Meet the Dean

A Message from the Dean

Dean of School of Education College of Charleston, wearing red shirt in front of windowIf you want to have a positive impact on young people’s lives – to make contributions to our society in ways that really matter – you’ve come to the right place! 

Whether you’re just starting college, are already teaching and want to improve your skills, or are interested in changing careers, you should know that our faculty will be committed to helping you find the area of study that is the right fit for you. For example, teaching grades 6 - 8 might appeal to you at the outset, but you could wind up in special education – because of a professor you worked with or some real-world experiences you had. 

Through our nationally accredited teacher education programs, we offer initial teacher certification at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. And if you are looking for an advanced master’s degree and/or certification, we have programs that will accommodate your needs.  

When you choose the College of Charleston, you’ll have numerous opportunities to form valuable connections with faculty, students and alumni, and develop partnerships across the campus and beyond. You’ll be joining a college community that celebrates the power of unique perspectives and diverse thought, in a city that has a growing reputation for innovation and change.  

We invite you to check out all that we have to offer, and don’t hesitate to contact us if you have questions or need more information.

Frances C. Welch

A native of Dorchester County, S.C., Frances C. Welch is the dean of the School of Education. The school is comprised of the Department of Teacher Education as well as numerous centers, services and special programs.
  • About the Dean

    Welch has devoted more than 45 years of her professional life to the education and development of teachers, health professionals and youth. She has many accomplishments, most notably, the design and implementation of the Teacher Leader program; the Call Me MISTER program at the College of Charleston, which encourages African American males to become teachers; the Center for Partnerships to Improve Education; the Early Childhood Summit; has led several successful national reaccreditations; and worked on several stages of the design, construction and move into a new School of Education building. She has expanded international education opportunities by establishing the English Language Institute at the College, facilitating a bilateral agreement with National Kaohsiung Normal University (Taiwan) and launching an exchange program in Ecuador.

    From May 2019 to June 2020, Welch was the College’s interim provost and executive vice president of academic affairs. In this role, Welch served as the chief academic officer of the College of Charleston and was a key member of the president’s senior staff. She oversaw academic programs, faculty affairs and many academic support functions, and worked to ensure that the College of Charleston fulfills its institutional mission and goals. During her tenure, she steered the development and approval of two new degree offerings, systems engineering and electrical engineering, and she co-chaired the steering committee that created the College’s new 10-year strategic plan.

    Service at the College and to the greater community is a significant part of Welch’s professional life. She is a member of the Foundations, Inc. National Advisory Board, past chair of the Committee on Opportunities in Science of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences, a member of the Engaging Creative Minds Board, the Charleston County School District Advisory Board, the Trident United Way Board, the Center for Educator Recruitment, Retention and Advancement, and other local boards. She is active in Alpha Delta Kappa, serving as past chair of the Credentials Committee and past membership chair for the Southeast region.

    Welch frequently presents at professional meetings, sharing her research and pursuits. The author of approximately 40 articles and two books, Welch is currently working on several manuscripts, focusing on school leadership and evaluation of teachers. She is certified in South Carolina in the following areas: elementary teacher and principal, superintendent, learning disabilities, mental disabilities and school psychologist. Welch is also licensed as a psychologist specializing with children and adolescents.

  • Career Highlights

    2020-present: Dean, School of Education
    2019–2020: Interim Provost and Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs, College of Charleston
    2001–2019: Dean, School of Education, Health, and Human Performance, College of Charleston
    1995–2000: Chair and Professor, Department of Foundations, Secondary and Special Education, School of Education, College of Charleston
    1993–1995: Assistant Dean for Professional Development and Associate Professor, School of Education, College of Charleston
    1992–1993: Associate Professor, Department of Educational and Specializations, School of Education, College of Charleston
    1988–1992: Director, Staff Development, Dorchester School District Two
    1972–1976: School Psychologist, Charleston County School District
    1970–1972: Teacher, Educable Mentally Handicapped, Dorchester School District Two

    Honors and Achievements

    2010: Woman of the Year, Office of Institutional Diversity, College of Charleston
    2009: Women of Distinction Award for Education, Girl Scouts of Eastern South Carolina
    2008: Save the City Three Sisters Award
    2004: Excellence in Education Award, S.C. Alpha Delta Kappa
    2003: Acknowledgement of Support Award, SCAHPERD
    1992: Wil Lou Gray Outstanding Educator Award, Columbia College
    1987: Outstanding Computer Using Educator, S.C. Council of Computing Educators