New School of Education dean

Dr. Brenda Fischer

Dr. Brenda Fischer

The College has named a new dean for its School of Education.

Brenda Fischer, Ed.D., will be the next dean of the School of Education, effective Aug. 1. She succeeds Jo Olsen, who served for 11 years in the position.

"Dr. Fischer is a collaborative and innovative educator who has fostered positive change on behalf of students and faculty in all of her prior areas of engagement," said Dr. Wolfgang Natter, vice president for Academic Affairs. "I look forward to our work together both on campus and in the region in her new role as dean of the School of Education."

Fischer holds a doctor of education in teaching and learning from the University of Minnesota, an M.Ed. from Saint Mary's University of Minnesota, and a B.S. in elementary education from Moorhead State University.

She currently serves St. Scholastica's School of Education as chair of the undergraduate education program. In that role, she has overseen the undergraduate education programs on the Duluth campus (elementary education, five secondary education programs and two K-12 programs) and the Elementary Education Degree Completion program on St. Scholastica's St. Paul campus. She has been at St. Scholastica since 2011.

"I am inspired by the excellent work in the School of Education," Fischer said, "and am excited about our continued work in providing a world class education for students, strengthening our community partnerships, and advancing the mission of The College. It is truly an honor to be chosen to serve the School of Education in this capacity."

Fischer has taught education courses at the College in face-to-face settings, in an accelerated blended format (face-to-face and online), and in a fully online master's program. She oversaw the development of two new programs within the School of Education, the Elementary Education Degree Completion program and an Academic Behavior Strategist license program to help address the shortage of Special Education teachers in Minnesota and across the country.

In announcing Fischer's appointment, Natter thanked outgoing Dean Jo Olsen, who retired.

"Dr. Olsen's 11 years of leadership saw the School of Education make significant strides in its scope of activities and the excellence of its pedagogy," he said. "As Dr. Fischer inaugurates a new chapter of achievement for the School, we reflect with gratitude on those of Dean Olsen."