Office of the Dean

Dean April Whatley Bedford

April Whatley Bedford brings exemplary leadership and vision — as well as vast experience in the requirements and responsibilities of national and regional reaccreditation efforts — to her role as dean of the School of Education. Previously, Bedford was a full professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction in the College of Education and Human Development (COEHD) at the University of New Orleans (UNO).

From 2010 through 2013, Bedford served as interim dean of COEHD. During that time, UNO was still suffering from the devastating effects of Hurricane Katrina, including significant infrastructure challenges and near-debilitating budget cuts. With the support and commitment of the COEHD faculty, her college continued to maintain the quality of its programs in spite of the loss of human and financial capital, and maintained its record of NCATE and CACREP accreditation as well as having more nationally recognized programs than any other university in Louisiana.

Bedford received a B.S.Ed. in curriculum and instruction, elementary education, reading and kindergarten endorsement from Texas A&M University. She earned an M.S.Ed. in curriculum and instruction, gifted education endorsement, from Baylor University before returning to Texas A&M to obtain her Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction, with emphasis in language, literacy, and culture and women's studies.

Author of more than 20 publications and several edited books, Bedford is also a co-editor of the Journal of Research in Childhood Education and a member of the editorial review boards of the Journal of Early Childhood Literacy and Urban Education. Her scholarly interests include children's literature, teacher education and literacy development.