FSC to Offer First-Ever Doctoral Degree

Jan 20, 2014

by Cary McMullen | Publications Editor

Florida Southern College is taking a leap forward in its pursuit of academic excellence this year, launching its first doctoral program. The College will welcome the first students in the new Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (Ed.D.) program when classes begin on campus this summer.

The Ed.D. program, which was approved by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools last year, is designed for teachers and administrators in K-12 schools who want to prepare for educational leadership positions, such as principal or superintendent.

FSC President Anne Kerr said the Ed.D. program will further raise the College’s national reputation while helping to address the problems facing America’s education system.

“We are very pleased to offer our first doctoral degree. The Ed.D. is the culmination of our efforts to enhance education at all levels in our region. We believe it’s appropriate that our first doctoral degree will be in such a critical field,” she said.

Dr. Tracey Tedder, dean of the School of Education, said she hopes that the emphasis on educational leadership will produce scholars, teachers, and administrators who can come up with innovative approaches to improving education.

“There are a lot of critical issues affecting education today. It’s my hope that our students, through research, will be able to come up with solutions to the problems facing these school districts,” she said.

Tedder said her department is ready to begin this new phase of its mission.

“Florida Southern has offered an education degree since it opened its doors. We have a sterling reputation in the preparation of educators. All of our faculty have superb credentials and the practical experience to teach educators who are trying to become leaders in their field,” she said.

Tedder said the program will stand out among others, offering both traditional classroom and online courses—a combination designed to provide both personal attention to students and convenience for working educators. The program will admit 15 to 18 students per cohort, and a number of “very high-level” applications already have been received, she said.

The program is structured to encourage students to follow through the dissertation phase of the degree, which is often a difficult hurdle. Instead of a separate dissertation phase after coursework is completed, students will begin a parallel dissertation track after completing a third of the required coursework, allowing them to finish the degree within three years.

A new faculty member, Assistant Professor of Education Steven Petrie, will be the coordinator of the program.

“Dr. Petrie has 40 years of experience in the classroom and as a principal and area superintendent. He brings a fabulous wealth of experience,” Tedder said.