Skip to main content
Pepperdine | Community

Faculty Handbook

GSEP's Mission

A. Historical Background

From the beginning of the University, the discipline of education has played a prominent role in the academic program of the institution. With the growing emphasis upon the state-wide need for improvement in the quality of public education, Pepperdine University accepted leadership for expanding its existing Department of Education into a professional School of Education to meet the increasing demands. The School was formally established on January 1, 1971.

A master's degree in psychology, first offered in 1951 was the genesis of what eventually evolved into the Division of Psychology in the School of Professional Studies. In January 1981, after the decision was made to phase out the School of Professional Studies, the Division of Psychology became part of the Graduate School of Education. In March 1982, the Graduate School of Education officially changed its name to the Graduate School of Education and Psychology (GSEP).

The Education Division

The Education Division offers teacher and administrator preparation as well as masters and doctoral degrees. These programs offer theory as well as practical fieldwork experience.

The professional objectives of the education programs are to offer preparation for the securing of teaching and administrative credentials in conjunction with the Master of Arts in Education and Master of Science in Administration degrees, with special emphasis on the needs of urban schools in the State of California, and to upgrade the effectiveness of practicing professionals by offering graduate programs in several specialized areas leading to the Master of Arts in Education/ Teacher Preparation; Teaching English to Students of Other Languages (TESOL)) degree.

Those students who are interested in breaking down the barriers of school walls with electronic networking may choose the Master of Arts in Learning Technology online program. As these students use technology to connect with the larger professional community, they gain a greater insight into optimal methods to transform classrooms and schools into innovative educational environments. Students interested in grass roots approach to social change may choose the Master of Arts in Social Entrepreneurship and Change program.

The mission of the Educational Leadership Academy (ELA) is to develop individuals who are capable of and committed to creating and leading schools that work for everyone in our diverse society. Students may choose to pursue a Master of Science in Administration with or without a Preliminary Administrative Services Credential.

The Doctor of Education Degree with concentrations in Organizational Leadership, Learning Technology, and Educational Leadership, Administration and Policy (EdD) prepares leaders in professional settings such as public or private K-12 schools, community and four-year colleges, as well as in training and development in business, industry, and health services.

The Psychology Division

The Psychology Division offers programs which prepare students to enter the field of clinical psychology. These programs taught by expert scholars and practitioners, include courses in the theory of psychology, as well as fieldwork experience in psychotherapy and psychological assessment in various settings such as hospitals, schools, and community mental health centers.

The Master of Arts in Psychology (MA) is a broad program designed to prepare individuals for human services positions and doctoral programs.

Students may become licensed psychotherapists after the completion of the Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT). This program preparesstudents to assess, diagnose, and treat individuals, groups, couples, and families. Students are required to have 3,000 hours of supervised experience in an approved setting.

The Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) program, fully accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA), prepares graduates to become licensed clinical psychologists.

The Mission Statement for GSEP is available here.

B. Structure of the Graduate School of Education and Psychology

The Dean of GSEP is responsible for the general administration of all programs and services offered under the auspices of the School. The Dean reports to the President of the University through the Provost. The Dean is authorized to implement Pepperdine University administrative policies and procedures within GSEP. The University Faculty Council represents faculty concerns to the administration and has representation from GSEP faculty.

The Dean is assisted by an Associate Dean for Education, and an Associate Dean for Psychology. In addition, faculty program directors provide leadership for academic programs. Download the current administrative staff organization chart.