CSU Fullerton -- November 12, 2003

Cal State Fullerton/UC Irvine Will Offer Joint Doctorate in Educational Administration and Leadership

Cal State Fullerton has received approval to offer its first joint doctoral program, an Ed.D. in educational administration and leadership, in cooperation with UCI. Also participating in the partnership to forge the Ed.D. program will be Cal Poly Pomona, Cal State Los Angeles and Cal State Long Beach.

“In joining with our regional partners to mount this joint program, Cal State Fullerton stays true to its mission: making learning preeminent,” said President Milton A. Gordon. “This program is an important example of the university’s objective of being a center of activity essential to the intellectual, cultural and economic development of our region.”

The special emphasis for the joint doctoral program to be offered at Cal State Fullerton is targeted to K-12 educational leaders.

“Our emphasis on K-12 instructional leadership is designed to serve those leaders who are committed and responsible for improving student learning — these may be curriculum or program specialists, teacher leaders, district or school site administrators or others who demonstrate the ability to improve learning in K-12 schools,” said Roberta Rikli, dean of the College of Human Development and Community Service.

The joint doctorate is clearly a milestone for Cal State Fullerton.”

“Universities are increasingly being asked to provide graduate training, and K-12 education has urgently sought highly-trained leaders,” said Ephraim Smith, vice president for academic affairs. “With increased accountability, testing and assessment, state and national learning standards and curricular changes, the need for those with doctorates in this field has never been greater. Programs such as this encourage the CSU and UC campuses to work cooperatively to ensure that students receive the educational programs that are needed.”

The University of California Coordinating Committee on Graduate Affairs, the final step in an approval process, approved Cal State Fullerton’s participation in the program last week, after several years of planning.

This joint doctoral program was developed to meet increased demand for K-12 educational leaders who require advanced knowledge in an increasing number of disciplines.

“Graduates of this new joint doctoral program will be oriented to professional practice,” said Keith Boyum, associate vice president for academic programs. “They will put research into action. Our goal is to prepare leaders who use doctoral-level understanding as a basis for planning, initiating and assessing local reforms designed to improve educational outcomes.”

Cal State Fullerton is part of a five-campus consortium offering this program leading to the Ed.D. with the support of an implementation grant from the California State University/University of California Joint Ed.D. Board. Established in November 2001, the board has encouraged new joint doctoral programs in education to meet the state’s educational leadership needs. Among the other campuses participating in this joint doctorate program are Cal State Long Beach (with an emphasis in Higher Education and Community College Leadership), Cal Poly Pomona (emphasis in Educational Technology Leadership) and Cal State L.A. (emphasis in Pre-K-12 Urban Educational Leadership).

In California, doctoral degrees usually are issued by private institutions and the University of California. In contrast, the California State University is better known for awarding bachelor’s and master’s degrees. This new joint Ed.D signals awareness of the need to produce educational leaders who can act on the basis of more comprehensive knowledge.

“Participating in collaborative efforts makes sense because it enables us to better meet the needs of school administrators and leaders,” said Chris Renne, associate professor of elementary and bilingual education and co-director of Fullerton’s joint doctoral program. “There are many well-qualified people who want advanced preparation and, due to distances and finances, are unable to meet their needs by attending a UC campus. This program not only meets the needs of individual students but of California’s educational system as well.”

“Only a handful of universities across the nation offer programs in instructional leadership,” said Louise Adler, chair and professor of educational leadership and co-director of the joint doctoral program. “This new approach in addressing issues in schools, curriculum and programs is truly cutting edge. Blending the knowledge of theory and practice, it allows us to work with key leaders in our schools to address often complex problems.”

Among those playing key roles in developing this program at Fullerton were Keith Boyum, associate vice president for academic programs; Roberta Rikli, dean of Human Development and Community Service; Mickey Hollis, acting associate dean of the School of Education; Louise Adler, chair and professor of educational leadership; Carol Barnes, professor of elementary and bilingual education; and Chris Renne, associate professor of elementary and bilingual education.

“I think Cal State Fullerton can be very proud of its part of the joint program,” said Rikli. “The new agreement achieves the CSU’s goal of rapidly expanding the availability of public Ed.D. programs. It’s a win-win situation for everyone: the University of California system, the CSU system and, more importantly, the doctoral students and the thousands of K-12 students who will reap the benefits of this program.”

Media Contacts: Louise Adler at (714) 278-7673 or ladler@fullerton.edu
Valerie Orleans at (714) 278-4540 or vorleans@fullerton.edu

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