Los Angeles Times
Letters to the Editor
January 6, 2001
Graduate Programs at Cal State
* Re "Cal State Pushes for Education Doctorate," Dec. 31:
As a veteran of the California State University educational system, I applaud the efforts of Chancellor Charles B. Reed to add the EdD program. After completing my B.A. in psychology and an M.A. in child development, I was extremely dismayed to learn that my options for local doctoral programs were so severely limited. The doctoral program touted by UCLA was not for me because it was very research-based, and I wanted the more "applied" type of program. My only choice was USC, which costs $2,500 per class. It was also the only quality program with evening classes.
I am now in my third year of the doctoral program at USC, and I believe that the same quality could be offered at the prices only the CSU system can deliver. If the CSU system prepares 60% of California teachers, compared with 5% in the University of California system, then allowing the CSU system to prepare doctoral candidates seems well justified. Why the UC system, which already has the prestige of medical and law schools (and large endowments and strong funding), feels that its younger sibling cannot share such a little piece of the educational pie is a perplexing and disappointing dilemma not only to the CSU chancellor but to the thousands of professionals and future professionals that the field of education in California so desperately needs.
* * * *
Public higher education faces many challenges at the dawn of the 21st century, but a shortage of EdDs is not one of them, and it is irresponsible for Reed to suggest that it is. As University of California officials correctly point out, there is simply no need for more EdD programs.
If Chancellor Reed is interested in graduate programs in the CSU, he would be well advised to provide more support for its master's degree programs. These programs, in basic areas like the sciences and humanities, are by far the largest source of qualified faculty in California's community college system, a fact that is both unappreciated and unacknowledged by the public, the media and Reed himself.
GEORGE M. LEWIS
Professor of Mathematics
Cal Poly San Luis Obispo