WWU Approved to Offer First Doctorate


William Woods University has been approved to offer its first
doctorate degree, a doctorate in educational leadership. Approval came
this spring from WWU’s accrediting body, the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
“This speaks about the long-standing quality of our academic
programs, particularly the graduate programs for educators,” Dr. Jahnae H.
Barnett, WWU president, said.
She pointed out that William Woods serves
the largest population of graduate students earning principal and
superintendent certification in Missouri, and WWU graduates hold more than 500 school administrative
positions within the state.
The HLC focus team visited campus Nov. 1 to review the
university’s proposal and visit key personnel working with the doctoral
program. The focus team visited with faculty, staff, board members, community
members and current students.
William Woods University has been offering master’s degree
programs since 1993 and added an educational specialist program in 2003. The university
began providing its first courses leading to a doctoral degree in August, 2010.
The courses were intended for educators wishing to pursue an Ed.D. and were
part of the final approval process for WWU’s doctoral degree program. 
Brad Maclaughlin, superintendent
of Lexington schools, says he chose WWU for his doctoral program for several
“The experience I had
during my Ed. Specialist program with WWU was outstanding.  The instructors were practitioners who made
the lessons and activities relevant.  The
William Woods on-campus staff has always been very helpful.  Participating in the doctoral program has
been beneficial to my work as a superintendent. 
The research, presentations, projects and activities we complete for
class are practical and applicable to my day-to-day work.”
Another Ed.D. student, Julie Dill, said, “As an adjunct
faculty member, I was impressed with the quality education that William Woods
University offers for working professionals.  The doctoral program has
afforded me a wonderful opportunity to grow professionally and
personally.  They really do offer a solid program for today’s educators.”
Dill is moving from director of student services in Sedalia
to superintendent at Johnson County R7 – Crest Ridge School District near
Initial cohorts were
established in Columbia, where there are 17 enrolled, and Blue Springs, where
there are 15 enrolled.  The university is
enrolling students now for a cohort in Jackson starting in August. Other
locations are being considered for future cohorts, with plans for one in the
northeast and one in the southwest part of the state.
WWU’s doctoral degree program is designed for educational
leaders in public, private and higher education. Eighteen credit hours of
coursework and six credit hours of dissertation will be required for those
already possessing an Ed.S., which is required along with two years of
experience as a practicing educator.
The coursework is two years, followed by work on a
dissertation that, depending on the individual, could take from six months to
five years to complete. Doctoral candidates will come to the Fulton campus to
defend their dissertations.
For more information, go to www.williamwoods.edu/adult/edd.asp
or contact Dr. Doug Ebersold, dean of education, at doug.ebersold@williamwoods.edu
or 573-592-4339.