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New Dean at School of Education

WEST LONG BRANCH, NJ—Dr. John Henning was hired as the new Dean at the School of Education with a new plan for student teachers. He started his new position on July 1, 2015.
Henning received his PhD and Master’s degrees from Kent State University, and his undergraduate degree from Penn State University. He has degrees in educational psychology, vocational education, and agriculture, as well as 21 years of experience as a high school teacher.
A major reason that Henning wanted to come to Monmouth was to implement the strategic plan that the School of Education piloted this year. According to Henning, the pilot will extend student teaching from a one-semester experience to a full year one, where students spend at least 10 hours weekly at the school after their classes end in the fall and teach full-time in the spring.
“It’s a commitment to transformative learning, and transformative learning, I think, seeks to a provide experiences to students that cause significant change and growth,” said Henning. “As someone in education psychology, experience in the real world and in an authentic, professional setting where you meet different people and gain experiences are likely to cause you to transform.”
Henning later said that he thinks there is a lot of interest in the new teaching piece and that it will continue to grow.
Colleen Finnigan, office coordinator at the School of Education, agrees with Henning and his pilot plan.

Photo courtesy of
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“I feel that the Dean is going to do many things to better the School of Education,” said Finnegan, lauding Henning’s determination. “He has met with each and every person in the School of Education, he is constantly looking for ways to work with other groups to create a better atmosphere and growth for our programs, and a better, more solid foundations for our students.”
According to Finnigan, Henning even created the catch-phrase, “We Make a Difference,” to remind students, faculty, and staff that everyone in the School of Education, regardless of their role or position, do exactly that–make a difference.
Dr. Laura Moriarty, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, saw something in Henning that she felt made him the best candidate.
“John has the right mix of administrative and faculty experience, having held positions as a public school teacher, university professor and academic administrator,” said Moriarty. “His practitioner background, strong scholarly pursuits, vast knowledge of the field, and varied administrative experience made him stand out as the best choice to lead the School of Education.”
“Dean Henning is a thought-leader in the field of Higher Education,” she continued. “As such, he is already making advancements in the delivery of teacher education. Working with the faculty, the School of Education is becoming a leader in the state especially when it comes to preparing future teachers.”
As the new dean, Henning is clearly fitting in well at Monmouth University, and he seems to love it. He confirms that working with faculty and staff has been very rewarding already.
“I’ve really been enjoying it. The work is very exciting,” Henning said. “I’ve enjoyed the students. They’ve been really responsive, and the faculty have been really responsive in terms of where new directions, thinking, contributing, and discussing ideas they have and where we can go.”
Going forward, if Henning’s contributions up to this point are anything to go by, it seems he will continue to have a positive impact on the School of Education and the greater Monmouth University community.
“Since Dean Henning’s arrival, I feel that we are more connected with each other,”  said Finnigan, commenting on the tangible difference the School of Education has seen since Henning’s arrival. “I am looking forward to the improvements that will be made to the School of Education under his leadership.”