History of Education at TCU

Addison and Randolph Clark operated the Male and Female Seminary of Fort Worth from 1869 to 1874.  When the Seminary moved to Thorp’s Spring, Texas, it continued to educate young men and women and extended its education to college as it became AddRan Male and Female College in 1873. Addison Clark, the first president of the College, served simultaneously as the first principal of the Bible and Teachers’ Department, which were part of the college from its inception. In 1875, a separate Normal Department for the preparation of aspiring teachers was created.

Additional highlights in the development of education programs at TCU are as follows:

  • The Trustees approved the development of a preparation program in 1892 that would be designed to meet certificate requirements of the Texas State Department of Education.
  • In 1893, the Texas State Department of Education recognized the institution’s teacher preparation program.
  • By the 1895-96 academic year, a Post-Graduate Department in Educational Studies had been developed and Addison Clark, president, was the “examiner” for the program.
  • Addison Clark became principal of the School of Philosophy and Pedagogy in 1896-97.
  • F. A. Armstrong became principal of the Normal College in 1904-1905 and the University made its first attempt to teach “the science of pedagogy.”
  • A Department of Education in the AddRan College was established in 1909.
  • The department was made a School of Education, recognized in the 1923-1924 catalog.
  • In 1958, the Brite College of the Bible was renovated and renamed The Bailey Building, in honor of Mary Ann and Robert Bailey, and assigned to the School of Education.
  • 1966 Mr. and Mrs. Neeley initiated a laboratory school on the TCU campus, Starpoint School, for children with learning differences.
  • In June, 2007 the School of Education became the College of Education and the L.E. Mabee foundation Education Complex and the Palko Building were dedicated.
  • In 2000, Kinderfrogs School, an early-intervention educational program for children ages 18 months to six years with Down syndrome and other developmental delays, was opened. TCU became the only College of Education to house two laboratory schools for children with special needs.
  • Mary M. Patton became the first female dean of the College of Education in 2009, after serving as Interim Dean in 2008.
  • International Reading Association (IRA) Certificate of Distinction, awarded for 2009-2016 to the Early Childhood-6th Grade program.
  • In 2012, the Middle/Secondary English Language Arts & ESL Program received the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE)/Southern Poverty Law Center: Culturally Responsive Teaching Award.
  • In 2013, the Middle/Secondary English Language Arts & ESL program received the Exemplary Field Based Practices for The Center for Research, Evaluation and Advancement of Teacher Education (CREATE)— award.
  • In 2015, the Early Childhood-6th Grade program received the AACTE Best Practice Award in Support of Multicultural Education and Diversity.
  • In 2015, the College of Education started the pinning ceremony to recognize undergraduates’ entry into the education profession.
  • In 2016, the Starpoint School celebrated 50 years of service to children with learning differences, aspiring teachers, researchers and the community.
  • In 2016, the Language and Literacy Program received the Wisniewski Teacher Education Award to recognize an outstanding teacher education program at a university.
  • In 2018, the Early Childhood-6th Grade program was named one of three finalists for the Distinguished Program in Teacher Education (DPTE), awarded through the Association for Teacher Education (ATE).
  • In 2019, the Early Childhood-6th Grade program was again named one of three finalists for the Billy G. Dixon Distinguished Program in Teacher Education, awarded through ATE.
  • In 2020, the Early Childhood-6th Grade program received the Billy G. Dixon Distinguished Program in Teacher Education award.