Five students will make history May 13 by completing WKU’s first independent doctoral degree.
The students are members of the first cohort of WKU’s Educational Leadership Doctoral Program.
“WKU has a long history of producing great students, I am glad that I have an opportunity to be a part of the history of WKU,” said Edwin Craft of Roundhill, director of Communication Technologies at WKU.
The other doctoral graduates agreed.
“I am honored to graduate with the first doctoral cohort at WKU,” said John Baker of Bowling Green, education coordinator and instructor in Leadership Studies at WKU.
The five will be hooded during WKU’s graduate ceremony at 7 p.m. May 13 at Diddle Arena.
Matthew Constant of Owensboro said he was humbled and honored to be part of the first graduates. “The support felt from the cohort model as well as several instructors along the way helped me realize my goal. I can’t thank them enough,” said Constant, director of Instructional Technology for Daviess County Public Schools.
WKU’s Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Educational Leadership was approved in February 2008 by the Council on Postsecondary Education with the first cohort of students admitted in July 2008. The program’s seventh cohort will begin classes this fall bringing the total number of students to 128.
“It’s an honor to be among the first to complete WKU’s doctoral program,” said Kelly Scott Davis of Bowling Green, area coordinator for the Kentucky Center for Instructional Discipline. “The doctoral program offers professionals in our region the opportunity to affordably advance their education in a high quality program.”
The interdisciplinary program develops “practitioner scholars” in four specialty areas – P-12 Administrative Leadership, Teacher Leadership, Postsecondary Leadership and Organizational Leadership — equipped to assume leadership roles in the multiple venues where education takes place and to work with educational partners to improve academic performance and increase learning at all levels.
Using blended delivery methods, including traditional face-to-face classroom settings, distance-learning formats, online platforms and on-site practicum settings, the WKU program makes it possible for students to remain in their current professional positions while completing the doctoral degree.
“I feel like my classmates and I are real trailblazers,” said Angela Gunter of Owensboro, dean of Liberal Arts, English Department head and English teacher at Daviess County High School. “One of the best aspects of WKU’s doctoral program is that those in charge have always listened to and incorporated our cohort’s feedback regarding the structure and content of courses. I am also very thankful that I was able to incorporate issues from my classroom and school into my doctoral coursework throughout. The Ed.D. is meant to be a practitioner’s degree, and for me, it has been incredibly practical and useful in my job.”