Governor Signs Bill Authorizing CSU Education Doctorate

Contact: Colleen Bentley-Adler, Clara Potes-Fellow, (562) 951-4800

(September 22, 2005) – Governor Schwarzenegger today signed legislation (SB 724) that will authorize the California State University to independently offer the Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) degree. This is the first authorization to independently award a doctorate since the system was formed almost half a century ago. The new degree will target K-12 and community college administrative leaders.

"This legislation marks perhaps the most significant change in the California State University's role in the last four decades," said CSU Chancellor Charles B. Reed. "We are extremely grateful to Senator Scott and to all of the supporters of this bill who understand the importance of creating access to high-quality programs that prepare leaders for California's schools."

Previously, under California’s Master Plan for Higher Education, the CSU could only offer bachelor and master’s degrees, except for a limited number of doctorates via programs offered jointly with private universities or in partnership with the University of California.

However, workforce demands for doctoral training for administrative leaders for California public elementary and secondary schools and community colleges has far outstripped the state’s ability to provide them. In addition, because the Doctor of Education degree is primarily offered in California by private universities, the costs are a barrier to many Californians.

The new educational leadership doctorate builds upon the CSU’s expertise and program strengths. The CSU historically had its origins in teacher colleges, and the preparation of teachers and education leaders has remained one of its core missions. The expansion of the responsibility for educational leadership training at the doctorate level will facilitate increased career opportunities and better preparation for thousands of educators who will be ready to meet the educational needs of the state.

UC will continue to offer its own doctoral degrees in education (both the Ph.D. and the Ed.D.), and both systems will continue to offer a wide variety of training and professional development programs for teachers and administrators.

The law is effective on January 1, 2006. The first students are expected to begin their studies for the Ed.D. at selected CSU campuses in fall 2007.

The California State University is the largest system of senior higher education in the country, with 23 campuses, approximately 400,000 students and 42,000 faculty and staff. Since the system was created in 1961, it has awarded about 2 million degrees, about 82,000 annually. The CSU is renowned for the quality of its teaching and for the job-ready graduates it produces. Its mission is to provide high-quality, affordable education to meet the ever-changing needs of the people of California. With its commitment to excellence, diversity and innovation, the CSU is the university system that is working for California. See

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Last Updated: September 22, 2005

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