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Author: Tina Joly and Lois G. Russell
Release Date: Mar 15, 2013
Alabama State University is one step closer to adding a second Ph.D. degree to its fast-growing list of academic offerings.
The Alabama Commission on Higher Education (ACHE) has approved Alabama State University’s proposal to offer the Ph.D. in Educational Leadership, Policy and Law (ELPL); ASU currently offers the Ed.D. in ELPL.
ASU Interim President and President Emeritus William H. Harris released a statement today about the ACHE approval:
“I want to share with you some great news. Today the Alabama Commission on Higher Education (ACHE) took an action that
moved us a major step toward achieving one of our central goals. Without debate or discussion the Commission approved
our proposal to award the Ph.D. degree in Educational Leadership, Policy and Law. Such a degree had been a part of our
plan dating back to the decree in Knight v Alabama, and is now a reality. But equally as important, the action by ACHE puts
us a major step closer to reaching a goal that we spelled out in Vision 2020, namely to become a SACS COC Level VI institution
by 2020. We need only now prepare the request for level/change of scope by the Association and hopefully we can say mission
accomplished in 2013 instead of in 2020. Lots of colleagues in the College of Education and in academic leadership and administration
contributed much to this achievement. They should be thanked and congratulated. So, too, should the Trustees who adopted this
vision and enabled us to make it happen. This achievement is further evidence that this is a good time to be a Hornet!”
A Level VI institution is a college or university that offers four or more doctorate degrees as the highest degrees. Currently, ASU offers the Ph.D. in microbiology, the Doctor of Physical Therapy, and the Ed.D. in ELPL. The addition of the Ph.D. in ELPL will represent ASU’s fourth doctorate degree.
Dr. Leon Wilson, interim provost and vice president of Academic Affairs, said the new degree will be of great benefit to many education students.
“In terms of the students, it gives them the option of a professional track or an academic/research track,” said Wilson. “In other words, our Ph.D. students will be prepared to participate in the creation of knowledge through research that influences educational policy and law rather than simply being practitioners.”
Dr. Charlie Gibbons, interim dean of ASU’s College of Education, said offering the Ph.D. lets students, and the world, know that ASU has one of the most exceptional programs in education.
“Offering the Ph.D. in Educational Leadership, Policy and Law will make us one of the leaders in the state in having terminal degree programs. The Ph.D. requires a higher level of research, and it lets students know that they are part of a university where the environment is very rigorous,” Gibbons said.
The program must still be approved by SACS COC.