In 1920, education courses were offered for training teachers in secondary education, but there was no major in education, nor a Department of Education. In April, 1930, building on the educational climate of Catholic colleges in greater Cleveland during the 1920’s, Dr. Hugh Graham was appointed the Director of JCU’s new Department of Education, supervisor of teacher training, and a liaison to Notre Dame College and Ursuline College for the supervision of student teachers. The Master of Arts degree in Education was approved in 1934. Dr. Graham retained his position as Chair until his death in 1951. Dr. Walt Nosal assumed the director position, as well as remained head of the Vocational Services group. In 1953 three faculty with terminal degrees were hired. Rev. Joseph P. Owens, S.J., began the work to prepare the Department for NCATE accreditation. The Department of Education received its Initial NCATE accreditation in 1957. In 1964, the Department began a Master of Arts in Teaching in secondary education in collaboration with the Cleveland Public Schools. This program phased out in the early 1970’s, but a similar program began in 1984 as the School-Based M.Ed. program in collaboration with University School. Since 1984 the School-Based M.Ed. has expanded to a pre K-12 Initial Licensure Program located in public/private, and urban/suburban school settings.

From 1920 through 1974 John Carroll awarded secondary teaching certificates while St. John College maintained sole responsibility as the Catholic college in Cleveland to award elementary teaching certificates. When St. John College closed, other Catholic colleges were given permission to issue elementary teaching certificates. Beginning in 1974, John Carroll offered an elementary education major and elementary teaching certificates. Also, in 1974 the Master of Education was introduced as a degree program option for certified teachers. In 1976, the University approved the first interdisciplinary Master of Arts program, Counseling and Human Services, which eventually became the Community Counseling program. In 1984, the Post-Bac program was introduced to provide an alternative path to licensure for adults with bachelor’s degrees.

Historically, the mission and goals of the Department of Education related to preparation of teachers, principals, school counselors, school psychologists, and the continuing education of classroom teachers. The vision, goals, and breadth of the department expanded in 1988 with the addition of the Community Counseling graduate program (formerly Counseling and Human Services). This program extended the vision and mission of the department into community agencies and allied health professions. In fall 1995, the Department of Physical Education and Exercise Science merged with the Department of Education and further expanded the vision, goals, and breadth into additional allied health professions. In recognition of the depth and breadth of the academic programs, the unit’s name was changed to the Department of Education & Allied Studies to reflect the range of academic and professional programs available beyond the Initial and Advanced Licensure Programs.