University Park, IL–(ENEWSPF)– Governors State University is poised to begin offering its fifth doctoral program, an innovative Doctorate in Education (Ed.D.) in Interdisciplinary Leadership. Classes will begin in Spring, 2013 for doctoral students aspiring to leadership positions in four areas of concentration: school superintendent in preschool to 12th grade; higher education administration; not-for-profit leadership; and public safety leadership.
GSU’s new doctorate was approved August 20 by the Institutional Actions Council, a decision-making body of the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). The HLC is the regional accrediting agency for the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
The Ed.D. in Interdisciplinary Leadership is unique in Illinois. The doctoral program, which offers a mix of online and on-campus courses, was designed by faculty, administration, and staff from GSU’s four Colleges: Education, Arts and Sciences, Health and Human Services, and Business and Public Administration. It will be taught by faculty representing a wide range of academic disciplines at the university.
“Many thanks to the faculty, staff, and administration who have created GSU’s fifth doctoral program,” said President Elaine P. Maimon. “Five years ago, at my installation as president, I challenged the university to take a new look at leadership and to create a doctoral program that embodies 21st century principles. I am so proud of the results. Working professionals in the schools, in higher education, in criminal justice, and in not-for-profit organizations will now have the opportunity for advanced study, mostly online, transcending the constraints of the clock, the calendar, and the car.”
Dr. Deborah Bordelon, Dean of the GSU’s College of Education, said the interdisciplinary focus of the doctoral program will give students exposure to different career paths, and to leadership challenges in fields other than their own.
“In order to prepare leaders for the challenges of the 21st century, we must break down the silos across disciplines and build upon the expertise of all areas,” Dr. Bordelon said. “Future leaders will be expected to work more effectively in collaboration and across professional and academic boundaries. GSU believes the best way to foster this perspective is to infuse the graduate doctoral education with an interdisciplinary orientation.”
The Ed.D. in Interdisciplinary Leadership emerged from highly successful master’s degree programs at GSU in educational administration, higher education administration, public administration, and criminal justice. In recent years, GSU has responded to increased student demand for continued education and training through the establishment of doctoral programs in the health professions and counseling. These programs continue to enjoy robust enrollments.
Dr. Terry L. Allison, GSU Provost, said the university has had numerous requests to start new doctoral programs, particularly leading to an Ed.D. “The Doctorate of Education in Interdisciplinary Leadership responds to a key community interest: how to develop leaders in a variety of non-profit fields shaped by advanced research as well as advanced practice,” Dr. Allison said. “Students will have the opportunity to work across disciplines, as well as select a field of in-depth inquiry; this will provide an ideal combination of study for advanced professionals.”
Because the new doctoral program is offered in an online/hybrid format, its impact will be far-reaching. GSU’s doctoral graduates in Interdisciplinary Leadership will be highly knowledgeable, skilled, dedicated, and ethical professionals, leaders, and practitioners. For years to come, they will strengthen schools, communities, and families in the GSU region, and beyond, through their leadership and expert service.
The Ed.D. in Interdisciplinary Leadership is part of the College of Education, which already offers another doctoral program, Counseling Education and Supervision. The College of Health and Human Services offers three doctoral programs: Nursing Practice, Occupational Therapy, and Physical Therapy and Physical Therapy (Transitional).
Persons interested in applying to the Ed.D. in Interdisciplinary Leadership program should contact its coordinator, Dr. James R. “Chip” Coldren, Jr., at [email protected], or (708) 534-4390.