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College of Education

Dean’s Welcome Archive

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Dear Horned Frog Students, Faculty, Staff, Alumni and Community Members,

Let me begin by sharing with all of you what an honor it is to serve as Dean of the College of Education here at Texas Christian University. In the last several months, I’ve seen the fighting spirit of the College of Education faculty, staff and students. I am so proud of what we have accomplished together during this unprecedented time in our country’s history. We have all faced unbelievable personal and professional demands, but in the midst of all of these challenges, it has brought out the best in all of us.

By way of introduction, I am the child of a mother who was a migrant worker for most of her teenage years and also served as a domestic worker when she was not picking cotton and vegetables in Texas. She later opened her own business and served as a small business owner for twenty years. My father had many different jobs but found a career as a chrome plater and retired from that line of work. While neither of them had an opportunity to earn their high school diplomas, both have served as an inspiration to me, and have supported me unconditionally as I fulfilled my own dreams. I grew up in the Elmer Scott Housing Projects in West Dallas. My maternal grandparents lived in a West Dallas Barrio called Ledbetter. I lived my life between those two communities until we moved to the Midwest. As a first-generation college graduate, I was drawn to a career in education as a way to improve my own life opportunities, particularly in light of my parents’ struggles. Likewise, I saw education as a way to lift other people out of various devastating circumstances and, in the process, to fight social injustice. As of 2020 I have served for 30 years in both K-12 and higher education.

As you browse through our website, I hope you can see that our focus is on providing the best learning experiences for our students and that we believe in building strong partnerships locally and globally. You will also see that our graduates are leaders in their communities. Whether they are teachers, principals, counselors and/or working for a nonprofit, they have a sense of purpose and are the ethical leaders that our communities need and deserve. You will also see that our College of Education is the only educator preparation program in the United States with two on-campus laboratory schools in special education: Starpoint School and KinderFrogs School.

Finally, we are doing all of this work during a pandemic that has had a devastating impact on communities of color here in Texas and across the United States. We are also doing this work as our country comes to terms with its treatment of communities of color in general and our Black communities and citizens specifically. We want to be a part of the solution, so our college has made diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) a core element of our mission and vision for ourselves and our students. We will continue to challenge ourselves by asking, “How will the TCU campus and our Fort Worth communities know we’re committed to DEI”? and, “How will our Black colleagues, our Black students, and our Black community members know that we believe, ‘Black Lives Matter’?” Our college will not shy away from addressing the systemic racism that has permeated every aspect of our society. These questions and others will drive our work with DEI and will keep us focused on the challenges at hand, because we believe education is one of the tools for creating a more just and inclusive world. Disrupting these systems of oppression will only happen if we are willing to “say her name”!

Frank Hernandez