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Public universities partner to train school district leaders



Ellen Griffin
SFSU Office of Public Affairs
(415) 405-3803
(415) 338-1665

Press Release published by the Office of Public Affairs


SFSU teams with UC Berkeley, San Jose State, CSU Hayward to offer joint doctorate in urban school district leadership

SAN FRANCISCO, December 3, 2002---Four California universities join the ranks of Harvard and Stanford in offering a new doctoral program for urban public school superintendents. The doctorate in Urban Educational Leadership, offered jointly by San Francisco State University, Cal State Hayward, San Jose State University and University of California at Berkeley, is the first advanced degree of its kind to be offered by public universities.

The program aims to address a projected crisis in public school leadership over the next decade. In their survey of school superintendents conducted in 2000, the National Center for Education Statistics and American Association of School Administrators found that 80 percent of the respondents were at retirement-eligible age. It is estimated that as many as 6,000 new school superintendents will be needed nationwide over the next five years.

Designed to prepare school administrators for jobs as superintendents of urban public school systems, class schedules will accommodate working professionals and fees will be more affordable than those of private university programs.

The new doctorate will equip leaders to face societal challenges that include the growth of California's immigrant population, shrinking budgets, academic achievement gaps, multicultural and multilingual needs, poverty, student safety, high turnover among staff and administrators, the limits of bureaucracies and the shift from a manufacturing economy to a high- technology service economy.

"This advanced course of study will develop reform-oriented leaders who are committed to improving the quality of teaching and learning," said SFSU Associate Dean of Education David Hemphill, one of the architects of the new program. "It will develop educators' abilities to lead collaboratively and to appreciate the powerful learning that can take place in resource-rich urban areas."

"The program's design represents the best thinking of the educators of two university systems to address the needs of K-12 students and educators of the future," said Jacob E. Perea, dean of the SFSU College of Education. "San Francisco State brings to this collaborative offering recognized strengths in multicultural education, equity and social justice and urban educational reform."

The three-year course of study will lead to the doctoral degree in education (Ed.D.), awarded jointly by University of California and California State University. Applications are currently being accepted from experienced school administrators who already hold bachelors and masters degrees and are committed to urban school districts. The first 12 students will begin studies in summer 2003.

For admission information, contact David Hemphill at SFSU at (415) 338-2689; Celestine Villa at San Jose State at (408) 924-3660; Elizabeth Reilly at UC Berkeley at (510) 642-7698; or Emily Brizendine at Cal State Hayward at (510) 885-7418.

SFSU's College of Education is recognized statewide as one of the leading professional schools for preparing educators at the credential, masters and doctoral levels, with concentrations in elementary education, secondary education, special education, instructional technologies and educational administration/interdisciplinary studies. The college offers a joint doctoral program in special education with the University of California at Berkeley, established in 1971.

Total college enrollment for fall 2002 is 922 students.


NOTE: David Hemphill may be contacted directly at (415) 338-2689 or

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Last modified December 11, 2002, by the Office of Public Affairs