Dr. Gretchen Norland, Chair of the Bethany College Education Department, was approved for tenure and promoted to an Associate Professor of Education by the college’s Board of Directors at their recent spring meeting. Dr. Norland completed her Doctorate in Education in 2017 from Northcentral University in Arizona. Her passion for the education field has been inspired by 32 years of public school teaching, in addition to six years of teaching at Bethany College and supervising pre-service teachers.

Dr. Norland, a 1979 graduate of Bethany, earned a degree in English Education and a minor in Psychology. She described her return to her alma mater as “coming full circle,” and believed it was a blessing and a calling to serve and share her teaching talents in a different capacity.

“Dr. Norland is very deserving of tenure and promotion,” President William Jones said. “Gretchen is a successful Bethany alumna who loves God and loves people. Given her success with her students, service to our campus and local community, scholarship in the Education, commitment to our church relationship, and her collegial nature, I am confident she will be a strong leader among our faculty for years to come.”

“It is a wonderful gift to see some of my former middle school students coming through the education program and developing into fine teachers,” said Dr. Norland.  “Bethany teaching candidates are exceptional, reflective individuals who take their future careers seriously. We care deeply for our students. We are like a family who is there for them—to guide them and to celebrate their successes.”

Dr. Norland believes in a positive attitude, and is known for her sense of humor. Grateful for the enthusiasm, support, and hard work of her colleagues, staff, and administration, she is a leader on campus in her role as Chair of the Education Department. Active on several committees and organizations, with a focus on assessment, team leadership, and innovative opportunities for school and community partnerships that enhance the teacher education program, Dr. Norland was recently recognized as a future leader of Kansas in Higher Education by KICA, Aspiring Campus Leaders Academy, 2018.