Why Choose UNC?

The University of Northern Colorado (UNC) was founded in 1889 as the State Normal School. It met a vital need to train qualified teachers in the growing state of Colorado, which was then less than 15 years old. More than a century and four name changes later, the institution has grown to become a comprehensive Carnegie Doctoral Intensive University with programs in an extensive array of fields. Education is at the heart of our university and we know the best ways to prepare educational professionals and behavioral scientists-that has been our calling for more than 100 years. The College of Education and Behavioral Sciences (CEBS) is big enough to offer the programs you want but small enough to give you the personalized attention you deserve. We have programs in almost all areas of education and in other disciplines such as psychology (graduate and undergraduate), applied statistics and research methods (graduate) and sign language interpretation (undergraduate).

Our Legacy of Excellence is Your Foundation for Success

At our centennial in 1989 only 4 universities in the United States surpassed us in the total number of teachers trained. Indeed, compared with other universities, we still prepare among the largest number of educators. Early on, our dedication to reaching the highest levels of educational excellence, coupled with the generation and dissemination of new pedagogical knowledge, earned UNC the name “Columbia of the West.” More recently, in 1985, the Colorado Legislature took the unique step of designating UNC as “the primary institution for undergraduate and graduate teacher education in the state of Colorado.” And in 2009, the Colorado Legislature located the Educational Innovation Institute at UNC.

Create Meaningful Connections

The CEBS has almost 90 full-time faculty members. They join with UNC colleagues from three diverse colleges and our P-12 school partners to train candidates for the enterprise of education and related services. In so doing they profoundly affect our democratic society that depends so strongly on well educated citizens. In a unique collaborative partnership, faculty members from across campus who are dedicated to public education are appointed by UNC President Kay Norton to serve as part of our Professional Education Unit (PEU). Education is serious business on our campus. Currently, the PEU consists of over 250 committed faculty members. With a UNC faculty-student ratio of 1:21, we know you-not your student identification number.

We offer 55 approved licensure programs (28 graduate and 27 undergraduate). At least 25% of the students who attend UNC pursue a career related to public education. But we do not offer education from an ivory tower. Some 56 school partners in Colorado and across the U.S. join with us to train teachers. Our PEU conceptual framework stresses (1) Competence in Caring, (2) Mastery of Subject Matter, (3) Understanding Education as a Collaborative Enterprise, and (4) Continuous Inquiry for Renewal. We believe in education as a transformational process.

The CEBS does more than prepare P-12 educators and administrators. We also have vibrant, productive programs in psychology, counseling, sign language interpretation, statistics and research methods. Across all our programs, our faculty members are involved in important scholarly and service endeavors in addition to teaching.

Lead a Richer Life

We place a heavy emphasis on quality teaching. On instructor evaluations, 75% of CEBS faculty were rated in the “Above Average” to “Excellent” ranges by students on the item “instructor is an excellent teacher,” and 100% of CEBS faculty were rated in the “Above Average” to “Excellent” ranges by students on the item “I learned a lot in this course.”

Of course the choice of study is yours: from biology to chemistry, communications to geography, mathematics to music, physics to theatre arts, reading to educational psychology, special education to educational technology, and visual arts to elementary education, we offer more than 50 programs that lead to licensure. Or you can train to lead educational change as a school counselor, special education director, school psychologist, counselor educator, statistician, principal or superintendent. Whatever path they choose, our graduates impact society in many powerful ways.

Advance Human Understanding

In the past 5 years, faculty members have produced over 1,000 published articles and have been involved in over 4,500 professional scholarly presentations around the world. Many of these projects have been developed by faculty-student teams. During the past 3 years, faculty members within the CEBS have collectively served on over 40 professional editorial boards and received numerous international, national, and local awards.

Find Your Sense of Belonging

UNC offers more than 2,000 courses annually and approximately 13,000 candidates attend classes at campuses in Greeley, Denver, Loveland, Colorado Springs and via the World Wide Web. Our day, evening, summer, and weekend programs, as well as our nontraditional post-baccalaureate and urban education programs, meet the needs of individuals in a traditional classroom setting. Nontraditional classes are also offered on-line or through a blend of configurations including distance delivery.

Nationally Recognized Professors

All of our programs have the appropriate national accreditation. In the last decade we have earned several awards from national or regional bodies for academic program quality, including the Christa McAuliffe Award for Excellence in Teacher Education given by the American Council for State Colleges and Universities.

Our faculty members have won prestigious awards and are sought after to write books, review programs, accredit universities, testify before the legislature, and lead national organizations. But most importantly they are sought after to TEACH. For these reasons, our students come from 49 states and 50 foreign countries. We proudly host several centers and institutes, including the Tointon Institute for Educational Change, the Bresnahan-Halsted Center, and the Teaching with Primary Sources program from the Library of Congress. All of these provide professional development for educators. Our Summer Enrichment Program provides learning experiences for gifted and talented k-12 students.

Learn with the Best and Brightest for Less

More of the UNC budget is allocated towards student instruction than any other public university in Colorado. Our new freshmen are some of the best students in the west with 32% displaying a high school GPA of 3.50 or higher and 24% graduating in the top 20% of their high school classes. A 4-year study of teacher education placements indicated that 95% to 100% of our candidates were placed each year and at the graduate level, 99% of master’s and doctoral candidates and 100% of specialist candidates were placed in jobs in their field. We host one of the largest teacher placement and recruitment fairs in the country each year with some UNC students receiving employment offers the day they interview. At UNC, more students complete teacher education or related programs than any other area of study.

Be the Difference

Contribution to the community is critical to our work. The College sends about 600 student interns and teacher candidates each semester to provide significant service to schools, hospitals and industry.

Annually we recommend approximately 650 educators for licensure. Our graduates go on to work in school districts across Colorado and many have risen through the ranks to become teacher leaders, principals and educational administrators in school districts, community colleges and universities.