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SACS Approves First FHU Doctoral Program

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges has approved the offering of Freed-Hardeman University's first doctoral program. The Doctorate of Education in instructional leadership will be available in two concentrations, administration/supervision and teacher leadership.

The program will be offered in Memphis and Henderson this fall, Vice President of Academics and Enrollment Management C.J. Vires said. Courses will be taught in a variety of ways: face-to-face, online and hybrid on Saturdays and weeknights.

The Ed.D. requires 54 hours beyond the master's level including a dissertation. Since the program is designed for working professionals, students will normally enroll part-time, taking six hours each semester. "A student who has completed an Education Specialist degree at FHU will be able to finish the doctoral program in three semesters," Vires said.

Students with a master's degree in education or an education specialist's degree are encouraged to apply. Applications for fall are available at Those with a master's degree should enroll in the Ed.S. program and begin taking courses applicable to the Ed.D. Students who already have an Ed.S. from FHU may apply for candidacy as a doctoral student and begin their final 18 hours of coursework. Those holding a specialist degree from another institution may be able to transfer up to nine hours into the program. These students will need to enroll in the FHU specialist program and begin taking courses that will apply to the Ed.D.

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 in the past five years, and 114 have finished the Ed.S. program. 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.

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