Brenau adding desirable terminal degree program with Doctor of Education

In January 2019 Brenau University will begin enrolling students in a new hybrid Doctor of Education degree program with specializations in early childhood education, middle grades education and leadership in higher education.

Jim Eck, Brenau provost and vice president for academic affairs, said the Doctor of Education — which received approval from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges — will be “the capstone degree” in the Brenau College of Education. According to Eugene Williams, dean of the college, Brenau plans to enroll approximately 12 candidates in each of the first three years.

The Ed.D. degree will be a 54-credit hybrid program that can be completed in approximately three years of continuous enrollment. Students will be required to attend two residencies on campus and additional assignments online prior to completion of the program.

The Brenau College of Education investigated developing a doctoral program over the past decade based on an alignment of existing academic expertise, demand for focus on specific areas of interest and market potential for terminal degrees in various fields.

While the areas of concentration will attract potential students with varied career goals, all programs will focus on enriching the knowledge, skills and talents of visionary educators as they transition into new leadership roles. The faculty in the College of Education have diverse interests in teaching and learning and will draw on examples from their own research and professional work experiences in order to enhance teaching and make connections between theory, research and practice, according to Williams.

The university already offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in education, including an Educational Specialist degree, as well as three other doctorates in nursing, occupational therapy and physical therapy.

“We create these doctoral programs because there is a demand in our society for better-educated teachers at all levels, for more skilled health care professionals and for a better-educated population in general,” said Brenau President Ed Schrader.

Data from the National Center for Education Statistics indicate that the demand for the Ed.D. remains strong, putting it in the top five most in-demand doctoral degrees along with those related to legal professions, health professions, engineering and biological/biomedical sciences. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that in 2018 there will be about 218,000 U.S. jobs available for postsecondary education administrators alone with a projected growth rate in that field at about 10 percent per year in the next decade.

“Brenau has long been a regional leader in providing excellent leadership in classroom teaching and pedagogical research,” Schrader said. “Now is the opportune time for Brenau to step forward and provide our graduates with a pathway for career development to the highest levels in the academic profession.”