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Regents approve doctorate in education
12/07/2016

NATCHITOCHES – The Board of Regents has approved a Doctor of Education in Adult Learning and Development at Northwestern State University. The program will begin enrolling students next year.

The Doctor of Education in Adult Learning and Development is Northwestern State’s second doctoral program. A Doctor of Nursing Practice was approved in 2013 and its initial class of graduates will receive degrees next week.

The new Doctor of Education degree (Ed.D.) is a practitioner degree program that will prepare individuals for leadership positions that focus on the adult learning and development, particularly in the community college setting. Specifically, the program will prepare reflective practitioners with a comprehensive understanding of adult learning and development across the following domains: teaching and learning, curriculum and instructional design, workforce development, program management and planning, organizational change and community college leadership.

“While the employment outlook for Louisiana is very positive, there is a large gap between the demand of the job market and the number of annual completers from workforce development programs, community and technical colleges, and adult education services,” said Bill Morrison, Associate Professor of Adult Learning and Human Development. “Additionally, The Board of Regents (2011) recognizes that, “with less than 30% of Louisiana’s adults holding a postsecondary credential, the existing workforce in Louisiana is ill prepared to work in a knowledge economy.”
 
Morrison believes the program will be highly successful and will play an important role in Louisiana’s economic development efforts.
 
“The additional emphasis on expanding postsecondary completion and workforce development opportunities to meet the demands of the job market in Louisiana has created a need for additional faculty and administrative resources to educate these additional students,” said Morrison. “The Northwestern State University Doctor of Education program specifically targets providing additional terminal degreed faculty and administrators functioning at the highest levels of their practice who can help Louisiana meet these goals.”

The Doctor of Education in Adult Learning and Development at Northwestern State is the only advanced degree program in Louisiana focusing on the need of developing community college leaders and preparing practitioners to work with adult learners and in workforce development. Graduates will be qualified to assume advanced leadership roles in areas of workforce development, organizational leadership, community college administration and management and scholarship.

According to the Louisiana Workforce Commission, an additional 12,000 postsecondary completers are needed over the next ten years to meet the demand of new Tier One jobs, which are critical economic driver industries and which require community or technical college education. The emphasis on expanding postsecondary completion and workforce development opportunities will create the associated need for additional faculty and administrative resources, particularly at the community college level. Institutions are challenged to expand nontraditional learning opportunities and offer increased flexibility to accommodate the life and education needs of adult learners.

The Louisiana Community and Technical College System has developed a plan, “Our Louisiana 2020; Building the Workforce of Tomorrow.” The plan calls for doubling the number of graduates from the LCTCS, doubling the earning of graduates to $1.5 billion, quadrupling student transfers to four-year universities to 10,000 annually and doubling the number of students served to 325,000.

Morrison said the Doctor Of Education In Adult Learning and Development is the only advanced degree program in Louisiana “that focuses on developing community college administrators and preparing leaders and faculty to work with adult learners and workforce development.”   

The program is a comprehensive 63 semester hour program providing foundation courses in adult education and organizational leadership, along with coursework targeting two concentration areas: community college leadership and adult learning and workforce development. The foundation coursework is designed to provide the student with an integrated knowledge base of theory and current best practice within the fields of adult learning, organizational leadership and instructional design.  

Cross-disciplinary coursework common to each area has been incorporated whenever possible to maximize the use of resources. Within each concentration area, students may pursue specialized areas of interest and study through elective courses and gain practical experience within their own organization or area of interest through an individualized practicum experience.    

For more information on the Doctor Of Education In Adult Learning and Development, contact Morrison at morrisonb@nsula.edu.