By Jonathan Morales
Sacramento State’s Doctorate in Educational Leadership program is in elite company. The program earned full membership from the University Council for Educational Administration (UCEA), just the second California State University campus and fourth California university overall to earn the distinction.
The national accreditation unlocks a wide range of research, professional development and other opportunities for students, and it stands as a testament to the program’s overall quality, said Alexander Sidorkin, dean of the College of Education.
“UCEA recognition affirms the high quality of our program offerings and our leading position in the region and in the state,” Sidorkin said. “The membership will allow us to compare ourselves with the best programs in the nation, and continue to grow in the best interest of our students and the entire public education in our region.”
To become accredited, institutions go through a rigorous, months-long program review. Interim Director Rose Borunda credits Julian Vasquez Heilig, the Ed.D. program’s previous director, with pushing Sacramento State’s application across the finish line.
Membership in UCEA will allow Sacramento State students and faculty to engage with fellow scholars at a national level. That includes professional development and program review for faculty, and the opportunity for students to participate in research and leadership seminars. Those benefits, Borunda said, will have a ripple effect as doctoral graduates become principals and administrators at schools and districts throughout the state.
“While engaged in UCEA educational reform efforts through high-quality research and preparation programs, UCEA institutions also work collaboratively with schools and educational agencies to influence local, state and national educational policy,” she said. “With this standard of excellence, our students and faculty who seek positions in the region will be exposed to the best practices in the profession.”
Nationally, 107 colleges and universities have either full or associate UCEA membership; San Diego State University, University of San Diego and Loyola Marymount are the only other California campuses. Sacramento State Ed.D. students and faculty will attend the organization’s convention later this year in New Orleans, where the Sac State program will be formally introduced as a member.