WWU Approved to Offer First Doctorate
|6/22/2011||Mary Ann Beahon|
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE||(573) 592-1127|
William Woods University has been approved to offer its first doctorate degree, a doctorate in educational leadership. Approval came this spring from WWU’s accrediting body, the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
“This speaks about the long-standing quality of our academic programs, particularly the graduate programs for educators,” Dr. Jahnae H. Barnett, WWU president, said.
She pointed out that William Woods serves the largest population of graduate students earning principal and superintendent certification in Missouri, and WWU graduates hold more than 500 school administrative positions within the state.
The HLC focus team visited campus Nov. 1 to review the university’s proposal and visit key personnel working with the doctoral program. The focus team visited with faculty, staff, board members, community members and current students.
William Woods University has been offering master’s degree programs since 1993 and added an educational specialist program in 2003. The university began providing its first courses leading to a doctoral degree in August, 2010. The courses were intended for educators wishing to pursue an Ed.D. and were part of the final approval process for WWU’s doctoral degree program.
Brad Maclaughlin, superintendent of Lexington schools, says he chose WWU for his doctoral program for several reasons.
“The experience I had during my Ed. Specialist program with WWU was outstanding. The instructors were practitioners who made the lessons and activities relevant. The William Woods on-campus staff has always been very helpful. Participating in the doctoral program has been beneficial to my work as a superintendent. The research, presentations, projects and activities we complete for class are practical and applicable to my day-to-day work.”
Another Ed.D. student, Julie Dill, said, “As an adjunct faculty member, I was impressed with the quality education that William Woods University offers for working professionals. The doctoral program has afforded me a wonderful opportunity to grow professionally and personally. They really do offer a solid program for today’s educators.”
Dill is moving from director of student services in Sedalia to superintendent at Johnson County R7 – Crest Ridge School District near Warrensburg.
Initial cohorts were established in Columbia, where there are 17 enrolled, and Blue Springs, where there are 15 enrolled. The university is enrolling students now for a cohort in Jackson starting in August. Other locations are being considered for future cohorts, with plans for one in the northeast and one in the southwest part of the state.
WWU’s doctoral degree program is designed for educational leaders in public, private and higher education. Eighteen credit hours of coursework and six credit hours of dissertation will be required for those already possessing an Ed.S., which is required along with two years of experience as a practicing educator.
The coursework is two years, followed by work on a dissertation that, depending on the individual, could take from six months to five years to complete. Doctoral candidates will come to the Fulton campus to defend their dissertations.