Misogynoir and Transforming Interpersonal Conflict for Black Women Education Leaders: A Multiple Case Study.” [March 17, 2023]
  • Lynne Brenner Ganek, SOE Advisory Board member and adjunct faculty member, presented to the Producing Multi-Platform Content class at Canisius College. Students explored and produced an episode of an original podcast series, a video trailer for the podcast series, and related social media content. [March 17, 2023]
  • Students Francesca Smith (EdD '23) and Madelyn Smith (MEd '25) presented at the March 2023 Council for Exceptional Children Convention and Expo. Francesca presented the poster, "Leveraging Biliteracy for Equitable Outcomes in Dual Language English Reading Instruction." Madelyn presented the paper, "Supporting Literacy Identity through Culturally Responsive Practices in Reading Intervention.” [March 17, 2023]
  • In March, the Comparative and International Education Society (CIES) Conference included SOE ITEP program alum Adam Medadi (MA '22) and faculty Dr. Elizabeth A. Worden, Dr. Michael Gibbons, Dr. Jisun Jeong, and as members of its planning committee and as presenters and participants. [March 17, 2023]
  • Listen to Apple's Science of Reading podcast, "Celebrating Many Meanings: Language Comprehension and Bidialectal Students," featuring Jasmine Rogers (EdD '23). [February 15, 2023]

  • SOE Advisory Board member Tiffany Williams (MA, SPA '07) became the President and CEO of Martha’s Table, a DC-based nonprofit organization focused on developing strong children, strong families and strong communities. [February 15, 2023]

  • Dr. Shayna Cook (EdD '22/MEd '14) was recently appointed to Assistant State Superintendent for the Maryland State Department of Education's Division of Early Childhood. [February 15, 2023]

  • Dr. Afie Mirshah-Nayar (MAT-ESOL), Principal of Paint Branch High School (MCPS), is a finalist for the Mark Mann award, annually presented to exceptional Montgomery County Public Schools administrators. [February 15, 2023]

  • Taylor Myers (MEd '22) attended a Future of Work event sponsored by Deloitte and was interviewed about his experience. [January 18, 2023]

  • Our Future Teacher Tutors program, a partnership with DC Public Schools that seeks to boost below-grade-level readers, was featured in a headline article by The 74 Million. Quoting student Isabel Chae and SOE faculty and staff, it highlights that amid labor shortages, hiring from teacher prep programs like ours could add half a million new tutor candidates nationally. [January 18, 2023]

  • Ann Friedman MAT '98 received the President's Circle Lead Changemaker Award, recognizing her as both a role model and a powerful example of an AU Changemaker for her impactful work in the arena of literacy. She is the founder and CEO of Planet Word, a language arts museum where words and literacy come to life. Read a story about her amazing career and an American University Magazine article about how important words are to her. [November 17, 2022]

  • Dr. Cheyenne E. Batista ’22 won the '2022 CPED Dissertation in Practice of the Year' award. Read more. [September 26, 2022]
  • Students with Education Minor Win DHS Award. AU students and alum created tools to prevent targeted violence. Read more. [July 1, 2022]