WCU redesigns doctoral program, selected to become Carnegie Project member for Education Doctorate

Press Release

From Western Carolina University:

CULLOWHEE –Western Carolina University’s redesigned doctoral program, the Executive Ed.D. in Educational Leadership, was recently selected to become a member of the Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate.

The CPED is an initiative that includes a consortium of colleges and schools of education that work together to institute a clear distinction between the Ed.D., a professional practice doctorate in education, and the Ph.D., the education research doctorate. Consortium members also are committed to improving reliability and efficacy of programs leading to the Ed.D.

“The aim of the consortium is to learn together,” said Kristina A. Hesbol, CPED membership chair. “New members understand their acceptance into the consortium is an invitation to enter into a change process for their Ed.D. programs.”

WCU is one of 33 institutions accepted in the third cohort of the consortium, bringing membership in the project to 87 schools or colleges of education.

Kathleen Topolka-Jorissen, director of WCU’s program, said she and the program’s faculty members, students and community partners are honored.

“We are very proud of this recognition and the opportunity to network and work with other universities to research and develop our program and the field of doctoral level professional preparation,” said Topolka-Jorissen.

WCU’s educational doctorate began offering a new format in May 2013 after completing a comprehensive redesign. The program now features online classes with monthly in-person meetings, a carefully selected and sequenced curriculum with problem-based learning and fieldwork, and a focus on collaboration. Part of the mission is for students, who are working professionals, to work collaboratively to examine the problems they face at their schools and organizations and to translate theory into action.

Dale Carpenter, interim dean of the College of Education and Allied Professions, said joining CPED is a perfect match for WCU’s Ed.D. program.

“As the first doctoral program on our campus, we had embarked on a natural review and revision process where we halted new admissions and looked at our past successes and future directions. Our reflection and review led us to the Carnegie Project and guided our direction for the future,” said Carpenter. “Faculty members, current students, and public school and higher education colleges and universities are excited about the direction we are pursuing. The Carnegie Project will provide for the program what the program seeks to provide for our students: collaborative partners who will support us along the way to progress and innovation.”

For more information about WCU’s Executive Ed.D. in Educational Leadership, visit edd.wcu.edu.


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