Joan Sattler

Dean and Professor of Education, College of Education & Health Sciences

Westlake Hall 205
(309) 677-3180

Ed.D., Special Education and Educational Leadership, University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana
Ed.M., Learning Specialist, University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana
B.S., Special Education and Elementary Education, Western Michigan University


Dr. Joan L. Sattler has been at Bradley University since 1977, serving as Professor of Education, Chairperson of the Department of Special Education, Associate Dean, Interim Dean and Dean of the College of Education and Health Sciences. In 1985, Bradley reorganized academic units and merged the College of Education and the then College of Health Sciences into one college. Dr. Sattler was appointed interim dean during reorganization and then was appointed the founding dean of the College of Education and Health Sciences and has been responsible for leading much of the growth of departments and programs within the College. 

As the academic dean of the College of Education and Health Sciences, Joan L. Sattler leads the internal and external academic affairs of the College in preparing leaders within the human service professions. She also provides support for the College centers or partnerships in the College:  The Center for Research and Service; The Counseling Research and Training Clinic; The Institute for Gifted and Talented Youth; The William T. Kemper Project which supports Professional Development Schools and the Kemper Academy; The C.C. Wheeler Institute for the Holistic Study of Family Well-Being; The Center for STEM Education; and The Center for Collaborative Brain Research.

She established the newest Department of Physical Therapy and Health Science, through cooperative efforts with seven regional medical centers. A doctor of physical therapy degree (DPT) program, Bradley's first professional doctoral program, is recognized in the top 100 programs nationally by the U.S. News and World Report. Another new college program, Hospitality Leadership, began recently and a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree has been launched in 2015, along with other distance learning graduate programs. A highlight of her career is opening a world class facility at Bradley University, Westlake Hall, a LEED Gold green building, which is home to the College of Education and Health Sciences.

Dr. Sattler’s teaching, research, publications, funded grants, and service focus on teacher education, special education, and health education. She has served on several national boards and committees, including the Unit Accreditation Board (UAB), the Specialty Area Studies Board (SASB) of the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and on the Board of Directors and the Quality and Accountability Committee for The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE). She also serves on several regional boards, such as the University of Illinois College of Medicine Community Associates Board, and the Peoria Sister City Commission. Also, she is a founding board member and past president of the Hult Center for Healthy Living of Peoria, Illinois.

She has received several awards, such as the Bradley Francis C. Mergen Memorial Award for Outstanding Public Service, the YWCA Outstanding Achievement Award in the Professions, and the "Dare to be Great Award" for excellence in education and leadership by the IWEL organization. Most recently, she received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the College of Education Alumni Association, University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, for enhancing the field of education in meaningful ways and having an exceedingly positive impact on the lives of students.

The Bradley faculty model is the teacher as scholar. Dean Sattler supports the College faculty teacher-scholars in all ways possible. The College has a variety of professional development activities and funded support and awards for these activities. Dr. Sattler’s family established an endowed faculty award for teaching excellence in her name. It is awarded annually to the outstanding professor in the College. The College also has annual research and service awards provided to outstanding faculty.