September 12, 2007

Doctoral candidates get to work at Sacramento State

The crowd flipped for the new Hornet Bookstore during its Sept. 12 dedication. The University welcomed its first cohort of educational doctoral students this fall.

Seventeen professionals from local school districts, colleges and other educational organizations have started down the road to their doctoral degree in education at Sacramento State.

The three-year program, which will eventually be offered this fall at seven CSU campuses, is for working professionals. It’s designed to enhance their leadership qualities and is built around their schedules. Classes will be offered on Fridays and Saturdays.

Previously, a doctorate could only be earned at a California State University through a partnership with a University of California. But special legislation now allows a state university to offer the education doctorate independently.

The decision to focus on education was made because analysis revealed that administrators at the K-12 and community college level did not have access to affordable doctoral programs, says Ed Lee, chair of Sacramento State’s Educational Leadership and Policy Studies Department.

The convenience of having the program offered nearby is a big attraction to the new doctoral candidates.

“I don’t think I would have pursued this program if it wasn’t on campus,” says Adrienne Thompson, who currently works as a compliance coordinator for research administration at Sacramento State.

Thompson taught part time in ethnic studies and says the program will help her realize her goal of becoming a full-time teacher.

Milton Rosa, a teacher at Encina High School in the San Juan Unified School District, hopes to use his doctorate to help create new curricula and programs for students, “especially the ones who are newcomers to the United States.”

Another student, Marrio Walker, assistant principal at Monterey Trail High School in the Elk Grove Unified School District, points out what an impact the University already has on local education. “Sacramento State has a reputation of supplying a lot of the teachers to my district,” he says.

The students were welcomed at a Sept. 6 reception at Sacramento State’s Alumni Center and begin their course work Sept. 14.

When the program grows to full strength in three years, there could be about 60 doctoral candidates going after their degree at Sacramento State, Lee says.

For more information on the doctoral 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) 278-2970.