FHU Board Approves First Doctoral Program

SEPTEMBER 25, 2013

The Freed-Hardeman University Board of Trustees has approved the university’s moving toward offering a Doctor of Education degree, pending approval of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. This will be the university’s first offering of a doctoral degree.

The cohort program will be available in Memphis and Henderson, Dr. C.J. Vires, vice president of academics and enrollment management, said. Courses will be taught in a variety of ways: face-to-face, online and hybrid. Assuming SACSCOC approves, the first courses will be offered during the fall semester of 2014. “A student who has completed an Education Specialist degree will be able to finish the doctoral program in three semesters,” Vires said.

According to Dr. Sharen Cypress, dean of the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences, the addition of the Ed.D. is another “exciting endeavor designed to move the college closer to its 2019 vision of becoming the Gateway to Excellence in Education.”

FHU currently offers the Master of Teaching, Master of Education and Education Specialist degrees. The M.Ed. and Ed.S. degrees are available with a variety of concentrations. Approximately 300 teachers have completed the master’s program over the past five years, and 114 have finished the Ed.S. programs

The undergraduate education program at Freed-Hardeman University is one of the university’s largest, with nearly 200 students currently preparing to teach. FHU was one of two programs in the state to produce teachers with higher student achievement gains than veteran teachers in areas where adequate value added data are available, according to the “2012 Report Card on the Effectiveness of Teacher Training Programs.”

FHU has a long history of preparing education professionals for service. The Tennessee State Board of Education first approved Freed-Hardeman as a teacher training institution in 1925. Freed-Hardeman has been accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools since 1976, and the College of Education has been accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education since 1982. NCATE accreditation was reaffirmed during the 2012 school year.