By Pat Prescott

You might not know that the Pepperdine University Graduate School of Education and Psychology is right here in West LA. I learned that and a whole lot more when I sat down for a conversation with Dean Helen Easterling Williams. Dean Williams had a lot to say about Pepperdine’s commitment to educating the community, about some of the programs they offer and an exciting speaker series that features Dr. Cornel West.

Dean Williams was born in the backwoods of South Carolina and through education was able to change the socioeconomic future of her family and her community. Her path has led her to the Pepperdine Graduate School of Education and Psychology. She came out of retirement to take the position that would give her a chance to have an impact at one of the premier educational institutions in America.

Pepperdine offers a number of Master and Doctorate degrees. They just introduced a new Master of Science in Behavioral Psychology degree that is geared toward helping us identify and label people found anywhere along the autism spectrum. Their doctoral Program in Global Leadership and Change is the very first PhD program that Pepperdine has ever offered. Along with that, a one million dollar plus endowment makes it possible for them to offer scholarships to African American males.

A lot of people think that if you go to Pepperdine, you’re going to Malibu (not that that’s a bad thing) but the fact is that Pepperdine has campuses in Encino, Westlake, Irvine and Calabasas too. The West LA campus is headquarters for Pepperdine’s Graduate School of Education and Psychology and the Graduate School of Business and Management. One program Dean Williams is especially excited about is the Aliento program at the Irvine campus. This is a Master of Marriage and Family Therapy Program for Latinos and Latinas and it’s presented in Spanish. They also have a community program called The Pride Program, in partnership with the Orange County Sheriff’s office. The program helps young people who have gotten into early trouble with the law to get their records expunged.

Dean Williams is also excited about their upcoming speaker’s series that features Dr. Cornel West during Black History Month 2017. You can see the entire speaker schedule and find out more about all the things Dean Williams discussed by visiting or by calling 310-258-2850.

Look for the Pepperdine Graduate School of Education and Psychology this weekend at the Taste of Soul Family Festival.


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