Dr. Donna Shimoda Hollingshead
Executive Director, Office of the Deputy Superintendent,
Montgomery County (MD) Public Schools
EdD, 2005, Educational Leadership
Bowie State's doctoral program in educational leadership enabled Dr. Donna Shimoda Hollingshead to explore how data-driven decisions can improve school performance—but she admits she was initially attracted to the program's convenience. "The ability to take evening classes close to work, at the Universities at Shady Grove, made the decision to get my EdD easier," she says.
Dr. Hollingshead found that the program's cohort model fueled collaborative problem-solving. "My peers in the cohort were accomplished professionals," she says. "We shared individual challenges, and then took the solutions we developed as a group back to our workplaces." The program's faculty was also notable. "Our instructors were veteran practitioners," she says. Dr. Zollie Stevenson, the U.S. Department of Education's deputy director of the Student Achievement and School Accountability (SASA) Program, was on Dr. Hollingshead's dissertation team. "It was amazing to have access to a leader in No Child Left Behind policy," she says.
Above all, the program's emphasis on developing leaders of complex educational systems makes it exceptional, because it "looks at all the administrative factors that impact students' success," she says. Additionally, Bowie State also offers a valuable cultural perspective. "As our society becomes more urbanized, educators must make learning accessible across all racial and cultural groups."