College of Education and Human Services

A fulfilling and enriching environment awaits you in Shippensburg University's College of Education and Human Services, where curriculum and hands-on training place you firmly on the road to success! Our college holds many distinctions, including a legacy as the first chartered state teacher’s college in Pennsylvania. Our long-standing commitment to children, families and individuals is reflected in our degrees and major areas of study with minors, certificates and licensure at the undergraduate, graduate, post-graduate and doctoral levels.

Explore College of Education and Human Services Programs

Dean's Message

On behalf of everyone in the College of Education and Human Services, welcome! We are excited that you are considering our dynamic multi-dimensional programs for your academic journey to join many alumni who have successfully carved a niche for themselves in their chosen career paths. I hope you are ready to work! Students in our program become leaders who will ultimately transform the lives of others — our youth, our family, our school environments and, effectively, our communities. There is an impressive breadth of academic programs to choose from across the college. Our programs allow for an enriched pathway for service learning and field-based experiences that promote well-rounded growth.

Focused on you!
Graduates enter into professional careers to immediately start transforming the lives of families, schools and communities, serving as impactful teachers, social workers, counselors, fitness industry experts, second lieutenants in the army and valuable members of the criminal justice system. Highly-credentialed faculty and staff with a commitment to diversity and inclusion are deeply engaged and invested in your success.

Centers of distinction
There are seven centers of distinction:

  • Center for Student Engagement and Academic Enrichment
  • Institute for Social Inclusion
  • Shippensburg Community Resource Coalition
  • Shippensburg University School Study Council
  • Center for Early Childhood
  • Center for Educational Leadership
  • Growing Edges Counseling Community Clinic

Shippensburg University is leading the commonwealth in terms of thinking about how we increase the professional experience of instructors and teachers who are touching our most vulnerable population, our youngest children. Signature areas of emphasis where we bring together the combined expertise of our colleagues in the fields of education, social work, counseling, and the military bear on complex societal issues that impact people at discrete levels, nationally and globally. Signature areas of emphasis include school based mental health, and poverty awareness.

Career pathways through targeted internships
We offer many internship and field experience opportunities throughout the state, from criminal justice to social work and exercise science. We also have partnerships in North Carolina and Virginia and provide guidance toward earning certifications in those states. Criminal justice students may intern in police departments and attorney's offices to make connections and actively understand what it means to be working in the criminal justice system. Most of our programs cater to growth industries in the commonwealth and the nation. Employment data and projections for the next 5-10 years show significant growth opportunities across sectors where our graduates seek employment after school. Ship students typically enter the workforce within six months in a career of their area of study. Criminal justice graduates work for the FBI, in law enforcement and police departments. Social work graduates seamlessly move into agency or policy work. Federally, a Ship alum is lobbying and strategizing from a social work professional perspective.

On-campus lab school
Ship boasts the only on-campus university public laboratory school in the state. Serving 130 students, the Grace B. Luhrs University Elementary School (GBLUES) is the continuing expression of Shippensburg University's commitment to quality teacher preparation since 1871. It offers you the unique chance to learn something in the classroom and immediately apply it in the real-world lab through this school. Also, it’s not just our education majors who have access to GBLUES; social work and exercise science students also work with the lab school. Counseling students in the graduate program learn as they serve as school counselors in the lab school itself.

Service learning
Leadership through service. It’s who we are. Students in teacher education take a service learning trip to Jamaica where they deliver lessons in schools and work on community projects to enhance local socio-emotional development. Ship is the first chartered state teacher’s college in Pennsylvania with a long-standing commitment to children, families and individuals. This is reflected in our degrees and major areas of study with minors, certificates and licensure at the undergraduate, graduate, post-graduate and doctoral levels. I am excited for you to join Ship’s learning environment in which faculty, administration, staff, and students work together to develop a lifetime commitment of service to others. 

Mission Statement

Our college is charged with upholding a learning environment in which faculty, administration, staff and students work together to develop a lifetime commitment of service to others. Together, we define who we are and who we aspire to become as members within the College of Education and Human Services community. Our graduates are living and working in our community, state, country and around the world.


  • Our criminal justice program is the first in Pennsylvania's State System of Higher Education to be certified by the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences.
  • Our graduate programs in counseling and college student personnel are nationally accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). Graduates of CACREP-accredited programs are eligible to sit for the National Counselor Examination (NCE) during the last semester of studies.
  • Programs offered in the department of social work are accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.
  • Teacher education, educational leadership and special education, secondary education and the graduate program in school counseling are nationally accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education.

Academic Departments

Counseling and College Student Personnel Department

Are you the one friends and family turn to in times of need for support, advice and sound counsel? If you wish to turn such skills into a rich and rewarding career, look no further than our programs. We have one of the oldest established counseling programs in the nation, where you will learn professional practice of counseling and student personnel work through our doctoral, master’s and certificate programs. You will receive quality experience through field classes, professional organizations, conferences, research and work with our on-campus Growing Edges Community Counseling Clinic.

Our Ed.D. in counselor education and supervision is designed to develop expertise in advanced practice and clinical supervision. If you choose our Master of Science degree in counseling, you may select clinical mental health counseling, college counseling, and college student personnel as your area of emphasis. Upon completion of your degree, you can find enriching careers as student affairs educators in colleges, universities or community colleges. We also offer a certification only school counseling program.

Criminal Justice Department

Are you interested in learning more about why some people commit crimes while others don't? Do you want to understand the process by which society responds to crime and how we help victims? Do you have your heart set on a career helping people? If this sounds like you, then our programs are just right for you! Apart from our bachelor's degree in criminal justice, you can also minor in criminal justice. If you want to understand why some people are more likely to become victimized, the types of impact victimization has, and what our system does to help crime victims, our certificate in victimology and victims services may be ideal for you.

We also offer a Master of Science in criminal justice, a 100% online degree program designed to meet the needs of both traditional graduate students and working professionals whose career demands prevent them from attending face-to-face classes. Our Master of Science in administration of juvenile justice is a weekend degree program offered in conjunction with the Juvenile Courts Judges' Commission for working professionals specifically in juvenile probation or related fields.

Our program is the first in Pennsylvania's State System of Higher Education to be certified by the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences. We are one of the largest majors on campus, serving hundreds of students. We prepare you for potential careers as law enforcement officers, adult or juvenile probation/parole officers, loss prevention professionals, correctional officers and administrators, and even future law or graduate students.

Educational Leadership and Special Education Department

Are you an enabler who is passionate about helping students with varied behavioral patterns? Then consider one of our programs to find success in special education. We will prepare you as a professional practitioner who is knowledgeable in the fields of child and adolescent development as well as the cognitive, educational, and behavioral needs of students with disabilities. Our program, an integral part of the Teacher Education Department, conforms to the Special Education Standards of the Pennsylvania Department of Education, the standards and regulations for Graduate Studies at Shippensburg University, the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC).

You will be immersed in the challenges offered by HIRE ME (Helping Individuals Reach Employment Milestones Everyday), a collaboration between the Big Spring and Shippensburg school districts and our program. The purpose of HIRE ME is to prepare students with disabilities (SWD) for the transition into competitive employment by practicing hard and soft work skills. The districts bring SWD to Shippensburg University to work at several practice work sites.

Our department also offers graduate programs leading to the Master of Education in educational leadership degree and post-master's degree programs leading to the certification of K-12 principals and the superintendent's letter of eligibility. You can also find post-master's degree programs leading to the special education supervisory certificate.

Exercise Science Department

Are you planning to become part of the exciting next generation of health and fitness professionals? Join the Exercise Science Department, where we teach you the skills to become exercise scientists who understand how and why exercise is used for the prevention, management and treatment of numerous health problems. You will also master strategies for improving physical fitness and maximizing performance. Our students have a high acceptance rate into master's and doctoral graduate programs, including physical therapy, occupational therapy, physician assistant and athletic training. Our metabolic analysis lab and movement science lab are stocked with equipment and instruments for testing many parameters, including gait, glucose, power, strength, and cardiorespiratory endurance. You will find course content that covers a variety of areas, including physiology, biomechanics, motor learning, psychology and fitness assessment. If you choose a major in exercise science, you may select concentrations in human performance and fitness, allied health pre-professional, or pre-athletic training.

If you are interested in learning about human movement, how the body responds to exercise and the benefits of an active lifestyle, then our exercise science minor is for you. You will find a variety of choices, allowing you to tailor the minor to your specific interests and career plans. You may also consider a minor in coaching or a certificate for power and agility training and group exercise instruction to complement the major well.

Military Science Department

Are you ready to become a leader in the United States Army? Officers in the Army are managers, problem solvers, key influencers and planners who lead other soldiers in all situations. Are you keen to join that challenging and exciting world? The Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) is ideal for you. Located in the heart of campus, the Raider Battalion includes students from Shippensburg University, Wilson College, and Penn State Mont Alto. The program combines courses in military science with summer training opportunities to transform you into a U.S. Army officer.

Upon completion, Ship graduates are commissioned as officers in the U.S. Army and may serve on active duty or in the Army Reserve or Army National Guard. Officers are managers within the Army. Most newly commissioned Second Lieutenants begin their careers as the leader of a platoon consisting of approximately 30 enlisted soldiers.

Our academic program offers you the opportunity to develop your leadership skills as you pursue your education in one of the university's major fields of study. Basic military skills are taught throughout the curriculum. All activities, including developmental counseling, are designed to build self-confidence and character. You will be invited to attend other events, such as field training exercises, physical training, Ranger Challenge competition, social affairs and 10K and 10 mile races, throughout the course of study.

Social Work and Gerontology Department

If you consider social work to be a way of life that embraces a concern and caring for others, you will find we consider our program to be more than an academic major. Both our Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) and Master of Social Work (MSW) programs are fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. All our programs focus on providing quality education to the future leaders of our helping professions.

Our BSW will prepare you to use the generalist approach to become a competent entry-level social work practitioner and/or to prepare you for graduate study.

Jointly offered with Millersville University, our master’s program offers the resources of both schools. If you are interested in entering or advancing your social work career, you may enroll in the program full- or part-time. In addition to traditional classroom instruction, you can take part in web-based and teleconference classes if you choose to work while obtaining your degree.

Our gerontology minor program teaches you how to enhance the quality of life of older citizens through interdisciplinary education, research and service. We offer a wide array of out-of-class experiences, and help foster intergenerational respect and dialogue throughout the university community. You will be exposed to many different topics (e.g., psychology, sociology, humanities, social work) and shown how aging relates to each. Through required coursework, electives in your personal interest, applied experiences, research opportunities and volunteer activities, you will gain a firm understanding of aging-related issues that can be applied to your major field of study.

Teacher Education Department

It is considered one of the noblest careers and if teaching and training children to become the best they can be is your forte, you will find the perfect programs in our department. We offer undergraduate and graduate programs with accreditation from the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education. Choose from our undergraduate programs in early childhood/elementary education, elementary/middle level education, special education and early childhood education, a reading minor or the secondary education concentrations. Our secondary education certification is available across multiple disciplines.

Our graduate programs are offered in curriculum & instruction (M.Ed.) with the following clusters: biology, early childhood education, elementary education, geography/earth science, history, mathematics, middle school education and global languages. Our other graduate programs are early childhood education (with optional PK-4 certification), reading, reading recovery and STEM education (MAT).

You will be able to participate in hands-on learning experiences. During freshman, sophomore and junior years, you will observe classes in elementary, secondary and community college settings. Observations of physically challenged and exceptional learners are also required. Ship's secondary education program prepares students to teach grades 7-12 in Pennsylvania, as well as in more than 40 other states with reciprocal agreements. Another great opportunity lies in the Grace B. Luhrs University Elementary School, the on-campus public elementary lab school. This is our university's commitment to quality teacher preparation. Since 1871, we have provided our students and surrounding community with this model school. This is a setting for you to observe and participate in elementary school activities. You can observe classes from observation booths, tutor students in core content areas of reading and math, or participate in whole class activities.