The College of Professional Studies was first established as the College of Behavioral Sciences, Human Services and Education. In 1959, the School of Education, Leadership and Public Service was created. Over the years it has dramatically changed. Today, the college consists of the departments of Clinical Sciences; Criminal Justice; Education; Health, Physical Education and Recreation (HPER); Military Science; Nursing; Seaborg Center; Sociology, Social Work and Anthropology; Engineering Technology; and Technology and Occupational Sciences.
The development of the college has been one of constant evolution. It is a combination of several departments formerly housed in Northern’s original School of Education, Leadership and Public Service and two departments formerly in the College of Arts and Sciences. Education and HPER were departments in the School of Education, Leadership and Public Service in the early 1960s. In the early 1970s, Psychology, which had been part of a combined Education and Psychology department from Northern’s earliest days, became separate. In the early 1980s, the college also included the departments of Home Economics and Industrial Technologies.
In 1985, the Criminal Justice department and the Sociology and Social Work department, formerly in the School of Arts and Sciences, were added to the School of Education, Leadership and Public Service to form a new unit, which was called the School of Behavioral Sciences, Human Services and Technology. Earlier departments which were dropped in 1985 included Home Economics, Industrial Education and Library Science.
In 1986, Industry and Technology was combined with several other programs to form the School of Technology and Applied Sciences. With the exception of Nutrition and Dietetics, the Home Economics department became Consumer and Family Studies in 1988, with its Fashion Merchandising and Child/Early Childhood Education Programs moved to Technology and Applied Sciences. The Nutrition and Dietetics Program of Home Economics was taken over by HPER. At this point, the Schools’ name became Behavioral Sciences and Human Services. In 1989, it was changed to Behavioral Sciences, Human Services and Education. On July 1, 1992, the School, like the others at Northern, was renamed a college.
School of Education
Education played a critical role in Northern’s history and was the reason for its creation in 1899. In July 1959, William C. Hoppes became the first dean of education and four years later the School of Education, Leadership and Public Service appeared. At that time, the school was composed of the following departments: education and psychology, industrial arts, home economics, physical education, professional laboratory experience (student teaching) and the John D. Pierce Laboratory School. The first significant change came in 1968 when the education and psychology department was divided into two separate departments. Eventually, the professional laboratory experience department was merged into the education department. In 1985, the School of Education, Leadership and Public Service became the School of Behavioral Sciences, Human Services and Technology. A year later, it was called the School of Behavioral Sciences and Human Services. In 1989, it was renamed the School, and later the College (1992), of Behavioral Sciences, Human Services and Education.
As early as 1939, nursing courses were offered at Northern as pre-professional courses designed o prepare future nurses for additional schooling. Between 1963 and 1968, a baccalaureate nursing program was developed. Margaret Retting and Lulu Ervast were instrumental in establishing the four-year nursing program at Northern.
Occupational Studies Department
Before the occupational studies department was formed in 1989, courses were offered in industrial education at the skills center. This department merged vocational programs with associated programs and added a bachelor program.
School of Technology and Applied Sciences
The college is home to five departments: aviation, consumer and family studies, electronics, industrial technologies and occupational studies. The early history of what is now the college dates back to 1908 when Lottie Turner taught a course in manual training, though her specialty was drawing. By the 1980s, many were training for positions in industry. The college was established on July 1, 1986 and it has always been located in the D.J. Jacobetti Complex. In industry majors were integrated to form the School of Technology and Applied Sciences, which in 1992 was renamed the College of Technology and Applied Sciences.