UW-Stout News Story

University's first doctoral program receives final approval

October 7, 2013

The first doctoral program in the history of University of Wisconsin-Stout has received final approval and is scheduled to begin later this month.

The Higher Learning Commission, which visited UW-Stout over the summer, informed UW-Stout Friday, Oct. 4, that it can begin offering a Doctor of Education degree in career and technical education.

The program was approved by the UW System Board of Regents in February, but UW-Stout needed commission review and approval before it could begin enrolling students.

The Higher Learning Commission, UW-Stout's accrediting body, is part of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Prospective students can begin applying. Those who apply by Friday, Oct. 11, will receive priority review beginning Monday, Oct. 14. The first class, expected to include 20 to 25 students, is scheduled to meet Friday, Oct. 25, according to Professor Carol Mooney, who oversaw development of the program and is its director.

For more information and to apply, go to the program website.

Carol Mooney"The final report submitted to the Higher Learning Commission by the review team was glowing," Mooney said. "The consultants noted that the faculty had great confidence and expertise to offer the program. They were impressed with the level of research faculty were engaged in, the credentials of the faculty as well as the excitement and the desire to launch the Ed.D. degree."

The Higher Learning Commission report noted that faculty, students and alumni are "enthusiastic about the program curriculum" and the blended delivery model of online, evening and weekend classes geared toward working professionals.

The report also said the program has been "thoughtfully constructed" with an advisory committee that includes faculty and leaders from technical and community colleges in Wisconsin and Minnesota.

The goal of the degree is to help professionals — leaders and teachers — in technical education advance their careers, as opposed to a research-based doctorate. "We expect a strong response from the technical colleges to this new degree. It is really filling a need," Mooney said.

Mooney said she was honored to help develop the program after the Board of Regents gave the state's four-year universities the authority to offer professional doctorates. She was pleased when research "strongly supported the need" for it.

UW-Stout already offers Master of Science and Education Specialist degrees in career and technical education. A high number of those graduates have been pursuing their doctorates, Mooney said.

The 60-credit program will take students about three years to complete.

"This degree is compatible with our storied history as leaders in preparing workforce educators at all educational levels and in a broad array of career and technical fields," said Mary Hopkins-Best, dean of the College of Education, Health and Human Sciences.

UW-Stout, Wisconsin's Polytechnic University, was founded in 1891. Since 1935, when UW-Stout's Graduate School opened, the university has provided programs to those interested in careers in the state's technical colleges. Adding a doctoral degree is a natural step, said Jackie Weissenburger, associate vice chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs.

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