Message from the Dean: Dr. Cynthia Gerstl-Pepin

Dean Cynthia Gerstl-Pepin“The criterion of the value of school education is the extent in which it creates a desire for continued growth.”  ~ John Dewey, UVM Class of 1879

John Dewey’s work underscored the critical importance that education can play in creating and sustaining healthy communities in a democratic society. At the College of Education and Social Services, we place students at the center of everything that we do; from teaching, advising, to research mentoring. We recognize that learning takes place not just in University classrooms but also in a variety of settings. To that end, Vermont is an incredible laboratory for learning and our deep community connections mean that students have the opportunity to learn first-hand from our partners in the field. 

As the Information Age transforms and disrupts human relationships, our passion for teaching continually causes us to rethink how we connect and engage students. Our students also have an opportunity to work with faculty on research projects aimed at improving practice and/or informing policymaking. Faculty, staff, and students in the College share a strong commitment to having a positive impact on the people and communities around them. 

Our service learning emphasis also provides opportunities for students to work one-on-one with youth, families, and our community partners such as the King Street Youth Center and the Howard Center. If you are unsure about what you see yourself doing in the future, you can explore careers outside of education and social work or to prepare for graduate school in law, health or policy.

With the current economic and political challenges that leave so many children, youth, families, and elders vulnerable in society, our programs are designed to equip students with strategies and solutions to addressing issues whether it be in a classroom, the field, a clinical setting, organization, or community. We hope you will let us support you in your journey to uncover and/or focus your passions and interests and to explore innovative ways to tackle pressing social issues and make a difference in the lives of children, families, and communities.