The 2015-2016 academic year brought a significant change to the School of Education (SOE). After more than three decades of highly successful and greatly appreciated service to Regent University, Dr. Alan Arroyo handed the leadership reins to a new dean, Dr. Don Finn.
An SOE faculty member since 2006, Finn has been an educator for more than 24 years, specializing in adult education. “This is an exciting time for the Regent School of Education, as the present and future are bright,” he says. “This semester, we have seen an enrollment increase of 24 percent over the same time last year. This, in great part, is due to the quality and variety of programs and concentrations we offer.”
Finn adds that SOE administrators and faculty are monitoring trends from the Virginia and U.S. Departments of Education to ensure Regent degree and certificate offerings remain on the cutting edge: “We now offer a revised Education Specialist (Ed.S.) degree, where 11 of the 12 concentrations bring the potential for students to apply directly into our doctoral programs with advance standing so long as they meet specific criteria. This alignment is an innovative approach that we hope is particularly attractive to our current students and future prospects.”
This semester, we have seen an enrollment increase of 24 percent over the same time last year. This, in great part, is due to the quality and variety of programs and concentrations we offer.
When it comes to past performance, the SOE boasts quite an impressive “resume.” In the Hampton Roads and Eastern Shore areas of Virginia alone, Regent graduates have won 724 “Teacher of the Year” awards since 2004. But the school’s alumni are making a positive impact as administrators, too.
Quentin Hicks has served as the principal of Jolliff Middle School in Chesapeake, Virginia since 2012. From a family of educators, Hicks says an internship at an elementary school during his sophomore year of college confirmed his career path: “God called me into this profession. My job as an educator is a calling to serve others, and I’m proud to say that Regent University prepared me for my call.”
After receiving his bachelor’s degree from another Virginia university, Hicks began his career as an educator in the Chesapeake public school system 19 years ago. In 2002, he received his master’s degree in educational administration.
“I chose Regent University over other schools because of the excellent academic reputation of the institution,” Hicks remembers. “Many of my friends, and coworkers recommended the School of Education. What convinced me to apply was the Christian motto and mission statement of the university. I was blessed to take classes during the summer and online.”
When Hicks got to Regent, he saw a familiar face. Dr. Glenn Koonce chairs Regent’s educational leadership programs. But in addition to being one of Hicks’ professors at the SOE, Koonce was also his principal in junior high school.
“I remember and continue to know Quentin for his positive demeanor, winning attitude, and unwavering integrity,” Koonce says. “This is his Christian mission as he models these behaviors to students, staff and community each and every day. I’m a proud teacher!”
“Regent University sets itself apart from others in that it reminds us that we are called toward a ministry of educating our children and being prepared to impact the world,” Hicks explains. “I work in the public school setting, so even though I don’t ‘quote’ Scripture to my students, I am able to ‘let my light shine’ before men and women, boys and girls throughout my school on a consistent basis.”
Finn wants the SOE to continue providing program and degree options that are “relevant, useful and practical” in order to equip even more educators, like Quentin Hicks, to become Christian leaders to change the world: “I see us branching out even further nationally and internationally in online, blended and face-to-face formats to meet and exceed market demand in all realms of education.”
For more information about pursuing a degree at Regent University’s School of Education, call 888.713.1595 or visit regent.edu/education.