Southern Wesleyan University received approval by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to offer the Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) degree in Curriculum and Assessment. This is Southern Wesleyan’s first doctoral program.

While most Ed.D. degrees at the doctoral level concentrate on leadership or curriculum and instruction, there are some programs in the nation that concentrate on assessment as a foundational theme of the degree. Southern Wesleyan saw a need to place an emphasis on assessment, which was identified as essential for educators in an outcomes-based climate.

Southern Wesleyan’s President, Dr. Todd Voss, praised the university’s education faculty, saying, “The thorough and creative work of our faculty in our School of Education has produced a landmark program that has the potential to change the eventual outcomes of education nationwide.”

“The Ed.D. program is intended for educators in K-12 and higher education; however, the way we have designed the courses and the program will make them suitable for those who are working in nonprofit organizations and church-based ministries,” said Dr. Paul Shotsberger, founding director for the new doctoral program.

This Ed.D. prepares professionals for high-stakes careers in nonprofit professions, technical colleges, universities, public and private K-12 institutions, providing critical and highly desired institutional accountability.

Unlike many doctoral programs where learners are expected to complete all courses prior to beginning their dissertation, Southern Wesleyan Ed.D. students will begin the dissertation process at the start of their program of study.

While almost all courses are offered fully online, students are required to be on campus for a one-week residency course over three summers. Each one-week residency will include classes and other curriculum activities focused around developing the student’s dissertation.

“Southern Wesleyan University School of Education adopts as a framework providing quality education to its graduates with preparation in a ‘Christian Ethic of Care.’ There is a looming crisis in education where existing leadership is approaching retirement,” said Dr. Sandra McLendon, dean of Southern Wesleyan’s School of Education. “To help foster training for new ethical, Christian leaders, the first course in all of the School of Education’s graduate programs is a model for the rest of the curriculum on what Christian leadership could look like.”

Pictured from left are Dr. Todd Voss, university president; Dr. Tonya Strickland, university provost; Ty the Warrior Mascot; Dr. Sandra McLendon, dean of SWU’s School of Education; and Dr. Paul Shotsberger, SWU professor and founding director for the new program. Read original story here