Gov. John Bel Edwards announced the Louisiana Economic Development grant during an event Friday that celebrated Waitr’s new downtown headquarters.
In the fall, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette with Southeastern Louisiana University will jointly offer an Ed.D (Doctor of Education degree) in educational leadership.
It is the first Ed.D program at UL Lafayette, where Ph.Ds (Doctor of Philosophy degrees) are offered in applied language and speech sciences, biology, cognitive science, English, Francophone studies, mathematics, computer science and computer engineering. The degree would be the first doctoral offering for SLU.
The program received approval by the Louisiana Board of Regents Academic and Student Affairs committee on Wednesday before moving on to approval by the full board today.
“ The university has a long tradition of educating teachers, so adding this high level program to our academic offerings seemed natural,” said Dr. Steve Landry, vice president for Academic Affairs.
The program is billed as a hybrid: it is designed to produce practitioners with an applied emphasis that distinguishes it from an academic Ph.D. At the same time, the program embodies the rigor, culture and higher educational standards characteristics of all doctoral level programs of study.
Initial candidates for the program will include educators who hold a master’s degree in Administration and Supervision who are preparing for a superintendency or other high level policy-making position.
Both UL Lafayette and SLU will enroll students and will both identify a core of faculty for the joint program. Students from each college will be able to take courses at both universities through distance learning and other methods like monthly meetings. Students who graduate from the program will receive a joint degree from UL Lafayette and SLU.
The program’s proposed curriculum is divided into four cores: research, educational leadership and management, instructional leadership and specialization. These cores coupled with dissertation research totals more than 60 hours of study.
“ There was a definite need out there for this type of degree program,” said Dr. Gerald Carlson, dean of Education at UL Lafayette. “A survey was conducted in the service region that surrounds the university and the results indicated this program could benefit this area along with the state and region.”
A consortium board will jointly govern the program which will go through an accreditation process with the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education.