After only a few weeks on the job, the new dean of the College of Education has already held meetings with faculty and staff members, leading Grambling State University’s oldest college in new directions.
Larnell Flannagan, until recently the dean for the School of Education and Professional Studies at Cheyney University of Pennsylvania, is familiar with being a dean. His current focus is on getting to know and understanding Grambling’s specific needs.
Flannagan, who has 37 years of experience in elementary and higher education is leading three departments: Curriculum and Instruction, Kinesiology; Sports and Leisure Studies and Educational Leadership. In addition, he’s supervising and assisting teachers and principals at the university’s laboratory schools.”We are excited that Dr. Flannagan has accepted our offer, and we’re sure he will use his experience to work with faculty, staff and students to advance the mission of the College of Education and enhance the academic profile of Grambling State University,” said Connie Walton, the university’s provost and vice president of academic affairs.
“Dr. Flannagan came at the right time,” added Patricia Johnson, interim department head of curriculum and instruction. “I see him as a no non-sense kind of person. He has a fresh outlook on leadership; he knows his tasks and is about getting them done.”
In a recent interview, the dean said he wants to continue the good work of the past while helping the college increase its “completer’s rate,” also defined as the number of students who successfully graduate from the teach education program based on all teach education preparation.
“Students must complete all course work satisfactorily, pass all PRAXIS examinations, and maintain a minimum 2.5 GPA,” said Flannagan. Candidates who don’t meet these requirements cannot be certified to teach.
“Right now, the rate of students completing the Teach Education and Educational Leadership programs is not where it should be,” said Flannagan. He said he plans to recruit and retain students in the Teach Education program and give them the academic support services they need to become successful educators.
Education majors must take a standardized test to enter and a knowledge, skills and disposition test before starting student teaching, which is required before graduation.
Flannagan wants to push faculty and staff to provide the 801 undergraduate students and 176 graduate students with the help they need to be successful without going too far. “I don’t expect faculty to do anything that I wouldn’t or have not already done,” he said.
This isn’t Flannagan’s first experience with Grambling, or Grambling President Frank G. Pogue. The Charlottesville, Va., native played the trumpet from elementary school through high school, dreaming that he would be a part of the World Famed Tiger Marching Band. He was accepted to Grambling, but his parents couldn’t afford to send him out of state. He was disappointed, but he made the best of the situation, attending Virginia State University, where he received a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Elementary Education.
His hiring as dean was formally approved by the University of Louisiana System Board of Supervisors last month.