School of Professional Studies

School of Professional Studies

History of the Education Department

Selected Events in the History of the Education and Educational Psychology Department


1903 Danbury State Normal School is established for the purpose of preparing “teachers in the art of instructing and governing in the public schools of the State….”
1904 41 students are enrolled on September 6th in the first classes “to train teachers…
Enrollments climb to 362 students by 1912, dropping to 66 in the post World War I academic year of 1920-21.
1925 Extension courses are offered at the School
1931 Formation of a Commercial Department for training business education teachers occurs. This program remains until 1935.
1932 &
All courses are extended for three-year durations in 1932, and three years later a “special third year” is offered.
1937 Danbury State Normal School for the training of teachers becomes Danbury State Teachers College.
The CT State Legislature authorizes the granting of a Bachelor of Science degree
1941 The College becomes accredited by the American Association of Teachers Colleges.
1954 The College becomes accredited by several groups:

  • New England Association of Secondary Schools and Colleges (NEASC)
  • National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE)
  • American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education (AACTE)
1955 Effective as of September, new certification requirements are mandated by Connecticut State for Connecticut teachers to “work toward a Master’s Degree.”
1958 16 teachers are awarded the first graduate Masters of Science degree
1959 The College’s name is changed, omitting the word “Teachers” from the title.
1961 A four-year secondary education program is introduced at the College, leading to a Bachelor of Science degree.
1967 Danbury State College becomes Western Connecticut State College.
The first time, full-time master’s degree students are accepted to the College.
1968 A sixth year program is offered at the College for teachers interested in becoming Reading Consultants.
1969 Teachers are offered a sixth year program in Elementary Education by the College.
1976 The Board of Trustees of the College noted that less than 50% of undergraduate degrees were now in Education.
There is an academic curriculum shift in emphasis to the service sector.
1977 The College offers a Master of Science degree in Guidance and Counseling.
1983 The four state colleges become “universities” under the Connecticut State University System with the College being renamed Western Connecticut State University
1986 Students preparing for a career in teaching learned that they no longer can “major” in education after 1990.
1990 During the spring semester of 1990, the Education Department participated with other departments in a “test trial” of an Advanced Technology Classroom constructed by IBM. This classroom was the first of its kind in the USA.
1993 The Connecticut State regulated that Elementary Education undergraduate students needed to major in an Arts and Sciences academic subject area, replacing the earlier stipulation that students could be Elementary “majors.”
2000 The M.S.T. degree program is approved.
2001 The University begins the State approval process for its first doctoral degree program, the Ed.D. degree in Instructional Leadership
2002 In September, the University is site visited by Connecticut Department of Higher Education for approval of the Ed.D. degree and in December the University received final approval from CT Board of Governors to institute the Ed.D. Program in Instructional Leadership.
2003 In September, the EdD Program in Instructional Leadership admitted its first class of doctoral students.
2004 In September, all WestConn’s Teacher Preparation Programs formally received full reaccreditation from the Connecticut State Department of Education. In October, the Connecticut Quality Improvement Award, Silver Level, was awarded to the EdD in Instructional Leadership Program at the 17th Annual Conference on Quality and Innovation.
2005 In September 2005, The Ed.D. program in Instructional Leadership admitted its second class of doctoral students.
2007 In February of 2007, the Connecticut State Department of Education conducted its site visit for the Certificate in Intermediate Administration and Supervision (Endorsement #092). In September 2007, The Ed.D. program in Instructional Leadership admitted its third class of doctoral students. The Connecticut State Department of Education and the Department of Higher Education in Connecticut approved the program for the Certificate in Intermediate Administration and Supervision (Endorsement #092). This program is a collaborative effort between Western Connecticut State University and Central Connecticut State University. It is only available for students in the EdD in Instructional Leadership program.
2008 In March 2008, following its Fifth Year Review, the EdD in Instructional Leadership program was accredited by the Connecticut Board of Governors for Higher Education. In May 2008 the first Ed.D. Program cohort in Instructional Leadership graduated. The first candidates in the Certificate in Intermediate Administration and Supervision (Endorsement #092) program completed their program with a 100% pass rate on the Connecticut Administrator Test (CAT). The Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.) Secondary Education Program — Biology, Mathematics and Spanish was approved in the Fall 2008. The first cohort will be admitted in the Summer of 2009.
2009 In February 2009, the Certificate in Intermediate Administration and Supervision (Endorsement #092) was nationally recognized with no conditions by the Educational Leadership Constituent Council (ELCC) of the National Policy Board for Educational Administration (NPBEA). In May 2009, the EdD in Instructional Leadership program in collaboration with Phi Delta Kappa Chapter 0176 will hold its first Conference in Instructional Leadership.

Submitted by:
Dr. Leah G. Stambler, Professor of Education
With the assistance of: Cheri Jowdy, B.S. Elementary Education Alumnus (2002)
Meg Moughan, Haas Library Archivist

Additions August 2003, 2004, 2006 by Dean Lynne W. Clark

Additions March 2009 by Dr. Theresa J. Canada and Dr. Marci A. B. Delcourt