Peabody College

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Peabody College of Education and Human Development
Peabody College logo.svg
Parent institution
Vanderbilt University
DeanCamilla Benbow
Academic staff
160 [1]
Students2,023 [2]
Location, ,
George Peabody College for Teachers
Memorial Hall
Peabody College is located in Tennessee
Peabody College
Peabody College is located in the United States
Peabody College
Location1212 21st Ave. S. and Edgehill Ave
Nashville, Tennessee
Coordinates36°8′30″N 86°47′55″W / 36.14167°N 86.79861°W / 36.14167; -86.79861Coordinates: 36°8′30″N 86°47′55″W / 36.14167°N 86.79861°W / 36.14167; -86.79861
Area50 acres (200,000 m2)[1]
Architectural styleClassical revival
NRHP reference #66000723
Significant dates
Added to NRHPOctober 15, 1966[2]
Designated NHLDecember 21, 1965[3]

Peabody College of Education and Human Development is one of ten colleges and schools that comprise Vanderbilt University. Peabody College provides graduate, undergraduate, and professional education. Peabody's faculty are organized across five departments, and include researchers in education, psychology, public policy, human development, special education, educational leadership, and organizational development. Peabody has a long history as an independent institution before becoming part of Vanderbilt University in 1979. The college was ranked sixth among graduate schools of education in the United States in the 2020 rankings by U.S. News & World Report.[4] It was ranked as the top graduate school of education in the nation during the 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013 editions of those rankings.


Peabody Lawn

The University of Nashville[edit]

Peabody College traces its history to 1785 when Davidson Academy was chartered by the state of North Carolina, of which Tennessee was then apart. In 1806 the school moved to downtown Nashville and was rechartered under the name Cumberland College until 1826.

In 1827, the name was changed to the University of Nashville. In 1875, when the university was receiving financial assistance from the Peabody Education Fund started by George Peabody, the state legislature amended the charter to establish a State Normal School. The University of Nashville's operations were split into three separate entities. Its medical school became part of the newly established Vanderbilt University. Its preparatory school became independent as Montgomery Bell Academy, retaining the board of trustees from the University of Nashville. The literary arts collegiate program received the donation from the Peabody Education Fund and began emphasizing teacher preparation. In 1889 it was renamed Peabody Normal College.[5]

George Peabody College for Teachers[edit]

After 1911, the George Peabody College for Teachers was moved from downtown Nashville to its present location directly across the street from the campus of Vanderbilt University. The location on what was then Nashville's western fringe was selected amidst high hopes for collaborations between the two institutions. The land for the new campus, which was donated to Peabody College, included the site of the campus of the former Roger Williams University, a school for African American students which burned around 1906.[6] Peabody was at that time a college for whites, although its "demonstration school" (now the University School of Nashville) became one of the first high schools in Nashville to be desegregated in the early 1960s. Peabody's first African American student, Tommie Morton-Young, graduated in 1955.[7]

The design of the Peabody campus was inspired by the classical lines of Thomas Jefferson's design for the University of Virginia's Academical Village and the architecture of the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, Illinois.[8] In contrast to the main Vanderbilt University campus, which is characterized by collegiate gothic architecture, Peabody's buildings and campus layout are examples of Palladian and Neoclassical styles of architecture.

Peabody became a renowned school of education, especially in the South.[5] Notable faculty during the twentieth century included Joseph Peterson, Susan Gray, and Nicholas Hobbs. Hobbs helped to establish and then directed the John F. Kennedy Center for Education and Human Development at Peabody College.[9] The Kennedy Center was founded in 1965 as one of twelve original university-based centers funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) following the signing of the Community Mental Health Act of 1963.

Peabody seemed financially strong, due in part to an endowment that had been funded in part by its namesake, George Peabody. It had shared some facilities with Vanderbilt for many years, notably the Joint Universities Library, located across the street from Peabody's main academic buildings, and indeed closer to Peabody than too much of the main Vanderbilt academic quadrangle. Also, Peabody students were eligible for participation in Vanderbilt ROTC and the Vanderbilt Marching Band.

In the early 1970s Peabody students became eligible to participate in Vanderbilt athletic teams. This was said to be a concession to the fact that Peabody had no intercollegiate athletics of its own, but cynics noted that Peabody did have a major in physical education, a major frequently taken by scholarship athletes but one which had not been available at Vanderbilt, and was seen by many as an attempt to get players onto Vanderbilt sports teams, notably football, who were not eligible for admission to Vanderbilt.[citation needed] In 1954, Nancy Reed won the women's individual intercollegiate golf championship (an event conducted by the Division of Girls' and Women's Sports (DGWS) — which later evolved into the current NCAA women's golf championship).

The 50-acre (200,000 m2) campus with its 22 main buildings was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1965 for its early association with George Peabody's funding efforts.[1][3]

Merger with Vanderbilt University[edit]

Peabody College and Vanderbilt University had collaborated in a number of ways since 1914 when classes were first offered on Peabody's campus next to Vanderbilt. By the late 1970s a series of serious financial missteps had left Peabody's finances in such poor shape that the school's choices seemed to be reduced to two: either negotiating a merger with Vanderbilt or closing entirely. The former path was chosen, and Peabody became a part of Vanderbilt in 1979.[5]

Development as part of Vanderbilt[edit]

Peabody Library, Peabody College, Vanderbilt University.

For many years following the merger, Peabody maintained a considerable separate identity within Vanderbilt, but this is now somewhat diminished. In 2008, Peabody became the site of The Martha Rivers Ingram Commons, the housing for all first-year Vanderbilt students.[10][failed verification]

In an organizational sense, too, Peabody College constitutes a vital part of today's Vanderbilt. As one of the university's ten schools, it not only trains undergraduate and graduate students – Peabody offers 6 Ph.D. programs, 3 Ed.D. program tracks, and 16 master's degree programs[11] – but conducts substantial research in human learning and cognition and an array of other disciplines, including some research collaborations with Vanderbilt University Medical Center.[5] It is now the host of 18 research centers, including two government-funded national research centers: the National Center on School Choice and the National Center on Performance Incentives. Peabody College is consistently ranked among the top graduate schools of education. Over the last 10 years, it has been ranked first among graduate schools of education by U.S. News & World Report five times, and seven of its graduate programs are currently ranked among the top five nationally, including #1 rankings for special education and education administration/supervision.[4]

Peabody College publishes the Peabody Journal of Education, the second longest-running publication devoted exclusively to educational research, practice, and policy.[12]

In 2017, Peabody began offering several online degree programs including an online Master of Education (M.Ed.) with a specialization in School Counseling[13] and an online Doctorate of Education (Ed.D.) with a specialization in Leadership and Learning in Organizations.[14]

Leadership and administration[edit]

The following is a list of presidents of Peabody College (1875-1979) and its predecessor institutions (1785–1875) and deans of Peabody College after the merger with Vanderbilt University (1979–present).

President or Dean Tenure
1. Thomas Craighead 1786–1809[15]
2. James Priestly 1809–1820[15]
3. Phillip Lindsley 1824–1850[15]
4. John Berrien Lindsley 1855–1873[15]
5. Eben S. Stearns 1875–1887[15]
6. William H. Payne 1887–1901[15]
7. James D. Porter 1901–1909[15]
8. Bruce Ryburn Payne 1911–1937[15]
9. Sidney C. Garrison 1937–1945[15]
10. Henry H. Hill 1945–1961[15]
11. Felix Robb 1961–1966[15]
12. John M. Claunch 1967–1974[15]
13. John Dunworth 1974–1980[15]
14. Willis Hawley 1980–1989[15]
15. James Pellegrino 1991–1998[15]
16. Camilla P. Benbow 1998–present[15]

Academic departments[edit]

  • Department of Human and Organizational Development
  • Department of Leadership, Policy, and Organizations
  • Department of Psychology and Human Development
  • Department of Special Education
  • Department of Teaching and Learning

Online degree programs[edit]

Ed.D. in Leadership and Learning in Organizations[edit]

Peabody College’s online Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Leadership and Learning in Organizations program is designed for leaders. The curriculum aims to bridge the divide between theory and practice, giving students the relevant skills to lead organizational change. It is a 54-credit program and can be completed in 3 to 4 years. Students learn to use data analytics tools from a learning and design perspective. Students are required to complete a capstone project and must attend three on-campus convenings.[16][17]

M.Ed. with School Counseling Specialization[edit]

The online Master of Education (M.Ed.) with a School Counseling Specialization program is meant to teach students to translate theoretical knowledge and extensive research into successful counseling programs that help children succeed. The program prepares students for school counseling licensure in public and private schools. School counselors work directly with K-12 children to assess their overall well-being. They also consider social, emotional and environmental factors to create programs that support success in school and beyond.[18][19]

Campus buildings[edit]

Jesup Psychological Building, Peabody Esplanade
  • Wyatt Center (formerly the Social-Religious building)
  • Peabody Library
  • Home Economics Building
  • Mayborn Building (formerly the Industrial Arts building)
  • Cohen Memorial Hall
  • Payne Hall
  • Peabody Administration Building
  • Susan Gray School
  • Jesup / Hobbs Buildings
  • Vanderbilt Kennedy Center
  • Martha Rivers Ingram Commons (consists of 10 dormitories housing all freshmen at Vanderbilt as well as the Commons Center)
  • John Seigenthaler Center (houses the First Amendment Center)

Notable alumni[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Polly M. Rettig (July 20, 1976). National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination: George Peabody College for Teachers (PDF). National Park Service. Retrieved June 27, 2009. and Accompanying five photos, from 1956 and 1965 (2.58 MB)
  2. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. April 15, 2008.
  3. ^ a b "George Peabody College for Teachers". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. Archived from the original on March 10, 2009. Retrieved October 4, 2008.
  4. ^ a b "Best Education Schools". U.S. News & World Report.
  5. ^ a b c d "George Peabody College of Vanderbilt University". Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture.
  6. ^ Roger Williams University
  7. ^ "Tommie Morton-Young Receives Peabody Award". Vanderbilt University. Retrieved October 19, 2018.
  8. ^ "George Peabody College of Vanderbilt University | Tennessee Encyclopedia". Tennessee Encyclopedia. Retrieved October 18, 2018.
  9. ^ "The Vanderbilt Kennedy Center History". Retrieved November 11, 2018.
  10. ^ A New Community At Vanderbilt University – The Report Archived January 26, 2005, at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ "Peabody College Facts and Figures". Vanderbilt University.
  12. ^ "Peabody Journal of Education: Issues of Leadership, Policy, and Organizations". Peabody College of Education and Human Development. Retrieved October 17, 2018.
  13. ^ "Online Master of Education with School Counseling Specialization | Peabody Online". Retrieved August 6, 2018.
  14. ^ "Online Ed.D. in Leadership and Learning in Organizations | Peabody Online". Retrieved August 6, 2018.
  15. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p Keith., Conkin, Paul (2002). Peabody College : from a frontier academy to the frontiers of teaching and learning (1st ed.). Nashville: Vanderbilt University Press. ISBN 1423731395. OCLC 62195263.
  16. ^ "Online Ed.D. in Leadership and Learning in Organizations | Peabody Online". Retrieved December 12, 2018.
  17. ^ "Online Doctorate in Education (EdD) Programs for 2018". Retrieved December 12, 2018.
  18. ^ mentalhealthms. "Vanderbilt University – Online Master of Education with Specialization in School Counseling". Mental Health Degree Programs. Retrieved December 17, 2018.
  19. ^ "Online Master of Education with School Counseling Specialization | Peabody Online". Retrieved December 17, 2018.
  20. ^ The Executive Office of the President. "White House Biography". U.S. National Archives and Records Administration. Retrieved May 24, 2007.
  21. ^ Kaiser, Laurie (March 21, 2012). "Alumni Profile: Sylvia Hyman". Buffalo State College. Retrieved January 19, 2013.

External links[edit]