June 29, 2007

Sacramento State starts doctoral program in fall

Sacramento State has launched its first independent doctoral program, offering participants a doctor of education degree in educational leadership.

Designed for working professionals, the three-year independent doctorate will provide advanced training for administrators in elementary and secondary schools and community colleges.

Because program participants will already be employed in educational leadership positions, the program is designed to address their professional, personal and academic endeavors, says College of Education dean Vanessa Sheared.

“We recognize the people who will be coming into the program work 40-hour or longer weeks, so we are working very hard to design a program that takes that into consideration,” Sheared says.

CSU campuses previously could offer doctorates only if they partnered with a UC campus. That was changed by legislation that now allows state universities to conduct independent educational leadership programs, with Sacramento State one of seven campuses offering the advanced degree this fall. “In essence it’s a historical moment for the CSU’s,” says Educational Leadership and Policy Studies chair Ed Lee.

The education system has become very demanding, with fluctuating enrollments, collective bargaining and increasing government standards and accountability, among other pressures, Lee says.

The doctoral program will enhance the leadership skills of K-12 and community college leaders so they’ll look at all issues in a critical way “and make objective decisions that are going to benefit everyone,” Lee says.

The deadline to apply is July 16, and Sheared says Sacramento State’s goal is to have 20 students in the program’s first year—10 from community college systems and 10 from kindergarten-12th grade systems.

Current faculty members in the College of Education and College of Social Science and Interdisciplinary Studies helped develop the program, Sheared says, adding that more personnel may be needed. “Clearly there will be opportunities for increasing our faculty with an emphasis in community college and K-12 administration and policy development,” she says.

Education leaders from outside Sacramento State also will provide expertise along with policy makers from state government and those in state-wide professional organizations, such as the California School Boards Association, Association for California School Administrators, Chancellor’s Office of the California Community Colleges, and the California Teachers Association, Lee says. “We want to utilize all the resources in the area,” he says.

For more information about the program, contact the Educational Leadership and Policy Studies Department at (916) 278-4639 or www.csus.edu/EdDoctorate. For media assistance, call Sacramento State’s Public Affairs Office at (916) 278-6156.