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04/18/2018

Winthrop to Partner with Three S.C. Universities to Establish Program for S.C. Educators to Earn Doctorates

Quick Facts

 The Citadel and Coastal Carolina University, along with Winthrop, have joined with Clemson to form the Consortium for Innovative Educational Practice.
 Students who graduate from Winthrop’s new Ed.S. program in educational leadership, along with program graduates from the other Consortium institutions, will meet all prerequisites for Clemson’s new Ed.D. program in educational systems improvement studies.

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Jennie Rakestraw
ROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA — Winthrop University is one of three public institutions working with Clemson University to provide a seamless transition from each institution’s Education Specialist (Ed.S.) degree programs to Clemson’s Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) program in education systems improvement studies.

The Citadel and Coastal Carolina University, along with Winthrop, have joined with Clemson to form the Consortium for Innovative Educational Practice. The Consortium is created to support ongoing collaboration among its members so that advanced graduate degree programs can be offered across the state, especially in parts of South Carolina where access to such programs is limited.

The Consortium will support collaborative research, outreach and advocacy initiatives aimed at addressing ongoing critical educational issues in South Carolina with the ultimate goal of improving learning outcomes in schools, according to Jennie F. Rakestraw, dean of Winthrop’s Richard W. Riley College of Education.

Students who graduate from Winthrop’s new Ed.S. program in educational leadership, along with program graduates from the other Consortium institutions, will meet all prerequisites for Clemson’s new Ed.D. program in educational systems improvement studies—a program that is guided by the Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate.

The Ed.D. is a more applied doctoral research program designed to prepare educational leaders to become well-equipped scholarly practitioners through the integration of school improvement research. Students who complete the Ed.S. program through Winthrop or other Consortium partners will be able to speed their time to degree completion; and program courses will be offered in several formats, including hybrid and online. Ed.D. courses will be offered at off-campus sites across the state in conjunction with Consortium partners.

Winthrop’s Ed.S. program in educational leadership will begin this fall. The program is designed for educators who hold a master’s degree in educational leadership and desire to become school district leaders, including superintendents, central office administrators, program directors, and leaders in curriculum and instruction. Ethical leadership, use of research-based strategies, and a practical year-long internship are foundational elements of the program.

Rakestraw believes that Winthrop’s new Ed.S. program will serve many educators throughout its region by offering a program that will advance their educational leadership careers. It will also prepare them for entry into a doctoral program, especially through the articulated pathway provided by the partnership with Clemson and the Consortium for Innovative Educational Practice. From the foundations provided by Winthrop’s Ed.S. program to the subsequent dissertations in the Ed.D. program, new and innovative solutions to educational problems will be realized.

“My hope is that all of South Carolina’s schools, districts and communities acquire the educational leaders they need to bring about change and that young people around the state experience the educational opportunities and success they deserve,” Rakestraw said. “We hope to reach historically underserved areas of the state and bring a new collaborative approach to solving educational problems.”

George J. Petersen, founding dean of Clemson’s College of Education, said, “The leadership, faculty and staff of all partner schools involved have come together to create something truly unique in South Carolina higher education that is poised to make measureable differences in the short and long term in South Carolina schools.”

He said it springs from the shared desire of everyone involved to transform educational opportunities in the state. “We believe the establishment of the new doctor of education degree will greatly benefit teachers, principals and superintendents who want to continue their education and improve their communities,” Petersen said. “We have accomplished this goal through our innovative spirit and collaborative partnerships.”

For more information, contact Jennie Rakestraw at rakestrawj@winthrop.edu.

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