1820 During the second session of the General Assembly, on December 18th, the “seminary of learning” is officially established and named The University of Alabama.
1844 The Normal Department is established. “The course of study will be substantially that of the regular college course, adapted to the varying conditions and wants of individuals, together with particular instruction in the art and business of a teacher.” According to President Manly in his report to the Board of Trustees on December 20th, “the faculty procured books and pamphlets relating to the subjects from the North and Europe, arranged a general course of study, and adver- tised that they would be ready to receive pupils in that department on the 22nd of April. . . .”No further mention of the Normal Department is made in the Catalogue until 1871.
1848 “It is ordained by the President and Trustees . . . that a department . . . is hereby created for the education of teachers of primary and preparatory schools in this state. The course of instruc- tion . . . shall be regulated by the faculty until this Board shall otherwise direct. [A]s a prerequisite to admission each of such students shall file a declaration in writing . . . that it is his intention to prepare himself for a teacher and devote himself to that vocation in this state. [E]ach county in the state shall be authorized to send one student to the Normal Department free of charge for tuition; in other cases the price of tuition in that department shall be thirty dollars for the collegiate year.” Minutes, Board of Trustees, December 16, 1843
1871 For admission into the Normal Department, “the applicant must be at least sixteen years of age, and must pass a satisfactory examination on the elementary principles of Arithmetic, Ge- ography, and English Grammar. The course of study requires three years for its completion.” The Catalogue (1871) notes that “Twenty-one students have entered this Department, beside others who have taken special studies therein.” The Normal Department is renamed the Normal School and located in the Department of Professional Education in 1873.
1899 The Normal School is reorganized as The School of Pedagogy and Psychology. The School is renamed The School of Psychology, Logic, and Pedagogy in 1901. History of Education and Methods of Teaching are added to the curriculum. In 1902 the School becomes the School of Philosophy and Education.
1903 James Harris Fitts (Class of ’49) of Tuscaloosa, an attorney and founder of what became the First Alabama Bank, establishes the first University scholarship by endowing $5,000. Recipients “must be, or propose to become, a teacher by profession. . . .”
1904 The first summer instruction at the Capstone, the Summer School for Teachers, begins during the summer months of 1904 with several hundred teachers, mostly from Alabama’s elementary schools. This Summer School is the precursor of the two-session summer school that the entire University now observes.
1909 Under the leadership of President John Abercrombie, Professor of School Administration and former State Superintendent of Education, the School of Education is founded to meet the increased demand for trained teachers resulting from the reorganization of education at all levels in the state.
1927 Supervised teaching is established as a requirement for prospective high school teachers.
1928 In August, the ground is broken for the construction of the academic building for the newly created College of Education. The building is named in honor of Bibb Graves who served as Governor of Alabama from 1927 to 1931 and from 1935 to 1939. Dean James J. Doster holds the shovel and President George H. Denny holds the pick.
1928 The Department of Elementary Education is established. Elementary education pioneer Danylu Belser becomes the chair in 1929.
1929 The College of Education creates the Department of School Library Service to address the new library standards established by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and to train school librarians. In 1997 it becomes a department within the College of Communication.
1929 On June 21, 1929, Bibb Graves Hall is formally opened and dedicated with an address by George Drayton Strayer, Professor of Educational Administration.
1935 Elementary education majors are required to conduct “practice” teaching.
1942 John R. McLure becomes the Dean of the College of Education, a position he holds until 1959.
1945 The College begins to offer four-year degree-granting programs for preparing secondary school teachers.
1948 The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education is founded. The College of Education is a charter member of this Association, which is the forerunner of the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), established in 1952.
1950 The College begins to offer programs leading to the Doctor of Philosophy and Doctor of Education degrees. It confers its first EdD degrees to Adolph B. Crew and Richard E. Bullington and its first PhD degree to Jesse S. Burbage in 1953.
1959 Ralph W. Cowart becomes interim Dean upon Dean McLure’s retirement. M. L. Roberts, Jr., serves as Acting Dean in July and August of 1960. Robert L. Hopper assumes the position until 1963 when he takes a leave-of-absence upon his appointment as Executive Secretary to the House Committee on Research in Washington, DC.
1959 The Special Education program begins its initial training efforts to prepare Special Education teachers at the master’s level under the direction of Jasper Harvey.
1961 The Department of Special Education and the Department of Curriculum Study and Research develop a cooperative EdD degree with emphasis in Special Education. In 1963, the first doctorate is awarded under this cooperative arrangement to Tommy Russell.
Mid 1960s Robert E. Bills becomes Dean until 1969. His deanship is marked by rapid changes in the size, quality, and number of programs. In comparison with 250 regional institutions, it ranks 2nd in the number of graduate degrees conferred; 5th in undergraduate secondary education degrees; 5th in advanced degrees and certificates; and 4th in total undergraduate degrees.
1965 Teacher training in vocational education is established in the College under the direction of Oliver T. “Doc” Hulsey.
1965 The men’s and women’s physical education programs are combined. Courses such as golf and tennis become coeducational.
1966 A new Educational Specialist degree is developed and available in 12 fields in the College. The degree is established to meet the demand for junior college instructors throughout Alabama.
1967 The College had been sponsoring the intramural program for University women prior to 1967 when the responsibility for the university-wide Intramurals was assigned to William F. Clipson. The College manages the intramural programs until the 1980s when the Office of Student Life assumes responsibility for them.
1970 Dresslar Hall is destroyed by fire. Formerly the men’s physical education building, it is vacated when Dean Bills acquires Moore Hall for the College’s physical education department.
1972 Dean Paul Orr establishes the Office of International Programs to provide an international and global dimension to the College’s teacher and administrator preparation programs. Under CarrelM. Anderson’s leadership, the program expands to include more than 25 cities in Latin America and the Caribbean as well as Teheran, Iran, and Madrid, Spain.
1973 The Consortium for Overseas Student Teaching (COST) is a voluntary pact of mutual understanding among a group of colleges and universities acting through their schools, colleges, or departments of education to provide opportunities for quality student teaching placement and supervision in a setting outside the United States.
1974 The Capstone Education Society is organized to provide a means by which alumni, faculty, students, and friends can support the efforts of the College of Education to achieve first-rate, nationally recognized teacher education programs, the highest academic standards among its students, and excellence at all levels of education through the state.
1977 The Summer Enrichment Workshop (SEW), a program of mini-courses from a variety of disciplines for gifted and talented children in grades one through eight, is created and directed by Dr. Carol Schlichter.
1983 In 1982, there are only three computers in the College. The following year, the College establishes its first computer laboratory for students and faculty. By the close of 1988, more than 100 computers are available for faculty and student use.
1984 The State Legislature establishes 11 teacher in-service centers, one of which is The University of Alabama/Livingston University Teacher In-Service Center. These centers offer an extensive summer professional development program in critical needs areas.
1986 To ease the burden of elementary and secondary teacher shortages in Alabama, in 1986 the College reinstates a nontraditional fifth-year program originally developed during the 1960s. The program allows students holding undergraduate degrees in other disciplines to meet teacher certification requirements and earn a Master’s degree as in approximately one year.
1987 The Innovative Leadership Program, a principal preparation program, is initiated with a grant from the Danforth Foundation. The grant is designed to help The University collaborate with local school districts to develop a program which will produce visionary principals capable of leading schools with diverse student populations.
1992 The Clinical Master Teacher Program (CMT) is created. The CMT trains and empowers outstanding regular and special education public school teachers to fulfill the traditional roles of both the campus-based college supervisor and the public school-based cooperating teacher.
1994 The Multiple Abilities Program (MAP) is implemented MAP combines three certifications [Mild Learning and Behavior Disorders (K-6), Elementary Education (1-6), and Early Childhood Education (K-3)] into one Class B certification. The program is designed to prepare educators to teach students with average and above average abilities as well as those with mild learning or behavior disorders.
1997 The Special Education program develops the Collaborative Teacher Program to conform to new SDE certification requirements. This program, the first of its kind to be approved in Alabama, prepares special educators to work with other teachers and community agency representatives to provide an appropriate education for students with cognitive, behavioral, physical and/or multiple disabilities.
1999 With a goal of achieving 100% literacy among Alabama public school students, the Alabama State Department of Education initiated the Alabama Reading Initiative training. Since the summer of 2000 the Regional In-Service Centers have administered all Alabama Reading Initiative summer training programs.
2000 The Alabama Community College Leadership Academy is developed to prepare community college leaders by enhancing their leadership and management skills for an environment of change and to promote active partnership within postsecondary education.
2002 The University of Alabama Superintendents’ Academy (UASA) is a collaborative effort between the Instructional Services Division of the Alabama State Department of Education and The University of Alabama, College of Education’s Department of Educational Leadership, Policy and Technology Studies and Education Policy Center.
2002 CrossingPoints is a collaboration between the Special Education & Multiple Abilities Department and the Tuscaloosa City and County School Systems. The purpose of CrossingPoints is to provide transition services for students with disabilities ages 18-21. Students participating in CrossingPoints receive hands on instructions in vocational/employment aspects of transition during their job placement and specially selected or assigned job sites at the University of Alabama.
2003 The University of Alabama Wheelchair Athletics program was founded in 2003 by Drs. Brent Hardin and Margaret Stran. The program started with a women’s wheelchair basketball team and added a men’s team in 2006. Both teams have enjoyed the support of the Alabama administration, students and faculty including UA President Robert Witt and Alabama has become one of the leaders in the collegiate wheelchair athletics in just a few short years. In 2009, the women’s team was named national champion.
2006 The inaugural class of the Executive Ed.D. program began its program. This innovative model is designed for experienced professionals who have served in high-level positions in higher education and related industries.
2007 Bibb Graves Hall reopens after a major renovation that took Graves down to the bones of the building. This major renovation of the building, the first since it was built in 1929, will enable a new generation of teachers to have the best learning environment in which to acquire the art and skills necessary to become outstanding educators. President Robert Witt stated, The University of Alabama does not have a higher priority than training the next generation of teachers.”
Given the need to provide superior education, training for the next generation of nurses, and the need for qualified nursing faculty, the Capstone College of Nursing and the College of Education have joined together to offer an Ed.D. in Instructional Leadership for Nurse Educators to prepare nurses for the role of nurse educator.