Mission, Vision, and Who We Are

The College of Education

As professional educators, we believe that teaching, learning, research, assessment, leadership, and service are interdependent, constantly informing and enhancing one another. Situated in Southwest Florida, our location is both invaluable and home to diverse populations, including students of the R.I.S.E. (Real Independence, Successful Employment) program, which serves as a life-changing academy for adults with intellectual disabilities.

The College of Education values the connections forged with our coastal, urban, and rural counties. Our college holds a firm belief that students who successfully complete our undergraduate and graduate programs are well-prepared with the skills to serve the needs of our regional community.


Our Mission

Our mission is to provide diverse environments of excellence that support dynamic learning experiences. In these environments, faculty and students reflect upon and engage in the applications of theory, research, and emerging technologies. These environments support the construction of knowledge, skills, and attitudes through collaboration and inquiry. As a result, faculty and students are empowered to create an enhanced quality of life within their respective communities.

Our Vision

We envision our graduates, and those they influence, as the learners and leaders of today and tomorrow. As learners, our graduates will continue to grow and develop as leaders within their field. As leaders, they will build upon the diverse backgrounds and perspectives they encounter to ensure that all individuals are able to construct the understanding necessary to become successful.

Message from the Dean

I am delighted to extend a warm welcome to you on behalf of the College of Education at Florida Gulf Coast University. As the Dean of the College, it is my privilege to share our unwavering commitment to student success and transformational change through education. Above all, our vision is clear: we are here to prepare our students to lead and transform lives.

At the heart of our mission lies a dedication to excellence in education. We offer a diverse range of undergraduate, graduate and certificate programs, including doctoral degrees. Whether you are passionate about PreK-12 education, instructional design, school counseling, research, higher education or leadership, we have programs tailored to your career goals in online, hybrid and on-campus course modalities.

One of the cornerstones of our educational approach is our commitment to staying at the forefront of educational innovation. Our faculty and students are deeply engaged in cutting-edge research and the integration of new technologies. This ensures that our graduates are not just well-prepared for their evolving fields, but are also positioned to be leaders in shaping the future. Individual success is paramount. That's why we are dedicated to providing a supportive learning environment. Our commitment to effective advising and personalized attention for every student underscores our determination to see you excel.

But our commitment goes beyond the classroom. We believe in the power of community engagement and collaboration. We actively partner with a diverse array of community stakeholders, including our outstanding alumni to champion transformative education. These partnerships provide our students with invaluable real-world experiences that contribute to their personal and professional growth.

Our geographical advantage in southwest Florida is a unique asset. It allows us to engage with a wide range of populations and cultures, enriching the learning experience for our students. We believe that this diversity better equips our graduates to address the diverse needs of the communities they will serve.

The College of Education at Florida Gulf Coast University offers high quality, forward-thinking programs designed for student success and the betterment of our communities. Whether you are a prospective student, an educator, or a member of the public, we invite you to join us on this journey of growth, innovation, and transformation.

Please explore our programs, meet our dedicated faculty and advisors, and consider becoming a part of our dynamic learning environment. Together, we can shape the future and make a meaningful impact in our world.

Warm regards,

Diana Cheshire, Ph.D.

Professor, Dean of the College of Education

Diana Cheshire


As the region's only comprehensive university, FGCU's College of Education (COE) prepares graduates for a wide range of careers from traditional Pre K-20 education to museum programs, programs for children with special needs, instructional design, educational media, e-Learning, and will experience research and leadership with undergraduate and graduate programs.
Our programs are fully and nationally accredited, including the doctoral program for teachers, educational administrators, and other professional school personnel; we also have one of the first Educational Technology Certificate programs endorsed by the Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT).
Employment rate for teaching graduates is 100% and employment rate for all the College of Education Graduates is 88-100%. The average starting salary of our undergraduates in Southwest Florida is $47,500 and $55,000 and above for our Master's and Doctoral graduates.

New to the College of Education? Explore Our Program Offerings.

The College of Education offers a diverse range of undergraduate, graduate and certificate programs designed to meet your aspirations.

Undergraduate ProgramsGraduate ProgramsCertificate ProgramsADMISSIONS/ADVISING