Susan Schaming profile

Susan Patricia Schaming, EdD

  • Director of Graduate Counselor Education and Home School Visitor Programs
  • Associate Professor

Programs I Teach


  • EdD, Counselor Education, Leadership, and Supervision (2004)
    Duquesne University (PA)
  • MS, Counseling (1989)
    Duquesne University (PA)
  • BS, Education (1985)
    Duquesne University (PA)


About Me

Teachers facilitate, and as Palmer (1998) reflects, “bring ideas to life.” I couple constructivism with Vygotsky’s (1978) zone of proximal development (ZPD); I believe constructivism and ZPD’s social learning theory engage students to explore their own assumptions and assign meaning to the content as it is presented, which yields creativity, engagement, and reflection vs. inactive acceptance of information.

Academic rigor, embedded in a supportive learning culture is intended to promote knowledge, collaboration, sensitivity to diversity, and a desire for life-long learning. Multi-dimensional processes that inspire students to reflect, consider shifts from content to process experiences, and develop their confidence and competence are evident in my teaching practices.

My teaching philosophy, constructivism, social learning theory, and ZPD, demands a shared responsibility for the professor and students. My perspective offers students the tools to experiment, explore, and reflect on their learning. It captures Boyer’s (1997) espoused teacher/scholar model, so new learning occurs from the student’s constructed experience and vision.

Authentic assessments and assignments which resonate constructivist principles, as well as instruction that is self-directed and learner-centered are my aspirations as an educator. My philosophy is embedded in the notion of vocation, and I remain committed to a common theme for all school counselors and educators—what will you do today to make a difference in students’ lives? Finally, I subscribe to Robert Greenleaf’s servant leadership, as I seek to lead and serve through my teaching.

Research Interests

I contribute to the knowledge base of my discipline via professional conference presentations, collaborative research with students, and individual scholarship. Recognizing the shared production of knowledge, I confer with students, colleagues, and practitioners in the field to determine what is meaningful that warrants exploration.

My research agenda began exploring the transformed school counselor and evoked questions related to pre-service training and supervision, implementation of American School Counselor Association (ASCA) National Model, as well as counseling processes in schools and higher education.  

When I began to develop a multicultural education class in 2015, a new thread evolved: examining pre-service training in cultural competence.  Specifically, the relationship between the achievement gap, career and college readiness for all students, cultural competence for school counselors and educators, and the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s 339 mandate for K—12 comprehensive counseling programs in all districts across the Commonwealth.


  • O’Hern, B., (McNiff), Schaming, S., Brogan, B.R., & D’Onofrio-DeGeus, A.A. (2009).  Renewing  a school leadership program: A work in progress.  Education Leadership Review,  10(1), 2—15.  
  • (McNiff), Schaming, S. (2009).  Adlerian counseling:  Making the grade for school counselors.  New Jersey Journal of Professional Counseling (60) pp. 38—42.
  • (McNiff), Schaming, S. (2006). Don’t forget the school counselor!  Issues, implications, and ideas  for serving students with spinal cord injuries and physical disabilities in the  school setting.  SCI Psychosocial Process, 19(1). 

Professional Affiliations & Memberships

American Counseling Association, American School Counselor Association, American Association of Counselor Educators and Supervisors, Phi Kappa Phi, Pennsylvania Counseling Association


  • WU Counselor Education recognized by the PA Counseling Association as the Counselor Education Program of the Year (2012)
  • Widener University Center for Education Excellence in Teaching Award (May 2006)
  • Widener University Provost's and Faculty Development Grants (2009 through 2014)