Walden University Launches Community College Leadership Program

September 18, 2003

Minneapolis, MN — September 17, 2003 — Walden University today announced it has launched a Ph.D. program in Community College Leadership designed to equip community college administrators and senior faculty nationwide with the knowledge, insight and perspective needed to lead the community college of the 21st century.

A charter class of 35, including administrators from institutions as diverse as Maricopa (Arizona) Community Colleges, Anne Arundel (Maryland) Community College, and Johnson County (Kansas) Community College, this month begins the approximately three-year distance-learning program.

The Walden University Ph.D. Program in Community College Leadership, which will continue to admit students on a monthly basis, is being launched at a time when the nation’s community colleges are facing an “impending crisis in leadership,” according to a recent survey of community college presidents by the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC). The AACC study indicates that although nearly half of all community college presidents and many senior administrators plan to retire by 2007, the number of advanced degrees awarded in community college administration has dropped precipitously, some 80 percent between 1983 and 1997 alone.

“In Walden University’s Ph.D. Program in Community College Leadership, college administrators and senior faculty, our leaders of tomorrow, have access today to an academically rigorous, highly practical and relevant doctoral program focused on the issues of greatest importance to them and their institutions,” said Dr. Terry O’Banion, Walden’s program director and the president emeritus of the League for Innovation in the Community College, an organization he headed for more than 20 years. “Ours is a learning-centered program offering significant opportunity—not only for our students but for our profession more generally—to measurably contribute to the future quality and growth of community colleges nationwide.”

Joining O’Banion on the Walden Community College Leadership charter faculty are some of the most prominent and recognized names in the community college field, including Jon J. Alexiou (director, Community College Initiatives, The Chauncey Group International); George Baker (J.D.M. distinguished university professor emeritus, N.C. State University-Raleigh); George Boggs (president and CEO of the American Association of Community Colleges), Alfredo G. de los Santos Jr. (research professor,

Arizona State University); Kay McClenney (director, Community College Survey of Student Engagement); Christine McPhail (professor of higher education, Community College Leadership Doctoral Program, Morgan State University); Mark David Milliron (president and CEO of the League for Innovation in the Community College); and Sandy Shugart (president, Valencia Community College). In addition to designing the curriculum, faculty members serve as mentors to students, providing guidance and support throughout the program.

The Walden curriculum and distance-learning model are designed for independent, self-directed learners. Individualized and customized, the program can be accomplished part time, so that students can continue to manage their responsibilities in full-time administration or teaching positions.

“What attracted me to Walden’s Community College Leadership program was the combination of a top-notch faculty, a community college-focused curriculum, and a distance-learning format that would allow me to complete the program while meeting my professional and personal obligations,” said Susan Lindahl, special assistant to the president at Johnson County Community College in Overland Park, Kansas.

The Walden program combines independent study with online and in-person interaction between and among students and faculty. Students chart their own learning path according to their particular career goals with the guidance of their faculty mentors, and receive professional and academic support from fellow students and professionals. Online courses, e-mail interaction and regular face-to-face meetings of cohorts and faculty called “residencies” keep students and faculty well-connected and combine to create a rich and challenging learning environment.

About Walden University
Since 1970, Walden University has offered busy professionals the opportunity to earn high-quality degrees through distance learning. Today, with more than 8,500 degree-seeking students, this comprehensive, online university offers master’s and doctoral degrees in education, management, psychology, and health and human services, as well as bachelor’s degree completion programs in business. Through its student-centered programs led by distinguished faculty members, Walden prepares its graduates to achieve professional excellence and effect positive social change. Named by U. S. News & World Report in 2001 as one of the nation’s “best online graduate schools,” Walden University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association, located at 30 N. LaSalle Street, Suite 2400, Chicago, IL 60602. The association is online at www.ncahigherlearningcommission.org, and can be reached at 312-263-0456. Walden University is a subsidiary of Sylvan Learning Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: SLVN). For more information, visit www.waldenu.edu