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M.A., Ed.D. Graduates Leading Throughout the State and Beyond

Morristown, N.J. (August 26, 2015) – Graduates of the CSE master's and doctoral programs in educational leadership are leading schools and districts throughout the state and beyond. From building principals to district superintendents, CSE graduates are making a difference.

Diane G. Mardy, Ed.D. '10 has just begun her job as superintendent of schools in the Ho-Ho-Kus School District, in Bergen County, N.J. in July 2015. The kindergarten to 8th-grade district has 670 students who then attend Northern Highlands Regional High School in Allendale, N.J. While she did not have a clear plan to ascend to a superintendency, as the opportunities became available she was able to turn to CSE to advance her education and rise through the ranks.

"I think that as time has gone on, I have evolved in my interest and my desire for different career challenges," she says. "My education at CSE has directly contributed to my career both in terms of what I have been able to achieve and also the manner in which I approach my professional endeavors."

Dr. Mardy was in the first Ed.D. cohort program that graduated in 2010. "I enjoyed blazing new trails for the program and getting close to the members of our group, and finally that wonderful feeling when I successfully defended my dissertation and achieved my lifelong goal of getting my doctorate," she recalls.

"Upon entering the doctoral program I had just been appointed to my first superintendency," says Kristopher Harrison Ed.D. '11, superintendent of the Irvington Union Free School District in Irvington, N.Y., who had served as superintendent in Mendham, N.J., for four years. "While the challenges associated with the coursework could have been overwhelming, I found that the work and the relationships I formed at CSE benefitted my success. As a result of my professional growth and the knowledge and skills acquired through the doctoral program, when new opportunities came my way I was able to transition to a larger district to continue my work as a superintendent."

Jeremy Davies M.A. '09, principal of Mountain Lakes High School, uses his education in his daily job as a principal through sharing stories with his faculty and staff that he learned in the classroom. "I am constantly pulling texts that we were assigned off of my office shelf to find an article or book chapter to share with one of my supervisors or teachers," he says. "The type of thinking that my colleagues and I learned in the leadership course shaped my vision as a leader."

The M.A. in Educational Leadership is an off-site program that goes to where the students are – in their schools. The programs are currently being offered in school district buildings in Irvington, Parsippany, and Bound Brook with new sites in Paterson and Union.

The Ed.D. in Educational Leadership, started in 2007, meets on-campus and this year for the first time, will be offered off-site in Paterson. The education leadership programs are based on the cohort model in which master's and doctoral students stay together as a class throughout their graduate studies.

According to Dr. Harrison, "I found the cohort model to be very useful as we constructed powerful, supportive relationships with the faculty and students that continue to serve me well today. As the program progressed, the cohort members used one another as resources in our coursework and in our own professional challenges."

Mr. Davies said, "The cohort program enabled me to truly bond with my colleagues in the program. We were a small family, learning with and from each other. I have distinct memories of some of my classmates studying for the state test at my house. It was special to spend two years with the same group and matriculate at the same pace. This enabled me to rely on the group when challenges arose."

The cohort model allows for a supportive, engaging environment for the graduate students who are working full time. The CSE education faculty is comprised of experienced practitioners that create a fusion of theory and practice.

Davies continues to say, "The professors share real life examples of theory coming to life and how they dealt with struggle in their careers. I became a better teacher when I took the supervision courses. The program taught me to look at instruction differently and my instruction changed for the better."

The doctoral program in education leadership will begin classes in August and the master's in educational leadership will begin in September.

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Founded in 1899 by the Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth, the College of Saint Elizabeth has a strong tradition of concern for the poor, for developing leadership in a spirit of service and social responsibility, and a commitment to the promotion of women as full partners in society.

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