CSU launches doctoral program
September 6, 2007 1:44 PM
Seven California State University campuses, including SF State, are leading the way in a historic offering of doctorate of education programs this fall.
Prohibited from offering such programs since 1961, a bill authored by Senator Jack Scott (D-Pasadena) that passed in 2005 allows the CSU to present full-time working students with night and weekend classes that would allow them to receive a degree in three years. Four additional CSU campuses are planned to begin offering the programs next year, and five more the following year.
The SF State doctorate program focuses on leadership in diverse urban schools and brings together the colleges of Education, Behavioral and Social Sciences, Business, Creative Arts, Ethnic Studies, Health and Human Services, and Humanities. It also takes note from the existing joint doctorate in Special Education with UC Berkeley and the joint doctorate in Educational Leadership with CSU East Bay, San Jose State, and UC Berkeley. Candidates will be working with K-12 schools and community colleges in Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Santa Clara, San Francisco, and San Mateo counties.
“There is a great need for doctoral training in higher education leadership, particularly in Northern California,” said Dr. Philip R. Day, Jr., chancellor of the City College of San Francisco. “I strongly support this program as designed. It will provide tremendous opportunities for the development of articulation and ‘road maps’ from K-12 to community colleges to universities or the world of work.”
In an attempt to reform and overcome challenges facing the region’s urban schools, SF State’s program curriculum will focus on five major categories: Leadership and Systemic Reform; Learning, Curriculum, and Assessment; Equity, Diversity, and Structural Inequality; Educational Program Administration; and Research Activities. According to the CSU report, the research performed by those involved in the program will, among other advances, “[investigate] approaches for reducing gaps in learning and achievement [and will equalize] access to lifelong learning.”
An employee in the College of Education said associate dean David Hemphill held orientation two weeks ago for 15 to 17 students in the first cohort of the new program.
In a conference call Thursday morning, Scott said that he noticed that California educators and administrators were lacking opportunities due to expense and minimal availability of doctorate programs. He felt that the 23 CSU campuses throughout the state with qualified professors would be a “perfect fit” for those who desire an Ed. D. degree.
After Scott wrote Senate Bill 724, he said he did face some initial opposition when he proposed the bill to the legislature. But he said once he displayed how efficiently the CSU could meet the needs of California’s public education system it was “easy to sell.” Scott worked closely with CSU Chancellor Charles Reed and CSU presidents throughout the process, calling Reed “essential”. All programs underwent a rigorous reviewing process and were accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), on whose board Scott once served as a chair. The programs will be reviewed in 2011, when a progress report will be sent to the legislature that indicate how the programs have improved education in the public school system. “I entered the legislation for just such a purpose,” said the senator, “to initiate bills to improve education.”
Scott said the CSU is able to “absorb” the cost of the programs into the existing budget, and that CSU students will be paying a fee equivalent to that UC charges for doctorate programs, approximately $11,000 for two semesters and one summer of classes. Although this is a higher fee than CSU has charged in the past, it will cover the cost of the program and is still less expensive than the private institutions that were once the only ones to offer doctorate programs, where students are charged $30,000 to $40,000. He said that some increase in staff was needed, with some universities hiring one or two new faculty members with experience in doctorate programs and directing dissertations. Students in the programs will also be mentored by educators from local successful schools.
Of the 326 candidates who applied to the programs at CSU Fresno, CSU Fullerton, CSU Long Beach, CSU Sacramento, CSU San Bernardino, San Diego State University, and San Francisco State University, 148 have been accepted and enrolled. Of these candidates, approximately 43% are Caucasian, 22% are Latino, 16% are African-American, 17% are Asian, and 2% are Filipino. There are more female candidates than male, with the women making up 60% of the accepted students.
“I am proud of the excellent doctoral candidates and I am pleased with the ethnic and gender diversity of the candidates,” said Scott.
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