Much of Coll’s career and research have focused on educational psychology and counseling, specialties that overlap with student development at all levels from pre-kindergarten through higher education. Coll spent nearly a decade working as a counselor in higher-education settings early in his career before joining the University of Wyoming where he coordinated the Educational Psychology and Counseling Program and directed the Wyoming Chemical Abuse Resource Center. He next joined South Dakota State University where he served as associate professor of counseling and human resource development.
Coll started with Boise State in 2003 as chair and professor in the Department of Counselor Education and was named associate dean in 2008. He also served as director of Boise State’s Institute for the Study of Addiction, which was named the Distinguished Program of the Year in 2009 by the International Association of Addictions and Offender Counseling.
“I am very enthusiastic to have Ken Coll join us,” said Kevin Carman, the University’s executive vice president and provost. “He brings ideas, interests and research expertise that match well with our priorities. He is passionate about partnering with faculty to explore ways to even better prepare our future teachers, advance scholarship within the college and continue to develop our degree programs, notably our advanced-degree programs. He is eager to work with regional school districts, which is especially important to us.”
“It will be a great privilege to lead this distinguished college and its exceptional faculty, staff and students,” said Coll, who starts at the University of Nevada, Reno on July 15, 2013. “I embrace the opportunity to augment and extend the spirit of collaboration between the University, the College of Education and partner colleges, as well as local and regional schools in promoting educational excellence.
“As colleges of education look toward the future, it is critical that we have strong partnerships with P-12 school districts, promote outreach that will prepare globally minded educators and engage in meaningful multidisciplinary research,” he continued. “I share President (Marc) Johnson and Provost Carman’s enthusiasm for investing energies and resources in these vitally important areas.”
Coll received his doctorate degree in counselor education and supervision from Oregon State University in Corvallis, his masters in counseling from Emporia State University in Kansas and his bachelors in business management from Bloomsburg University in Pennsylvania. He was named the College of Education Researcher of the Year at both Boise State University and the University of Wyoming. In 2010 the Idaho Counseling Association presented him the 2010 Distinguished Service (and Advocacy) Award and in 1996 he received the Wyoming Counseling Association Award for Service to the Profession. Joining him in the move to Nevada is his wife, Dr. Brenda Freeman.
Coll replaces Chris Cheney who last fall announced her decision to retire in July 2013. Cheney joined the University and its College of Education in 1984. She was named chair of the Department of Education Specialties in 2003 and named dean in 2010. Cheney is a past recipient of the F. Donald Tibbitts Distinguished Teacher Award, the University’s most prestigious teaching award, and she received the University’s Distinguished Faculty Award in 2013.
The University of Nevada, Reno College of Education is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education and the National Association for the Education of Young Children, and the college’s Counseling and Educational Psychology programs are accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs.