Oregon State UniversitySpecial Collections & Archives Research Center

School of Education Records, 1939-1986

Historical Note:

The offering of coursework in teacher education at OSU began in 1909 under the direction of the Department of Industrial Pedagogy. Initially, only classes in the preparation of public school teachers in the topics of Elementary Agriculture, Domestic Science and Art, and Manual Training were offered by the Department. By 1914, however, programs for the instruction of Commerce and Extension Methods were added to the curriculum. In 1918, OSU was designated by the State Board of Vocational Education to serve as a center for the preparation of teachers in vocational subjects and was organized into six areas of instruction: Agricultural Education, Commercial Education, Education, Home Economics Education, Industrial Education, and Psychology.

In 1932, an administrative reorganization changed OSU's teaching program from the School of Vocational Education to the School of Education and expanded the focus of the School to include instruction in preparing students to teach in the Biological and Physical Sciences, Agriculture, Mathematics, Home Economics, Industrial Arts, Secretarial Science, or for educational and vocational guidance. Expanding to include courses in physical education and a department for science education in 1942, the School began to offer a four-year degree course in Elementary Education in 1954 and later received national ten-year accreditation in elementary and secondary education and counseling. In 1962, a Doctorate of Philosophy in Education was first offered by the School. By the early 1970's, teacher preparation courses became largely field- based, with the School placing students in public schools early in their program.

In 1982, responding to budget cutbacks, the State Chancellor of Higher Education merged the OSU School of Education with that of Western Oregon State College (now WOU). Despite creating the largest School of Education in Oregon and the region, the merger dissolved in 1989 due to logistical complications. That same year, classes in teaching program fell under the direction of the OSU College of Education. Due to further budget reductions after the passage of ballot Measure 5 in 1990, the College of Education was merged with the College of Home Economics in 1991 to form the College of Home Economics and Education.


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