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Academic Excellence and Engaged Scholarship

Informed by forward-focused scholarship and research, our award-winning and accredited curricular offerings and continuing education programs are led by dedicated and distinguished faculty, cultivating a hub for exceptionally prepared and innovative educational leaders inspired to transform their schools and communities.

Leveraging our expertise to develop change agents

Hallway of a public school with the words 'A person's a person, no matter how small' on the wall

When it comes to academic rigor, we as educators hold ourselves to the same standard of excellence as our students.

Our wide range of degree and credential programs blend theory and practice to prepare the next generation of inspired and committed educators. As Myra J. Smith, Ed.D, a senior lecturer of Educational Leadership shared, these programs are always evolving to meet the needs of today’s classrooms.

"We continue to create a space that ensures all students can be heard, growing a diverse team of voices. It’s all about the pursuit of excellence and sustaining effective teaching and learning for our students," said Smith.

A Focus on Social Justice and Real-World Application

Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) graduate, Maria Hagan, ‘19, shared that she chose Loyola because she "loved the equity work that many of Loyola’s professors were involved with—and I knew I wanted to be part of something that was changing education and ensuring it was available and accessible to everyone."

"A huge part of our work is engaging in conversations that are situated in research and best practices, especially on matters of social justice," said Stephanie Flores-Koulish, Ph.D., director of the Curriculum and Instruction for Social Justice (CISJ) program. "By the time our students graduate, many of them are already leading critical research and making a difference in their schools and communities."

Hillary Frank, M.A. ‘13, a CISJ alumna, embodies the type of leadership fostered by Loyola faculty. "Real-world application was important to me when I was choosing my graduate program, and I was able to implement activities and concepts from every single course into my own classroom almost immediately," said Frank. "I never felt like I was just going through the motions in order to get my degree; the coursework was engaging, practical, and challenging, and I am still applying the strategies I learned during my time as a student into my classroom today."

Local and National Recognition

The faculty-driven pursuit of equity and excellence at Loyola continues to produce standouts in the education world, including recipients of the 2022 Maryland Teacher of the Year, the MSEA's Minority Recognition Award, the NFB's Accessibility Inclusion Fellowship, top prizes at the AECT convention, and more.

Our approach is recognized as not only essential for today’s education landscape, but exemplary for others in the field.

Loyola's Reading Specialist program, for example, has been commended by the International Literacy Association (ILA) for its outstanding preparation of literacy professionals and continuous efforts to transform lives through literacy. Loyola is the only institution in Maryland that offers a Reading Specialist program aligned to the new ILA standards. Additionally, Loyola is one of only a handful of literacy programs in the entire United States to receive this recognition.

"We take seriously our mission to prepare educators with the highest professional standards and evidence-based practices available," said Leah Katherine Saal, Ph.D., associate professor of literacy. "The ILA recognition and corresponding school-based practical showcase the value our programs place on partnerships with the school systems and, especially, the culturally and linguistically diverse K-12 students, families, and communities we serve."

Leaders in their Field

The skillsets our programs cultivate resonate with partners outside of Loyola’s hallways, as noted by education leaders like Marty Sweeney.

"Loyola faculty are very current, and there’s an ease in how they do what they do," said Sweeney, M.S. ‘80, and head of school at the Odyssey School in Baltimore County, where Loyola faculty serve as regular consultants. "They offer innovative instruction and support. They’re great and willing questioners, they have true clarity in the way they express themselves, and they embody the notion that one perspective cannot count as the whole perspective."

The distinguished scholarship of our leaders and programs is leaving a profound mark on the present and future of education. Our highly engaged faculty are regularly published in top tier journals including Computers and Education, The International Journal of Literacy, Professional School Counseling, Teachers College Record, and more. Additionally, Loyola faculty are tapped for their expertise by national outlets like the New York Times and Washington Post, and are invited to chair professional events such as the National Association for Media Literacy Education’s annual conference.

Mentorship and Support

"I chose Loyola because it has a strong, accredited school counseling program with a great reputation." said Brenna LaRose, M.Ed. ’15, a school counselor at St. Paul’s School for Girls in Baltimore County, Maryland, who went on to earn her certification as a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC). "Many of my professors, including Dr. Jenn Watkinson, have remained close contacts. I could not have earned my license without the guidance and support from Dr. Watkinson and the expansive continuing education course offerings at Loyola."

From our innovative Curriculum and Instruction for Social Justice, to our newly designed Master’s in Montessori Education, and our 21st Century-focused Kodály Music Education program, we strive to modernize our approaches to time-tested philosophies, fully equipping students for the dynamic educational landscape.

According to Carrie Horowitz Lang, ’05, M.Ed. ‘08, director of Montessori Education, "Students leave our program ready to work in today’s ever changing education landscape with an understanding of diverse perspectives in education, tools to support a diverse population, and the language needed to ask the right questions to support their practice and their students, families, and communities."

Under the tutelage of our distinguished scholarship and dedicated leaders, members of Loyola’s School of Education can be guaranteed the resources and expertise they need to enhance the lives of students and empower communities.

"To me, the abilities to establish relationships and provide a sense of accessibility are everything you need in an educator," said Sweeney. "The Loyola faculty who conduct professional development at our school are exemplary models of what a consummate educator is and can be."