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California State Senate Education
Subcommittee on Higher Education
Sacramento, CA
6/12/01

Senator Scott and members of this subcommittee: Thank you for inviting me to speak on this issue today.

I want to discuss California's need for more highly qualified educational leaders, and the growing demand for our state's policymakers to support a public doctoral program in education that would prepare those leaders.

As you are aware, the CSU maintains a strong commitment to teacher preparation and K-12 collaborations. We have a great deal of experience and expertise in preparing educators at all levels.

We believe that we are well-positioned to offer an accessible, affordable high-quality Ed.D. program. California needs it, and we can deliver it.

CALIFORNIA'S ED.D. NEEDS

California has long led the nation in educational reform and innovation, most recently with sweeping changes in accountability, assessment, K-12 academic content standards, and teacher preparation.

The complexity of these reforms require educational leaders who have extensive knowledge of teaching, learning, and organizational change. These leaders also must have the skills to apply that knowledge in an environment of assessment and accountability.

Although California's Master Plan has been a national model for the past 40 years, it must be updated to reflect these changes and the new demands on our educational system. Specifically, our state needs highly qualified education leaders who hold applied doctorates in education.

Yet within the current Master Plan, we do not have the public programs in place to produce them.

The University of California's programs are of very high quality, but they are too small and too geographically limited to meet all of California's needs. In 1998, the UC system's doctoral programs produced only 152 graduates. One campus, UCLA, produced almost half of those graduates.

As you heard from earlier speakers, our joint doctoral programs have been unable to fill in the gaps. After 40 years, the UC and CSU have only four joint doctoral programs in education. From July 1998 to June 2000, those programs awarded a total of only 21 doctoral degrees.

As a result, California relies on independent colleges and universities for about 70 percent of the Ed.D.s produced in the state. No other state relies so heavily on the private institutions.

California's lack of affordable, accessible programs is clearly evident in comparison with other states. Our state's production of Ed.Ds is less than two-thirds the national average.

One Ed.D. is awarded for every 14,700 students in California, compared to one for every 9,400 students nationwide.

There also is a lack of diversity among California's Ed.D. recipients. Fewer than 30 percent are awarded to people of color. In 1998-99, 79 percent of K-12 leaders holding Ed.D.s were white. Only 9 percent were Hispanic and only 6 percent were African-American. In a state where more than two-thirds of K-12 students will be people of color by 2007, our students need more educational role models and leaders who look like them.

WHY THE CSU?

California needs a comprehensive public system that offers a continuum of professional educational preparation from pre-service through the education doctorate. The framework for this system already exists through the CSU, which provides the majority of the state's teacher preparation, master's degree programs, and ongoing professional development.

Extending this system to include the preparation of education doctorate holders for K-12 schools, community colleges, and universities would be the most effective and cost-efficient means of establishing seamless connections with all levels. The CSU is prepared to offer access, affordability, and the commitment and expertise required to create a high-quality public Ed.D. program.

ACCESS

California essentially tells its prospective education leaders: If you want an Ed.D. from a public institution, you have to quit your job and spend two to three years studying at a residential campus. Only 21 percent of Californians live within 10 miles of a UC campus, compared to 56 percent who are as close to a CSU campus.

The CSU specializes in flexible programs that offer courses during evening hours, weekends, or from a distance.

In addition, the CSU is a "majority-minority" institution with a long history of attracting, retaining, and graduating students from underrepresented groups.

AFFORDABILITY

The cost of completing an Ed.D. at a non-public institution can total $45,000 or more.

Tuition and fees for graduate study at CSU campuses are as little as 11 percent of the cost at an independent university, and less than half the cost at the UC. In addition, study at the CSU does not require a student to leave his or her job.

COMMITMENT/EXPERTISE

The CSU is uniquely positioned to prepare educational leaders, given its long-established tradition of collaboration with preschool through community college educators and the excellence of its faculty and curriculum.

The CSU prepares about 60 percent of California's teachers and just over half of its K-12 administrators. Our campuses have developed an extensive network of collaborations and partnerships with K-12 administrators and teachers.

The CSU's education faculty have earned their doctoral degrees from the same institutions as the education faculty at the UC and independent universities. In addition, CSU faculty have often assumed the greater portion of the responsibility in the CSU-UC joint doctorate programs.

The CSU's Ed.D. program would be constructed to prepare professionals who can respond effectively to the dynamic challenges of California's public education system. Such individuals would lead school improvement efforts by:

  • Aligning and coordinating elements of education reform that are often fragmented;

  • Implementing educational reforms that address the learning and instructional needs of an increasingly diverse student population;

  • Using assessment results to guide programmatic changes;

  • Offering accountability to California's stakeholders and citizens.

In short, the CSU has the faculty, experience, and practitioner-focused models in place to offer an applied doctorate in education. We would urge our campuses to work collaboratively on a regional basis to create high-quality programs.

CONCLUSION

California's current doctoral programs in education fail to offer the access or affordability to prepare enough qualified education leaders for the future.

I therefore ask the committee's consideration in expanding the degree-granting capabilities of the CSU.

Permitting the CSU to offer this degree would signal a strong commitment to meeting California's need for the Ed.D. It also would represent an important investment in the educational leaders, the schools, and the students of tomorrow.

Thank you very much.

 
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