Message from the Chair

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Melissa Wetzel

Welcome to the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at The University of Texas at Austin!

The mission of the Department of Curriculum and Instruction is to advance the knowledge and the practice of teaching and learning. We address the educational needs of a rapidly changing global society in democratic and socially just ways. Our teaching and research are rooted in a variety of academic disciplines. We value innovation and build upon the strengths of cultural and linguistic diversity. 

In my own words, we are partners with educators and communities across the State of Texas. We are partners in the challenges and possibilities of teacher education. Our world-class faculty members work directly with undergraduate students, teacher candidates and graduate students to apply and develop practices of teacher education in classrooms across the state. We are partners in attending to place and context. Aligning with our college’s Signature Impact Areas, our faculty members and students are focused on building relationships, listening and acting alongside our community partners in the project of teaching and learning. And our partnerships are equity-focused, drawing on the most current knowledge in the field to adapt the practices of teaching and learning to address the most pressing challenges our communities face. Our faculty members and students boldly challenge the inequities that cause the most harm to learners, their families and communities through their practices. We know that to address the challenges of a changing world, we need these partnerships to guide us, along with a stance of hope. Students who come to learn in our programs take these values of partnership forward—what starts here changes the world.

The Department of Curriculum and Instruction is uniquely positioned to make positive change in classrooms across the state and beyond, and we hope you will join us. You may be here because you intend to pursue initial certification in one of our teacher education programs, Early Childhood – 6th grade Bilingual Core Subjects/Generalist,  Early Childhood – 6th grade English as a Second Language (ESL) Core Subjects/Generalist or Urban Teachers English Language Arts and Social Studies. You have made a great choice—our programs of initial preparation will teach you on day one to be a responsive, community-engaged and skillful teacher. Perhaps you are thinking of pursuing a graduate degree in one of our graduate programs to deepen your practice as an educator and become a leader and guide in the profession. You’re in the right place—we will provide you with the experiences and courses that are connected to practice and to the larger academic community. Our doctoral programs will position you to do research and teach alongside faculty, with multiple opportunities to teach students in our undergraduate programs. We will learn together, in partnership as changemakers. Welcome.


Melissa Wetzel's signature

Melissa Wetzel, Ph.D.
Professor and Chair


Department of Curriculum and Instruction
George I. Sánchez Building
4th Floor, Room 4.708

Phone: (512) 471-5942
Fax: (512) 471-8460