Education Professor Begins Advisory Role with Carnegie Project

Amy Wells Dolan working to help improve higher ed doctoral programs nationwide

Amy Wells Dolan

OXFORD, Miss. – Amy Wells Dolan, associate dean of the University of Mississippi School of Education, has been named Council of Delegates chair for the Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate.

Established in 2007, CPED is a consortium of more than 100 colleges and universities in the U.S. and Canada and is dedicated to design of Doctor of Education programs nationwide. UM joined the organization in 2011.

“I’m really excited about the opportunity to serve as the chair of the Council of Delegates for CPED,” said Wells Dolan, a Cynthiana, Kentucky, native. “This gives all of us (the Council of Delegates) the opportunity to take our ideas and put them together to make a difference.”

UM offers CPED-affiliated doctoral programs in higher education, educational leadership and secondary mathematics education. Each semester, Ole Miss enrolls more than 100 students across these three programs.

“Dr. Wells Dolan has become a national leader in the CPED environment,” said David Rock, UM education dean. “She has shown how higher education programs can truly redefine the education doctorate to make a lasting impact on research in the field through doctoral education.”

CPED doctoral students are trained to become practitioner-scholars who are prepared for leadership and problem-solving in 21st century educational contexts. To earn the degree, students must complete a Dissertation in Practice, a research study that addresses a professional challenge in education practice.

The Council of Delegates was created this year to enhance the governance structure of CPED. The council will help the organization by sharing with the board concerns of faculty and students.

Wells Dolan, who is also a professor of higher education at UM, was an early advocate for the university’s CPED membership. She recognized it as a new way to provide a different kind of program that would help higher education students achieve their career goals.

“We needed to offer more than one path for doctoral education to serve our students and communities,” Wells Dolan said. “In my lifetime of teaching graduate students, we would bring in bright, wonderful students who never really wanted to be faculty, but were really interested in changing educational institutions.

“We weren’t teaching students how to be a change agent; we were teaching them how to be a professor.”

Before her appointment as Council of Delegates chair, Wells Dolan also served CPED on the Program of the Year and Dissertation of the Year award committees.

Wells Dolan came to Ole Miss in 2004 as an associate professor. She received her undergraduate degree in political science from Transylvania University in Lexington, Kentucky, and her master’s degree in higher education administration from Kent State University. She also holds a doctorate in higher education from the University of Kentucky.

“I think CPED has been essential to shortening the learning curve for faculty as we’ve been trying to approach teaching something different from how we were trained,” Wells Dolan said. “It’s an evolving movement even as it goes, and it’s getting stronger over time.”

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