Letter from Ann Taylor to Alumni in Recognition of Her First 100 Days as Dean.

You are part of our “we.”

You are one of our proud 20,000+ graduates who are transforming lives on a daily basis. Seventy percent of you still live and work in St. Louis region. Your commitment to the collective transformational work in St. Louis, and beyond, is astounding!

When I walk around the College of Education on any one day, I see firsthand how our work is still as vibrant, scholarly, and inspiring as it ever was. Frankly, I am in awe of what we have created together in the over 50-year history of educating our community and awarding degrees from the College of Education at the University of Missouri - St. Louis.

This month I will celebrate my “first 100 Days” as dean of your College of Education.  It has been an exciting few months since my new role became official in January.  One extraordinary privilege of being dean is to see firsthand the high impact work that is directly affecting our communities and educators.

There are 100 things I could share with you from my first 100 days.  Walk with me around the college on any one day and you will see our amazing, dedicated faculty and staff:

  • Interacting with a new group of prospective career-changers drawn to the noble profession of teaching who are seeking entry to our spectacularly successful Teach in 12 graduate-level teacher preparation program.  
  • Continuing their innovative makeover of our Bachelors of Educational Studies degree into a flexible, rigorous program for educators outside the classroom.
  • Welcoming over 35 new doctoral students either into themed cohorts of our innovative Ed.D. or into more individualized pathways of our excellent Ph.D. programs.
  • Developing stronger and stronger advising to provide more comprehensive support to our students as they pursue state educator certifications in 54 areas.
  • Meeting with groups of local educators and community leaders to develop programing to meet their needs.
  • Accepting a $3 million foundation grant for the internationally known Center for Character and Citizenship, to support recently qualified principals as they infuse character education into the schools they lead.
  • Supporting low-cost counseling for members of our student body and our local community in our on-site Counseling and Social Advocacy Center staffed by counselors-in-preparation and faculty from our top-tier counseling programs.
  • Celebrating with our school psychologists, as they are all employed within six weeks of graduating.
  • Publishing and presenting their research to professional organizations, international conferences, and local and state communities, thereby putting the COE firmly on the map as a vital scholarly location.

If you are curious about the other 91 moments I didn’t share, please reach out to me.  I won’t pass up an opportunity to brag about your college!

The UMSL College of Education is a remarkable place filled with extraordinary students who make us all proud. Of the undergraduate students who have graduated in the last four years, 53% have been first generation college students, like myself, and 65% have dependents who rely on them.  At the graduate level the story is not much different.  You and I, as the collective College of Education, play a critical role in providing the highest quality education to these determined students.

Thank you for continuing to be a part of the journey of the College of Education. Our alumni are our greatest ambassadors and advocates. I am eager to meet with you and understand how we can work together to make an even bigger difference.

Warmest Regards,

Ann Taylor