Southwestern College will enroll its first doctoral students in June following the approval Tuesday of its new Doctor of Education degree in educational leadership. The fully-accredited program has been sanctioned by the Kansas State Department of Education and by the Higher Learning Commission (the regional accrediting agencies for colleges and universities), and will qualify degree recipients to become licensed as principals, district superintendents, or teacher leaders.
The Ed.D. degree at Southwestern is tailored specifically for teachers and administrators currently working in education. The new program will include a summer residential component (one or two weeks spent on the Winfield campus) and the remainder of classes will be offered online.
“This degree is especially appropriate for persons in more rural areas of Kansas and the surrounding states,” explains Dr. David Hofmeister, SC’s director of teacher education and architect of the new degree. “It will allow for licensure and advanced degrees without the travel and out-of-district time usually associated with doctoral studies.”
Unlike most doctoral programs, students may begin work toward the degree following completion of a bachelor’s degree. Persons who already have earned master’s degrees will be able to finish the program in three years; five years are necessary for those who enter with bachelor’s degrees.
In addition, SC’s curriculum allows learners to focus on two of three leadership areas simultaneously—teacher leadership, building leadership, and district leadership.
“We are building a synergistic environment where various components of educational leadership come together,” Hofmeister adds. “All of our doctoral candidates will take the same modules to begin their studies, and later focus on either two or one of the three licensure options.”
All faculty for the program will be educators who have earned doctoral degrees and are currently working in the field.
Southwestern College is a private institution granting undergraduate and graduate degrees and is affiliated with the United Methodist Church. About 1,700 students attend classes at the main Winfield campus, at five professional studies sites in Kansas and Oklahoma, or online around the world.