Online Ph.D. in Literacy Program Recognized

Faculty and administrators from The School of Education
October 9, 2018

St. John’s University’s Ph.D. in Literacy program was recently nominated for the Jason R. Bourne Outstanding Online Program award by the Online Learning Consortium. This recognition is given to programs with a proven record of excellence, as demonstrated by success in providing expanded access, learning effectiveness, and high levels of students and faculty satisfaction.

Dr. John Spiridakis, Interim Department Chair, notes that  this St. John’s flagship program in The School of Education’s Department of Education Specialties “was re-envisioned in 2015 from a traditional face-to-face offering and transformed into the only fully online Ph.D. in literacy program in the nation.” 

“This program is built upon the philosophy that equitable learning opportunities require building on individual learners’ strengths and career goals,” said Evan T. Ortlieb, Ph.D., Coordinator. “We see diversity as an asset, encouraging doctoral students to further specialize according to their interests and needs as educators in areas of their choice, including Educational Leadership, Literacy, Special Education, or TESOL.”

Equity and access are achieved by ensuring all 26 courses in the program are compliant with Quality Matters standards for best practices in online planning and delivery. “I work to create collaborative activities, meaningful assessments, and interactive research opportunities for our diverse learners,” said Tess M. Dussling, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Literacy.

As a new faculty member teaching in the program, Olivia G. Stewart, Ph.D., is impressed with the enthusiasm with which students approach course content. “They delve deeply into the readings and provide impressive insights that inspire the class as it strengthens their understandings of scholarly research and writing.”

“The Ph.D. in Literacy program is a unique, high-quality program that Online Learning and Services has been privileged to support from its inception as an online offering,” said Elizabeth Ciabocchi, Ed.D., Vice Provost for Digital Learning and the Executive Director of Online Learning and Services. The program faculty and its director, Dr. Ortlieb, are to be commended for their commitment to student success, academic rigor, and curricular innovation as reflected in this one-of-a-kind online doctoral program. We are excited for the future of the program, which is a great example of what we can achieve in online programming at St. John’s.”