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Fall 2010

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New Directions and Longtime Excellence at the College of Education

Northern Arizona Normal School, the teachers' college for the Arizona Territory, as it appeared in 1901. Now we call it "Old Main."

Northern Arizona Normal School, 1901

Northern Arizona University opened in 1899 with 23 students and two copies of Webster’s International Dictionary. It was established as Northern Arizona Normal School to prepare elementary teachers for Arizona Territory schools.

In 1925, it became a four-year institution re-named Northern Arizona State Teachers College, preparing elementary and secondary teachers and granting a bachelor’s degree in education. A master’s degree in education was added in 1937. 

By 1945, teaching specialties for secondary teachers required coursework beyond teacher preparation alone, so majors were added leading to BA and BS degrees. The institutional name was changed again to Arizona State College at Flagstaff. In the late 1950s, programs became even more diversified, and in 1966 the name was again changed—to Northern Arizona University. In 1973, the Doctor of Education degree was established as NAU's first doctoral program.

Today, the NAU College of Education is proud of its history as a distinguished teacher-training institution, embracing continuous innovation over 111 years to make the dream of becoming a teacher, counselor, psychologist or administrator a reality for Arizonans. In addition to offering traditional classroom programs at the Flagstaff campus, the college extends educational opportunities to rural Arizona communities, creates certification opportunities for place-bound adult learners, and offers online programs to enhance teachers' professional skills and knowledge.

The featured programs below reflect new directions in teaching as well as our traditional strengths. Please enjoy reading about (1) a summer experiment within our online educational technology master's program and (2) how a new Arizona Department of Education requirement impacts students in our master's program in early childhood education.


M Ed Educational Technology

M Ed Educational Technology
"Face-to-Face in Educational Technology"
Michael Blocher, PhD


M Ed Early Childhood


M Ed Early Childhood Education
"Making a Positive Difference in the Lives of Children"
Jennifer Lynn Prior, PhD