In the morning, Julianna Barnes went to work at San Diego City College as dean of student development and matriculation. At night, she shifted gears to become a student herself. Barnes is one of 25 graduates to be the first to earn an independent doctor of education degree from San Diego State University this month.
Irina Weisblat is another. Weisblat is thousands of miles from where her educational journey began in her home of Saint Petersburg, Russia. Weisblat, who also holds an MBA from National University, now teaches business courses in the San Diego community college system. With her Ed.D., she plans to go on to teach at the university level.
And Reggie Blaylock is no stranger to San Diego State. He’s been a fixture on the SDSU campus since he played football as an undergraduate, receiving his bachelor’s degree in 1988. Now, the director of SDSU’s Educational Opportunity Program/Ethnic Affairs, Blaylock inspires first-generation college students to reach their goals of earning a college diploma. With the Ed.D., he will be an SDSU alumnus three-times over.
Barnes, Weisblat and Blaylock will receive their degrees during the College of Education’s commencement ceremony at 8 a.m., Sunday, May 23, in Viejas Arena.
“I can truly say that I feel transformed as a professional, as an educator, and overall as a human being after participating in the Ed.D. program at SDSU,” Barnes said.
First doctoral degree the CSU system has offered independently
The three-year program, with specializations in community college/post secondary education and pre-K-12, is the first doctoral degree the CSU system has offered independently. All other doctoral degrees are offered jointly with private universities or in partnership with the University of California, per California’s Master Plan for Higher Education.
“The Ed.D. program in educational leadership provides professionals the opportunity to enrich their knowledge base, expand their repertoire of skills, and explore ideas and experiences that can be transformational,” said Ric Hovda, dean of SDSU’s College of Education.
“In turn San Diego schools, community colleges and educational agencies benefit from their commitment and hard work. It is a win-win for everyone.”
More than 100 grads system-wide
SDSU’s graduates are approximately one-fourth of more than 100 students throughout the CSU system to receive the independently awarded Ed.D., which was established in 2005.
The CSU developed the doctoral education programs in response to the state’s need for well-prepared administrators to lead public schools and community colleges. The state supported the CSU's request to offer graduate level instruction leading to the Doctor of Education degree (Ed.D.) and Senate Bill 724, authored by now California Community College President Jack Scott, was enacted, granting the CSU for the first time independent authority to offer doctorate-degree programs.
Historically, the CSU system, SDSU included, originated as 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.
About the Ed.D. program
SDSU’s Ed.D. in Educational Leadership, with specializations in pre-K-12 and community college/postsecondary education, is positioned to have a major impact on the education community throughout San Diego and Imperial Counties. Preparing outstanding leaders to respond to diverse student populations, the program is committed to developing reflective leaders and change agents for complex educational organizations in multicultural settings.
The program provides an opportunity for candidates to work in learning communities as educators, leaders, policy makers and policy advocates.