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Washington State University
College of Education

College of Education name change

It’s time for a name change*

*or not

When most folks hear “College of Education”, they immediately think of future teachers learning their craft, and that’s it. We know that for a fact. We have data. And they’d be right, we do prepare teachers. Some of the best in the country. We have a rich legacy of it. We also administer the most prestigious K-12 program in Washington, which is our Doctor of Education (“ed doctorate”), as well give capacity (and credentialing) to high-quality superintendents, principals, and other administrators.

But K-12 is certainly not all we do. Not even close. As a modern college of education, we prepare students for a variety of fields. Beyond our teacher preparation program, we host undergraduate programs in sport management, as well as kinesiology and athletic training.

Our graduate programs vary, but also include athletic training, kinesiology, and sport management, to go with a strong portfolio of programs based in public schools, teaching, and learning.

We are now at a stage where we’re exploring and potentially moving forward with a college name change to best suit our modern college of education.


October: Work with SESRC and UCOMM on focus group questions. Invite focus group participants.

November-December: Host focus groups.

January: Review focus group data and build surveys.

February: Send out surveys by mid-month.

March: Close surveys mid-month and finalize report. Dean and Leadership Team to submit name change.

April: Report delivered to the College of Education dean.

Summer: Review report.

Fall: Leadership Team discussions. Decisions made.

Spring 2023: Name change work done, if applicable, effective TBD (maybe summer 2023).

In Summary…
  • There is high support for the idea of a name change.
  • There is low consensus on what a changed name would be.
  • There is high support for retaining “Education” as part of the name.
  • There is low support for names we’re categorizing as too long, too specific, too trendy, too ambiguous, and possibly exclusionary.

Full survey report


We recognize that over the past decade, when colleges have had a name change, they generally also have a kick-off or celebration. Due to COVID cautions, and a spread-out workforce, the college has not made a decision on the feasibility of doing an in-person celebration IF a name change happens.

Focus Groups

With the help of SESRC and UMC, the college hosted three focus groups. Those groups, linked to their respective transcripts, are:

  • Faculty/staff
  • Alumni and Advisory Board
  • Current students

In exchange to speak freely, participants were promised externally-shared items would be redacted to protect identity.


Surveys were sent out broadly to the following three groups:

  • Faculty/staff
  • Alumni and Advisory Board
  • Current students

The focus group data was used to help SESRC build the surveys.

Leadership Team Discussion

In August 2022, the college’s leadership team reviewed the results of the survey, including individual comments, and used some thought-provoking questions as fodder for discussion.

View conversation facilitation

Advisory Board Discussion

In November 2022, the college’s marketing and communications director presented an update to the Advisory Board.

View presentation materials