The University of Denver has finalized an agreement with Colorado Mountain College to forge a partnership that will assist CMC faculty and administrators who want to pursue a doctor of education degree (an Ed.D.) from DU’s Morgridge College of Education.
The partnership is designed to increase skills in a variety of postsecondary practices, including student access, equity, postsecondary policy and student success, among college professionals residing in rural communities.
Often, articulation agreements are forged between colleges and universities in order to help undergraduate students transfer from two-year schools to complete bachelor’s degrees. This agreement, designed to help working professionals gain terminal degrees in their field where a graduate-degree-granting institution is not geographically located, is unique in Colorado and nationally. Degree candidates, who are current CMC employees including both full-time and adjunct faculty, will receive financial support from CMC and scholarship aid from DU.
Central to the agreement is the structure of the DU Ed.D. program. Unlike most doctoral programs, the DU Ed.D. is a “cohort model” that will enable CMC professionals to take courses together and in a standard sequence at times intended to accommodate typical work schedules at the college.
“The project is one of DU’s many efforts to extend our impact outside of the metropolitan area and to collaborate with rural serving institutions and educational organizations,” said Karen Riley, dean of the Morgridge College of Education. “Supporting the development of future leaders in education is a part of our mission, and the graduates of our doctoral programs in higher education hold prominent positions locally and nationally. They serve as visionaries within their field.”
The relationship between the two institutions is a true partnership benefitting and enhancing each organization and amplifying the impact of each for the benefit of individuals across the state. Dr. Riley shared that, “Pedagogically this partnership deepens the learning experience for all of our doctoral students as the unique professional experience of the doctoral students from CMC serves to inform and broaden the class discussions.”
“Higher education is in a period of substantial transition,” said Dr. Carrie Besnette Hauser, president and CEO of Colorado Mountain College. “Many of the faculty and staff who built open-access colleges in the 1960s are now retiring. Given this reality, we must think creatively about how to provide leading-edge skills training for professionals ascending into leadership positions. At the same time, access institutions like CMC are more diverse, more innovative and, arguably, more important than ever.”
This partnership with DU is essential, said Hauser, a former adjunct faculty member at DU, “as it helps a geographically dispersed, multi-campus system prepare its next generation of leaders proactively and intentionally. We believe the partnership is unprecedented in Colorado and a model for interinstitutional cooperation.”