Dr. Susan Huber

In recent years, faculty and staff members in our College of Applied Professional Studies (CAPS) have expressed increasing concerns that the name of the college does not appropriately describe the academic programs that we offer.

“We have been advised,” Dean Bruce Kramer wrote to me earlier this semester, “that our current college name is ambiguous, means little to our potential student audiences and is not recognized by our alumni. Our current students and alumni have related to us that they feel little resonance with Applied Professional Studies as it is too broad to capture their own experiences within the college.”

I have good news to share in relation to those concerns. Father Dennis Dease, president of St. Thomas, and his staff have approved a proposal from Dr. Kramer to change CAPS’ name to the College of Education, Leadership and Counseling (CELC), effective Sept. 1.

As a former dean of the college and longtime faculty member in our School of Education, I fully understand Dr. Kramer’s concerns about the CAPS name, which was adopted in 2007. The name not only was “ambiguous” but also failed in efforts to build brand recognition for the college’s programs.

Dr. Kramer and his staff carefully studied new names and “after much searching, research, consulting and wordsmithing,” according to his memo, chose CELC because it covers three large areas in which the college provides professional education:

  • Education enrolls the most students, through the Teacher Education and Special Education and Gifted Education departments.
  • Leadership reflects the work of the Leadership, Policy and Administration and the Organizational Learning and Development departments.
  • Counseling describes the counseling psychology preparation that we provide at the master’s and doctoral level.

“The name change will allow us to clearly state the unified identity of our college, which has positive academic, branding and marketing implications for our programs,” Dr. Kramer’s memo states.

The CELC name has broad support within the college, which voted 47-5 in favor of the new name. The School of Education and Graduate School of Professional Psychology will remain entities within the college, but I expect primary emphasis will be on CELC for purposes of marketing and building its brand.

The official date of the name change will be Sept. 1, but I expect that we will gradually see more references to CELC over the next several months. The college will deploy a new website this summer and will change the name on publications, signage, stationery, business cards and other printed materials in a judicious manner to preserve budget resources.

I want to thank Dr. Kramer and the entire college for their thorough and careful study of this issue and for their wisdom in choosing what I truly believe is the perfect name: the College of Education, Leadership and Counseling!