Tech Takes Step Toward Doctoral Program

The Arkansas Tech Board of Trustees gave its approval on Thursday for university administrators and faculty to begin developing the first doctoral program in the institution’s 100-year history. Board members approved a letter of intent that will be forwarded to the Arkansas Department of Higher Education Coordinating Board. The letter expresses the intent of Arkansas Tech to develop a Doctor of Education degree in executive leadership. The degree program would be housed in the Arkansas Tech Center for Leadership and Learning and would be launched in June 2011 if approved. Those currently serving as or wishing to become superintendents, deputy superintendents, central office leaders, principals, educational consultants and related education positions would be the target audience for the new degree. “Doctoral students will focus on understanding change and on how to shape and align what people in the schools value in order to promote the learning of all students,” wrote Dr. Mary Gunter, dean of the Arkansas Tech Graduate College, in the letter of intent. “They will learn about obstacles that have stopped reform in schools, and on how to work together to create positive lasting change for effective schooling. “They will learn how instructional leaders make creative use of all resources, including people, time and money to support school improvement,” continued Gunter. “They will study how to create conditions for professional learning, and to use data to inform decisions as suggested by the Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium (ISLLC).” The new Arkansas Tech Doctor of Education degree would require 63 hours beyond a master’s degree. Students who have already earned the Educational Specialist degree at Arkansas Tech would be eligible to immediately enroll in the new doctoral degree program with 30 of the 63 hours already completed. The action by the Board of Trustees on Thursday allows Gunter and other faculty members to proceed with developing the program. It is anticipated that the full program will be presented to the Arkansas Tech Board of Trustees for its review in November. For more information about the Arkansas Tech Center for Leadership and Learning and its graduate degree programs in education, call (479) 498-6022 or visit