Dr. Pat Simpson, Black Hills State University dean of the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences
Dr. Pat Simpson, Black Hills State University dean of the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences, will be honored by her alma mater during the Pennsylvania university’s homecoming celebration next month.

Simpson, a 1972 graduate of York College, will receive the Alumna of the Year award which recognizes achievements in her career, service to the community, and service to the college since graduating.

“The Outstanding Alumna Award is very meaningful to me because of my involvement at multiple levels with York College since graduating in 1972,” Simpson said. “I returned there to teach in 1990 and later served as vice president for Academic Affairs. During that time period, we began the first teacher preparation program at York College. It is rewarding for me to see that the undergraduate program is now NCATE-accredited and has added a master's degree for teachers.”

According to York College, Simpson has a comprehensive background in higher education administration and has excelled in leadership roles at several colleges and universities. She has blessed thousands of young people through her dedication to teaching teachers.

During her time at York College, Simpson was vice president for Academic Affairs, professor of education, and chair of the Education Department.

Simpson came to BHSU in 2005 to direct the paraeducator grant program. Since then she has also coordinated the BHSU education graduate program and served as assessment coordinator for the education program. She served on the four-member team that wrote the report for the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) accreditation. Two years ago, BHSU received continuing accreditation for its teacher preparation program after an extensive review by NCATE, the premier national teacher education accrediting agency. In its review NCATE cited that BHSU met and exceeded standards and saw no areas of improvement relative to the standards.

Simpson was also part of the University Assessment Committee and Graduate Council, and involved in obtaining approval from the Board of Regents for the master’s degree in secondary education.

She is currently part of a team helping in the design of the new Sanford Science Education Center. BHSU recently received $2.5 million from philanthropist T. Denny Sanford to convert the University’s Jonas Science building into an education center which will allow University students working to earn teaching degrees the opportunity to work with scientists at the Sanford Underground Research Facility (SURF) in Lead and collaborate on educational initiatives.

She is also actively involved in numerous South Dakota education committees and task forces.

Prior to joining the BHSU faculty, Simpson served as professor, department chair, and director of Education Assessment at Abilene Christian University. She also has experience as a curriculum coordinator and teacher in public schools in Texas and Nebraska as well as serving as an instructor and graduate assistant at Texas Tech University. Simpson has published articles on the Professional Development School (PDS) model – a model used by BHSU that integrates year-long classroom internships with college classes.

Simpson has a doctoral degree in curriculum and instruction from Texas Tech University and also did post-doctoral study in middle-level education at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She has a master’s degree in reading from Texas Tech and a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.