Western Carolina University

Western Carolina University
Doctorate in Education (Ed.D.) - Educational Administration and Curriculum
and Instruction Concentrations
Educational Leadership and Foundations
College of Education and Allied Professions
Annual Assessment Report for 2007-2008
Primary Contact Name/Info: Dr. Sandra Tonnsen, Associate Professor
Department Mission Statement: The mission of the department rests on the following two principles:
personal and professional integrity and respect for the worth of the individual. These principles guide all our
actions and interactions. Our mission has three emphases:
· Creating instructional environments that contribute to students meeting their personal and
professional learning goals.
· Extending our teaching mission beyond the immediate classroom environment to include service to
educational and education-related agencies.
· Ensuring—through research into discipline-related topics, through creating learning environments,
and through the provision of professional service—that each faculty member remain a learner.
Statement on Alignment of Program Mission w/ University and College Mission: The professional
education program at Western Carolina University fulfills its mission by creating and nourishing a
community of learners guided by knowledge, values, and experiences. The guiding principles of this
community include the belief that the best educational decisions are made after adequate reflection and
with careful consideration of the interests, experiences, and welfare of the persons affected by the
decisions; appreciation of and respect for diversity; and the fostering of the responsible use of technology.
Candidates in the Ed.D. program concentration explore the role of the educational leader in creating
learning communities in schools. They experience such communities through their coursework and
internships. The knowledge, values and experiences they explore are consistent with the North Carolina
Standards for School Leaders, the Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium Standards, and the
National Policy Board Standards for Educational Leadership. In coursework, candidates reflect on their
practice through journals and responses to their internship experiences. They explore the needs of diverse
learners through their readings, research and internships. They demonstrate the responsible use of
technology throughout their programs of study.
Program Goals/Objectives: The mission of the Ed.D. program is to “prepare individuals to become senior
level educational leaders who can provide exemplary leadership in their communities, resulting in improved
learning for students, staff, and the community” (Ed.D. in Educational Leadership Student Handbook, 20056, p. 3). Three broad goals guide the programs to prepare the candidate to
>build the knowledge, skills, and attitudes that sustain relationships which
encourage stakeholders to contribute to effective decision making,
>challenge their assumptions regarding educational organizations through explicit
examination of diverse perspectives, and
>use technology effectively and ethically to improve learning
Student Learning
Outcome(s) Assessed in
Method(s) of
Results of
Students will be competent in the NC Standards for School Leaders
in the NC Standards for School Leaders
School Leaders
Students will be competent Course requirements
A review of courses for
in the NC Standards for
which include research NCDPI/NCATE
School Leaders
papers, examinations,
revealed that
projects, a written
standards were being
addressed in the
examination, a portfolio, coursework for the
and a dissertation
Ed.D. All candidates
who took the
comprehensive exams
in 2007 were
successful (none took
them the spring of
2008) although five
had to rewrite a
portion and two
passed via the
administration of an
oral examination.
Students in EDL 883
and 884 completed
portfolios to
demonstrate their
experience with and
competence in the
new standards. Those
successfully presented
a cumulative portfolio.
Students who
defended dissertations
in 2007-8 were
Discussions within the ELF
faculty will continue as we
re-vision the Ed.D.
Questions center around
purpose, recruitment,
delivery, content and its
alignment, and student
Faculty will also work on the
revised comprehensive
examination to implement it
with the 2008 cohort (Cohort
13). Continued discussions
are in place to revisit the
research sequence so that
students are better prepared
to write their dissertations.
Assessment of the impact of
the new course in scholarly
writing and reading required
of new doctoral candidates
will take place.