Capital University News, California State University, Sacramento
December 2, 2004
Doctoral program to address
need for education leaders
Three Northern California universities are launching a new
doctoral program to help meet the need for leadership in California's schools
and community colleges – especially those in the state's northern region.
The program in educational leadership, geared to working professionals, is offered
by Sonoma State University in Rohnert Park; California State University, Sacramento;
and the University of California, Davis. It will lead to a Doctor of Education,
or Ed.D., degree awarded jointly by the UC and CSU systems.
Information sessions will be held at Sacramento State Tuesday, Dec. 7; at Sonoma
State Monday, Dec. 13; and at UC Davis in January.
The initiative comes as the state's growing educational system is demanding
more leaders and as fewer administrators have the advanced training to support
them in addressing the complexities of today's educational environment.
"Managing and leading schools or community colleges in California is an
increasingly more complex and challenging task," says Harold Levine, dean
of the UC Davis School of Education.
He and other program organizers cite the movement for greater accountability
in student achievement and fiscal responsibility and the growing diversity of
California's students. Community colleges face a decrease in executive officers'
average tenure and a shrinking pool of well-qualified candidates for key positions,
"This partnership is a direct result of the demand for a program in this
region that marries theory and practice in educational policy and leadership,"
says Michael Lewis, dean of the College of Education at Sacramento State.
In 2001, the state's two university systems called on their campuses to expand
joint doctoral programs in education to meet the state's need.
According to the California Department of Education, about 26,400 school administrators
were needed to manage 8,900 schools statewide in 2002, an increase of almost
16 percent since 1997. But those administrators with a doctorate had declined
to 8 percent in 2002. Program administrators say the need for the advanced education
is especially critical in the northern region of the state.
The new doctoral program will serve educators from the Oregon border to the
San Joaquin Valley and from the San Francisco Bay Area to Nevada.
The program is accepting applications through Feb. 1. Once the Western Association
of Schools and Colleges grants full approval, students will be admitted for
classes beginning in August. Plans call for an initial class of 20 students
with 24 new students enrolling each subsequent year.
Students will be expected to complete their courses and dissertation in three
years. After completing core courses, they will follow a public school or community
college track. The curriculum will focus on four themes: providing strategic
leadership, bridging policy and practice, building community in an increasingly
diverse society, and using data for more effective decision-making.
The program encourages applications from full-time professionals seeking leadership
positions in school or community college settings.
"We hope to attract individuals eager to confront the challenges facing
education," says Sharon Dugdale, program chair and associate dean in the
School of Education at UC Davis. "We expect to prepare a diverse group
of education professionals with the tools and knowledge they need to affect
positive change in their schools and communities,” she adds.
"With its proximity to the state's capital, this program provides an opportunity
to further develop dynamic leaders who will positively influence educational
policy throughout the state," says Martha Ruddell, dean of Sonoma State's
School of Education.
In addition to drawing on faculty from all three universities, the program will
invite outstanding professionals from the field of education to guest lecture
and teach courses in partnership with regular faculty members.
Through the use of case studies, students will apply theoretical training to
educational issues, and they'll be encouraged to use their job-related problems
as topics for research assignments.
Courses will be offered through Friday and Saturday classes, weeklong seminar
classes in the summer and distance learning to accommodate working professionals.
The program will involve the schools of education at UC Davis and Sonoma State
and the College of Education at Sacramento State. And it will be integrated
with the work of the Institute for Education Policy, Law and Government at UC
Davis and the Institute for Higher Education Leadership and Policy at Sacramento
Since 1991, UC Davis and California State University, Fresno, have jointly offered
a doctoral program in educational leadership to serve residents of the central
San Joaquin Valley. Since 1998, UC Davis and Sacramento State have been partners
in an elementary credential program.
The first information night for prospective students will be held from 7 p.m.
to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 7, in the University Union Redwood Room at Sacramento
State. For more information, call (916) 278-4172.
A second session will be held from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, Dec. 13, in the
Commons Building at Sonoma State. For more information about this presentation,
call (707) 664-2132. UC Davis will hold an information session in January, and
details about it will be posted later at the Web site below.