The Doctor of Education in Organizational Leadership program at Pepperdine’s Graduate School of Education and Psychology was ranked No. 17 out of 49 universities in the nation for 2012, according to Leadership Excellence magazine.
Dr. June Schmieder-Ramirez, chair of the Organizational Leadership program, said the ranking is a great step for the program and GSEP.
“It means a great deal, because it shows that others have considered us strong in vigor,” Schmieder-Ramirez said.
According to their website, Leadership Excellence was founded on the ideal to “redefine how businesses were conducted, how people were motivated and how successes were achieved” through their monthly publication. This year, they evaluated more than 1,000 organizations including large and small businesses, universities, government and military entities, as well as various non-profits. Pepperdine’s recognition as a nationally ranked program is significant for the overall development of the program.
Seven criteria are used to evaluate the quality and quantity of the programs: vision and mission; design, content and curriculum; involvement and participation; measurement and accountability; presenter, presentations and delivery; take-home value and outreach.
“Any time a program receives national recognition it usually suggests a high level of academic quality; it may also suggest the program is doing some kind of innovative programing,” said Margaret Weber, dean of GSEP.
Pepperdine’s program has developed significantly since it began 25 years ago at GSEP. Originally the program was called Institutional Management, and focused primarily on education in both kindergarten through 12th grade and higher education.
Currently, however, the program is more focused on organizational leadership as a whole, including nonprofit, business and entrepreneurship.
She went on to say that the program, known as EDOL, offers flexible schedules for students across the U.S. Its strong support from administration and the emphasis it places on ethical values makes the program unique. The program also stresses creativity and innovation.
Schmieder-Ramirez said the global emphasis is what sets the program apart.
“When you look at the entire world [and] the issues that stress strong ethical values, we stress those in our program,” she said.
That perspective also attracts students.
“A student told me that they went to the Internet and looked for programs that looked for global themes; they felt they would get to know more about countries outside the U.S.,” said Schmieder-Ramirez. “As part of coursework, students go to Belize, China, India and Argentina for a hands-on global experience.”
Students are also able to participate in a domestic aspect of leadership as well. Dean Weber went on to comment on a unique opportunity the program offers, where students visit Washington, D.C., and meet with legislative staff and many U.S. Government departments such as the Department of Education.
Students are able to talk about issues of leadership that affect leaders and those issues that are important in regards to leadership with people in Washington.
The faculty of the EDOL program seek to ensure the relevancy of course work to the real world, according to the official press release from the university. They place an emphasis on providing the students with a skill set that will benefit them in the workplace so they are able to bring value to their organizations.
Schmieder-Ramirez said students who graduate from the program have gone on to become presidents of universities, CEOs, leaders of non-profits and even heads of medical organizations.
“We encourage our students to do original research. Some of them have gone on to turn their work into books, and we are very proud of that.”
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