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Mercer Adds Higher Education Leadership Track to Ph.D.

February 14, 2007

Media Contact: Mark Vanderhoek
(478) 301-4037 or (800) 837-2911

MACON/ATLANTA — Beginning this fall, the Tift College of Education of Mercer University will add a Higher Education Leadership track to its Ph.D. in Educational Leadership program, on both the university’s Macon and Atlanta campuses. It is the second track of the college’s Ph.D. offerings, with the first being a P-12 School Leadership track, launched in 2006.


“We’ve developed this program in response to a growing need for college and university  leadership development in the state,” said Penny Elkins, assistant dean for new program development at the Tift College of Education and chair of the Educational Leadership Department. “This program is unique in that it is specifically designed for college and university leaders who wish to use research-based leadership skills in the academic community. Candidates will experience the rigor and demands of a Ph.D. program while translating that knowledge into practical aspects of leadership in college and university settings.”


The Higher Education track is a three-year, 63-semester-hour program designed to be completed in cohorts while candidates continue to work. Classes are held in the evenings and on Saturdays during the school year and include summer courses as well.


The program has four support features for candidates:


·   The Leadership Academy, a once-per-semester Saturday session to bring candidates together to meet with education experts who have diverse ideas and methods on topics that complement and enhance the learning experience.


·   The Leadership Portfolio, an electronic portfolio each candidate will maintain to showcase his or her work and experience through the program, which provides valuable documentation of the learning experience upon completion of the program.


·   The Online Leadership Network, which will enable candidates to communicate with other members of the cohort group and Mercer’s Educational Leadership faculty. The network will provide a forum for online discussions on topics and issues in educational leadership.


·   The Mentoring/Internship Experience, which will engage all candidates in field experiences each semester of the program, guided and supported by assigned mentors in the field.


In the classroom, candidates complete 24 semester hours of core courses and 24 semester hours of content base, supported by a strong foundation in both qualitative and quantitative research strategies. The Professional Studies, or content base, will address such topics as higher education law, planning, finance and budgeting, policy and politics, governance, and student affairs. Core studies will cover current issues in the field, ethics, advanced leadership theory and organizational theory and behavior. The remaining 15 hours will include an extensive study of research methodology and statistics.


For admission consideration, candidates must hold a bachelor’s and a master’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university and have appropriate teaching or leadership experience in higher education leadership or other comparable activity.  Candidates must also submit a recent GRE score; a current vita or résumé; two official copies of transcripts of all academic work with a minimum cumulative graduate grade point average of 3.5; a $35 non-refundable admissions fee, and three professional letters of recommendation. Qualified candidates will interview with the selection committee and submit writing samples.


An application packet is available by calling the Educational Leadership Program at Mercer at (678) 547-6563 in the Atlanta area, (478) 301-5400 in the Macon area, or by visiting college’s website at


About Mercer University:

Founded in 1833, Mercer University is a dynamic and comprehensive center of undergraduate, graduate and professional education. The University has 7,300 students; 11 schools and colleges – liberal arts, law, pharmacy, medicine, business, engineering, education, theology, music, nursing and continuing and professional studies; major campuses in Macon and Atlanta; four regional academic centers across the state; a university press; teaching hospitals in Macon and Savannah; an educational partnership with Warner Robins Air Logistics Center in Warner Robins and Piedmont Healthcare in Atlanta; an engineering research center in Warner Robins; a performing arts center in Macon; and a NCAA Division I athletic program. For more information, visit