By: Caitlin Powers
Faculty from the ALEC department at Texas A&M and Texas Tech University’s Agricultural Education and Communications department met in Lubbock August 19-21 to launch the sixth cohort of Doc@Distance.
The joint doctoral program is open to individuals seeking a Doctor of Education in Agricultural Education. Doc@Distance students primarily utilize an online learning management system to access course material and occasionally connect by video conferencing that allows individuals to earn the degree no matter their location.
“To be able to have a joint doctoral program with two institutions not in the same system is very unique in any discipline,” Jack Elliot, Ph.D., ALEC department head said.
The team of 33 joint faculty is made up of 11 Texas Tech faculty and 22 ALEC faculty. The program coordinators are Clarice Fulton from ALEC and David Doerfert, Ph.D. from Texas Tech.
The sixth cohort began their program with the induction program meeting in Lubbock with ALEC and Texas Tech joint faculty. All the faculty and the students were enthusiastic to meet to kick off the program.
“We can say we are working together to make a stronger Texas and a stronger United States,” Elliot said.
At the meeting students learned more about the program and met the joint faculty. The fifth cohort was also in attendance. They shared their experiences with the newly inducted cohort and presented their proposed research for completing their degree program.
Students are required to attend six face-to-face meetings over the four years including the induction meetings, National American Association for Agricultural Education conferences and other campus based meetings.
“It is outstanding for people who have full time positions but desire to have that doctoral degree,” Elliot said about the program. “They can do it over four years and at the end have a doctoral degree, that is pretty powerful, those kinds of things did not exist just two decades ago.”
Every two years Doc@Distance admits a new cohort. The seventh cohort will begin in the fall of 2015. Applications are expected to open in January of 2015 and be due in April. For further information please contact Clarice Fulton.