Teaching of Distinction

Randy Yerrick, Interim Associate Dean for Academic Affairs The Graduate School of Education at the University at Buffalo is developing a signature pedagogy of inquiry, engagement, and impact. Our signature pedagogy prepares students to document, reflect, and act upon the emergent challenges they will face in their chosen fields. This pedagogy guides the three outstanding program offerings described on this page.
Randy Yerrick
Interim Assoc. Dean for Academic Affairs

GSE Teaching Facts
2013–2014

Average Student-Faculty Ratio – 18:1
Average Course Evaluation Rating (5 point scale) – 4.1
Doctoral Degrees Awarded – 63
Master’s Degrees Awarded – 381
Advanced Graduate Certificates Awarded – 45
Undergraduate Education Minors – 78
Internships and Student Teaching Offered – 324
Scholarships and Assistantships Offered – 130
Job Placement Rate (3 years after graduation) – 94%

Ed.M. - School Counseling


First semester school counseling students share their placement experiences
First semester school counseling students share their placement experiences.
The Ed.M. school counseling program is designed to prepare school counselors to meet New York State standards for both provisional and permanent certification. The mission of the school counseling program is for school counselors to develop skills that help them advocate for students academically, personally/socially, and with career exploration and planning. Within two years of finishing their course work, virtually all students in the program are employed as school counselors (with rare exceptions). The program culminates in the production of a portfolio. This portfolio is developed over time in the program and includes many artifacts necessary for practitioners in the field. The portfolio process culminates with a mock interview with a practicing principal or administrator upon graduation.

"The program provided a solid foundation for my career. Courses are taught by professors and experienced school counselors, which produces theoretical and practical training. I was impressed with the small class sizes and individual attention."

Alumnus Mark Veronica
School Counselor, Canisius High School
New to the program is a community service learning component, which is now a part of the portfolio. Students must spend 30 hours in a school as they focus on the two major areas set forth by the American School Counselor Association: college readiness, and cultural and ethnic diversity. The community service component is in addition to the 450 hours spent in fieldwork, practicum, and internship experiences under the supervision of a New York State certified school counselor. All of these practical learning elements give students opportunities to demonstrate the real world impact of what they learn in the classroom and in the field.





Certification for P-12 School Administration


The Leadership Initiative for Tomorrow’s Schools (LIFTS) focuses on blending theory with practice. Over the course of the nearly two-year program, students in the cohort are required to read, discuss, and apply literature about effective leadership practices to field-based experiences. The program prepares students for a variety of leadership positions including teacher on special assignment, principal, school business administrator, and superintendent. Members of the 2014-2016 LIFTS cohort.

Members of the 2014-2016 LIFTS cohort.
This application of theory into practice is at the center of the program's two internship experiences. One internship experience typically takes place within a school, while the other experience involves district level responsibilities. Each student is expected to lead a project, study, or initiative resulting in a definable product with measurable results of impact that are of value to the school/district and intern.

“LIFTS had a significant impact on my practice as a professional educator. Current research-based course work laid the foundation for my conceptual understanding of modern school leadership. Opportunities to engage with professionals in the field challenged my perceptions and encouraged me to consider alternative perspectives. Perhaps the most valuable component was the cohort of fellow aspiring leaders. We challenged each other to work smart, persevere, and make the most of the opportunity to learn together.”

Alumnus Jeffery Hazel
Principal, St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute
Capitalizing on rich academic course work, valuable internship experiences, and the relationships built between the LIFTS cohort and practicing administrators in the field, over 70% of our graduates have successfully secured school leadership positions.


Ed.M. - Literary Specialist


The Ed.M. literacy specialist program is designed for New York State certified teachers who recognize a need to expand their knowledge of the theories, methods, and materials of reading; reading instruction; language; language instruction; reading assessment/diagnostics; and remediation of reading difficulties.

“The program transformed me from a student to a scholar, and the climate is bursting with energy and excitement around best practices in literacy. You’re allowed to become a self-reflective practitioner, and you’re getting real feedback.”

Alumnus David Fronczak
K-1 Reading Specialist, Canandaigua School District


The program benefits from the GSE Center for Literary and Reading Instruction (CLaRI), where literary specialty graduate students deliver one-on-one reading diagnostic and tutoring services on-site at the UB North Campus for Western New York children in grades 1-12, as well as in school settings.
Each summer, the graduate students also provide instruction at local elementary schools to children experiencing difficulty in learning to read and write. Graduate students teach children in small groups, partner teach, and work closely with a teacher-mentor. The summer practicum serves as a clinically-rich training experience for our graduate students, as well as a research and community-based service site. A child receives reading help during a summer praticum. A child receives reading help during a summer praticum. Throughout the program, students receive hands-on support from faculty, practicing teachers, and literary specialists. Graduates leave the program with documented evidence of their ability to contribute to children's growth and progress in literacy and reading. This evidence of impact is rooted in multiple opportunities to reflect upon questions of literacy and engage with students in authentic settings.