September 19, 2006
For immediate release
Cal Poly and UC, Santa Barbara joined forces to offer the region’s first Joint Doctoral Program (JDP) in Educational Leadership in 2003. The JDP’s unique approach integrating the strengths of both campuses has proven a successful combination with the first graduates having received their doctoral degrees in the spring of 2006. “We’re looking for a new paradigm of leadership,” says Jim Gentilucci, Co-Director of the Program at Cal Poly. “This is a hybrid between the research aims of the UCs and the learn-by-doing focus at Cal Poly.”
The Doctoral Program’s mission focuses on issues of non-urban schools, like many of those in Central California. It has attracted a variety of students in its first three years, including elementary and secondary school teachers, principals and vice principals, and a growing number of educators in community colleges and higher education. Examples of student research interests include the effects of shrinking enrollment on small school districts, and early intervention programs for children with learning disabilities. All dissertation topics have real-world implications and practical goals.
Bonnie Konopak, the Dean of Cal Poly’s College of Education and faculty member in the JDP, emphasized the nature of the Program. “This is an applied degree,” she said. “It’s to help you do problem solving and help you be a leader.”
The JDP continues to flourish in its third academic year for several reasons. Jim Block, Program Leader at UCSB, cited the relative low cost of tuition at the UC compared to other private institutions as one major draw. Other benefits include the chance to attend classes on both campuses through video conferencing. Students receive the benefit of interacting with a wide variety of faculty without always having to commute north or south.
The Program also operates on a fixed time to degree. Most students will complete their degree in 3 – 3.5 years. For working professionals, it provides valuable structure and support.
Other innovative features include research in professional development districts and the chance for students to disseminate research findings at annual summer institutes.
Currently the Ed.D. Program is recruiting graduate students for 2007-2008. Many from the Central Coast enroll because of its even proximity to both university campuses. Additionally, the JDP’s focus on issues and concerns of smaller, non-urban districts coincide with students’ research interests and professional background. Applications are being accepted until February 1st and classes begin Summer Quarter 2007. For more information about the JDP, visit its website or contact the Academic Coordinator Dr. Patrick Faverty at pfaverty AT education.ucsb.edu.