Meeting Growing Demands

New PhD program will prepare students for educational leadership careers.


By Kim Tucker

Special to USF News


TAMPA, Fla. (Sept. 26, 2012) – Educators and educational leaders, now more than ever, face calls for increased accountability; improved technology integration; ongoing shifts in demographics; and, uncertain financial, legal, and political environments.


In order to meet these demands and increase the national academic reputation of the Department of Educational Leadership & Policy Studies (DELPS), the University of South Florida College of Education is making improvements to the DELPS doctoral program to add policy courses and rigorous research requirements. These improvements have resulted in a new DELPS Ph.D. program with once-a-year summer admission. The existing DELPS Ed.D. program will be phased out.


Considering the effort it takes to implement lasting program change, the DELPS faculty has increased its research productivity; increased qualitative and quantitative research requirements; and, added necessary policy and cognate courses.


“As the trajectory of academic and professional success of DELPS continues through the success of our graduates, we hope to be known as the best doctoral program for educational leadership & policy in the state and southern region of the U.S.,” said USF College of Education Interim Dean Harold Keller.


DELPS Chair and Professor Anthony Rolle added, “The new Ph.D. in Educational Leadership is designed for those individuals who intend to build an administrative career focused on innovative and inquiry-based leadership; or, an academic career focused on conducting research in the multidisciplinary field of education.  Accordingly, this program will prepare individuals for careers in k-12 education systems; research universities and teaching colleges; as well as private, non-profit, state, federal, or international educational agencies.”


Individual students will work alongside highly-regarded educational leadership faculty with expertise in multiple arenas including: school accountability, curriculum and pedagogy, education law, educational leadership, organization theory, politics of education, economics of education, and education reform.


Once admitted into the program, students will be engaged in coursework organized around curriculum, leadership, and policy studies; and, will be matched with a temporary faculty advisor whose research interests are congruent with the student’s.


Students will design an individualized program of study, which reflects specific research interests, to prepare them to conduct and apply high quality research to practice; write and present scholarly papers at professional conferences; and, submit research articles for publication in education journals. “With leaders trained in educational leadership and policy studies who possess skills in cross-cultural communication, an understanding of the historical and political foundations of education, and the role of collaborative engagement of all stakeholders, we expect that P-20 school contexts will improve,” Rolle said.


For more information about the program visit:


Kim Tucker can be reached at 813-974-7440.