Southern Arkansas University announces first doctoral program


MAGNOLIA, Ark. (KTAL/KMSS) – Southern Arkansas University (SAU) announces its first doctoral program. This program was created to train educators on teaching a diverse group of students in rural areas.

Beginning in November 2020, people can apply for admission into the Rural and Diverse Educational Leadership online doctoral program. The Dean of the College of Education, Kim Bloss, said the purpose of this program is to provide knowledge for educators to lead in rural communities.

“Majority of the interest came from public school leaders who wanted more help on how to be better leaders in their schools and helping those diverse populations. As well as the unique needs that are in rural areas,” said Bloss.

Bloss said the program is 60 credit hours and they’re hoping to have a cohort of at least 25 people.

“The reason for an Ed.D versus like a Ph.D. is we are going to train leaders on the ground. It’s not about preparing researchers. It’s about what kinds of real-world solutions can we come up with with our research. What can we investigate to say ‘how can we make schools better places for all students, so all students learn?’ ,” said Bloss.

Dr. Trey Berry, the president of the university said it took time to find a program that fit the need of this area. Which is why it took four years to come up with this doctoral program.

“We’re always looking for where the need is. Where the student demand is. Where the career demand is as part of what we do as a University,” said Dr. Berry.

Dr. Berry said at least seven educational institutions in the area are showing interest in SAU’s doctoral program. “To see it all come about and now being able to launch this is so exciting. Not just for SAU but for our entire region.”

In addition to the doctoral program, SAU is building a new education building that will open in the summer of 2021.

Administrators encourage anyone interested in the doctoral program to visit Southern Arkansas University’s website for more information.

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