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UH Moment

UH Moment: “Executive Education Doctorate”

One size does not fit all, particularly in the case of programs to prepare the next generation of principals, school psychologist or superintendents.  Learn more in this UH Moment.


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Teacher preparation, in many respects, has become a set of state mandated certification issues.  One University of Houston professor says professional development should be more than a certain number of courses, a certificate or degree.

“This allowed colleges and universities to move away from the school districts and not actively engage with school districts around professional development of educators,” said Robert McPherson, dean of the college of education. “We moved away from facilitating more field based research around the everyday problems that were occurring in schools.”

The UH college of education was one of 22 institutions invited by the Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate to reevaluate the education advanced degree and transform it into something more meaningful and valuable to students. For UH, the result is the Executive Education Doctorate.

“In the Executive Ed.D program of professional leadership, we focus on working with the working professional who is looking for something that will be value added and will help them in their daily work as school principals or department curriculum leaders  or people higher up in the administrative hierarchy of the school district,” McPherson said.  “This isn’t just talking-head education where you have a professor standing up in the front of the room delivering a lecture. These are professionals who are oftentimes leading discussions around challenges they’re confronting in their work.”

Students inform the curriculum based on the current issues they are experiencing.  The program encourages collaboration on creative leadership and management solutions.  The hybrid courses are structured to work with their schedules.

“We’re having remarkable success in preparing our students.  Their leaders, superintendents, serve on our advisory committee.  We are constantly evolving and changing our curriculum in response to what the students and the school leaders need,” McPherson said.

The Executive Ed.D is part of what’s happening at the University of Houston.  I’m Marisa Ramirez.

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