The School of Education (SOE) is a center of excellence, offering more than 20 outstanding undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Along with rigorous in-class preparation, a cornerstone of our program is extensive experiential learning through internships, collaboratives, field placements, faculty-mentored research, and student innovation projects. These opportunities prepare students with the intellectual skills and cultural awareness to excel across a variety of multicultural environments.

Through Light the Way, you can elevate our students, faculty, and programs. You can provide the resources to support the most promising future teachers. You can invest in their high-impact experiential learning. And you can power the innovation that will help us solve the wicked problem of educational inequity and positively impact schools right here in North Carolina and across the nation.

We are committed to doing our part to solve the wicked problem of educational inequity by reimagining this country’s education system so it offers equitable and high-quality opportunities to all children. Through the campaign, you are our partners in this effort. Together, we will bring cutting-edge research into classrooms and communities, translating it into practice through partnerships and innovations.

— Dr. Randy Penfield, Dean

SCHOOL OF EDUCATION Funding Priorities

Creating Equitable Access

One of the greatest challenges to providing an equitable education for all children in North Carolina is a pervasive shortage of highly qualified teachers who are representative of the state’s racial, ethnic, and linguistic diversity. A primary factor limiting prospective teachers from entering the profession is the cost and associated debt of earning a college degree. We hope to overcome these barriers by providing broader access for a diverse pool of future teachers. Our short-term goal is to double our scholarship endowment to $24 million. Your generosity will help address the critical teacher shortage in the state and expand the teacher workforce.

access for students

Preparing Exceptional Educators

The professional environment facing new graduates is more demanding than ever. To develop an outstanding workforce of education professionals prepared to be successful from their first day on the job, we must provide outlets for them to hone their skills in authentic professional environments. Your gift will light the way by supporting high-impact learning experiences for students, including expanded early-program internships, study abroad, student engagement in research and innovation projects, faculty-mentoring programs, service-based learning, and travel for presenting research at professional conferences. Your generosity will help create engaged learning opportunities that prepare future educators to make an extraordinary impact in their communities.

Advancing Innovation in Education

While faculty are highly engaged in developing novel solutions to the multifaceted challenges facing our schools and school districts, too often these ideas never make it beyond professional journals. The SOE actively works to bridge the gap between scholarship and practice through the Impact Through Innovation (ITI) initiative and the Institute for Partnerships in Education (I-PiE). Your support can elevate these initiatives with gifts to fund the programs, their individual components, or endowed professorships. Ultimately, your generosity will light the way for our students and faculty to take their place on the leading edge of teaching and practice.

teacher and students


volunteer hours our students and faculty spend each year in service to our community partners


in the Piedmont Triad for producing education professionals


of-a-kind Professions in Deafness program, which prepares graduates to address the unique needs of deaf/hard of hearing persons

Your generosity will help create an education system that offers equitable, high-quality opportunities to all children.