New doctoral program welcomes fabulous 14

Credits: University Relations
Credits: University Relations
Credits: University Relations

A five-year endeavor into the first doctoral program at Arkansas Tech sees the fruits of its labor as the first 14-member cohort begins its journey. The doctorate of education degree in school leadership anticipates the students will graduate in spring 2017.

“I am absolutely honored to be a part of this program at Tech,” said Tiffany Bone, visiting assistant professor at Tech and one of the Fab14. “We have already bonded as a cohort and named ourselves the Fabulous 14. This is such an exciting time. Education and our professors are pushing us toward using our dissertations to address the current, relevant issues that we are passionate about. May 2017, the Fab14 will make history at the best university in the state of Arkansas—ATU.”

Beginning in July 2010, Tech began the process of getting the proper accreditation for the program. The following years saw a site visit by an out-of-state review team (March 2012) and program reviews by the Arkansas Higher Education Coordinating Board (AHECB).

This all led to a decision by the AHECB on July 25, 2014, to grant Tech the authority to offer a doctor of education degree in school leadership.

The final piece of the puzzle was put in place in May 2015 when the Higher Learning Commission, a commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, granted accreditation for Tech’s new program.

“I am very proud to be a part of the first doctoral class,” said Fab14 member Robert Moore, assistant superintendent of secondary curriculum and instruction at Rogers Public School.

“When I was a principal earlier in my career at Augusta High School, Mr. Elmo Browning, who was an Augusta and Tech alumnus, paid the tuition for our students to attend Arkansas Tech. The students from our school always loved Tech, and I appreciated the way that Tech supported those students. When I learned that Tech was starting this program, I jumped at the opportunity to connect to this great school. I know that as I move forward with my doctoral work, that I will have that same level of support from Dr. Freeman and Dr. Scott.”

The program is designed for K-12 education professionals who currently serve or wish to serve in school district leadership positions. The program will build on the curriculum of the institution’s existing educational specialist degree, which consists of 30 hours of course work beyond the master’s degree.

Although Dr. Mary Gunter, a member of the Tech faculty since 1998, was the driving force behind the creation and implementation of this first doctoral degree in the institution’s history, Dr. John A. Freeman will serve as director of the doctoral program.

He joined the faculty in January after previously working as professor and department head of the graduate studies division in the College of Health, Education and Professional Studies at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Freeman holds the faculty rank of professor of educational leadership at Tech.

In an article from The Courier, Freeman said it’s the program’s goal is to graduate every student in the first cohort.
For more information about the program, call (479) 498-6022 or send an e-mail to

Amber Quaid
About Amber Quaid 60 Articles
Amber Quaid is the coeditor-in-chief for the Arka Tech newspaper at Arkansas Tech University. Her focus is on diversity and its importance for inclusion into society. Amber has a bachelor’s degree in journalism with an emphasis in communication and public relations. She is currently working on receiving her master’s degree in multimedia journalism. Amber has been in the professional world of journalism for 4 years and in professional management positions for 16 years with a Fortune 500 company. Currently, on the Arka Tech Amber does layout, design, and writes articles about diversity and mental health issues. She enjoys reading, hanging out with her kids and playing deck-building board games.