Dean's Office

Welcome to Grand Valley State University's College of Education website. As you will learn by viewing the information included on this site, the College of Education is an ideal choice for undergraduate and graduate education. Offering courses since 1964, the college provides high quality programs with small class sizes. With a commitment to educational principles such as active learning, interaction of theory and practice, and learning relevancy, the College of Education offers students the type of personalized attention needed to become leaders in their fields.

The College of Education believes in giving back to society. Our mission is to develop quality educators to teach, lead, and serve in local and world communities. It underscores our commitment to educating students to be increasingly responsible citizens in their home neighborhoods and in the world.

We are pleased with your interest in Grand Valley State University and the College of Education programs. I invite you to learn more about what the College of Education has to offer by exploring our website or visiting us in-person. You may also call our Student Information and Services Center at (616) 331-6650 for additional information or to arrange an advising session, or e-mail

We welcome the opportunity to discuss with you the many options available for your future career in education at Grand Valley State University.

Sherril Soman, Ph.D.
Dean of the College of Education

Interim Dean Sherril Soman

Dr. Sherril Soman

Vision, Philosophy, Mission, and Values


We believe that schools function as social and political entities as well as for the growth of individuals.

Philosophy: Student Potential, Ethical Implications

Believing that schools function as social and political entities as well as for the growth of individuals, the College of Education prepares teachers and leaders a) to enhance the academic and personal potential of their students, and b) to evaluate the social and ethical implications of educational policies and practices.

Mission: “Teaching, Leading and Learning in a Democratic Society”

The College of Education prepares candidates who enhance the individual growth of their students while working to establish policies and practices that promote the principles of democratic education. The College articulates this mission as Teaching, Leading, and Learning in a Democratic Society.

Values: Expertise, Equity, Liberal Education, Social Responsibility

The College of Education values:

  • Expertise to guide our practice,
  • Equity to guide our interactions,
  • Liberal Education to guide our perspectives,
  • and Social Responsibility to guide our commitment to democratic education.

We value these ideals in our preparation of candidates, our development of faculty, and our relationships with the larger community we serve.

Dean's Office Faculty and Staff