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September 19, 2005

Three universities collaborate to offer new doctorate for professional educators


By Jennifer McNulty

Ten students have begun a new doctoral program in educational leadership offered jointly by UC Santa Cruz; San Jose State University; and California State University, Monterey Bay.

The UC Regents approved the new Doctor of Education Degree (Ed.D.) in Collaborative Leadership this summer. It has been in development for five years, said June Gordon, associate professor of education at UCSC and lead coordinator for the Santa Cruz campus.

"This degree is geared toward working professionals," said Gordon. "The goal is to prepare K-12 educators to lead educational transformation in the culturally and linguistically diverse schools of the region that encompasses Monterey, San Benito, Santa Clara, and Santa Cruz Counties."

Among those enrolled this fall is Ralph Porras, assistant superintendent of Santa Cruz City Schools and the former principal of Santa Cruz High School and DeLaveaga School.

Students will take two courses per quarter year-round for three years. Classes will be offered at each of the three campuses on a rotating basis. The first courses were held at UCSC this summer; this fall, classes will be held at CSUMB, while winter and spring classes will take place on the San Jose campus; next summer, classes will again be held at UCSC. Participating campus units are the Education Department at UCSC, the College of Education at SJSU, and the College of Professional Studies at CSUMB.

The Ed.D. is geared toward practical, professional work, and dissertations are expected to have practical implications. "Students are expected to bring research topics to the table," said Gordon, adding that current topics include how to help second-language learners access quality education, how to respond to the demands of government policies and reforms, and how to increase the participation of low-income parents in educational decision making.

The three-campus collaboration offers students the benefits of both the UC and CSU system, said Gordon.

"San Jose State has tremendous strength in educational leadership, with an enormous teacher education program and strong roots in the community," said Gordon. "CSUMB brings a focus on interdisciplinary work, more theoretical faculty interests, and a great deal of enthusiasm about working with underserved students in the Seaside, Salinas, and Watsonville communities." UCSC professors offer research expertise and a focus on international populations and learning.

Each quarter, the two classes offered will be taught by instructors affiliated with different institutions. Twelve core faculty members, with four representatives from each campus, will provide the bulk of instruction. At UCSC, core faculty include Gordon and education professors Rodney Ogawa, Lucinda Pease-Alvarez, and Gordon Wells.

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