For immediate release
January 26, 2006

UTB/TSC Receives Approval to Plan for New Doctorate Degree 

UT Brownsville and Texas Southmost College is one step closer to offering a doctorate degree in education. 

At their meeting on Thursday, January 26, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board gave approval for the administration to move forward in its plans to implement a doctorate in curriculum and instruction with an emphasis in bilingual education.  

"Receiving planning authority from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board is a major step in the process of having a doctoral degree in education at UTB/TSC,” said Dr. Carl A. Stockton, Dean of the School of Education. “We are very excited about this announcement and the positive impact that this degree program will have at both the university and the lower Rio Grande Valley.  The School of Education continues to receive many inquiries from potential students about the doctoral program in education."   

The approval now allows the university to present a full doctoral proposal to the UT Board of Regents in either the spring or summer. If the regents approve the proposal it would then go before the Coordinating Board for final approval. 

If final approval is given, the university could offer the new doctoral program as early as the fall of 2007. 

In order to receive approval, UTB/TSC had to meet certain criteria which included demonstrating a need for such a program and how it complements and strengthens existing programs and whether it would unnecessarily duplicate other programs within the region, state or nation. 

The Regents gave UTB/TSC approval to begin the process in November 2005 by giving it planning authority, which allowed the university to plan for the doctorate in curriculum and instruction with an emphasis in bilingual education.

In seeking preliminary authority, university administrators said the Education Doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction in the School of Education will provide the first opportunity for an advance graduate degree in education at UTB/TSC and build on the already existing 12 master’s programs and 16 undergraduate degrees leading to teacher certification. 

It will also strengthen the curriculum, not only in the School of Education, but at the university in general since approximately one-third of all students enrolled at UTB/TSC take classes in the School of Education. The doctorate will provide the chance for research to better understand how bilingual students learn from PreK-16.