By Julia Barnes, News Correspondent
Future graduate students committed to Northeastern but looking for a change from the fast-paced Boston lifestyle need only head down south.
Northeastern University’s Charlotte, N.C. campus administration has recently added a doctoral degree to the education program.
After more than a year of negotiation with the University of North Carolina Board of Governors, the university received approval for this addition on June 14.
Joining the list of 15 master’s degrees, the new program will be offered along with the recently added transitional doctorates of physical therapy and nursing practice
Northeastern is the only university not based in North Carolina to offer doctorate degrees in the southern state, said Dr. Cheryl Richards, chief executive officer and regional dean at Northeastern’s Charlotte satellite campus.
She said the program will include three areas of concentration: Curriculum teaching, learning and leadership, organizational leadership studies and higher education administration.
Students enrolled in the program, which spans three years, will earn 69 credit hours and will have to complete a doctoral thesis and proposal as well as a doctoral thesis defense.
Through online courses and hybrid courses, which are a combination of courses online and in the classroom, 20 to 35 students will study local education issues.
Although the program will not begin until winter quarter of 2014, many students are eager to beat the application deadline in November 2013.
In order for any out-of-state college to receive licensure, it must first go through a lengthy review process. An outside review board observes several aspects of the degree program from its curriculum to electronic resources.
From there, the board will either make recommendations to the UNC for modifications to the proposal or suggest its approval if it complies with the rules and standards of licensure.
On May 26, 2011 the review board visited Northeastern’s Boston campus. According to the committee on educational planning, policies and programs memorandum, the board recommended “substantial modification” to the university’s program’s curricula and content, and to the information contained in the catalog.
“NU went back to the drawing board and made significant improvements,” Gage said. This came with the help of the Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate (CPED) – a national endeavor with the purpose of strengthening the education doctorate degree.
Upon a second inspection of the proposal, the statutes were met and Thomas Ross, president of UNC, signed it.
The program will be reviewed again within two years to check that the standards are maintained.
Even though there are no other degree additions planned right now, it is likely Northeastern will add more in the future, Richards said.
After all, it was the high student demand that led the administration to push for the graduate program in the first place, she said.
“We expect it will be a pretty popular program,” Richards said. “There’s a strong interest in North Carolina.”