POTSDAM — Dr. Allen C. Grant has joined SUNY Potsdam as the new dean of The School of Education and Professional Studies, following a nationwide search.
As dean, Grant will oversee the School’s nationally-recognized undergraduate and graduate programs in teacher education, business administration, and public health and human performance.
“One of the reasons I was attracted to coming here was that it wasn’t simply an education department. We have an entrepreneurial business department, coupled with established programs in public health as well,” Grant said. “I’m interested in galvanizing our strengths and looking at ways we can collaborate, especially ways we can stay ahead of the marketplace in terms of new programming.”
Grant joins SUNY Potsdam from Drexel University in Philadelphia, where he most recently served as the inaugural chair of the Department of Policy, Organization and Leadership, and where he was an associate clinical professor. He joined Drexel’s faculty in 2010 and directed the university’s Master of Science degree program in educational administration, and its online and Philadelphia-based doctoral program in educational leadership. He also served as an Online Learning Fellow and an Assessment Fellow at Drexel, and was honored with the Outstanding Online Faculty Award in 2014. Grant’s research interests include community school models, distance education, K-12 virtual education and educational leadership.
“Much of my past research involves community school strategies, which provide wraparound services for students and their families. Effective community schools provide healthcare, warm clothes, good nutrition and legal services. These schools take a whole community approach that can improve student attendance and educational outcomes. I think there is an opportunity to further explore these strategies here in the north country,” Grant said.
Grant earned his bachelor’s degree in history at The College of William and Mary, and completed his master’s in curriculum and instruction at George Mason University, before completing his Ph.D. in educational leadership and research at Louisiana State University. Prior to joining Drexel, he was the chief learning officer and program director of the Louisiana Virtual School, after having been a classroom teacher in the Fairfax County, Virginia Public Schools and at the Louisiana State University Laboratory School.
After joining SUNY Potsdam on June 15, Grant has been busy delving into strategic and fiscal planning, and meeting with faculty and students as he familiarizes himself with campus prior to the start of the fall semester. He is particularly excited about SUNY Potsdam’s focus on providing applied learning opportunities, and hopes to expand those programs within The School of Education and Professional Studies.
“We do an incredible job with applied learning within education, through student teaching and classroom experiences. Our programs in business, community health and exercise science offer really strong internship experiences as well. I’d like to expand upon these, so that we are developing more partnerships and providing internship opportunities everywhere,” Grant said. “Given my background, I’m also really excited about strengthening our online programs, especially our graduate programs. The goal is to continue to do what we do really well, and also do that online really well too. There is a really great tradition and history here. We can build on that together.”
The School of Education and Professional Studies at SUNY Potsdam has been preparing educators for more than 200 years. Today, that legacy of educational excellence also stretches to undergraduate and graduate programs in business administration, public health and human performance, to help students prepare for professions in the global economy. To learn more, visit https://www.potsdam.edu/academics/SOEPS.