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New England College Graduates First Doctoral Class

New England College will graduate its first doctoral class at the 67th Commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 17, 2014.  Nineteen students will receive their Doctor of Education degrees, with concentrations in Higher Education Administration or K-12 Leadership.  The ceremony will be held at 11:00 a.m. at the Lee Clement Arena located at 38 Grove Street in Henniker, NH.

“Our commencement is especially thrilling this year as we confer the first doctoral degrees ever awarded at New England College,” said NEC President Michele Perkins.  “We are excited for all our graduates and look forward to celebrating their achievements this Saturday!”

The Doctorate of Education program was a natural addition for the College that already had successful Masters programs in Education and Higher Education Administration.  A Doctorate in Education satisfied an increasing demand of students seeking to deepen their knowledge and skill base by earning a terminal degree.

“The work produced by this inaugural doctorate class is sensational,” said Gavin Henning, Professor and Director of Doctorate Education Programs.  “Our students have been working on research that will significantly impact students and educational organizations at all levels.”

Launched in 2011, the Doctor of Education program accepts roughly 20 students each fall.  The class creates cohorts – small collegial groups – that are encouraged to optimize teaching and advising resources, leverage the diverse professional experience of fellow students, and support one another throughout the program.  This very intense cohort model is a hallmark of the program and something all students find valuable.  “I did a lot of research before choosing this particular program for my doctorate,” said Amy Lyon, a student in the first class and one of this year’s commencement speakers.  “I chose the New England College program because of its cohort model, curriculum and connection with faculty.”  Amy is a fifth grade teacher at Sutton Central School, New Hampshire.  She developed a curriculum to teach three components of grit – optimism, self-control, and perseverance.Because of her ground-breaking work, Amy was invited to participate in a yearlong think tank with MacArthur Genius Grant recipient Angela Duckworth, a nationally renowned researcher of the grit concept.  Amy’s dissertation topic is, Teaching and Fostering Qualities Related to Grit.

A few other candidate snapshots include:

Thomas Horgan: Tom is the President and CEO of the New Hampshire College & University Council, a statewide not-for-profit consortium of public and private colleges and universities.  A recognized leader on higher education issues, Tom was selected by Business NH Magazine as one of New Hampshire’s Leaders for the 21st Century.

Dissertation Topic: The Emergence of Nontraditional College Presidents at Small, Private Colleges in New England

Marie Ortaliz: Marie is a Critical Care Registered Nurse and the Founder of the Marie Ortaliz Center, Inc., an organization that provides seminars to aid in the improvement of nursing care by keeping current with changes in healthcare and complying with nursing related standards.  In January, Marie participated in a medical mission in the Philippines through the Philippine Nurses Association of New York (PNANY) and the Balik-Turo Project, an initiative of the Philippine Nurses Association of America.  In June Marie will receive the 2014 Philippine Nurses Association of American (PNAA)Nurse Educator of the Year Award.

Dissertation Topic: Impact of Preceptor Training on Effectiveness of Preceptors in Delivery of Skills and Knowledge to Nurse Orientees