School History

School History

Simmons School History

Since 2000

2014: (September) SMU breaks ground on Harold Clark Simmons Hall.

2013: (Fall) M.Ed. in Special Education launched.

2013: (Fall) M.S. in Sport Management launched in partnership with the Cox School of Business.

2013: (February 21) Announcement of a $25-million gift from Harold C. & Annette Caldwell Simmons to expand the programs and academic positions at the Simmons School of Education and Human Development. 

2013:  (January) The Simmons School's 2013 Luminary Awards ceremony honored the Dallas Arboretum, Daniel P. King, and America's Promise Alliance.

2012: (November) Department of Education Policy & Leadership's Education Policy and Leadership Conference: "Transitions: Plugging the Leaks in the Pipeline."

2012: (August) The Center on Communities and Education (CCE) is created and its School Zone program is honored as a "game changer" by the West Dallas Chamber of Commerce.

2012: (June) Dean David Chard is sworn-in by U.S. Secretary of State Arne Duncan as a member of the Board of Directors of the Nathional Board for Education Sciences.

2012: (Spring) M.Ed. in Urban School Leadership becomes a part of the Alliance to Reform Educational Leadership with the Bush Institute.

2012: (January) The Simmons School's 2012 Luminary Awards ceremony honored The Salesmanship Club Youth and Family Centers, Avance, and Joan Ganz Cooney and Sesame Workshop.

2011: The Simmons School's 2011 Luminary Awards ceremony honored Israel Cordero, Neuhaus Edcuation Center, and Teach for America.

2011: (November) Department of Education Policy & Leadership's inaugural Education Policy and Leadership Conference.

2011: (Fall) M.Ed. in Urban School Leadership launched in partnership with the Teaching Trust.

2011: (Fall) M.Ed. in Higher Education launched.

2011: (Spring) The Dispute Resolution graduate program enters a partnership with the international, nonprofit Mediators Beyond Borders group.

2010: (Fall) Simmons opens the Center for Academic Progress and Success (CAPS) center, which offers academic support services to children and teens.

2010: (September 24) Dedication of Annette Caldwell Simmons Hall.

2010: (August 9) Simmons School faculty and staff take occupancy of the new Simmons Hall.

2010: (August) The name of the Institute for Reading Research (IRR) is changed to the Institute for Evidence-Based Education (IEBE) in order to reflect the Institute's service to a broader variety of academic areas.

2010: (Spring) SMU's Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development co-sponsored the first two symposia in conjunction with the George W. Bush Institute on Afghan women, education and energy.

2009: (Spring) SMU's bilingual education graduate program celebrates its 30th anniversary.

2009: (Fall) First semester in which undergraduate APSM courses are offered. First group of APSM majors inducted on November 8, 2009.

2009: (November 19) SMU's Simmons School honors three outstanding education leaders with its first annual Simmons Luminary Awards : former U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings, longtime Texas State Board of Education member Geraldine "Tincy" Miller, and St. Philip's School headmaster Dr. Terry J. Flowers.

2009: Former First Lady Laura Bush returns to SMU as the Commencement speaker for the class of 2009.

2009: (Summer) M.Ed. in Accelerated School Leadership launched.

2009: The Department of Teaching and Learning begins aa M.Ed. in partnership with the Neuhaus Education Center in Houston.

2008: National Association of Graduate Liberal Studies Programs names Professor Rick Halperin, faculty member in the MLS program and director of SMU's Human Rights Program, as the year's recipient of its National Faculty Award.

2008: (December 5) SMU breaks ground on Annette Caldwell Simmons Hall.

2008: Girls Talk Back program is created, a one-week summer camp for young women entering the 11th grade allowing attendees to live on campus and take three courses pertaining to professional etiquette, communication and writing.

2008: (December) The Board of Trustees approves the creation of The Department of Education Policy & Leadership with an academic focus on preparing educators for leadership roles in complex school settings.

2008: (December) Applied Physiology and Sport Management undergraduate major is approved by the Board of Trustees.

2008: (Fall) Establishment of the Locomotor Performance Laboratory in the Department of Applied Physiology and Wellness; Dr. Peter Weyand is made director.

2008: (Fall) The Center for Family Counseling, a service center within the Department of Dispute Resolution and Counseling, opens at SMU-in-Plano.

2008: (October) Dr. Karen Vickery, director of the School's Learning Therapy Program, receives an International Multisensory Structured Language Education Council (IMSLEC) Innovator Award as an Outstanding Educator in a University.

2008: (April) Assistant Professor Paige Ware selected as a recipient of the National Academy of Education Spencer Fellowship.

2007: (November 9) A landmark $20 million gift from Harold C. and Annette C. Simmons provides an endowment for SMU's School of Education and Human Development and the lead gift for a new building to house the School. The School is renamed the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development.

2007: (June) David J. Chard, associate dean of the College of Eduation at the University of Oregon, is named dean of SMU's School of Education and Human Development and, as such, becomes the School's first permanent academic dean.  

2006: The M.S. in Counseling program is established and creates the new Department of Dispute Resolution and Counseling.

2006: (June) Dr. Narayan Bhat, Dedman professor emeritus, is named Dean ad interim while the University conducts a formal search for a dean:  July 2006 – August 2007. 

2006: (Summer) The last summer in which a centralized summer school offered under the management of the Division of Education and Lifelong Learning.

2006: (June) Bob Patterson, the School's first dean, retires.

2006: Dispute Resolution program adds a Master's degree.

2005: (November) Dedication ceremony of the School of Education and Human Development; U.S. Secretary of Education, Margaret Spellings, delivers keynote address.   

2005: (October) Professor Bill Pulte, director of the Bilingual Education Program and associate professor of linguistic anthropology at SMU, receives the 2005 Higher Education Honoree award from the Texas Association for Bilingual Education (TABE).

2005: (March 7) SMU renews its commitment to the field of professional education by creating the School of Education and Human Development with specific areas of focus.  SMU Board of Trustees votes to create the School in order to fill critical needs in the advancement of teacher training and research on language acquisition and literacy. 

2003: Institute for Reading Research receives more than $9 million in grants and contracts.

2002:  With the help of a $1.5 million federal grant, SMU launches a gradute program that prepares teachers to teach gifted bilingual students.

2001: Texas Instruments (TI) Foundation funds SMU Institute for Reading Research with a $1.5 million to endow the faculty chair.

1990-2000

2000: (November) SMU merges its Center for Teacher Preparation with the Division of Extended and Continuing Studies to create a new academic unit, the Division of Education and Lifelong Learning.

1998:  The Dispute Resolution Program is launched as a graduate certificate program. 

1998:  The Division of Evening, Summer, and Continuing Studies becomes the Division of Extended and Continuing Studies.

1998: Dispute Resolution program begins at the SMU-in-Plano campus. The first students to complete the program in 1999 earn graduate certificates in Dispute Resolution.

1990: The Music Educators Summer Workshop Series begins. 

1990 (or before): The Division of Education and Lifelong Learning is renamed:  the Division of Evening, Summer, and Continuing Studies.

1980-1990

1988: After much lobbying, an SMU educational facility is created in north Dallas, called SMU-in-Legacy. It later becomes known as SMU-in-Plano.

1984: Bob Patterson, formerly dean of Extended and Continuing Studies, is appointed dean of the Division of Education and Lifelong Learning. Dr. Patterson championed early efforts to establish an SMU School of Education.

Mid 1980s: Division of Evening, Summer and Continuing Studies is created as the University extension division with the ability to offer evening courses at reduced tuition for part-time students.

1983: The Talented and Gifted Program begins—a 3-week on-campus program offering credit and non-credit college courses for qualified students having completed the seventh, eighth, or ninth grades.

1970-1980

1976: Margaret McDermott, Dallas philanthropist and civic leader, receives an Honorary Doctor of Arts Degree from SMU.

1974: Sheryl Leach, creator of the children's program Barney and advocate for quality, nonviolent children's programming, graduates with a B.A. in Elementary Education from SMU 

Early 1970s: All degree offerings within the Division are discontinued, although a minor in elementary or secondary education that leads to teacher certification remains. A Center for Teacher Certification is created.

1960-1970

1969: Former First Lady Laura Bush graduates from SMU with a degree in Elementary Education. 

1968-9: Master of Liberal Arts program is announced, and 352 students began studies in the degree program during the first fall term. Professor Fred Bryson directs the program.

1960s: Three departments within the School of Humanities and Sciences provide courses that prepare students for elementary teaching, secondary teaching, or related careers in school guidance, physical education, and speech pathology.

1960s: The University's noncredit evening enrichment courses, previously offered through Dallas College, are moved into an independent unit named the School of Continuing Education.

1956: The Informal Courses for Adults program begins.

1950: Doak Walker, the only Heisman Trophy Winner in SMU's history, graduates with a degree in Physical Education.

1940-1950

1948: Lawrence Herkimer, founder of the National Cheerleader's Association and creator of pom-poms, graduates from SMU with a B.S. Physical Education and develops the famous "Herkie" jump during his tenure as an SMU cheerleader.

1930-1940

1935: The School's roots are firmly embedded in Dallas College, the downtown evening college of SMU. Dallas College is directed by Dr. Clough and offers residence, correspondence, extension and group study courses.

1920-1930

1923-1934: The School of University Extension is the first iteration of the School of Education, directed by George Obadiah Clough, Ph.D.