News Release| Charter College of Education; Cal State L.A.

May 31, 2012

Cal State L.A. to confer its first-ever Ed.D. graduates from new independent doctoral program

 Los Angeles, CA – Making campus history this spring, California State University, Los Angeles will confer the first graduates of its new Ed.D. program in educational leadership, the first-ever independent doctoral-level program offered at the University, during its June 15 Commencement.

Cal State L.A.’s educational leadership program, approved by the CSU Chancellor’s Office and the Western Association of Schools and College, was launched in fall 2009. CSULA’s independent Ed.D. program is helping lay the groundwork not only for professional doctorates in education in the CSU, but also for professional doctorates in other disciplines on campus. Twenty students are part of the inaugural cohort of doctors and 11 of them are accomplishing their goals to graduate in three years.

“We couldn’t have asked for a better group of students for our first cohort,” said Lois Andre-Bechely, director of the independent Ed.D. program at CSULA. “In many ways, they have been our partners in building the new doctoral program. They helped us understand what is essential for a high-quality, rigorous and intensive three-year professional doctoral degree program. We know they will have an impact in the educational settings where they work. Their research will help us better understand the challenges of school change and education reform. And they already are having an impact on how future cohorts will experience the program—they have set the bar pretty high.”

Authorized by the California Legislature in response to the urgent need for well-prepared educators to help lead California’s public schools and community colleges, the program specializes in preK-12 education, focusing on system and school redesign, urban teaching and learning, and students’ special needs and services.

With dissertation topics ranging from inclusive education to high school mathematics, the following 11 CSULA students will be conferred their doctoral degrees at CSULA’s Commencement on Friday, June 15, at 5 p.m. which includes a colorful academic procession and a doctoral hooding ceremony.

  • Zara Agvanian, whose dissertation is titled “Held Back: The Impact of Curricular Factors on Differential Growth Rates in High School Mathematics.” Agvanian is a Pasadena resident.
  • Robert David Black, whose dissertation is titled “Universal Design for Learning for a More Inclusive Environment in Higher Education.” Black is a Baldwin Park resident.
  • Sarah Francev, whose dissertation is titled “High Conflict: An Evaluation of an Intervention for Parents in Dependency Court.”  Francev is a Fullerton resident.
  • Eric Gates, whose dissertation is titled “Instrumental Case Study of an After School High School Physical Activity Program.” Gates is an Alhambra resident.
  • Sheila A. Hudson, whose dissertation is titled “American Dreams on Hold: Exploring the Impact of Immigration Policy on the Educational Experiences and Attitudes of Undocumented Latina/o College Students.” Hudson is an Alhambra resident.
  • Linda Lee, whose dissertation is titled “Voices Less Heard: Teachers’ Perspectives on the Evaluation of Effectiveness through the Use of Value-Added Modeling.” Lee is a Los Angeles-90065 resident.
  • Elizabeth Martinez, whose dissertation is titled “Latino Parents and Teachers Building Neighborhood Social Capital.” Martinez is a Downey resident.
  • Florence T. Nguyen-Quang, whose dissertation is titled “Meeting the Needs of ELLs with Response to Instruction and Intervention: A Mixed Methods Case Study Focusing on the Implementation of Tier 2 Intervention.” Nguyen-Quang is a Los Angeles-90026 resident.
  • Michael Hsin-Cheng Sheu, whose dissertation is titled “A Mixed Method Study on the Influences of Collective Teacher Efficacy on Urban Public High School Student Achievement.” Sheu is an El Monte resident.
  • Frances E. Valadez, whose dissertation is titled “The Influence of Tier 1/RtI2 and Instructional Coaching on Teacher Instruction and Student Learning: A Case Study.” Valadez is a Downey resident.
  • Shalene Wright, whose dissertation is titled “An Oral History Account of the Disproportionality of Students of Color in Public Special Education Programs.” Wright is a Los Angeles-90043 resident.
  • Additionally, three doctoral candidates from CSULA’s former joint doctorate in educational administration and leadership program with UC Irvine will be conferred their degrees. They are:
  • Evangelina M. Cantu, whose dissertation is titled “The Voices of Latino Parents: An Insight into School Parental Involvement via Perceptions and Practices.”
  • Javier E. Hernandez, whose dissertation is titled “Culturally Responsive Instruction: Exploring Latino Literacy Motivation and Engagement in One Urban Middle School Classroom.”
  • Miguel G. Mendívil, whose dissertation is titled “When Jessica Does Fractions in School, She Pictures Herself in the Kitchen Baking with Mom: A Study of the Power of Storytelling and Pedagogies of the Home and their Influence on the Critical Thinking and Learning Styles of Urban Mexican American/Chicana(o) and Native American Children.”

More than 20,000 people are expected this year to witness the conferral of more than 5,000 bachelor’s and master’s degrees over two days as the Commencement takes place in the University Athletic Stadium, located at the southeast corner of the campus.

For more about CSULA’s Ed.D. program in educational leadership, go to /academic/ccoe/programs_aase_edd_leadership.htm.

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Working for California since 1947: The 175-acre hilltop campus of California State University, Los Angeles is at the heart of a major metropolitan city, just five miles from Los Angeles’ civic and cultural center. More than 20,000 students and 220,000 alumni—with a wide variety of interests, ages and backgrounds—reflect the city’s dynamic mix of populations. Six Colleges offer nationally recognized science, arts, business, criminal justice, engineering, nursing, education and humanities programs, among others, led by an award-winning faculty. Cal State L.A. is home to the critically-acclaimed Luckman Jazz Orchestra and to the Honors College for high-achieving students. Programs that provide exciting enrichment opportunities to students and community include an NEH-supported humanities center; a NASA-funded center for space research; and a growing forensic science program, housed in the Hertzberg-Davis Forensic Science Center.