Naming and Endowment

Penn GSE creates opportunity for learners of all ages.

Named and endowed funds for facilities and technology, scholarship and fellowship, programs and research, and faculty support mean that Penn GSE can remain at the top of the field and attract the brightest people with the most potential to have extraordinary impact in the world.

We create opportunity for learners of all ages, foster innovative and creative thinking, and put research to work in practice. With your support, we will continue provide access to the most promising future educators and leaders regardless of financial ability, and recruit and retain the finest scholars to prepare those students for their careers. We will build twenty-first-century learning spaces and advance innovation in education so that our graduates will shape the field and bring the highest quality of education to learners in urban and underserved communities locally, nationally, and globally.

Penn GSE

  • Naming and Endowment Slideshow - Building

    A rendering of the Penn GSE building expansion shows a lobby with a front desk, wide staircase, and spaces where individuals are seated.

    Support for facilities and technology allows Penn GSE to embark upon a building expansion. The project will keep the School—and the future educators and leaders we produce—at the forefront of a new era in education.


  • Naming and Endowment Slideshow - Students at a Table

    Three graduate students talking at a table with a laptop and book

    Through support for named master’s scholarships and Ph.D. fellowships, Penn GSE is able to attract the most talented and committed students and help make their education affordable. In return, our graduates go on to impact millions of students globally each year.


  • Naming and Endowment Slideshow - Urban Education

    Philadelphia high school students shown in profile writing on a whiteboard

    Support for urban education allows Penn GSE to prepare the next generation of education leaders and practitioners, improve outcomes for children and youth in Philadelphia, and enhance training for students while serving the public good.


  • Naming and Endowment Slideshow -Academic Innovation

    Professor and students smiling as they connect electronic sensors to fruits and other objects

    Through support for academic innovation, Penn GSE expands upon its leadership in bringing together a variety of stakeholders to solve problems in education. Our new center for innovation, Catalyst, will generate new approaches and bring them beyond the traditional world of academia.


  • Naming and Endowment Slideshow - Faculty

    Professor speaking in front of a chalkboard

    As Penn GSE prepares the most capable students to transform education, it must retain and recruit the finest scholars to lead the way. Faculty support enables Penn GSE to be a thought leader and produce the next generation of transformative educators.


Educational Leadership

A teacher sitting at a table tilts her head to one side in thought. Around her is a colorful classroom.

Penn GSE’s deep and long-standing commitment to educational leadership could not be more relevant today as schools, institutions, and organizations enter a new era. Penn GSE’s expertise in educational leadership spans research and practice, and the School’s impact is unique in its reach across the sectors of K–12, higher education, and corporate learning. Our executive-format programs allow working professionals to pursue a degree. Our alumni shape learning for children and adults at schools, districts, colleges, universities, nonprofit organizations, and for-profit companies. Our graduates navigate complex circumstances, effect change, and shape and advance institutional missions. Penn GSE is producing the leaders who can chart a bold course into the future.


Citizenship Education

A professor addresses a class, standing in front of a blackboard with white chalk writings related to philosophy and education.

To become active and informed citizens, young people must discover how to think critically about current issues and engage with their communities. Penn GSE is advancing citizenship education by expanding educational access and preparing young people to participate in U.S. civic life. Our faculty and students strengthen the teaching of civics and government, develop and implement innovative curricula, create learning experiences outside the classroom, and organize community service. Our graduates go on to educate and nurture the next generation of citizens in a variety of roles as educators and leaders in K–12, higher education, and cultural institutions. At Penn GSE, we are strengthening this foundation of our nation’s future.



Penn GSE’s dean and faculty are onstage wearing graduation caps and gowns, applauding with smiles on their faces during a commencement ceremony.

Penn GSE faculty are shaping the field of education in a changing and challenging landscape across pre-K–12 and higher education. Our faculty apply their expertise to create national models that advance student-centered learning in high-needs schools in Philadelphia and fuel innovation in schools across the United States. They pioneer the use of integrated data to help the children at greatest risk across the country and partner to transform education in locations around the globe. In the face of seismic shifts in the nation and world, our faculty help educators navigate issues of virtual and hybrid learning, mental health, access, and equity. Throughout this work, Penn GSE faculty remain deeply committed to giving their students the best possible educational experience.


Scholarship and Fellowship

Two graduate students are sitting at a desk in a classroom, with other students seen in the background. One student takes notes while conversing, the other student looks down.

Penn GSE seeks to recruit the finest master’s and doctoral students to become the educators and leaders the world needs, regardless of their ability to afford a Penn GSE education. Our students’ passion for learning, service, inclusion, equality, and opportunity drives them to become leaders in education. They engage in vibrant class discussions, undertake original research, and manage student organizations to advance the interests of our diverse school community. Through their fieldwork in Philadelphia public schools and elsewhere, they contribute to our world and learn essential skills and knowledge. Our students go on to lead in a variety of roles as college presidents, school principals, superintendents, teachers, counselors, researchers, entrepreneurs, innovators, and policymakers, and more.


Early Childhood Education

Elementary school children sit on the floor with their hands raised inside a colorful classroom.

Faculty and students across Penn GSE work from a variety of disciplines to improve early childhood education, pursuing mutually beneficial partnerships with communities, families, and educators to unlock opportunity for the youngest children. Their research and practice affects public policy, curricula, assessments, and interventions. They provide resources for families and teachers to promote social-emotional learning in kindergarten and design curricula to meet the needs of underserved urban populations. By pioneering the use of integrated data to improve support and education for children, they have helped states, cities, and counties across the nation. Working closely with young children, families, and educators, they increase understanding of the challenges in children’s lives and improve relationships between parents and schools.


Learning Sciences and Technologies

A blue robotic device with three spheres sits on a table. Behind it, an individual holds up a tablet device showing illuminated circles.How do people learn? How can educational environments optimize learning? At Penn GSE, our vibrant Learning Sciences and Technologies master’s and doctoral programs answer these questions to shape twenty-first-century learning. They prepare students to pursue fulfilling and creative careers as educators, researchers, and developers of next-generation curricula, technology-enriched learning environments, and instructional programs. The programs’ award-winning faculty design and research classrooms, virtual worlds, museums, and student groups across multiple educational settings. Their innovations range from online learning communities and teacher professional development to new approaches in curriculum and pedagogy. Through learning sciences and technologies, Penn GSE is transforming learning environments and curricula to better reach students.


Facilities and Technology

Rendering of the 3700 Walnut Street building with a four-story addition of wood and glass. The addition extends the building out towards the 37th Street Walk and also extends it back to connect to Stiteler Hall.Penn GSE is embarking upon a building expansion that will keep the School—and the future educators and leaders we produce—at the forefront of a new era in education. Our internationally regarded faculty will guide the design of twenty-first-century learning spaces that are both flexible and technologically advanced to accommodate a range of forward-thinking teaching and learning approaches. By strategically expanding the School’s central building at 3700 Walnut Street, merging it with nearby Stiteler Hall, and adding a two-story building with a makerspace, innovation studio, and multimedia lab, we will bring the majority of our programs and people into one campus location. The result will be a state-of-the-art, interdisciplinary hub for Penn GSE’s nearly 1,400 students.

Susan Cotton, GED’69, and Doug Cotton, WG’69

Giving Back to a Lifelong Inspiration, Susan Cotton, GED’69, and Doug Cotton, WG’69

For Susan Cotton, GED’69, Penn GSE’s values of leadership, innovation, inclusion and diversity, and equality in education were a formative influence. As an expression of gratitude for her experiences at the School, she and her husband, Doug Cotton, WG’69, established the Susan M. Cotton Scholarship Fund.