Celebrating 125 Years of Education

Since its founding as a teacher training school in 1897, preparing the next generation of educators, change agents and difference makers has been at the core of San Diego State University’s identity. Discover the moments and people from the SDSU College of Education’s unique history.

1897-03-13 13:56:34

San Diego Normal School Founded

California Governor James Budd signed the legislative act to formally establish the San Diego Normal School.

1898-11-01 13:56:34

Downtown Location Opens

The San Diego Normal School opened its doors above a drug store and one cent novelty shop on the corner of 6th and F in downtown San Diego. Curriculum was limited at first to English, history and mathematics. Course offerings broadened rapidly under the leadership of Samuel T. Black, who left his position as state superintendent of public instruction to become the new school's first president. Black served from 1898 to 1910.

1899-11-11 13:56:34

New Campus in University Heights

The San Diego Normal School moved into a new Beaux-Arts style building in the city's University Heights neighborhood. Applicants who had finished at least eight years of grammar school could complete the program in four years. Applicants with high school diplomas could finish in two. The monumental Main Building was demolished in 1955. The location is the current site of San Diego Unified School District's Eugene Brucker Education Center.

1900-06-21 13:56:34

First Commencement Ceremony Held

The San Diego Normal School held its first commencement ceremony, with 26 students graduating. Pictured: A formal portrait of 17 San Diego Normal School students, circa 1900.

1910-01-01 19:43:50

Campus Lab School Opens

A lab school opened on the San Diego Normal School campus, allowing student teachers to teach grade school children under supervision. Teachers Training Annex #1 — visible at the intersection of Park and El Cajon Boulevards — is the only building still remaining from the San Diego Normal School campus.

1910-07-01 13:56:34

First Dean: W.F. Bliss

The 1910 San Diego Normal School catalog for the first time listed a new administrative position — Dean of the Normal School. Wilberforce F. "W.F." Bliss, previously a teacher and principal in rural schools in Pennsylvania and Ohio in the late 19th century, assumed the role. Records indicate Bliss was elevated to Vice President in 1915, leaving the Normal School without a Dean of Education until 1927. Pictured: Bliss picnics with students on the beach.

1913-01-30 00:50:00

First Black Graduate

Henrietta Goodwin became the first Black student to graduate from San Diego Normal School. Sadly, Henrietta and her sister Lela Goodwin — the first Black student at the Normal School — died during the 1918 influenza pandemic. Today, SDSU honors this legacy through the Henrietta Goodwin Scholars Program, which supports African American/Black student success. Pictured: The Goodwin family, including Henrietta (front row, right). Photo courtesy of the San Diego History Center.

1921-07-28 01:14:35

New Name: San Diego Teachers College

San Diego Normal School became San Diego Teachers College. The name change coincided with the move from a 2-year to a 4-year degree and expanded teaching credentials, from exclusively elementary school to include junior and senior high instruction as well. Pictured: San Diego Normal School students pose under an awning on the steps of the campus Main Building, 1921.

1927-07-01 13:56:34

Willis E. Johnson Named Dean

Willis E. Johnson was named the second Dean of Education. Johnson, a former rural educator, had previously served as president of the other SDS — South Dakota State.

1928-07-12 09:42:25

Secondary Education Credentials Offered

The State Board of Education authorized San Diego Teachers College to offer credentials in secondary education with majors in chemistry, history, English and the romance languages. Pictured: Group portrait of female faculty and students, 1928.

1930-07-01 00:24:31

Jesse W. Ault Named Dean

Educator Jesse W. Ault, who came to San Diego from South Dakota in 1925, was appointed the third Dean of Education. Ault, described by the campus yearbook as "tall, lank and calm" would serve in the role for nearly two decades.

1931-02-09 01:46:41

Montezuma Mesa and Master's Degrees

Due to increased student enrollment, the college was relocated in 1931 to its current location at the east end of Mission Valley on Montezuma Mesa — then known as Mission Palisades. As the community and the college's capabilities grew, it became increasingly desirable to develop graduate programs. Pictured: Campus construction, 1930.

1935-07-01 23:17:30

Expanding Beyond Teaching

Upon action by the California legislature, San Diego Teachers College became San Diego State College. With the change, SDSC was able to offer a broad liberal arts program and drop the requirement to complete education courses. Teacher education, however, remained — and still remains — a major college function. Pictured: Campus Lab School students, 1935.

1936-07-01 14:15:41

Nursery School Established

San Diego State College President Dr. Walter Hepner attended the 1935 World's Fair in Balboa Park where he observed a Works Progress Administration nursery school led by Isabella Hammack. Hepner was inspired to establish a demonstration nursery school where students worked with pre-kindergarten children. Hammack — a foundational figure in child and family development at SDSU — is hired as director. Pictured: nursery school supervisor Beryl Campbell with children, 1940s.

1942-07-21 23:51:26

San Diego's First Black Public School Teacher

San Diego State College alumna Blossom Lorraine Van Lowe Gholston ('33) became the first black teacher in a San Diego City public school. She taught at Memorial Junior High in San Diego's Logan Heights neighborhood and remained in the district until her retirement in 1971. While at San Diego State, she co-founded The Woodsonians, a social club for Black students named after Black historian Carter G. Woodson. She was also founding president of San Diego’s chapter of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority.

1948-09-01 12:37:20

Richard Madden Named Dean

Richard Madden was named the fourth Dean of Education. The campus yearbook described Madden as "retiring and shy but devoted to the ideal of fine education by and for Americans." Madden became Dean of Graduate Studies in 1951; SDSC went without a Dean of Education until 1958.

1953-07-24 21:26:57

Model Lab School Opens

A new model laboratory school building opened on the far west edge of campus. The facility included a music room with sound-proof booths, art room and museum, puppet stage and special observation rooms with one-way mirrors. State budget cuts forced the closure of the Campus Lab School in 1970. The building was demolished in 1991 to make way for the new Student Services building.

1956-07-01 21:26:57

Department of Counselor Education Established

David Malcolm, a World War II veteran and former newspaper reporter and English teacher, founded SDSU's Department of Counselor Education. The department was the fore-runner to SDSU's Department of Counseling and School Psychology (CSP) and was the original home of the vocational rehabilitation counseling program, now a part of the Department of Administration, Rehabilitation and Postsecondary Education.

1958-07-01 01:11:00

Manfred H. Schrupp Named Dean

Manfred H. "Fred" Schrupp, who had chaired the Division of Education since 1952, was named the fifth Dean of Education. In the role, he also served as director of teacher programs, preparing educators to meet California's postwar teacher shortage. He would hold the position of Dean on and off until 1973.

1960-01-01 01:40:56

Joining the CSU

San Diego State College became part of the newly created California State College system, now known as The California State University system. Pictured: A Division of Education faculty meeting, 1960.

1960-04-01 01:40:56

North Education Built

Construction continued on what was then called the Health Services addition. Today, the southernmost part of the complex is known as the North Education building, which is home to SDSU's Department of Counseling and School Psychology, Department of Educational Leadership and Department of Special Education.

1964-07-01 00:00:00

Becoming the School of Education

In the 1964-65 General Catalog, the SDSU School of Education — previously known as the Division of Education — is referenced for the first time. Pictured: A student teacher gives a geography lesson at the Campus Lab School, mid-1960s.

1964-11-12 01:40:56

Lamden Hall Opens

President Malcolm A. Love dedicated the Business Administration and Math Building on the eastern edge of the SDSC campus. Now known as Lamden Hall, the building is home to the College of Education Office of the Dean; Office for Student Success; School of Teacher Education; Department of Administration, Rehabilitation and Postsecondary Education; Department of Child and Family Development; Department of Dual Language and English Learner Education; and Joint Ph.D. Program.

1968-01-01 16:34:53

Trailblazer William Payne Hired

San Diego teacher William Payne is hired as Director of Admissions at the School of Education. In 1945, Payne became the first Black teacher at mostly white Pacific Beach Junior High, prompting 1,900 parents to sign a petition demanding his removal. He was undaunted and later moved on to San Diego High where he taught for 23 years. Payne (pictured with COE alumna Blossom Lorraine Van Lowe-Gholston in 1985) retired from SDSU in 1976. In 2021 the city of San Diego and San Diego Unified School District approved the renaming of a park near Pacific Beach Middle School in honor of Payne and his wife Fannie, a fellow educator. Photo courtesy of The San Diego Union-Tribune.

1968-07-01 16:34:53

Child Development Major Established

SDSU established an interdisciplinary Child Development major, with its first four graduates receiving bachelor's degrees in Applied Arts and Sciences in 1969. The major lived within the Department of Home Economics, which was renamed the Department of Family Studies and Consumer Sciences in 1970. Pictured: An instructor and child, likely outside the Family Studies and Consumer Sciences building, circa 1970.

1972-07-01 20:00:39

Rehabilitation Counseling Master's Program Launched

The Department of Counselor Education created a specialization and MS program in Rehabilitation Counseling. Thelma D. Manjos and Fred McFarlane were its first directors. SDSU also earned its first grant looking at the employment needs for rehabilitation counselors in Region IX, which encompassed the states of California, Arizona, Hawaii and Nevada, the Territory of Guam and the Trust Territories of the Pacific Islands — communities the program serves to this day. Today, SDSU's rehabilitation counseling program is ranked No. 4 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. Pictured: McFarlane (right) with master's students in American Samoa, 1986.

1973-07-01 16:39:17

Tomás Arciniega Named Dean

Tomás Abel Arciniega was named the sixth Dean of Education. Arciniega was the first person of color to serve as head dean of a college at SDSU. Arciniega was instrumental in expanding COE's focus on educational equity and multicultural and bilingual education. Arciniega, who later became president of CSU Bakersfield, was inducted into the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) Hall of Champions in 2012.

1973-09-01 03:42:30

Community-Based Block Launched

David Malcolm founded the Community-Based Block (CBB) — a multicultural counseling program based off a person-centered theory of counseling. Longtime CBB director Maria Nieto Senour joined the faculty in 1977. Today, the program is a 2-Year MS in Counseling degree that prepares licensed professional clinical counselors (LPCC). Pictured: Nieto Senour with students, 1993.

1978-01-01 15:50:21

Multicultural Department Founded

Dean Tomás Arciniega creates the Multicultural Department to develop biliteracy teachers and bilingual specialists. The department was the forerunner of today's Department of Dual Language and English Learner Education (DLE). Pictured: Alberto M. Ochoa, a founding faculty member who chaired the department from 1984-1989.

1978-09-01 10:53:54

Joint Ph.D. Program Founded

The Joint Ph.D. Program in Education with Claremont Graduate University (JDP) was created by Dean Tomás Arciniega and Peggy Hawley (pictured). JDP's mission is to develop scholars who are committed to research on democratic schooling, social justice and equal educational outcomes for all students and the improvement of educational systems serving diverse communities. Hawley is named the program’s first director. Twelve students were admitted the first year. Maria Medrano became the Joint Ph.D. Program's first graduate in 1980.

1979-09-01 02:50:31

School of Education becomes the College of Education

In the 1979-80 General Catalog, the SDSU College of Education is referenced for the first time. Pictured: New student orientation, 1980.

1982-07-01 06:36:49

Dennis Gooler Named Dean

Dennis Gooler, director of development for the Syracuse University School of Education, became the seventh Dean of Education. During his two years at SDSU, he conducted a streamlining and reorganization of the college which saw the Multicultural Department become the Policy Studies in Language and Cross Cultural Education (PLC) in 1982 and the creation of the Department of Administration, Rehabilitation and Postsecondary Education (ARPE) in 1983.

1983-01-01 00:39:26

Pre-College Institute Launched

Founded by Dr. Cynthia Park, the Pre-College Institute (PCI) became an official center of the university in the early 2000s. In the early 1980s, Park began work to establish the infrastructure that supports the Pre-College Institute. PCI continues to promote college access and completion for underserved students, implements innovative programs to enhance excellence in teaching and learning in multicultural settings and studies their outcomes.

1985-07-01 16:56:56

Ann Morey Named Dean

Ann Morey became the eighth — and first female — Dean of Education. Under Morey's leadership, COE expanded its focus on serving the needs of diverse learners, increased federal grant funding, established new school district partnerships, introduced new technology and increased faculty hiring from underrepresented groups, including women. COE's student body also saw diversification, going from 6% from underrepresented groups in 1985 to 27% in 1998.

1990-01-01 00:21:06

Gabay Named National Teacher of the Year

SDSU alumna Janis Gabay ('72, '78) was named National Teacher of the Year by President George H. W. Bush. Gabay served 48 years as a classroom teacher in San Diego. A founding teacher, staff developer and English department chair at UC San Diego's Pruess School, she retired in 2021.

1990-07-01 02:23:22

CSP Begins Native American Partnerships

Led by then-chair Carol Robinson-Zañartu, the Department of Counseling and School Psychology launched a federally-funded American Indian specialty in school psychology. It's the start of more than three decades of grant-funded partnerships between CSP and tribal communities. Since 2020, Supporting High Intensity Mental Health Needs of Native and Indigenous Youth (SHPA) — a program funded by the U.S. Department of Education Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) — prepares school psychologists and counselors to work with indigenous communities while serving the mental health needs of Kumeyaay youth in eastern San Diego County. Pictured: Master's student Darrick Franklin working with students from All Tribes School, early 2000s. Franklin now advises the Navajo Nation president on education issues. 

1991-07-01 04:30:00

Interwork Institute Established

Founded by Fred McFarlane from the Department of Administration, Rehabilitation and Postsecondary Education (ARPE) and Ian Pumpian from the Department of Special Education, the Interwork Institute was officially designated as an SDSU institute. Conducting research, training and education, Interwork promotes the integration of all individuals, including those with disabilities, into all aspects of education, work, family and community life. The Institute has generated more than $200 million from grants and contracts since its inception.

1994-01-01 04:57:28

McBrayer Named National Teacher of the Year

Alumna Sandra McBrayer (’86, ’89) was named National Teacher of the Year by President Bill Clinton. Now chief executive officer of the Children's Initiative, McBrayer is an internationally known advocate for children, youth and families.

1998-07-01 22:54:36

ARPE Partners with Student Affairs

The ARPE Department, under chair Fred McFarlane, partners with Vice President for Student Affairs Jim Kitchen (pictured) to develop the master's degree in postsecondary educational leadership with a specialization in student affairs (PELSA). ARPE and Student Affairs structured the program as an equal partnership to share expertise and resources — an arrangement that continues to this day. The collaboration later expanded further with the joint creation of SDSU's Leadership Minor.

1999-05-18 10:12:17

Lionel “Skip” Meno Named Dean

Lionel “Skip” Meno, a high-profile reformer who'd held a superintendent of education position in New York State and was a Texas Education Agency commissioner under Governor Ann Richards, was named the ninth dean of education. Meno was known as a transparent leader with deep knowledge of K-12 education.

2005-07-01 05:53:28

NCUST Launched

The National Center for Urban School Transformation (NCUST) was launched by professor of educational leadership Joseph F. Johnson, Jr. NCUST identifies urban schools without selective admissions that serve low-income communities, yet achieve tangible, positive results for all the demographic groups they serve. The center also partners with schools and school districts to offer insight and support to help them achieve similar outcomes.

2006-01-01 05:46:48

Master's with Autism Specialization Launched

COE's Department of Special Education offered a new master's degree with an emphasis in autism. The program was developed by Laura J. Hall, an educator and researcher with a background in autism spectrum disorders who joined SDSU's faculty in 1998. Today, the M.A. is one of the department's most applied-to graduate programs and the Department of Special Education is internationally known for its work in autism.

2006-01-01 15:37:33

Independent Doctorates Approved

COE was home to two of the first three independent doctoral programs in the California State University system, as Ed.D. programs in Pre-K educational leadership and community college leadership were launched. The programs welcomed their first cohorts of doctoral students the following year. Pictured: The first cohort of Pre-K educational leadership Ed.D. students, 2007.

2006-07-01 11:08:17

Child and Family Development Joins College

The Department of Child and Family Development moves to the College of Education from the College of Professional Studies and Fine Arts. The move, originally proposed by COE Dean Skip Meno, was approved by a vote of CFD faculty. Child development became COE's first undergraduate major.

2007-04-23 21:35:49

Ric A. Hovda Named Dean

Ric A. Hovda, dean of the College of Education at University of Memphis, was named the 10th Dean of Education. Taking over at a difficult time, Hovda navigated the college through budget turmoil and uncertainty caused by the global financial crisis.

2014-03-01 06:36:49

Joseph F. Johnson, Jr. Named Dean

Dr. Joseph F. Johnson, Jr., professor of educational leadership at SDSU, was named the 11th Dean of Education. Johnson, a former teacher, administrator and U.S. Department of Education senior executive service director, was the College's first Black dean. Soft spoken but strong, Johnson was known for his mentorship of students and faculty and his leadership through kindness.

2016-09-09 06:32:08

Liberal Studies Major Joins College

Following a reorganization of SDSU's Division of Undergraduate Studies, Liberal Studies was moved to the School of Teacher Education. The major, one of the largest at SDSU and COE's second overall, was designed for future elementary and middle school teachers.

2016-11-08 20:56:17

Bilingual Education Restrictions Overturned

California Proposition 58 passed, removing state restrictions on bilingual education passed in 1998 under Proposition 227. As the only remaining autonomous bilingual education program in the state, the recently re-named Department of Dual Language and English Learner Education was uniquely positioned to lead the way in meeting the large demand for qualified bilingual educators. Pictured: More than 100 future bilingual teachers gather at our new student orientation in 2019.

2018-04-25 16:45:40

Y. Barry Chung Named Dean

Y. Barry Chung, a leading scholar in the field of counseling psychology, was named the 12th Dean of Education and COE's first Chinese American dean. Chung came to SDSU from Indiana University Bloomington where he served as associate dean and program director. Chung expanded the college's leadership team, creating the positions of senior associate dean, associate dean for diversity and international affairs, and associate dean for research. He also prioritized expanding college communications, a restructuring of the Office for Student Success and diversity planning.

2019-05-22 22:22:39

Graduation Photo Goes Viral

Erica Alfaro, a student in the Hybrid Online MA in Education with a Concentration in Counseling program, became a national sensation after taking her graduation photo in the strawberry field where her parents worked. The image went viral and Alfaro's inspirational story was covered by CNN and other national outlets.

Celebrating 125 Years of Education

Copy this timeline Login to copy this timeline 3d Game mode

Contact us

We'd love to hear from you. Please send questions or feedback to the below email addresses.

Before contacting us, you may wish to visit our FAQs page which has lots of useful info on Tiki-Toki.

We can be contacted by email at: hello@tiki-toki.com.

You can also follow us on twitter at twitter.com/tiki_toki.

If you are having any problems with Tiki-Toki, please contact us as at: help@tiki-toki.com


Edit this timeline

Enter your name and the secret word given to you by the timeline's owner.

3-40 true Name must be at least three characters
3-40 true You need a secret word to edit this timeline

Checking details

Please check details and try again