Immaculata University Offers New Doctorate in Higher Education

Immaculata University (IU) is now offering a degree program leading to the Ed.D. in higher education, and the University is recruiting students to begin in the fall. The program aims to prepare adaptable leaders who can articulate and address the major challenges facing higher education, manage organizational operations, and understand paradigms of curriculum design, delivery, and assessment. The Pennsylvania Department of Education gave its initial approval for the program last week.
Since 1991, Immaculata University has offered a doctoral program in educational leadership for people working in the grades K-12 environment. Immaculata is now the only faith-based institution in its geographic region that offers a doctorate in higher education. The program is targeted at three different groups of people: those who are current higher education administrators and want further training, those who have related careers and want to break into the field, and those who have a master´s degree in a certain content area and want to pursue doctoral studies outside that area.
The program will be cohort-based, accepting about 16 students per semester who will all take a set group of classes together, rather than picking their courses individually. The classes will be offered in a hybrid delivery format, which will be half online and half face-to-face, and will examine topics in higher education such as leadership, law, finance, advancement, strategic planning, policy, historical context, learning theory, ethics, research, and technology.
Students may choose a specialty to focus on during their practicum experience. Dr. Janet Kane, dean of the College of Graduate Studies, says of the program, "Leadership is really woven through every course, particularly in the practicum."
Designed by Kane and Sister M. Carroll Isselmann, IHM, director of strategic initiatives, with input from consultant Dr. Judy Witt, the dean of the Fielding Graduate University, the higher education doctoral program features courses developed by Immaculata´s own higher education leaders: Dr. Tom Ford, vice president for finance and administration, Sister Ann Heath, IHM, vice president for academic affairs, and Dr. Stephen Pugliese, vice president for student development and engagement.
The program is situated under the Leadership Studies Department, chaired by Dr. Janice Jacobs. Dr. Kathleen Carter, former vice president of academic affairs at Burlington County College, is the coordinator of the program. Immaculata is in the process of forming an advisory board for the program, composed of current or former higher educators.
"I believe that this new degree will continue to build Immaculata´s reputation as a leader in providing relevant, cutting-edge programs to serve the broader educational community," says Kane. "I am extremely excited to begin recruiting the first cohort for the fall semester. I think it´s going to be a very successful program for Immaculata."
For more information about the program or about joining the advisory board, contact Dr. Kathleen Carter at
Immaculata University, a Catholic comprehensive, coeducational institution, is located 20 miles west of Philadelphia, south of the intersection of routes 30 and 352, between Paoli and Exton.

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