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ISU College of Education to celebrate its 50th year Sept. 10-11

September 4, 2008
ISU Marketing and Communications

On the theme “Connecting Our Past and Preparing for Our Future” the College of Education at Idaho State University is celebrating a 115-year tradition of preparing professional educators as it marks 50 years as an established college.

The College of Education’s 50th Celebration will be on Sept. 10 and 11. Albion State Normal School officially opened its doors to prepare educators on Sept. 11, 1894, and this Sept. 11, the College of Education opens its doors to welcome home alumni and school partners, faculty, staff and students.

College of Education celebrates 50 years.

“The College of Education is proud to continue the ideals of the Albion State Normal School legacy which are still present in our instructional practices today,” said Deborah L. Hedeen, Ph.D, dean of the college.

The celebration will include the following activities: a tour of Albion State Normal School where the 115-year legacy began in preparing professional educators; a behind the scenes tour of the L.E. and Thelma E. Stephens Performing Arts Center with a 1950’s “Blast from the Past” performance in the Beverly B. Bistline Thrust Theatre; a tour of the Rendezvous Complex and showcasing College of Education stars – both faculty and students – in the Rendezvous Planetarium; and the 50th Celebration fun-filled evening of music, games, food, and reminiscing.

For more information on the 50th Celebration activities contact Melisa Moon, (208) 282-5670 or

History of the ISU College of Education

The College of Education has a long rich history beginning in 1893 when Reverend Charles Lyles voluntarily taught 23 students in a school built by local residents in Albion. The following year, the Idaho Legislature granted funding for the Albion State Normal School, and opened its doors on Sept. 11, 1894 as one of two normal schools in Idaho. The Albion State Normal School centered wholly on preparing teachers. The school offered a traditional curriculum including science, English, history, mathematics, Latin and education.

In 1919, Idaho Technical Institute (the future Idaho State University) offered its first education classes. Then in 1924, Idaho Technical Institute was renamed University of Idaho Southern Branch. The state of Idaho increased teaching standards and two years of college were required to obtain a teaching license. Based on recommendations from the State Board of Education in 1945, the University of Idaho Southern Branch was renamed Idaho State College and a four-year teacher curriculum in elementary and secondary education was instituted.

The Idaho Legislature closed Albion State Normal School in 1951 and transferred its teacher education program to Idaho State College. The Department of Education was originally a part of the liberal arts program. The first graduate programs at Idaho State College were delivered by the Department of Education in 1955.

In 1958, the State Board of Education established the College of Education and named Dr. Stanley J. Heywood as Dean. The College of Education was originally located in Swanson Hall. The College of Education and the Lorene Hendricks Lab School were moved into its current buildings on the Idaho State University campus in 1963. The lab school closed in 1969 to accommodate the growth of the College of Education.

Since 1958 the College of Education has continued to expand its preparation of professional educators and strives to become the leading institution of teaching and learning in the Intermountain West through its commitment to teaching, research and service. The College of Education has more than 12,000 alumni and is nationally accredited through the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).

The College of Education has increased the delivery of courses in Idaho Falls at University Place, Twin Falls on the College of Southern Idaho campus, and in the Boise Valley.

Today the College of Education continues the tradition of the preparation of teacher educators and has strengthened its delivery of services by growing graduate programs, which prepare professional educators and leaders. The College of Education offered its first doctoral program in 1989.

The Bureau of Educational Regional Services (BERS) was established in 1979 and then in 2000 was reorganized as the Intermountain Center for Education Effectiveness (ICEE). Given the expanding size and scope of this office, together with the need for increased services, the center has evolved into an intermountain states service-area concept. The ICEE now offers services throughout Idaho, Montana, Utah and Wyoming.

The ICEE works to enhance the development and delivery of quality education, educational and research services, and educational policy, in collaboration with local school districts, education agencies, professional organizations, business constituencies and policy makers throughout the Intermountain West.

In “Connecting Our Past and Preparing for Our Future,” the College of Education’s Early Childhood Partnership School is in the same location where the Lorene Hendricks Lab School existed. The Partnership School in collaboration with Pocatello School District #25 started in 1998. The school serves as a dynamic exemplary field site for our college students who are pursuing early childhood and elementary education.

Most recently in September 2006, the College of Education’s north wing was named Albion Hall in recognition of the achievements and legacy of Albion State Normal School (1893-1951). The dedication was a memorable event for those who attended and an opportunity to revisit the location of Albion State Normal School where the tradition of preparing professional educators began.


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