University proposes doctorate

An Education Doctorate Program for employed educational practitioners has been proposed at Northern Kentucky University. President James Votruba developed the idea for the doctorate program about five years ago and the process for getting it approved is still active.

In previous years, NKU has not had a doctoral program because the legislation has not allowed it.

Currently, the University of Louisville and University of Kentucky have doctorate programs, and NKU has expressed the need to have a doctorate program, but the legislation of the Council for Post Secondary Education has not approved one. There is a larger focus on the Masters Programs at the regional universities such as NKU along with Western and Eastern Kentucky universities.

The proposed 18 to 24-month process for approval would examine the critical issues including faculty, accreditation and state authorization. For the program to be approved the education department would have to develop a proposal to obtain the funds and resources and it must be approved by the legislation and the Council on Post Secondary Education.

The exact date for the program’s premiere, if approved, has yet to be established, however, if approved the administration and current education majors believe the program would be a positive addition to the university.

According Elain Jarchow, dean of education and human services, the E.D.D (Educational Doctoral Degree) would have a reliance on low residency and for the prospective students, the program would be “tailored to serve the needs of the Northern Kentucky area, and geared toward teachers who aspire to become leaders and individuals from community colleges who wish to become principals and/or administrators.”

The program will be designed so teachers would not have to sacrifice their jobs in order to attend classes because evening and possible weekend classes would be available.

The education doctorate program would not only benefit current teachers in the local area, but also inspire current education majors to attend in the future.

Pavie Romero, junior secondary education major, believes the doctorate program would be a great program for the university to have because “the teachers from the local Kentucky area be able to attend NKU to obtain a higher education (and) the university would be able to keep current students in the university because they would know what to expect from the education department.”

According to Mark Wasicsko, Bank of Kentucky endowed chair, the first doctoral program at NKU would be “an action-research project designed to cause a positive change within the professional workplace.”

Wasicsko also stated the proposed program would be “reasonably paced and designed individually for study with both traditional course topics and portfolio assessment.”

The education doctorate classes would be held in the Business Education and Psychology Building and be taught by the current education professors and some additional hired staff. Expecting about 20 students to enroll for the first year, the education doctorate degree’s grading style would be divided into two parts, one dealing with the courses and the other being the actual dissertation involving a year of more worth of research.

Designed to be more rigorous than the masters program, it would take a student three years to complete the doctorate program.