Barbara Ridener, an educator who began her career in an elementary school classroom and rose to become a top academic leader at Florida Atlantic University, was named the new dean of the College of Education at Kean University.
Ridener looks forward to bringing the College of Education into the future.
“This felt like the right position and a good fit for me,” Ridener said. “I see the opportunity to be creative. Education has long been a field where people feel they should do things as they’ve always done. But what stands a program apart is by filling the needs of the students it serves. As the population and the demand change, we have to make sure we change too.”
Kean, which was New Jersey’s first teacher’s college, offers two dozen education degree options at both undergraduate and graduate levels. Programs prepare teachers for every career from Pre-K to high school, plus special education and educational leadership.
The College of Education encompasses the School of Health and Human Performance, which includes majors such as athletic training and therapeutic recreation.
Kean Vice President for Academic Affairs Suzanne Bousquet said Ridener was selected for her comprehensive experience and leadership ability.
“Kean has been known as a leader in teacher education across the country for decades and we are thrilled to have Dr. Ridener on board to shepherd the college into the future,” Bousquet said. “We look forward to continuing our legacy of excellence in education.”