Our mission

Students sitting and standing outside of the Raggio BuildingThe College of Education & Human Development is a recognized leader in guiding, shaping, and mentoring high-performing education professionals who will go forth with a lifelong love of learning and with the skills essential for thriving in a global, knowledge-based economy. We are committed to a diverse and inclusive learning community that works to promote education across disciplines for everyone, locally, nationally and around the globe. The University of Nevada, Reno is recognized by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education as an R1 institution, which is reserved for doctoral universities with the highest levels of research activity.

  • Prepares well-qualified educators, human development specialists, counselors, administrators, and other professionals to address critical community needs;
  • Conducts original research and scholarship to improve the knowledge base in professional practice and policy;
  • Engages with the state, local school districts, and communities through outreach and reciprocal partnerships to strengthen social, educational, and economic well-being of all Nevada citizens, including children; and 
  • Cultivates professionals who are culturally competent, locally relevant, and globally aware.

Our vision

Five students smiling and using their laptopsIn all of its activities, College of Education and Human Development faculty and staff embrace the following values for our graduates and ourselves:

  • We value diversity, including but not limited to age, ethnicity, class, gender, indigeneity, language, disability, ability, race, sexual identity, religious status, gender expression, educational background, geographic context, nationality, immigration status, income, marital status, parental status, and work experiences.
  • We value ethical practice and abide by the ethical guidelines of each of our respective professional organizations.
  • We value integrity in all of our actions.
  • We value equity.
  • We value respect.
  • We value a culture of caring and relationship building.

Conceptual framework

Equity, justice and critical reflection

A group of 10 people mingling in a classroom.Equity and justice are central to our College. We seek to cultivate justice-oriented, engaged citizens, educators and professionals who will complete our programs prepared to advocate for and work with diverse populations. In order to effectively prepare our students for a wide variety of careers in education and human development, we build learning communities that acknowledge and appreciate the diversity of our students and the schools and communities with which our students will work. More specifically, we strive to create equity-minded citizens and educators who value multiple types of diversity, including but not limited to age, disability, gender, gender expression, gender identity, geographic location, immigration status, Indigeneity, language, nationality, political affiliation, race/ethnicity, religion/spirituality, sexual identity and socioeconomic status/social class. We apply equity and justice principles by engaging our students in culturally-sustaining practices, diverse curriculum and materials, and critical reflection and by creating open, proactive spaces where important and relevant issues are discussed, debated, and re-conceptualized with support from faculty, staff and University partners.

These guiding principles inspire our individual and collective practice and infuse the following three foundational components of the college, from which our teaching, scholarly activities, service and departmental structure are derived.

Human development and education

Two students doing activities outside in the snow with children.Education and human development are supported and integrated in the College through the common lens of learning. Learning connects individual development to the learner’s environment, family, culture, community and their lived experiences. We contend that positive educational praxis connects people, families and communities, by fostering positive space for ongoing learning and development within and outside of schools. Passion for learning joins people together across disciplines and boundaries, and unites learners, educators and researchers locally, nationally and around the globe. We aspire to instill a deep understanding of individual and group motivation and behavior, combined with a broad competency of learning dynamics and human development. We promote a diverse, responsive, learner-centered equity pedagogy that is developmentally appropriate and supportive of all learners’ intellectual, social and personal development.

Leadership and research

The exterior of the William J. Raggio BuildingLeadership and research are enacted through the promotion of the bidirectional relationship between research and practice, in an effort to facilitate the creation of just, equitable, responsive and inclusive professional contexts. We situate research in the context of policy reexamination and revision at the local and national levels, being mindful of global connections. We believe that our research establishes us as leaders in the academic community, and greater educational communities in our region. Through our research, we foster transformative leadership that envisions and enacts a better tomorrow for all, and especially for those who have been neglected and excluded. We prepare educators and leaders who are equipped to link theories and research with practice and policy about child, adolescent, and adult development to make data-driven decisions, centering on the needs of learners, educators and focal communities and aiming to improve the lives of all involved. We promote the cultivation of effective written, verbal and non-verbal forms of communication with the various stakeholders. Our graduates enter their respective professions in education, human development and related fields with strong knowledge and skills and with the disposition of learners who will engage in a life-long journey.

Community engagement

Students outside near Manzanita Lake having fun while playing gamesCommunity engagement is promoted through equity-oriented collaboration with schools and local communities, in ways that support the well-being of the communities and their members and contribute to a more just society. Meaningful collaboration involves positioning community members as critical stakeholders in the work of educating children and supporting teaching and human development across the lifespan. We address issues of equity in ongoing critical reflection and action in considering who is invited to participate and make key decisions about the collaboration. We model effective community engagement, which seeks to nurture relationships with community members by listening to the needs and desires of students, teachers, families, schools, and local communities.

Aerial view looking southward over campus in early morning light.

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