UW-W could see Doctorate program

UW-Whitewater could have the potential to start its first Doctorate program starting in Fall 2014.  The College of Business and Economics Associate Dean John Chenoweth said if approved by the Higher Learning Commission, UW-Whitewater could admit 20 students into a new doctoral program next fall.

The Inspiration

UW-Whitewater has continued successfully with a Masters of Business Administration and Masters of Professional Accountancy programs. Chenoweth said the long-standing MBA program at Whitewater and the success of the CoBE made the idea of a doctorate program possible.

“We don’t feel it’s a reach for us to be able to offer this,” he said.

Chenoweth said faculty on-campus at UW-Whitewater have been involved in doctoral programs for other campuses or elsewhere.

“We have had faculty that have been involved in doctoral programs elsewhere,” he said.  “We have had faculty who have come from and taught at institutions that offered Doctorates, either PhDs or DBAs.”

The Higher Learning Commission is responsible for accrediting universities so they are able to offer financial aid.

“Every university or college in this region of the US would be accredited by this group,” Chenoweth said.  “UW-Whitewater is already accredited by this group, but this is a significant change for campus.”

He said the Higher Learning Commission will be coming in October or September to approve the college for a Doctorate program.  Chenoweth_John_73 (1)WEB


The Process for Approval

In the summer, the DBA was approved by the Board of Regents.

“All new degree programs that are offered on a UW campus have to be approved by the Board of Regents,” Chenoweth said.

The program also is approved by curriculum committees on-campus, the graduate studies committee, and other committees and the chancellor before going to the Board of Regents.

“Once we have done all the approvals on-campus, then assuming that the provost and the chancellor support it, then it gets sent onto the Board of Regents,” Chenoweth said.

Once approved by the Board of Regents. the institution is able to begin offering the program; however, Chenoweth said because the DBA is a doctorate program, which is a program not offered by Whitewater, currently there is an extra step.

“The Higher Learning Commission is making sure we are ready to deliver a Doctorate program on this campus,” he said.


Current Programs

Currently UW-Whitewater has two graduate programs the MBA and MPA.

“It [MBA] is typically designed for someone who is kind of early in their business career,” Chenoweth said.  “That is a 36-credit program, and students take that right out of an undergraduate degree.”

Chenoweth said students usually pursue their MBA right after receiving their undergraduate degree.

The MPA program is for students who have completed their undergraduate accounting degree.  Chenoweth said that students must have 150 credits to sit for their CPA, which certifies them as a public accountant.

The MPA is a 30-credit program, and the undergraduate accounting degree is a 120 credits.  Chenoweth said CoBE is constantly seeking to meet the needs of the region.

“We are constantly looking at what we need to be offering,” he said.

Who fits with a DBA

The program is designed for students who have achieved their masters and are currently working in their field and are seeking additional skill sets or to move up in their field.

“The intention is that this is an applied program that is giving them the skills they need for the jobs they are in,” Chenoweth said.

The DBA is designed for students who are working in their field looking to move up.  Chenoweth said the students entering the program will need to have work experience.

“The students entering the program will need to have a masters degree in a business discipline,” he said.  “This program is really designed for someone who has completed the masters degree and is in more of a senior position.”

The DBA is a 60-credit program that will be three years and one weekend a month year round for classes.

“The first two years will be classes, and the third year would be their dissertation,” Chenoweth said.  “The DBA is most of all a doctoral program that has significant research components to it.”

Chenoweth described the program as an “applied program,” meaning research is critical to the program.  He said the research will be much more applicable to real life situations and not so much to theorizing and hypothesizing.

“We have a lot of our alumnus who are interested in this type of program because of the quality of education they got in their undergraduate and masters programs,” Chenoweth said.  “They would like to be going somewhere where they know they will receive a quality education.”