Mississippi College

MC Launches First Doctoral Program on Clinton Campus

July 16, 2007

Mississippi College is moving ahead with its first doctor of education degree on the Clinton campus after recently getting the approval of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Founded in 1826, MC will soon offer the doctoral degree program in educational leadership and school officials anticipate 20 students will enroll for the first year beginning in January 2008. Each year, an additional 20 students are expected to enroll.

"Mississippi College is making history with the announcement of its first doctoral program on the Clinton campus," President Lee Royce said Monday. The launching of the Doctor of Education (Ed.D) in Educational Leadership degree program will prove attractive to many educational professionals in the greater Jackson area, he said. The recent approval by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools allows MC to proceed with this doctorate in January 2008. "It will join an outstanding array of undergraduate and master's degrees and the juris doctorate in law in Jackson to strengthen Mississippi College's role in Christian higher education," Royce said.

Word of the approval by the Commission on Colleges of SACS to proceed was also welcomed by Ruthie Stevenson, the coordinator for the Doctor of Education Program. "I am very excited about the program and am truly elated about the tremendous response we are getting," she said. Some have already made inquiries or gone online to be admitted.

"I have no doubt that the wonderful response is due to the exceptional reputation of Mississippi College," Stevenson said. "It does not escape me that none of this would have been possible without the support, confidence and hard work of a lot of people."

The new doctorate is a good fit with MC's Department of Teacher Education and Leadership. It's to provide collaborative, integrated professional educator preparation which is field-connected and focused on teaching and learning. It underscores MC's departmental mission to "a commitment to excellence and innovation in teaching and learning and an emphasis on graduate programs which offer opportunities for service.''

Presently, Jackson State University is the only public school option for teachers and administrators in central Mississippi. MC officials believe one university alone is insufficient to accommodate the needs of the service area in the region. Some educators in the area are traveling to Ole Miss in Oxford, Southern Miss in Hattiesburg and Mississippi State in Starkville to obtain their doctorates in the field.

MC's new Doctor of Education in Educational leadership degree will consist of 76 semester hours beyond the master's degree. Two additional full-time faculty members will be added to teach the classes. Courses range from faith, ethics and social issues in educational leadership to legal structures and issues pertaining to school operations.

The School of Education at MC is nationally accredited. Recent graduates of the Education Leadership program are employed with Jackson Public Schools, the Rankin County School District, the Madison County Public Schools and Mississippi School of the Arts, among others.

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