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State System of Higher Education Board of Governors Approves Doctorate in Transformational Teaching and Learning for KU

April 7, 2016

KUTZTOWN, Pa. - Pennsylvania's State System of Higher Education Board of Governors today approved Kutztown University to grant a doctorate in education in transformational teaching and learning.  This is the second doctoral program approved for KU.  The degree must also be approved by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, KU's accrediting body.  

The program is designed for practicing classroom teachers who hold a master's degree and are ready to take on the role of practitioner-scholar. Graduates of the program will be able to apply research to contemporary educational issues and needs, build community-school partnerships, and lead transformational change in the schools using a social justice approach.

While traditional Ph.D. programs prepare graduate students for conducting research in a specialized area of educational practice, this program was designed for the career educator - the individual who envisions their career as a lifelong practitioner-scholar in the classroom, working with children and adults to improve lives. It is based on research and social justice-based curriculum to serve underrepresented and economically disadvantaged populations. 

Students will attend the program in cohorts and finish in three years.

"This is another great accomplishment in the long and storied history of our institution, which is rooted in education," said Dr. Kenneth Hawkinson, Kutztown University president.  "For the past 150 years, we have prepared outstanding teachers at the undergraduate and graduate levels.  The new doctoral degree is another strong validation for our College of Education, and promotes the university's vision of providing opportunities for advanced academic experiences."

"This degree was the vision of Dr. Darrell Garber, former dean of the College of Education who retired in December and passed away March 29 after a courageous battle with cancer," said Dr. Anne Zayaitz, acting provost and vice president of Academic and Student Affairs.  "We are so pleased that this has come to fruition and it stands as a testament to his hard work and dedication to KU, our students and all those who teach."

"The College of Education is thrilled to be able to offer a doctorate of education in transformational teaching and learning," said Dr. Theresa Stahler, chair of the Kutztown University Department of Secondary Education.  "This is so exciting for our faculty, students and many alumni who are associated with the rich history of the education program at KU.   I want to thank the university administration, the faculty and our late dean, Dr. Darrell Garber, for all of their support in making this a reality."

KU's College of Education programs are nationally accredited through the National Council of Accreditation of Teacher Education and the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation.  This is the second doctoral program at KU.  In March, 2015, the Board of Governors approved a doctorate degree in social work, a joint degree between KU and Millersville University.