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Campus welcomes first doctoral students

October 31, 2007

SF State Ed.D. studentsThis fall, SF State's College of Education welcomed 17 students to campus in pursuit of the University's first independent doctoral degree: the Ed.D. in Educational Leadership. The Ed.D., a result of ground-breaking legislation passed in 2005, allows California State University campuses to offer independent education doctorates. Six other CSU campuses launched Ed.D. programs this year.

SF State's Ed.D. students, all full-time working professionals in public schools and community colleges, will attend the intensive weekend program for three years. They will study some of the most vexing problems facing California educators today: how to close the achievement gap between Latino and African American students and their white and Asian peers; how to effectively educate students whose native language is not English; and how to help students in community college who have graduated from high school but still need training in basic skills. Students will each complete a research-based thesis and learn from leading scholars in school reform drawn from the University's colleges of business, ethnic studies and humanities, as well as the Department of Public Administration.

David Hemphill, associate dean and interim director of the program, was instrumental in developing the Ed.D. along with an interdisciplinary team of faculty. He said the program addresses the problems of schools in "socioeconomic transition" -- schools with high levels of cultural diversity, educational need and poverty. "These are schools and districts with a strong imperative to move toward educational equity," he said. "The achievement gap is not just an urban problem. It occurs in rural areas where poverty is also an issue."

The Ed.D. also aims to meet a projected staffing shortage of community college leaders. Before the program launched, Hemphill surveyed 20 community colleges in the Bay Area and found that 25 percent had vacancies in their chief executive offices. Community college attendance in California over the next decade is projected to grow by more than half a million students.

Faculty interested in teaching within the Ed.D. program are invited to contact David Hemphill at ext. 8-2689 or More information about the program is available at Educational Doctoral Program Web site.

--Barbara Hanscome


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Last modified October 31, 2007 by University Communications