College of Education

Meet The Dean

Dean Shelley PhotoAfter serving twice as the interim dean, Dr. Ena Shelley was appointed dean of the College of Education in June 2005. Shelley's experience with the College of Education began almost 25 years ago when she joined the faculty as an assistant professor of early childhood education in the summer of 1982.

Unlike deanship positions at other colleges, Shelley's position isn't strictly administrative; she also teaches. In fact, that was a condition of accepting the position. She couldn't imagine not being directly involved the students and pursuing her passion, teaching!

For the past several years, Shelley has been heavily involved in state and national legislation and policy involving the education of young children. She has also been involved with the National Association for the Education of Young Children and the Indiana Professional Standards Board (IPSB), which oversees teacher licensure and accreditation of teacher education programs. Three governors have appointed her to boards active in legislation to help young children and their families as well as improved teacher education.

Twelve years ago Shelley began building a partnership with Lawrence Township's Centralized Kindergarten and in 1998 helped them to begin to infuse the Reggio Emilia educational approach into their environments and teaching practices. She continues that work today, serving as co-chair on the Lawrence Early Childhood Task Force, with the additional focus of integration of the arts. She was instrumental in establishing the Indianapolis Reggio Collaborative, which includes the Lawrence Early Learning Centers, St. Mary's Child Center and the Warren Early Childhood Center. Shelley also serves as a member of the Closing the Achievement Gap Committee and Digital Literacy Committee within the Lawrence Township Metropolitan School District.

Her current research interest is studying how teachers in the new Early Learning Centers in Lawrence Township use the Reggio influenced art studios as they continue to develop their understanding of the many ways young children learn.