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Meeting of the Board of Regents | June 2010

Tuesday, June 1, 2010 - 9:35am

sed seal                                                                                                 




To:                                             The Honorable the Members of the Board of Regents


From:                                        Joseph P. Frey


Subject:                                    Master Plan Amendment: Manhattanville College, to authorize the College’s first program at the doctoral level


Date:                                         June 3, 2010






Issue for Decision (Consent Agenda)

Should the Board of Regents approve an amendment to the master plan of Manhattanville College to authorize the College to offer its first program at the doctoral level?


Reason(s) for Consideration


Required by State regulation.


Proposed Handling

The question will come before the full Board for consideration at its June 2010 meeting, where it will be voted on and action taken.

Background Information

Manhattanville College (Purchase) seeks Regents approval of an amendment to its master plan to offer an Ed. D. in Educational Leadership. Master plan amendment is needed because the proposed program would be the College’s first doctoral program.

The proposed program is designed to meet the needs of mid-career professionals who have leadership experience in public or private schools, in community programs, in governmental agencies, or in non-governmental organizations (NGOs) with major education initiatives. It would build on Manhattanville’s educational leadership master’s degree and professional diploma certification programs, but it is not designed to prepare candidates for building level or district level leadership certifications. 

              Students would complete a three-year program of study that integrates coursework, field experiences, and applied research in a blended model.  Using problem-based learning, the program would focus on preparing leaders to work in changing suburbs and small cities.  Experiences would be organized around five themes: leading learning organizations; becoming a sophisticated practitioner-scholar; developing self and others; participating in professional and policy-making communities; and facilitating responsive education programs. With the inclusion of social science faculty and practicing education leaders, it is designed to take an interdisciplinary approach to preparing education leaders. In addition, the program is based on the standards developed by the Interstate Leadership Licensing Council and the Educational Leadership Constituency Council as well as the Carnegie Initiative on the Doctorate, the Carnegie Project on Education Doctorate, and emerging models of professional doctorates. 

Three new educational leadership professors with doctoral teaching and dissertation supervision experience, including the doctoral program coordinator, would be responsible for the program. Full-time faculty from the School of Education and from the social science departments at Manhattanville with relevant expertise, experience, and research would teach courses and supervise dissertations. In addition, at least three clinical faculty would be hired as adjunct faculty to teach courses and serve as members of the core program faculty. These clinical faculty members will be outstanding leaders in education who currently work in the region.

A team of external peer reviewers approved by the Department evaluated the proposed program in 2007 and provided recommendations. The team’s review included an assessment of the program (faculty, curriculum, resources and facilities, administration, assessment, and more) as well as an assessment of the College’s readiness to move to a new degree level. Through its responses to the 2007 site visit team and to follow up inquiries from the Department (most recently in May 2010), Manhattanville has satisfactorily addressed all recommendations and inquiries. 

Consistent with its master planning process, the Department conducted a canvass of all degree-granting institutions of higher education in the Hudson Valley region and all doctoral degree-granting institutions statewide. The Department received responses from 13 institutions. One institution (Fordham University) objected to the proposed program, while the remainder offered no objections.

Fordham, which offers 45-credit, registered Ed.D. school leader certification programs in Administration & Supervision at its Manhattan and Westchester campuses, maintains that “any new Ed.D. in educational administration in the metropolitan area is extremely duplicative of the existing ones.” In addition to its own Ed.D. leadership programs, it cites programs offered by Teachers College, New York University, St. John’s University, and St. John Fisher College (Nyack College location).

Manhattanville College maintains that the proposed, 59-credit, non-certification program fills a niche that does not threaten or duplicate the programs cited by Fordham. According to the College, the proposed program responds to a need identified through a survey of practicing and prospective leaders in Westchester County. The program would build on the work of the College’s established Changing Suburbs Institute to focus on preparing educational leaders to work in changing suburbs and small cities. In addition, the College states that the program would be further differentiated by its “’professional practice’ model of doctoral work, with students completing a three-year program...that tightly integrates coursework, field experiences, and applied research.” Only 16 students will be accepted into each cohort. The College also notes that it has signed partnership agreements with Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES and Southern Westchester BOCES to support fieldwork and dissertation research.

The Department has determined that the proposed program meets the standards of registration set forth in the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education.


It is recommended that the Board of Regents approve the amendment to the master plan of Manhattanville College to authorize the College to offer its first program at the doctoral level. The amendment will be effective until June 30, 2011, unless the Department registers the program prior to that date, in which case master plan amendment shall be without term.