LUBBOCK – Mid-career agricultural professionals who aspire to increase their knowledge and professional responsibilities will have a new way to achieve a doctoral degree without having to spend valuable time on a college campus. Texas Tech University and Texas A&M University have teamed up to offer a “doc@distance” degree, using advanced video and other educational technology.
The program officially will kick off with a 5:30 p.m. presentation on Aug. 8 in the distance education lab in the Agricultural Education and Communications Building Room 116 at Texas Tech University. Faculty and administrators from both universities will be present to welcome the first cohort of 20 students from 10 locations around the state.
“We’re offering a doctorate of education in agricultural education that professionals can earn without having to uproot their families and take a leave of absence from their current employment to attend classes on a campus,” said Dr. Jacqui Lockaby, assistant professor in Texas Tech University’s agricultural education department, and one of the faculty who helped develop the program.
Courses will be taught using the Trans Texas Video Network (TTVN), the Internet and a variety of other methods, Lockaby said. The initial class is projected to finish their degrees in 2003.
Dr. Glen Shinn, professor and chair of the agricultural education department at Texas A&M University, says the specialized curriculum is designed for agricultural professionals in Texas.
“The program offers a high-quality learning environment that encourages discovery, integration and application,” Shinn said. “There is expertise from two universities, which are nationally recognized in agricultural education. The program will teach skills necessary for the students to advance in their current positions and the degree is awarded jointly from both institutions.”
The first class ofdoc@distance students include Galen Chandler of Vernon, Kim T. Hays of Kress, B.O. Spoonts of Temple, Brad Davis and Susie J. R. Bullock, both of Lubbock, Chris R. Edens of Whiteface, Rebecca Parker of Denton, Marlin Priddy of Stephenville and Dotty Woodson of Fort Worth. Also, Roy D. Russell of Cleburn, Michael Womack of Robstown, Ruben J. Saldana of El Paso, B. Darlene Locke of Rockport, Carol Woodward of Alpine, and G. Matt Tarpley and Zana M. Matthies, both of Fort Stockton.
The students each will be included in two cohort groups, one which will be the TTVN site group and the other which will be divided by areas of interest. Cohort locations for the initial group of students will include Amarillo, Vernon, Denton, Stephenville, Temple, Overton, Corpus Christi, Fort Stockton and El Paso, as well as on the campuses of Texas A&M and Texas Tech. Currently more than 35 sites statewide have TTVN transmission available.
For more information on the induction session of the first group of students in the Texas A&M and Texas Techdoc@distance program, access the Web site at http://doc-at-a-distance.tamu.edu/seminar.html.