Celebrating a Century of Excellence

Take a look at the historical accomplishments of the College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services, and a look at its impact on shaping the future of education.

The College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services (CECH) was formed as the Teachers College in 1905 in partnership with the Cincinnati Board of Education. One century later, the college’s excellence in serving schools, agencies and communities has continually merited local, state and national recognition.

This tradition was exemplified as CECH once again achieved accreditation under the performance-oriented standards of the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), the organization responsible for professional accreditation of teacher education. The recognition is another glowing review for a college that just broke the top 100 graduate school rankings in education, at number 78, in U.S. News & World Report. Around the nation, NCATE-accredited schools must meet rigorous standards set by the profession. The college’s teacher education students score extremely well on state-mandated licensure exams. Furthermore, those students praise the college’s partnerships and extended teaching internships with our community’s schools for the experience they gain before they enter the teaching profession.

On the national level, Dean Lawrence J. Johnson has testified before congressional committees on the importance of teacher accountability and legislation that resulted in each state developing a report card on teacher education. Johnson is a member of the state Educator Standards Board, which collaborates with the Ohio Board of Regents to develop and recommend standards for Ohio teachers and principals, renewal licenses for educators, and professional development standards. He is also co-chair and CEO of the Teacher Quality Partnership, a statewide study of Ohio’s 50 teacher education programs. In this $10-million study, graduate students are followed into their teaching jobs to explore the qualities of an outstanding teacher and how these high standards can improve the math and English performance of schoolchildren. The Procter & Gamble Fund, which contributed $1-million toward the study, is one of the many foundations supporting the research. University of Cincinnati, The Ohio State University, the University of Dayton and Cleveland State University are leading the partnership.

The Arlitt Child and Family Research Center, founded in 1926 as the University of Cincinnati Nursery School, is one of the oldest demonstration preschools in the United States. It was the first Cincinnati preschool staffed by teachers who were specifically trained in early childhood education. Known as the “grand dame of early childhood education in Cincinnati,” Ada Hart Arlitt’s approach to education was well ahead of her time. In an era when childcare was considered a woman’s job, Arlitt developed classes geared toward fathers, to educate them about their children’s development and needs. During World War II, the University of Cincinnati Nursery School staff organized community schools established by the federal government, where children could spend the day as their mothers filled jobs left open by men called to serve in the war.

The Arlitt faculty’s reputation for excellence continues to grow today as faculty were awarded a nearly $760,000 grant from the Ohio Department of Education to develop the framework for educating Ohio’s children aged three to third grade.

The University of Cincinnati Counseling Program, established in 1955 is one of the longest continually running counseling programs in the nation. The faculty has received numerous awards for their contributions to the community. The program was awarded a $636,000 grant with Cincinnati Public Schools to prevent dropouts of inner city children.

In an example of how times have changed in education from a century ago, the college-based Ohio Resource Network for Safe and Drug Free Schools and Communities has collaborated with the Ohio Homeland Security and the Ohio Emergency Management Agency to hold sessions for schools around Ohio. This was in response to a state mandate for schools to update their emergency manuals to address their response to a terrorist attack. The agency serves school programs in all 88 of Ohio’s counties.

The college’s criminal justice graduate program was ranked number three in the nation in the latest college rankings from U.S. News & World Report. The department was ranked number one in The Journal of Criminal Justice for the volume and quality of its research. The Center for Criminal Justice Research, founded in 1996, currently has been awarded more than $1.6 million in grants and contracts with agencies nationwide. The Division of Criminal Justice was established in 1970 and joined CECH in 1981.

The college continues to grow through its diverse distance learning programs that include associate and baccalaureate degrees as well as master’s degree programs in criminal justice, educational administration, and an education degree specifically designed for health care professionals interested in teaching medicine. The online Early Childhood Learning Community (ECLC) was recently awarded over $860,000 from the U.S. Department of Education & Human Services Administration for Children and Families. The grant will support translating the program’s instruction into Spanish to deliver courses to Spanish-speaking teachers who work in Head Start centers.

In addition to their community contributions, college faculty are active leaders in their respective professional organizations. For example, Randall Cottrell, professor of Health Promotion and Education, serves as president of the 5,500-member American Association for Health Education, which develops standards, resources and services related to the health education profession. Distinguished Research Professor Frank Cullen serves as president of the American Society of Criminology.

The college’s reputation continues throughout the nation through the professional excellence of its nearly 31,000 alumni, as the college prepares students to work in diverse communities, provides continual professional development, and continues to pursue leadership at the local, state, national and international levels. Here are some additional brief highlights of the college’s rich history:

  • 1905 – First named the Teachers College, the college was formed in partnership with the Cincinnati Board of Education.
  • 1925 – The Teachers College is renamed the College of Education.
  • 1925 – Ada Hart Arlitt is hired by the university to create the early childhood development program.
  • 1928 – Jennie Davis Porter, the first African-American principal for Cincinnati Public Schools, earns her PhD from the college. She is the first African-American woman at the university, and only the fourth nationwide, to achieve a doctoral degree.
  • 1929 – Construction begins on a new building to house the College of Education, which first held classes in Beecher Hall.
  • 1937 – The name of the college is once again changed to Teachers College. Proper Cookery Methods, 1943.
  • 1959 – Another name change for the college as it merges with the College of Home Economics. The new name: The College of Education and Home Economics.
  • 1962 – The department of special education and school psychology is established at the college.
  • 1982 – After the home economics program is phased out starting in 1977, the college shortens its name to the College of Education.(Source: University Archives)

There’s one aspect of the college that is struggling rather than shining with age – the college building that was constructed in the early 1930s. Plans are in the works for a major three-phase renovation, estimated at $54,234,000 and completed in early 2011. Construction began in 2006. The massive renovation is in alignment with the dynamic transformation of campus that is taking place through the Master Plan. Part of the college’s renovation plans include the addition of an atrium facing the area of campus known as the Teachers College/Dyer Courtyard. The overarching goal of this renovation project is to provide the kinds of spaces that will best serve the dynamic needs of CECH’s programs and students. This transformation is an exciting first step toward the college’s next 100 years of excellence.

call to action


Leave a Reply


two − 2 =