Doctorate in Educational Leadership Is Fastest Growing Program at Manhattanville College

YORKTOWN, NY, OCTOBER 12, 2017 – Students in the Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership were welcomed at a reception hosted by Manhattanville and Putnam | Northern Westchester BOCES, partners in the unique advanced degree. The event, held at Manhattanville’s grand Reid Castle, was also attended by the program’s alumni and professors.

The Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) program at Manhattanville is designed as a cohort model, which means set groups of people work together for the duration of their program. The cohorts’ success as collaborative and supportive learning environment is evident in how students introduced themselves over cocktails that evening.

“I’m Raymond Gonzalez, Cohort 8, Executive Cohort 4. I teach aeronautical science and biology at Fordham Preparatory School.”

“Joan O’Keefe, Cohort 8. I’m the Director of Science and Technology at Harrison Central School District.”

“I’m Elizabeth Higgins, Cohort 4. I’m the Director of Teaching and Learning at the Wooster School in Danbury, Connecticut.”

The students cite the cohort experience as central to their positive experience in the doctoral program. “It’s valuable to meet other people with similar concerns about the direction of education,” said Charles Garfield, English teacher and assistant dean of Greenwich High School, in Greenwich, Connecticut.

The Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership has offered tracks in educational leadership and an executive Ed.D. since 2015. New this year is a concentration in higher education leadership. The first cohort in this track is all-women, and they nicknamed themselves WW2—a nod to the film, “Wonder Woman 2,” which hit the box office about the same time they added a doctoral journey to already full lives.

As Renee Gargano, the Assistant Program Coordinator for Manhattanville’s Doctoral Program and Founder and Program Developer of the Putnam | Northern Westchester BOCES Center for Educational Leadership, welcomed all to the annual reception, attendees gathered around tables in Reid Castle’s gracious dining room, naturally grouping themselves by cohort.

“You are embarking on a rich and life-changing experience,” said Gargano. “Our outstanding faculty and staff are with you every step of the way. We look forward to celebrating at your graduation and calling you ‘Dr.’”

Manhattanville’s President, Dr. Michael E. Geisler, struck a tone of both empathy and humor with the students by putting the writing of a doctoral thesis in the context of the five most traumatic experiences of a lifetime.

Shelly B. Wepner, Dean and Professor at Manhattanville’s School of Education, followed with a lighthearted recount of her own doctoral journey complete with multiple job changes and twins born six weeks before her dissertation defense, to help the students understand the power of their own determination.

Robert Monson, Ph.D., Coordinator of the Doctoral Program and Visiting Associate Professor in Educational Leadership, reminded students of the importance of family time while pursuing a doctorate.

At the end of the evening, the students exited in small groups, still laughing and speaking. WW2 took a few more photos together to mark the occasion before leaving. Cohort 9 was still sitting around their table, with text books and papers spread out before them. Class began in the next hour.

About the Center for Educational Leadership

The Center for Educational Leadership (CEL) is a program of PNWBOCES. It provides programs, services and customized offerings to over 800 school leaders and 200 various school personnel from 144 school districts.