Dr. Bennett Schepens has been working at Nyack College since 1995, when he started as the Dean of the College of Education, Head of the Division of Education, and Dept. Chair of Secondary Education. In 2007, he became the Assistant Provost and Dean for Graduate and Professional Programs, and he has remained in those positions ever since.
If you’re a part of the SoE, or if you follow my blogs, you are familiar with the SALT conceptual framework. What you might not know, however, if who created it.
Dr. Schepens was one of the people that invented the SALT model, and it has had a very strong impact on him. He said that the SALT model contains values that he feels, “express the Nyack ethos by starting with service and including the elements of academics and leadership to produce teachers of excellence.” When asked how he is being SALT in his own life, he said, “I try to teach with a strong academic base. I serve students in the best way I can to facilitate their learning. I try to lead by example by being a good teacher.” He said that he also does the same in his local church and in his family.
In addition to creating the SALT conceptual framework, Dr. Schepens is responsible for Nyack’s first NCATE accreditation, which is something that he is very proud of. Dr. Schepens also played a part in the creation of Nyack’s New York City program and the MS in Education.
Since he began at Nyack, Dr. Schepens has seen many changes in the School of Education, namely changes in enrollment and degree choice trends. One change he hopes to see in the future is the growth of undergraduate degree programs. He said that he also hopes Nyack’s School of Education will receive a CAEP (Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation) accreditation.
One thing Dr. Schepens would like to remain the same is the close-knitted nature of the SoE’s faculty. He said that they “spend a lot of time working together and it develops strong relationships. When someone leaves it is like losing family.” Another aspect that he would like to remain the same is the level of care the faculty has for the students, which is something that he believes makes Nyack special. Dr. Schepens values the amount of personal attention the professors give to their students and the relationships that are formed as a result, both in the SoE and the rest of the college.
When asked what advice he would like to give, Dr. Schepens said, “Walk in the path the Lord sets before you,” and, “Talk less and involve students in activities more.”