Office of the Dean
Welcome to WSSU and thank you for exploring the School of Education and Human Performance web pages! The year 2012 marks an historic milestone in the life of Winston-Salem State University and, perhaps more aptly, in the life of the School of Education and Human Performance. From the beginning, September 28, 1892 to be precise, this institution has insisted upon the vital importance of preparing teachers as a means for ensuring an improved citizenry. Thus, emphasis has always been placed on excellent teacher education. Such was the initial impetus that in 1925 the General Assembly of North Carolina recognized the school's leadership in this field; granted the school a new charter by extending its curriculum above high school; changed its name to Winston-Salem Teachers College; and empowered it under the authority of the State Board of Education to confer appropriate degrees. Winston-Salem Teachers College thus became the first African American institution of higher learning to grant degrees to African American educators for teaching in the elementary grades. What began as a one-room frame structure with 25 pupils and one teacher has become an accredited regional institution of higher learning of more than 6,000 students with a faculty body of nearly 400. This year, we celebrate our 120th birthday to commemorate the vision of our founder, honor our history, and celebrate the thousands of men and women who bear the imprimatur of Winston-Salem State University.
When I pause and ponder what has been accomplished in the last 120 years, I cannot help but think about the next 120 years. What will be our contribution to the future of this Historically Black Institution? It is our duty, as members of this learning community – faculty, staff, students, and alumni – to look ahead as we look back. And as I look in the rearview mirror, I see core beliefs from our founding that remain relevant today. Such beliefs as social justice, access to educational opportunities, equity, inquiry, creativity, and innovation that were so evident then are still part of our core belief system today. "This we believe." Are you interested in pursuing a program of study that will help you develop and actualize these beliefs in a supportive and challenging academic setting? Then the Winston-Salem State University's Teachers College legacy and present academic experiences are for you. We offer a range of exciting and innovative programs in teacher education and in human performance and sport sciences.
In the School of Education and Human Performance we strive to translate our beliefs into concrete best practices. We expect ourselves, as faculty, staff, and students, to model these core values and become examples of equity, creativity, and scholarship. We continue to move forward as we weather a storm of challenges, such as limited resources, unfounded criticisms, and a myriad of adversities that plague institutions of higher learning today. The founder of this institution was not alien to adversity; this was a constant companion, especially in a racially segregated South. Yet he persevered, and today we are the beneficiaries of his efforts. He and other visionaries on whose shoulders we stand today were resourceful, creative, and committed individuals for the better good. Can we afford to be any less?
We welcome prospective students who want to make a difference in the world and who want to become a part of a rich legacy at Winston-Salem State University's School of Education and Human Performance.
Manuel P. Vargas, Ph.D.