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Futures in Urban Ed
Karen Symms Gallagher, Ph.D.
Dean of the USC Rossier School of Education


These three words define the past 100 years of our school's history, and they are the critical charge that will lead us into the next 100 years.

Before the turn of the 20th century, we were a small department of pedagogy.

Now we are a robust, diverse, research-oriented school.

Beginning early in the 20th century, we focused on preparing thousands of school teachers that our nation demanded. After World War Two, we also prepared hundreds of school leaders, primarily superintendents, who went on the lead schools throughout the state and nation.

Now in response to a changing society, we prepare not only teachers and administrators, but those who support their work. These are education professionals who are advisors, policy leaders, researchers and scholars.

Throughout the first half of the last century, we were responsive to new data and information about what works in classrooms and schools.

Now we drive new academic program models and set our own scholarly research agenda about student learning and schools’ performance.



The common thread throughout this school’s history – our very DNA – has been our commitment to change, to meet the needs of educators and of students, families and communities they serve.

You cannot survive for 100 years, let alone THRIVE and LEAD – without embracing innovation and change.

Our history of achievement is built on three critical relationships: the first is between the scholar/instructor and the student; the second is between the theorists and the practitioners, and the third is between Rossier and its community of supporters devoted to its success.

Through these successful relationships comes TRANSFORMATION.

As we launch our anniversary year, Rossier is ranked among the top 10 private graduate Schools of Education in the entire country. Our higher education and K-12 school leadership programs are ranked in the top 10 nationally. We have been singled out in national rankings for the rich diversity of our faculty and student body.  We are viewed across the world as a leader in our field.

Our mission to strengthen urban education locally, nationally and globally has never been more critical and the achievements of our past will continue to help us transform the future.

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