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Austin Peay State University holds night of celebration honoring APSU’s first graduating doctoral class

Austin Peay State University - APSUClarksville, TN – The Austin Peay State University (APSU) Eriksson College of Education and the APSU Eriksson College of Education Alumni Chapter hosted a night of celebration on August 2nd, 2021 in the APSU Morgan University Center Ballroom to honor the University’s first graduating class to earn the Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) degree in Educational Leadership.

Austin Peay State University celebrates first Graduating Doctoral Class. (APSU)
Austin Peay State University celebrates first Graduating Doctoral Class. (APSU)

The group of 60 guests who attended the event included state and local government officials, leaders in education, as well as APSU supporters, leadership, faculty, and staff.

“The Alumni Chapter of the Eriksson College of Education was thrilled to honor our first doctoral graduates during this special evening,” Dr. Laura Barnett, president of the APSU Eriksson College of Education Alumni Chapter, said. “We appreciate the support from our community leaders in recognizing the accomplishments of this distinguished group. We are all very proud and excited about what the future holds.”

The doctoral program in educational leadership is designed for professionals working in schools or other institutional settings. Program faculty are committed to the creation and study of environments that promote lifelong learning for people of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds. The program is designed for working professionals attending the university part-time to complete the program in three years.

“This degree offering will change the trajectory of our college and our institution,” Dr. Prentice Chandler, dean of the APSU Eriksson College of Education, said.

“Within this program we educate leaders who will go into school settings to solve problems, be reflective practitioners, and make the world a better place. Since most of our graduates from the first cohort are already leaders in the field, they know that organizations rise and fall with leadership. We are proud of this first cohort, and we look forward to the great work they will do,” stated Chandler.

The inaugural cohort of the program was made up of 19 educators and working professionals. Classes began in fall 2018, and in May 2021, Dr. Sarah Dugger became the first member of that cohort to graduate from the program.



“I am incredibly proud of our first cohort and am honored that I could support their growth as scholar-practitioners,” Dr. Sherri Prosser, assistant professor and doctoral and graduate coordinator for the APSU Department of Educational Specialties, said. “I have full faith that they will continue to find solutions to the complex problems facing education and transform their professional communities.”

The University also recently launched its second doctorate program – a Doctor of Psychology in counseling psychology. For more information, visit apsu.edu/psychology/psyd.

To support Austin State University fundraising initiatives, contact the APSU Office of University Advancement at 931.221.7127.


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