THE STATE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT / THE UNIVERSITY OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK / ALBANY, NY 12234

 

TO:

Higher Education and Professional Practice Committee

FROM:

Johanna Duncan-Poitier

 

 

SUBJECT:

Master Plan Amendment: The Sage Colleges, Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) degree in Educational Leadership and Doctor of Nursing Science (D.N.S.) in Education and Leadership

DATE:

March 2, 2007

STRATEGIC GOAL:

Goals 2 and 4

AUTHORIZATION(S):

 

 

SUMMARY

 

Issue for Decision

 

Should the Regents authorize the amendment of the master plan of The Sage Colleges, Troy and Albany, New York in order for the college to offer a Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) degree in Educational Leadership and Doctor of Nursing Science (D.N.S.) in Education and Leadership?

Reason for Consideration

 

            Required by State regulation.

 

Proposed Handling

 

            The question will come before the Higher Education and Professional Practice Committee at its March 2007 meeting where it will be voted on and action taken.  It will then come before the full Board at its March 2007 meeting for final action.

 

Procedural History

 

            Master plan amendment is required because these would be the Collegesí first academic doctoral degree programs. The Sage Colleges submitted its proposals in February 2006, which included an institutional readiness review conducted by a team of peer reviewers.  The Department completed its academic review in January 2007 and initiated on January 22, 2007 the canvasses of all degree-granting institutions in the Northeast Region and all doctoral degree-granting institutions in the State.  The canvasses ended on February 13, 2007.

 

Background Information

 

            The Sage Colleges is an independent institution, granted a provisional charter by the Board of Regents in 1927 and an absolute charter in 1928, which today offers baccalaureate degrees in liberal arts and professional fields and masterís degrees in education, business and management, nursing, health sciences, public administration, and psychology, as well as the Doctor of Physical Therapy.

Effect on Other Institutions

 

            A statewide canvass was conducted of institutions of higher education.  For the Doctor of Education program, four letters of support, including two offering comments which have been responded to by Sage and three responses indicating no objection were received.  For the Doctor of Nursing Science program, there were five letters of support and four responses indicating no objection.

 

Recommendation

 

            The Department has determined that the proposed program, if approved, would meet the standards for registration set forth in the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education. As this would be the Collegesí first academic doctoral degree program, the Department will make a peer review visit during the programís first year of operation.

 

            The Department recommends that the Board approve the amendment of the master plan of The Sage Colleges, authorizing the Colleges to offer a Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) degree program in Educational Leadership and a Doctor of Nursing Science (D.N.S.) degree program in Education and Leadership.  This amendment will be effective until March 31, 2008, unless the programs are registered by the Department prior to that date, in which case master plan amendment shall be without term.

 

Timetable for Implementation

 

            If the Board approves this amendment, the Department will register these programs, and the Colleges will proceed to recruit and enroll students.

 

 


Information in Support of Recommendation

 

 

Program Overview for Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership

 

            The proposal for the Ed.D. in Educational Leadership is jointly presented by the School of Education, the first NCATE-accredited program in New Yorkís Capital Region, and Sage Graduate School.  Both emphasize the integration of sound theoretical preparation with professional practice. This proposal builds on the School of Educationís 80-year record of achievement in the preparation of teachers and counselors at the undergraduate and graduate levels and is consistent with its mission. The program of doctoral study will:

 

 

Degree Requirements

 

            Candidates for the Ed.D. program will complete 102 credits of graduate study, 42 of which must be completed in the Sage program. Those credits include core coursework, an experiential component integrated throughout the program, and a culminating research activity.  The program is designed to be small; approximately 10-15 part-time candidates will be accepted every other year.  Each group will proceed through the program as a cohort.  The program design includes summer residencies, evening and weekend courses, online components, and interaction with state and national experts.  The degree must be completed within six years; an attrition rate of 10-15 percent is projected.

 

Program Design

 

            The design of the internship is a distinguishing feature of the program. Using a medical rotation model, each candidate will intern throughout the first four semesters, experiencing the annual cycle of school district leadership functions.  The internship competency areas relate specifically to the coursework of the semester.  Candidates will serve the internship in two carefully selected school districts of varying socioeconomic status. These school districts will also become partners as research sites and collaborate with program faculty in identifying significant problems of practice for research.  The partnerships provide relevancy for the research, build capacity for the school districts, and generate model university/school district relationships. 

 

Nationwide, a number of institutions of higher education have moved to focus the Ed.D. in Educational Leadership on understanding and applying research in practice. Vanderbilt Universityís program represents one such effort. Vanderbiltís program assumes that theoretical understanding will have practical as well as scholarly outcomes and that candidates will become scholar-practitioners. Rather than a dissertation, the program requires an ďindependent research and analytic activity embedded in a group project.Ē

 

A similar approach is reflected in the proposal submitted by Sage.  While candidates are expected to demonstrate competence individually, their ability to work with others, to lead, to develop, and to demonstrate vision, advocacy, and outreach can only be fully evaluated in context. The competencies associated with the research as designed provide the structure by which knowledge, skills, and dispositions can be evaluated in vivo rather than through simulation. Candidates have the opportunity to apply the research findings of the field, to understand the complex nature of the issues and problems that schools face, and to draw upon the richness and breadth of the university curriculum.   It should be noted that this activity will not only address significant and real problems, concerns or questions, but will contribute to the knowledge base in the area of leadership practice.

 

Program Admission Requirements

 

Admission to the Ed.D. program will be limited to qualified candidates who have completed a masterís degree or degrees with no fewer than 60 graduate credits of study in education or related areas, and have a GPA of no less than 3.5 in graduate coursework.  Potential candidates will also present teaching or leadership certification and demonstrate potential for educational leadership based on prior work experience.  Other requirements include an application to Sage Graduate School; three letters of professional reference that address the candidateís potential in relationship to the NYS Education Departmentís nine essential characteristics of effective leaders; an on-demand writing sample to determine readiness and capability for scholarly writing; a current rťsumť; a statement of career goals supporting the choice to enter doctoral study at this time; and participation in a personal admissions interview.

 

            Candidates for the program will be teachers, counselors, principals, and other education professionals who have exhibited leadership potential through their work in schools, school systems, or other educational policy positions. The program is intended for practitioners and is designed to allow for continued employment throughout the period in which they will complete the program.  Careful work with school and community leaders is intended to assist in increasing the number of highly qualified candidates from under-represented populations who enroll in the doctoral program.  The student body will primarily be drawn from the Greater Capital Region, contiguous upstate areas of New York, and the states of Vermont and Massachusetts.

 

Facilities, Equipment, Faculty and other Academic Resources

 

            The Ed.D. program in Educational Leadership will be housed on Sageís Albany campus, with state-of-the-art classrooms, small and large group meeting spaces, office space, and support services. Classroom facilities are fully networked with an array of technology resources: wireless access, digital whiteboard, visual presenter, DVD and PC with peripherals and software.

 

            The combined holdings of The Sage Collegesí Albany and Troy libraries include over 370,000 volumes of books, serials and microforms, 16,000 printed and electronic periodical subscriptions (with over 55,000 volumes of bound periodicals) and over 34,000 media items. Additionally, extensive online resources support the new program, including the pre-eminent databases and journals in the field of education. Through a regional library consortium, Sageís students and faculty have ready access to the holdings of other academic libraries, including the University at Albany.  External reviewers for the Ed.D. program assessed the library resources as satisfactory. The institution is planning, over the next three years, an additional $16,500 investment for specific new items.  Sage provides technical support for the academic area, including a campus intranet, electronic file space, tutorials, training, technical assistance, specialized software, labs and equipment.

 

The Educational Leadership faculty are broadly qualified, with extensive records of accomplishment at the state, regional and national level. Two associate professors are dedicated full time to the Educational Leadership program; both possess appropriate doctoral degrees and extensive leadership experience.   A new position, Director of Research, is currently being added specifically for the Ed.D. program. The Director of Research brings rich experience with doctoral programs, dissertation advisement, research, and publication.  A fourth faculty member will be added in the second year of the program, based on assessment of enrollment and need for additional expertise.  Two other faculty members in the School of Education, both with relevant doctoral degrees, complete the core program faculty.  Doctorally prepared educational leaders in the field will join program faculty to act as coaches for the candidates and become advocates for their career advancement.

 

The doctoral program will also draw upon the expertise of faculty across the university.  Faculty members within the Department of Management in the School of Professional Studies, with particular expertise in business, organizational management, public administration, and finance, are committed to be among the affiliated faculty working with the Ed.D. program candidates. Other faculty from the School of Education, with expertise in literacy, special education, and counseling, will participate in specific aspects of program delivery. The program will seek to maintain a 5:1 candidate to faculty ratio.

 

 

Prospects for Employment/Further Education for Program Graduates

 

This program prepares graduates primarily for positions of school district leadership and leadership roles in educational coordination and policymaking.  Schools and school districts face the convergence of large numbers of potential retirements from positions of leadership, a demand for greater achievement across all subgroups of the student population, fiscal disparities, and increasing accountability from both the national and state levels. 

 

Snapshot V, a publication of the New York State Council of School Superintendents, reports approximately 63 percent of current superintendents plan to retire within the next five years.  The findings also indicate that new superintendents will serve fewer years in the role than their retiring predecessors.  The identified demand is complicated by a shrinking replacement pool of interested and prepared candidates. 

 

The percentage of women who are superintendents continues to rise, representing 30 percent of new superintendents; nevertheless, the percentage of female superintendents in New York State is only 22.1.  The percentage for minorities is less than three.  The Advisory Committee for the Sage Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership confirmed this need regionally and has guided the development of the program.  Professors from institutions of higher education which award a similar degree have accepted an invitation to provide guidance and support for the program in its initial phase as members of a panel of experts. 

 

               A need for this program exists.  Though the doctorate is not required for certification as a school district leader in New York, it is important for the level of preparation and the competency needed to lead complex educational systems that are typically described in the position description for superintendents.  As the New York State Education Department notes, "Research shows that the leadership skills needed today are different from in the past and preparation programs must adapt in order to better train people for leadership positions." (Growing Tomorrow's Leaders Today:  Preparing Effective School Leaders in New York State, a publication of the New York State Board of Regents and the New York State Education Department). Sageís proposal for the Ed.D. in Educational Leadership is responsive to the Department's challenge.

 

The demand for this program is not being fully accommodated by other doctoral institutions in the eastern part of New York State. No programs of the type proposed by Sage exist between New York City and Canada. There is one Ph.D. program offered in the immediate region.  It has a strong research orientation consistent with university mission and a broader focus on preparation not only of school leaders but also policy developers and higher education faculty and administrators.  Together, the number of graduates produced by the Ph.D. program and the proposed Sage program will not satisfy the need for highly qualified school leaders in the Capital Region or the state of New York.  This proposed Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership, with its combination of theory, practice and research, offers an important alternative to the Ph.D. and a complement to existing certification programs.

 


Program Overview for Doctor of Nursing Science (D.N.S.) in Education and Leadership

 

            The Sage Collegesí nursing programs (both graduate and undergraduate) are accredited by the Council of Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).  More than 3,500 nurses at the bachelorís and masterís level have graduated and assumed leadership positions in advanced practice, education and administration  Through Sage Graduate School, Sage presently offers the M.S. in Nursing with concentrations for nurse educators and administrators and certificates for nurse-practitioners in a variety of specialties.  The D.N.S. program will build on the mission of Sage Graduate School to ďeducate men and women professionals to develop exemplary career competencies by combining sound theoretical preparation with professional practice.Ē 

 

 

Program Design

 

            The purpose of the D.N.S. program is to prepare innovative, transformational nurse leaders and educators for both academic and health care settings.  The programís distinctive approach will focus on developing a model of dynamic collaboration between academia and the health care environment. The proposed D.N.S. model is based on AACNís Indicators of Quality in Research-Focused Doctoral Programs in Nursing (2001).  It will prepare expert nurses to provide and cultivate leadership, advance education, research and scholarship, and influence policy across academic and health care settings.  The D.N.S. will complement a proposed new doctoral program in Educational Leadership; both programs will also draw upon the expertise of faculty in the Department of Management (School of Professional Studies). 

 

            The global nursing shortage in academia and in health care administration is well documented in literature.[1]  By facilitating part-time study for employed practitioners, Sageís D.N.S. model facilitates the integration of the administrative and educational problems of the workplace with concurrent advanced study and research.  Pursuit of the doctoral degree thus becomes more attractive and feasible and helps to address the long-term problem of nursing shortages.

 

            Candidates for the D.N.S. degree will complete a program of 84 graduate credits, 42 of which must be completed in the Sage program.  The program includes courses in Advanced Nursing Science and Knowledge (6 credits), Advanced Research and Scholarship (15 credits), Leadership in Higher Education and Health Care (9 credits), and Nursing Cognates (12 credits).  Each candidate will develop with the program director a unique plan of professional development, which forms a basis for the selection of their cognate courses, based on prior academic and professional experience and planned career track. The curriculum culminates in a six-credit dissertation mentored by a team of full-time and adjunct faculty.  The dissertation research topics will focus on issues of education and leadership.  The D.N.S. program is designed for part-time study that can be completed in a three- to six-year period.  A cohort group will begin the program annually in the fall semester.  The program must be completed within six years.

 

            The proposed D.N.S. degree program is distinctive in that it provides a foundation for scholarly dialogue between academic and practice leaders who will collaborate in shaping practice, nursing curriculum, policy and evidence-based outcomes to create stronger environments for professional nursing education and practice. The Department of Nursing currently has collaborative clinical contracts with 103 local, regional, state, and global agencies.  Sage expects to use these academic partnerships to further expand and develop new, innovative models of education and care delivery for multigenerational and diverse populations. 

 

           The following health care institutions are major regional academic partners both in terms of formal clinical affiliations and collaborative research:  Albany Medical Center, Northeast Health System, Saratoga Hospital (Saratoga Care), Seton Health Systems, St. Peterís Healthcare Services, VA Health Care Network, and Southwestern Vermont Medical Center. 

  

           The Department is currently working on two experimental education programs:  1) a project with The Iroquois Health Alliance (sponsored by New York Department of Health) to accelerate entry into baccalaureate nursing programs for individuals working in the health care field; and 2) a project with Community Hospice to more efficiently train nursing and other medical staff in the theory and operation of palliative care.

 

           The Department is also developing a formal academic affiliation with the Foundation of New York State Nurses.  The Foundation is a repository for historical artifacts, texts, and evidence-based practice documents and is an additional research resource for the program.

 

Program Admission Requirements

 

            Admission to the D.N.S. program will be limited to candidates who have completed a masterís degree with no fewer than 42 credits of study in nursing and a G.P.A. of no less than 3.5 in their graduate coursework.  The initial market will be employees from Sageís clinical partnerships, graduates of Sage Nursing masterís degree programs and current nursing executives and managers in the Greater Capital Region (including western Vermont and Massachusetts).  There is a prospective list of 28 qualified individuals who have expressed a strong interest in applying to the first cohort group.  According to national studies, current doctoral program applicants have 15-20 years of clinical experience/teaching or administrative experience before they pursue a doctoral degree.  Sage expects to see a similar profile.   The initial cohort of D.N.S. students is estimated at approximately 10-12. They will complete the degree on a part-time basis over a three- to six-year period.  A new cohort will begin each fall.  Cohorts in the third year will drop to 11 and in the fifth year 10.  Enrollment is likely to stabilize at this level. It is anticipated that there would be a 10-20 percent attrition for each cohort.

 

Facilities, Equipment, Faculty and other Academic Resources

 

            The D.N.S. program in Education and Leadership will be housed on Sageís Albany campus, with state-of-the-art classrooms, small and large group meeting spaces, office space, and support services. Classroom facilities are fully networked with an array of technology resources: wireless access, digital whiteboard, visual presenter, DVD and PC with peripherals and software.

 

            The combined holdings of The Sage Collegesí Albany and Troy libraries include 370,000 volumes of books, serials and microforms, 16,000 printed and electronic periodical subscriptions (with over 55,000 volumes of bound periodicals) and over 34,000 media items. There is electronic access to over 40,000 serial titles and 10,000 books, with a strong emphasis on health sciences.  Additionally, extensive online resources support the new program, including the most important databases and journals in the field of nursing.  Through a regional library consortium, Sageís students and faculty have ready access to the holdings of other academic libraries, including the University at Albany. External reviewers for the D.N.S. program assessed the library resources as satisfactory.  Sage is planning for the first three years of the program to invest an additional $12,900 in specific new items for the program.  Sage provides technical support for the academic area, including a campus intranet, electronic file space, tutorials, training, technical assistance, specialized software, labs and equipment.

 

            The Department of Nursing currently has 16 full-time nursing faculty members supporting a Bachelor of Science curriculum (including an RN bachelorís completer program), a multi-faceted masterís degree program, and several post-masterís certificates as clinical specialists and nurse practitioners.  Eight current full-time faculty members have earned doctorates and the credentials and research experience appropriate for teaching in the doctoral program and participating in the oversight of dissertations.  The Department will build on its expertise with team teaching, linking prominent professionals with specialized knowledge with full-time faculty to form cooperative teaching teams.

 

            Department faculty have a strong record of successful grants in curriculum, program development, and Human Resource and Services Administration (HRSA) traineeships.  Individual faculty have secured external funding for research in palliative care, gerontology, and community health.  Senior faculty hold regional, state, and national leadership positions in professional nursing and health care organizations.

 

            In January 2007, the Colleges hired a director for the program who has a track record of scholarship, research, and leadership.  The Colleges have just completed interviewing doctorally prepared candidates for a joint teaching/research position with St. Peterís Hospital.  In addition to faculty responsibilities in the D.N.S. program, this individual will shape the research infrastructure at St. Peterís, working closely with advanced practice nurses providing resources to effectively engage staff nurses in nursing research and implementing evidence-based practice.  St. Peterís is one of four hospitals in New York State to achieve American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) Magnet Hospital Status for excellence in patient care.

 

Prospects for Employment/Further Education for Program Graduates

 

            Currently there are no doctoral programs in nursing in the Greater Capital Region.  Geographically, the closest D.N.S. programs with a focus on leadership in education and healthcare administration are located in New York City, Boston and Buffalo.  By reason of its location, Sage is able to serve a large upstate area in eastern New York as well as western Massachusetts and Vermont.

 

            In the Statewide Plan for Higher Education, the Regents have initiated a comprehensive strategy to address the existing shortage in the Stateís nursing workforce (then estimated to be 17,000 nurses by 2005 and to rise thereafter). The Stateís residents rely on these professionals for their health and safety.

 



[1] American Association of Colleges of Nursing, ďNursing Shortage Fact SheetĒ http://www.aacn.nche.edu/Media/shortageresource.htm