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Department of Teacher Education, Leadership, and Counseling - Columbus State University Skip to Main Content

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Department of Teacher Education, Leadership, and Counseling

About the Department

Skilled teachers, educational leaders, and counselors have the power to transform communities. At Columbus State University, we're educating the innovators of tomorrow ― visionaries who are creating more inclusive, effective, and sustainable organizations around the world.

The department is committed to immersive educational opportunities. As a student, you'll learn through traditional coursework, lab and field experiences, computer simulations, and video. If you're new to the field, courses in the foundational areas of educational research and psychology will prepare you take the next step in your education.

Join a community of engaged, empathetic learners ― future school and clinical counselors, education policy makers, and university faculty members. Our instructors will help you every step of the way through one-on-one learning and professional mentorships.


Create Your Future

The Department of Teacher Education, Leadership, and Counseling offers a number of degrees and minors. Explore your options here.

Department Degree Programs
Program Type Programs Available
Bachelor's Elementary Education (B.S.Ed.), Special Education – Reading (B.S.Ed.)
Master's (Hybrid Programs) Clinical Mental Health Counseling (M.S.), School Counseling (M.Ed.)
Master's (Fully Online Programs) Elementary Education (M.A.T.), Middle Grades Education (M.A.T.), Secondary Education (M.A.T.), Special Education-General Curriculum (M.A.T.)

Elementary Education (M.Ed.), Middle Grades Education (M.Ed.), Secondary Education (M.Ed.), Special Education-General Curriculum (M.Ed.)

Curriculum and Instruction in Accomplished Teaching (M.Ed.), Educational Leadership (M.Ed.), Educational Leadership - Higher Education (M.Ed.), Teacher Leadership (M.Ed.)
Specialist (Fully Online Programs) Educational Leadership (Ed.S.), Elementary Education (Ed.S.), Middle Grades Education (Ed.S.), Secondary Education (Ed.S.), Special Education (Ed.S.), Teacher Leadership (Ed.S.)
Doctoral (Fully Online Concentrations) Curriculum and Leadership - Curriculum (Ed.D.), Curriculum and Leadership - Educational Leadership (Ed.D.), Curriculum and Leadership - Higher Education Administration (Ed.D.)
Minors Elementary Education, UTeach
Graduate Endorsements (Fully Online Programs) Computer Science Endorsement (Graduate), K–5 Mathematics (Graduate Endorsement), Reading Endorsement (Graduate), STEM Teaching P–12 (Graduate Endorsement), Teacher Leadership (Graduate Endorsement)

Note for Out-of-State Students

If you will be living outside of Georgia while enrolled in courses, please visit our Program State Authorizations and Approvals page before applying to find out if Columbus State University is able to offer your program of interest where you will be living.

If you will be living internationally, or have any questions about state authorization or professional licensure authorization, please contact the State Authorization office at Please include in your email:

  • Your name
  • Where you will be physically present while taking classes
  • Program of interest

The State Authorization office can only address questions related to state or licensing board approvals, for all other questions please contact the appropriate department:

Visit our Out-of-State Student page for more information for students living out of state.

Explore All Degrees

Learn From the Best

The Department of Teacher Education, Leadership, and Counseling is home to many accomplished faculty members. Several are highly regarded as experts and have been recognized with notable honors and awards. Thanks to a low student-to-faculty ratio, you'll be sure to receive an excellent education in our degree programs.


Dr. Deniz Peker
Professor / Department Chair


Dr. Parul Acharya
Associate Professor - Foundation Program


Dr. Erinn Bentley
Professor / Assistant Director, CGE


Dr. Gregory Blalock
Associate Professor


Dr. Basil Conway
Associate Professor


Dr. Michael Dentzau
Associate Professor


Hillary Ellerman
Assistant Professor of Counseling Education


Dr. Aaron R. Gierhart
Assistant Professor


Dana Griggs
Associate Professor of Educational Leadership


Dr. Tugce Gul
Assistant Professor of Science Education


Dr. Anna Hart
Associate Professor of Teacher Leadership / Executive Director of Assessment, COEHP


Dr. Charlotte Henderson
Assistant Professor of Elementary Education


Dr. Hanna Lainas
Associate Professor of Counselor Education


Christopher LeMieux
Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership


Dr. Jennifer Lovelace
Assistant Professor of Higher Education / Director, Doctoral Programs


Dr. Saoussan Maarouf
Associate Professor


Dr. Sallie Averitt Miller
Professor of Reading Education


Dr. Lauren Neal
Assistant Professor of Educational Research


Dr. Patricia Patrick
Associate Professor


Dr. Kalynn Pistorio
Associate Professor of Special Education


Lauren Santarelli
Assistant Professor


Sarah Sharpe
Assistant Professor of Elementary Education


Dr. Kimberly Stokes
Part Time Limited Term Faculty


Dr. Jessica VanValkenburgh
Assistant Professor of Middle Grades and Curriculum and Instruction


Dr. Jennifer Vanslander
Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership


Dr. Steven Wright
Associate Professor of Counseling Education

Visit the College of Education and Health Professions

We Can Help

Columbus State University offers students a number of scholarships each year. Learn more about available scholarships.


Learn More About Us

Who We Are

The Department of Teaching, Leadership, and Counseling offers undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degrees in the fields of Teacher Education, Teacher Leadership, Educational Leadership, School Counseling, and Clinical Mental Health Counseling. The department emphasizes instruction and rigorous application of theory through performance-based instruction that culminates in real-world experience.

Courses are delivered using traditional methods and modern technologies, including online, distance learning, and web-enhanced instruction. Campus courses are taught in technology-equipped classrooms. Instruction is augmented through technology to include computer simulations, video, and laboratory experiences on campus and in the field.

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