School Department News

School of Education

Friday, December 16, 2016 - 11:50am
William Carey University’s School of Education recently received accreditation for 2017-2023 based on the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) standards. NCATE’s performance-based accreditation system for teacher preparation ensures that teacher candidates are prepared to make a difference in P-12 student learning.
“This national accreditation is extremely important as it shows our teacher candidates that we are meeting these rigorous standards as we prepare them for their careers,” said Dr. Ben Burnett, dean of the School of Education. “This process also recognizes the hard work and dedication of my faculty in what they do in preparing our students.” 
WCU President Tommy King said, “William Carey University has long been known as a school that produces quality teachers, and the School of Education is one of the largest schools at the university. We are pleased to be able to provide quality teachers and administrators to the schools in our area.”
For the second year in a row, the School of Education has reached record enrollment numbers with 1,319 students enrolled in fall 2016. Approximately 644 students are recommended for certification each year. The school includes 38 faculty members. The mission of the School of Education is to develop caring, reflective decision makers in a Christian environment.
Burnett said the School of Education strives to meet the needs of educators by providing up-to-date teaching methods that are socially responsible, theoretically informed, and research-based effective practices. The school continues to add degrees that will help teachers better serve their students. During the past year, the school added Master in Education and Education Specialist degrees for teachers working with children who have emotional and behavioral disorders. Another new addition is the early childhood education concentration for undergraduate students. The school is the recipient of a SMART grant from the Robert M. Hearin Foundation that provides an alternate route for non-education majors to become science and math teachers.
In addition to bachelor’s degrees, the School of Education offers a Master of Education, Specialist in Education, Doctor of Education and Doctor of Philosophy in Higher Education Administration, and Doctor of Education in Education Leadership.
Online courses are available to accommodate the schedules of working professionals who want to advance their education. Best College Values and Best Master’s Degrees have recognized WCU’s master’s degree in elementary education as one of the most affordable online programs in the nation.
Educator preparation providers accredited based on NCATE standards, as well as those accredited based on the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC) Quality Principles, are now served by the single specialized accreditation system for educator preparation in the United States, the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). More than 840 educator preparation providers participate in the CAEP accreditation system. 
Wednesday, December 14, 2016 - 2:17pm
William Carey University’s School of Education continues to receive recognition for its elementary education master’s degree program offered online. Best Master’s Degrees ranked WCU as the #14 most affordable online master’s in elementary education program in the nation. 
“This ranking is another recognition of Carey’s efforts to provide quality educational programs at affordable prices,” said Carey President Tommy King. “The School of Education is commended for its efforts to serve the needs of area educators.”
To determine the rankings, Best Master’s Degrees reviewed 113 accredited colleges and universities that offered an online master’s in elementary education, early childhood education, or closely related program. The information used to determine the initial pool of schools was taken from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) College Navigator. 
The pool was then narrowed to institutions with rankings from at least one major publication, such as Forbes magazine, The Princeton Review, or U.S. News and World Report. The 30 most affordable of these recognized institutions were ranked in order of affordability based on recent graduate tuition/fees, also listed by College Navigator. 
Earlier this year, Best College Values ranked WCU as number five on a national list of the most affordable online master’s degrees in elementary education. 
School of Education Dean Ben Burnett said Carey seeks to provide affordable online programs that meet the needs of educators.
“The classes are delivered in a fully online format that is perfect for the working student who wants to take their education to the next level,” said Burnett.
Master’s in Elementary Education Degree
The objective of the master’s degree in elementary education is to help teachers build their skills in order to create positive changes in their classrooms and school districts. 
The master’s degree in elementary education requires 30 hours of course work and may be completed in 15 months. Students may begin the program any term during the school year. The program engages students in the most current research, technology, and evidence-based best practices in working with children at all levels to reach their highest potential. Students will also have the opportunity to build a portfolio of materials to use in day-to-day instruction.
Students who complete a degree in elementary education can find work as elementary school teachers, curriculum directors, educational consultants, interventional specialists, educational researchers, community college instructors, and evaluation specialists. 
Click here to see more information about the online master’s degree in elementary education offered at William Carey University. You may also contact the School of Education at (601) 318-6600 or email Dr. Sue Whitcomb at
Wednesday, November 16, 2016 - 2:14pm
Now accepting applications for master’s degree program
William Carey University is expanding its dyslexia therapy program and will begin offering the Master of Education in dyslexia therapy on the Tradition campus in Biloxi.
The program is a comprehensive literacy approach that is Orton-Gillingham based and designed specifically for training therapists to serve students with dyslexia. The WCU program is accredited through the International Dyslexia Association (IDA). The program’s schedule is designed to accommodate working teachers with classes held for two weeks in the summer and one weekend each trimester. Therapists in training will provide therapy to students as they progress through the program. 
WCU is now taking applications for the cohort that will begin classes in July 2017 on the Biloxi campus. Click here to apply online or call the Admissions Office at (601) 318-6106. 
For more information, contact Cena Holifield, director of the dyslexia therapy program, at or call (601) 318-6600.
Posted 11/16/2016
Tuesday, November 8, 2016 - 10:46am

The William Carey University School of Education will host the Gulf South Teaching Pedagogy Conference November 11-12. The conference theme is impacting classrooms by using pedagogy that promotes Common Core curriculum and learning mastery. 

Check-in will begin at 4:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 11 in the Student Conference Center on the WCU campus in Hattiesburg. Dr. Mark Yeager will open the conference with a presentation “Why did teaching choose you?” that will examine why certain people become teachers and why others should not consider teaching as a career.

Dinner will be served at 6 p.m. with greeting and introductions by Dr. Ben Burnett, dean of the WCU School of Education. The keynote speaker for the evening is 2016 Mississippi Teacher of the Year Jodi McKenzie. She will talk about inspirations, best practices, success stories and her platform as teacher of the year.

Saturday’s sessions will begin at 8:30 a.m. with tracks for elementary and secondary teachers and teacher candidates. These sessions are open to the general public at no charge on a first come-first serve basis for seating.

Recipients of the SMART grant for math and science will attend special sessions on “Manipulations in Math” and “Making Meaningful Connections through Integration” from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Dr. Liesa Weaver and Anna Beth Scott will present “A Snapshot of a Learning Community School” during a luncheon provided by WCU for pre-registered participants. The presentation will address how collaboration, shared leadership and ongoing learning can lead to school improvement and accountability. The presenters will share the key elements of a learning community school, and how one school in the Pine Belt is successfully implementing professional learning communities with all grade levels.

For more information, contact Tina Bond at or call (601) 318-6091. If you would like to attend the Saturday morning sessions, please complete the registration form and return as soon as possible. Forms may be emailed to Tina Bond, hand-delivered to WCU (Fairchild Hall, room 106F) or faxed to 601-318-6185. Dinner on Friday and lunch on Saturday are for pre-registered participants only.

The conference is sponsored by Pine Belt Phi Delta Kappa International and the Association of Mississippi Teacher Educators. 


Monday, October 31, 2016 - 2:29pm

The Mississippi Association of School Administrators (MASA) presented Dr. Ben Burnett the Golden Lamp Award during the fall leadership conference on October 18 in Jackson.


The Golden Lamp Award is presented each year to an individual or individuals who have shown outstanding support for Mississippi public education throughout his or her career as an educator, administrator, or leader in the educational arena.


Dr. Burnett is the dean of the School of Education at William Carey University. Before joining the faculty at Carey in 2014, he served 28 years in the K-12 education system as a teacher, principal and superintendent. During his first two years as dean, the School of Education reached record enrollments each year. This is due largely to the creation of new degrees that help meet the needs of educators and school systems across the state. The School of Education has also added a number of online degrees to accommodate the schedules of working professionals.


“William Carey is blessed with outstanding leadership in all areas. The School of Education has made great strides under the leadership of Dr. Ben Burnett, and we are pleased that the statewide organization of administrators has chosen Dr. Burnett as recipient of the Golden Lamp Award for 2016,” said WCU President Tommy King. 


Burnett received his bachelor’s and master’s degree in music education and his Ph.D. in educational administration from the University of Southern Mississippi. He spent 26 years in the Lamar County School system, including serving as the director of bands and principal of Oak Grove Middle School. He was elected superintendent of the Lamar County School District in 2007 and 2011. He was given the Mississippi School Board Association (MSBA) Beacon Award for Lamar County Schools in 2013, named Lamar Times Person of the Year in 2012, presented the MSBA Lantern Award for Lamar County Schools in 2009, 2010, and 2011, received the Mississippi Gifted Advocate Award in 2011, and was named Mississippi Middle School Principal of the Year, and Teacher of the Year for the Lamar County School District.


In presenting the award to Burnett, MASA Executive Director Lisa Karmacharya said, “He is, first and foremost, a man of great character, honesty and integrity.  He is a man people respect, look up to, and yes, even aspire to be like, a true southern gentleman. He is not perfect and will tell you that. He is humble and hard working. And he has a resume as long as my arm with awards and achievements and appointments that make him stand out among many. He is quiet but strong. He is in the truest sense, a leader and forever a champion for children.”