Spring 2021 Graduate and Professional Studies Catalog 
    Jun 29, 2022  
Spring 2021 Graduate and Professional Studies Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

School of Education

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Mission Statement

Point Loma Nazarene University’s School of Education is a vital Christian learning community that exists to develop high-performing, reflective educators of noble character who impact the lives of learners to influence the broader community.

Vision Statement

Point Loma Nazarene University School of Education is a prominent Christian voice in higher education - known for innovation in the areas of pedagogy, leadership, clinical practice, and technology.

The School of Education is recognized as:

  • A Christian learning community that promotes excellence in academic preparation, wholeness in personal development, and faithfulness to mission
  • A source of expertise and resources within the surrounding communities
  • A vital force of change in the transformation of educational landscapes
  • An exemplary model of servant leadership and commitment to ministry
  • A candidate-centered learning environment where diversity is respected, valued, and encouraged

School of Education (SOE) members strive to be servant leaders who model the ongoing pursuit of knowledge integrated with beliefs and values. Both faculty and staff live out their faith by presenting a positive environment for candidates, local learning communities, and the profession. They play significant roles in the ongoing professional dialogue within the local, regional, state, and national educational communities. They promote diverse learning environments advocating for responsive and technology-infused pedagogy. The SOE inspires, affirms, and prepares candidates to serve collaboratively and effectively with professional excellence, honesty, integrity, and sensitivity. “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works…” Ephesians 2:10a.

Graduates, given excellence in academic preparation, wholeness in personal development and faithfulness to mission, leave the SOE empowered to be servant leaders. With a depth of caring and the power of practice as educational leaders, graduates are vital forces of change in transforming the educational landscapes that lay before them. “Be very careful then, how you live-not as unwise, but as wise, making the most of every opportunity…” Ephesians 5:15-16.

The SOE believes that true advocacy begins with each faculty member and his or her understanding of the positive power of diversity.  Candidates are exposed to socioeconomic, linguistic, religious, cognitive, and cultural diversity within learning communities and supported in the transferring of these theoretical principles into educational practices to promote social justice. Faculty, candidates, and graduates are recognized for pursuing  equity and access for those who are marginalized and minimized by unjust and/or unthinking social and educational practices and policies. Responding to the Wesleyan heritage of pursuing a life of holiness, the SOE embraces and embodies a Christ-like ethic of love and sacrifice on behalf of those they serve as educators and leaders. “Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things.” Philippians 4:8.

Conceptual Framework

The SOE’s outcomes focus on “whole-person” transformation throughout the preparation program. The themes - equip, transform, and empower are the foundational and philosophical structure on which each of the programs is developed, implemented, assessed, and improved. The measures integrate the SOE’s values and beliefs that are shared about the landscape of learning:

  • EQUIP deep and coordinated understanding of the knowledge, skills, and dispositions demonstrated by effective educators.
  • TRANSFORM ongoing development and competence to apply the knowledge, skills, and dispositions of effective educators in supportive diverse environments.
  • EMPOWER the continual transformation and commitment to refining professional practice.

Deans and Center Directors

School of Education Dean: Deborah Erickson, Ed.D.
Associate Dean/Bakersfield Center Director: Jill Hamilton-Bunch, Ph.D.
Mission Valley Center Director: Deborah Erickson, Ed.D.

Career Opportunities

Courses are sequenced to prepare candidates for success in 21st-century classrooms and schools and successful completion of the California Teacher Performance Assessment (CalTPA) and the California Administrator Performance (CalAPA). Methodologies based on current practice and research are modeled and reinforced throughout the program.

Admission to the university is considered Level 1 admission to the School of Education (SOE). However, it neither implies nor guarantees approval for clinical practice (Level 2 admission) or admission to any credential or degree program. If, in the opinion of the SOE, a student fails to meet acceptable professional and personal standards, the department may disqualify any individual from attempting to complete preparation for a career in education.

The School of Education offers an undergraduate major in Cross Disciplinary Studies with the option of completing the 2042 preliminary credential. Complete information on this program can be found in the PLNU Undergraduate Catalog.

All prospective educators should work with an advisor to plan their educational program and establish the proper sequence of courses and the fulfillment of all professional requirements. The Credentialing Office provides a variety of services including transcript evaluation and credential applications. The credential analyst acts as a liaison between the candidate and the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC).


PLNU’s education programs are accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). NCATE is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the Council of Higher Education Accreditation to accredit education programs for the preparation of teachers and other professional school personnel. In addition to meeting the NCATE gold standard of excellence, the School of Education credential and added authorization programs are accredited by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC).

Credential and Certificate Programs

In addition to its degree-based programs, the School of Education offers a credential program and six (6) certificate programs that can be added to an existing preliminary or clear credential, and seven (7) added authorizations that can be added to an existing Special Education credential. These programs range from 12-15 total units and provide an opportunity for further specialization and a link between theory and practice.

School of Education Courses

School of Education graduate course descriptions are organized into sections - EDU, GED, GEL and SPE. The EDU courses are related to the Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.) program and the preliminary teaching credentials. The GED courses are for advanced educational programs that would typically come after the preliminary teaching credentials and Master of Arts in Education courses.  GEL courses focus on Educational Administration, while SPE denotes Master of Arts in Special Education (MASPED) courses.



    Optional certificates are offered in some schools or departments.  The requirements governing certificates are as follows:

    • A certificate is a skill based program responsive to employer and/or market need that supplements a student’s graduate or degree completion studies.  Point Loma Nazarene University offers certificates which may be one of three types:  academic, professional development or attendance certificates.
    • Academic certificates will be between six (6) and eighteen (18) graduate level units.  Professional development certificates are based on a ten (10) hours per CEU formula. Attendance certificates are awarded on the basis of full session attendance.
    • 50% or more of the units being applied to the certificate must be unique to that certificate.
    • Only academic certificates that appear in the student’s catalog of record may be earned at the point of graduation.
    • Students must earn a 3.0 cumulative grade point average for an academic certificate with no grade lower than C. 
    • Of the total graduate units in the academic certificate, a minimum of two-thirds must be earned in residence.
    • Academic certificate programs will state clearly whether they can be applied to a PLNU degree.
    • Neither professional development nor attendance certificates can be converted to academic credit or applied to university programs or degrees.


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