Expansion of UAH’s Department of Education to College of Education reflects growing enrollment

Beth Quick

Dr. Beth Quick currently serves as the chair of UAH’s Department of Education.

Michael Mercier | UAH

The Board of Trustees of The University of Alabama approved the formation of a College of Education at The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) at its meeting held today at the Bryant Conference Center in Tuscaloosa; the proposal will now be submitted to the Alabama Commission on Higher Education (ACHE) for final approval. The new college will include a Department of Curriculum and Instruction, a Department of Kinesiology, and the UAH Rise School, an outreach and service unit.

The Department of Curriculum and Instruction will offer degree programs in collaborative, early, elementary, English Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), and secondary teacher preparation. The Department of Kinesiology will offer degree programs in exercise science and physical education. The UAH Rise School, which provides developmentally appropriate education for both typically developing children and children with developmental delays or disabilities, will function as an instructional site for the College's students. Currently it serves children ages 18 months to 5 years, but plans for the future include the expansion of services to infants and toddlers.

A college allows us to serve more students, to have richer relationships with the schools with whom we partner, and to have a stronger presence in the region to build on the things we’ve been doing and to expand our reach and influence.

Dr. Beth Quick, the current chair of the Department of Education, says it's the right move at the right time. "The need is there and we've demonstrated that we can grow enrollment with the recent launch of new degree programs," she says. "And with others waiting to come online, we were just poised for this next step - to coordinate and bring together the good things that were happening under one entity as a college."

Over the last three years, the department has experienced a significant increase in enrollment at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. More programs have been added in response, including a Master of Education (M.Ed.) with four concentration options: Differentiated Instruction in Elementary Education, Reading Education, ESOL, and the state's only concentration in Autism Spectrum Disorders.

But more programs require more organization, says Dr. Quick, which is something a college can offer that a department can't. "A college allows us to serve more students, to have richer relationships with the schools with whom we partner, and to have a stronger presence in the region to build on the things we've been doing and to expand our reach and influence."

The first order of business will be to hire more faculty and staff. The department has already added a coordinator of field and clinical experience, and the search is underway for a full-time middle and secondary science education professor. "Within the next year," says Dr. Quick, "we anticipate hiring additional faculty to accommodate enrollment growth."

College of Education Announcement

UAH Provost Dr. Christine Curtis

And as the college grows, so too will its offerings. A bachelor of science in education in the secondary fields is planned for implementation in January of 2015, while a bachelor of science in kinesiology is planned for the fall of 2015. This will enable future graduates to pursue a broader range of career paths that fall under the education umbrella. "We want to prepare our students to not only be teachers but also work in a variety of capacities in the school system," she says.

Fortunately, however, finding employment after graduation has never been an issue. "Our graduates are highly regarded in the local school districts when principals are looking for new teachers, and our faculty work hard to create reflective and competent professionals who are ready to advocate for students in the classroom," says Dr. Jason O'Brien, Associate Professor of Education.

Adds Dr. Quick, "I feel confident in saying that 99% of our graduates each semester are securing employment in local area schools. They're highly sought-after, respected, and recruited." And with the long-awaited expansion of the department now a reality, more students will have the opportunity to join those ranks. "I'm excited," she says. "They will have the visibility and recognition that comes from being part of a college."



B.A. in Elementary Education (K-6)
B.S. in Secondary Education (6-12)
B.A. in Music with a concentration in education (P-12)

  • Instrumental
  • Choral


Master of Education (Class A Licensure)

  • Autism Spectrum Disorders (Class A Collaborative K-6 or Class A Collaborative 6-12)
  • Differentiated Instruction in Elementary Education (Class A Elementary)
  • Reading Education (Class A Reading Specialist)
  • English Speakers of Other Languages (Class A ESOL)

Alternative Fifth Year Program (6-12)

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • English Language Arts
  • History
  • Mathematics
  • Physics

Advanced (Class A) Licensure

  • Biology (6-12)
  • Chemistry (6-12)
  • English Language Arts (6-12)
  • History (6-12)
  • Mathematics (6-12)
  • Physics (6-12)

Autism Spectrum Disorders Graduate Certificate

Coming in 2015

B.S. in Kinesiology

  • Exercise Science
  • Physical Education (Class B P-12 license)


Dr. Beth Quick

Diana LaChance