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Canevin Hall, Academic Walk view, framed by tree


Cindy Walker

Cindy Walker, Ph.D.

Department of Foundations and Leadership

107 Canevin Hall
Phone: 412.396.1360
Curriculum Vitae
Full Profile

Cindy Walker (Ph.D. Educational Psychology - Statistics and Measurement, University of Illinois, 1998) is the Dean of the School of Education at Duquesne University. She is also a professor in the Department of Educational Foundations and Leadership and has taught courses in educational and psychological measurement, statistics, research design, and program evaluation. She has extensive experience conducting evaluations, designing research studies, and creating sound measurement tools. Her research focuses primarily on assessment and applied issues in psychometrics, especially those related to item response theory and she has published on the topics of differential item functioning, multidimensional item response theory, and computer adaptive testing.

Melissa Boston

Melissa Boston, Ed.D.

Associate Dean for Teacher Education
Department of Instruction and Leadership in Education

213B Canevin Hall
Phone: 412.396.6109
Curriculum Vitae
Full Profile

Melissa Boston (Ed.D., Mathematics Education, University of Pittsburgh, 2006) is the Associate Dean for Teacher Education and a Professor of Mathematics Education. Dr. Boston teaches mathematics methods courses for future elementary, middle school, and high school teachers. She has served as lead developer of the Instructional Quality Assessment in Mathematics classroom observation tool, Associate Editor of Mathematics Teacher Educator, Series Editor for the 2017-2018 NCTM Annual Perspectives in Mathematics Education and lead author of NCTM’s Taking Action: Implementing Effective Mathematics Teaching Practices Grades 9-12. In her research, Dr. Boston examines instructional quality and opportunity to learn in mathematics classrooms through classroom observations and collections of students’ work.

Nihat Polat

Nihat Polat, Ph.D.

Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and Research
Department of Instruction and Leadership in Education

106C Canevin Hall
Phone: 412.396.4464
Curriculum Vitae
Full Profile

Nihat Polat (Ph.D., Foreign Language and Applied Linguistics, University of Texas at Austin, 2007) has worked as an English teacher (ESL/EFL/ELA) and teacher educator in different countries. Currently, he serves as the Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and Research. His research focuses on (1) L2 learning, teaching, and assessment, (2) teacher education, and (3) the education of immigrant populations and English learners. He has published two books, over 22 peer-reviewed journal articles, and numerous other scholarly works. In addition to his book “L2 Learning, Teaching, and Assessment: A Comprehensible Input Perspective”, his work has appeared in many journals such as Applied Linguistics, TESOL Quarterly, Modern Language Journal, etc. Currently, he serves as the consulting editor for the Journal of Educational Research and is an editorial board member for TESOL Quarterly.


Academic Departments

There are three academic departments within the School of Education: the Department of Educational Foundations & Leadership (DEFL), the Department of Instruction & Leadership in Education (DILE), and the Department of Counseling, Psychology, & Special Education (DCPSE).  Each of our programs, both at the undergraduate and graduate level, are housed under one of these unique departments.


Duquesne University's Department of Counseling, Psychology & Special Education (DCPSE) prepares ethical leaders, distinguished by their academic and professional expertise, who respect the uniqueness and promote the well-being of individuals, families, and communities through teaching, scholarship, and service. This department houses master's programs, doctoral programs, and other certification/licensure programs including:

Master's Programs

  • Child Psychology- M.S.Ed
  • Clinical Mental Health Counseling-M.S.Ed
  • Marriage, Couple, and Family Counseling-M.S.Ed
  • School Counseling-M.S.Ed
  • Special Education: Cognitive, Behavior, Physical/Health Disabilities-M.S.Ed.
  • Special Education: Applied Behavior Analysis-M.S.Ed.

Doctoral Programs

  • School Psychology-Ph.D.
  • School Psychology-Psy.D.
  • Counseling Education & Supervision-Ph.D.
  • Special Education-Ph.D.

Other Certification/Licensure

  • Autism Endorsement
  • Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) Exam Preparation 
  • Licensure as a Professional Counselor
  • School Counseling

As a true service department, the Department of Educational Foundations & Leadership (DEFL) prides ourselves on living the Duquesne University Mission of "serving God by serving students." We offer a range of classes at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Our courses are integral not only to the study of teaching, evaluation, and educational leadership but also to disciplines across the university. In addition, our department houses a number of degree programs both at the master's and doctoral levels which train exemplary scholars and practitioners dedicated to fulfilling the School of Education's proud tradition of preparing educational leaders and conducting scholarship for schools.

The programs housed in this department include:

  • Education Administration (K-12)-M.S.Ed. & Pennsylvania Certification
  • School Supervision-M.S.Ed. & Pennsylvania Certification 
  • Ed. Educational Studies-M.S.Ed.
  • Higher Education Administration-M.S. 
  • Educational Leadership-Ed.D.

When students join a program in the Department of Instruction & Leadership in Education (DILE), their degree or credential(s) can take them anywhere. Collectively, our faculty has extensive experience in local schools as well as national and international prominence in the areas of research and teaching. The Department of Instruction & Leadership in education houses teaching certification programs, master's degrees, doctoral degrees, and other certification programs. These programs include:

Teaching Certification

  • Early Childhood Education (PreK-4)-B.S.Ed. & M.S.Ed 
  • Middle-Level Education (4-8)-B.S.Ed
  • Secondary Education (7-12): English-B.S.Ed & M.S.Ed
  • Secondary Education(7-12): Latin-B.S.Ed & M.S.Ed
  • Secondary Education(7-12): Mathematics-B.S.Ed. & M.S.Ed
  • Secondary Education(7-12): Social Studies-B.S.Ed & M.S.Ed
  • Secondary Education(7-12): Sciences (Biology, Chemistry, Physics)-B.S.Ed & M.S.Ed

Master's Degree

  • English as a Second Language (ESL)-M.S.Ed.
  • Instructional Technology-M.S.Ed.
  • Reading and Language Arts-M.S.Ed.

Doctoral Degree

  • Instructional Technology and Leadership-Ed.D.

Other Certification

  • English as a Second Language (ESL)
  • Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)
  • Instructional Technology
  • Online Teaching Endorsement