Message from the Dean

Dean Penelope L. Peterson

Our undergraduates recently came up with this description of our School: “The Small School That Thinks Big.” It definitely fits. As you know, our School is the smallest school at Northwestern, but our goals are massive.

We want no less than to improve all human learning and development — from birth to old age, from classrooms to workplaces, in families and communities. You can be proud that our faculty’s cutting-edge research is developing new understandings and new approaches to learning that suit the realities of the 21st century. For example, major research projects are underway to investigate how to prevent dropout, how to engage students in science and how computer models can deepen learning.

The disparities in education and development that trouble our society are problems that we seek to solve. In this regard, we work toward raising the level of teaching in underserved schools and increasing access to quality education and health services.

Our students come to us with the desire to improve the world — whether in schools, human relationships, organizations or the policy arena. We don’t disappoint them. We work to provide them with the tools to become change agents who can better the world. Above all, we give our students real-world experiences to translate academic learning into actual accomplishments. Specifically, a 10-week practicum in a workplace or school is a core undergraduate experience.

Our students appreciate the sense of community at SESP, and we want you to continue to feel part of that community. We encourage you to keep in touch with the new initiatives at the School of Education and Social Policy, to visit campus and participate in our events. Lifelong learning is a goal we all share.

Sincerely yours,

Penelope L. Peterson, Dean
p-peterson@northwestern.edu