MSU Texas earns approval for first doctoral program

MSU Texas reached another historic milestone Thursday when the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) granted approval for the University’s request to begin offering a doctoral degree in educational leadership. This marks the first doctoral offering at the University.

“This is a significant accomplishment for Midwestern State University and especially for our dedicated faculty in the West College of Education. We are now able to provide our community of educators with a significant level of academic attainment. The pursuit of an advanced degree in education will enhance the abilities of teachers across our region while also maximizing the talents of MSU professors,” said MSU Texas President Suzanne Shipley. “I am grateful for the creativity and energy required of Dean Matthew Capps and the faculty of the West College of Education to achieve this historic advancement of our university’s role. We look forward to welcoming MSU’s first doctoral students in January 2021.”

Provost and Vice President James Johnston announced the intent to pursue approval of an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership at the August 2019 Board of Regents meeting. “This is a historic moment for MSU Texas. The addition of terminal degrees aligns with the University’s current strategic plan and is consistent with our mission to provide our students with rigorous undergraduate and graduate education. Our ability to successfully navigate the approval process with the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and SACSCOC in the midst of this pandemic is yet another example of the ‘can do’ spirit of this great University,” he said.

MSU’s new Ed.D. emphasizes PK-12 educational leadership. It specializes in public school administration, providing terminal degree opportunities for those who hold a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction, instructional technology, adult and higher education, and education administration. Designed to prepare its students for executive leadership positions in education, the program will serve educational leaders within the North Texas (Region 9 Education Service Center) and partial adjoining educational service centers.

The implementation of this doctoral program will ensure that highly qualified individuals in the North and West Central Texas workforce areas are available and competitive for top leadership positions. Job market need projections for top educational leadership positions (2018–2028) indicate an increasing demand for high-quality education administration professionals across the nation. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Selected Occupational Projections, the projected need for PK-12 education administrators will continue to increase through at least 2028.

“This is the culmination of many years of experience through the joint doctoral program at UNT over the last 25 years. We are well prepared and pleased to meet this need, especially for educators in our Region 9 area, which serves 37 school districts across 12 counties in North Texas. There are currently no comparable doctoral program available in this region,” said Capps. “We look forward to continuing to build upon the relationship we have with our area educators and want to thank the West Foundation for their support of this project along with many others in the college.”

The program will require 54 semester credit hours beyond the master’s degree, including dissertation. Students will also have the option to take an internship course for superintendent certification, which will require 57 hours beyond the master’s degree.

The Dr. Billie Doris McAda Graduate School at MSU Texas will begin taking applications for the doctoral program on Sept. 15. The deadline for Spring 2021 application is Nov. 1.

In addition to the Ed.D. in Educational Leadership, MSU Texas continues to pursue approval for a doctoral program in radiologic sciences. If approved, the program will be the first of its kind in the United States.