“We give our students a toolbox so that they know how to weigh all the factors for making an ethical decision that is correct in the context in which it is being made,” says Dr. Rosalie Guzofsky, dean and vice president of Academic Affairs. “In other Ed.D. programs, ethical decision-making may be part of a class, but at Gratz, it runs through the essence of the program.”
The study of ethics in leadership is relatively new, Dean Guzofksy says. But not for Gratz, an institution whose history is grounded in Jewish values. From Holocaust and genocide studies to education leadership, the concern for improving society through ethical decision-making permeates our programs.
As Ed.D. students wrestle with ethical dilemmas and apply leadership skills to real-life problems, they do so in the context of a dynamic online learning environment, created by a diverse faculty and student body. Students in the program concentrate on one of three tracks: pre K – 12, higher education and Jewish education. Interaction among the students takes place through vigorous online discussion forums.
“We get to learn from each other, often measuring the theoretical against our own real-world experiences,” says Ed.D. student Philip Moore, an adjunct faculty member at a Catholic university. “Gratz puts an emphasis on critical reflection and practical application, which works well because of the diverse professional experiences of the students and faculty.”
Teachers in public school, Jewish day school and other educational settings can expect to face a variety of challenging situations in their careers. The Ed.D. program exposes them to a broad range of potential scenarios, encouraging them to think outside the box and explore innovative and ethically sound solutions. With this practical, problem-solving approach, we are confident that our students will graduate with the skills necessary to be successful education leaders.