Fielding Graduate University News

Fielding Signs Partnership Agreement With the University of the Virgin Islands

Posted by Hilary Molina on Wed, Aug 19, 2015

Fielding Graduate University is partnering with the University of the Virgin Islands (UVI) who also reached agreements with the University of St. Maarten, Philipsburg, St. Maarten; the Council of Community Colleges of Jamaica, Kingston, Jamaica; Nantong University, China; Yangzhou University, China; and the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

UVI MOU Fielding


Photo courtesy of University of the Virgin Islands

Back row left to right: Dr. Orlando Taylor, Fielding VP of Strategic Initiatives; Dr. Linda Thomas, UVI Dean, School of Education; Dr. James S. Maddirala, UVI Associate Provost for Graduate, Global and Academic Affairs; Dr. Stephen Reames, UVI Dean, School of Business; Dr. Dorothy Agger-Gupta, Program Director, Fielding School of Human & Organizational Development ; Dr. Habtes Yegin, UVI Professor of Education. Front row left to right: Dr. Camille McKayle, UVI Provost; Dr. David Hall, UVI President ; Dr. Katrina Rogers, Fielding President; Dr. Linda Honold, Chair, Fielding Board of Trustees.

Each of the agreements, known as memoranda of understanding (MOU), are unique and share a spirit of cooperation and understanding. UVI’s MOU with Fielding is intended to establish mutually beneficial collaborations in academic programs, research, the pursuit of grants, continuing education, and certificate programs. “The common goal of the MOUs is to enhance the UVI experience, either by having students from other parts of the world in the classroom here at UVI or by having UVI students sit in the classrooms around the world,” said UVI Provost Dr. Camille McKayle, “A 21st Century education needs to be a global education. UVI graduates will find themselves in work environments with people from around the world, actually and virtually. UVI aims to prepare them for that environment by giving them opportunities to see that world so that it is a less daunting place.”

The general objective of the agreement with Fielding is to engage in long-term collaboration in fields that are compatible with the orientation and expertise of each institution. The MOU provides for possible collaborations involving a PhD collaborative program in leadership with agreed upon credits transferable from one institution to the other. This collaboration will target, though not exclusively, Fielding’s Schools of Human and Organizational Development and School of Education Leadership for Change. Students will be able to study several concentrations including, academic leadership, political leadership, ecological justice leadership and health leadership.

According to the MOU other possible collaborations include:

  • Joint courtesy/adjunct faculty appointments to support PhD degree programs at each institution
  • Faculty exchanges
  • Continuing education opportunities on selected topics
  • Faculty development in competency based education and/or prior learning assessments
  • Faculty development and technical support in instructional design
  • Joint research activity in areas of mutual interest and expertise
  • Joint applications for external grants in areas of mutual interest and expertise
  • Possible establishment of a formal center or institute on leadership and diversity to house Fielding/UVI activity possibly in conjunction with Fielding’s Institute for Social Innovation or Fielding’s new Marie Fielder Center on Democracy, Leadership and Education.
  • Joint marketing and student recruitment domestically and internationally
  • Periodic Fielding residencies in the Virgin Islands; UVI residencies in Santa Barbara, CA

The MOU is for three years with an automatic renewal unless terminated.

Fielding Graduate University President Katrina Rogers, PhD stated, “We are honored to be working with the University of Virgin Islands to support our mutual goals to develop leadership across the globe for the complex, often difficult conditions, our graduates will face over the course of their careers.  We look forward to many years of a partnership to create effective educational offerings for students that assist them in attaining their professional goals and provide skills and knowledge for their lifetime.”

Tags: globalization, educational leadership, Organizational development, fielding faculty, Competency Based Education, Distributed education, fielding graduate university, graduate education, human development, institue for social innovation, scholar practitioner

Fielding Awards Honorary Degree to Michael B. Goldstein, JD

Posted by Hilary Molina on Mon, Aug 03, 2015

Convocation 2015 8541 mike and katrina resized 600On July 19, 2015, Fielding Graduate University President Katrina Rogers, PhD, conferred the honorary doctorate of humane letters on Michael B. Goldstein, JD, co-chair of the Higher Education practice of Cooley LLP. In awarding this distinction, Dr. Goldstein joined other honorees including globally-known educator Paolo Friere, civil rights activist Marie Fielder, renowned psychologist Bob Goulding, LGBTQ advocate Lynn Lukow and inspired educator Eddie Seashore.

During the hooding and conferral of the degree, President Rogers reflected on Dr. Goldstein’s accomplishments, “He is a pioneer in the development of the legal environment in higher education, a counselor at the highest levels of legislation, a leader in championing creative approaches to higher education and an advocate of the highest ideals of learning as a means towards a more just and sustainable future for humanity.”

Following the conferral, Dr.Goldstein delivered the commencement address to the Fielding Summer Session 2015 graduates titled “The Importance of Timing and Convergence: Learning to Love Competency Based Learning.” In his remarks, Dr. Goldstein pointed to the barriers to learning based not on time-in-seat but demonstrated competencies, proposing the creation of what he termed a “super-accreditor specifically for the purpose of reviewing and evaluating non-time-based approaches to teaching, learning and documenting competencies.”

Dr. Goldstein served a total of 23 years as a Fielding trustee, including as itsMike GoldsteinConvocation 2015 8575 resized 600 chair, before retiring from the board in 2015. In 2012, the board created the Michael B. Goldstein Endowed Board Scholarship for Dissertation Research Advancing Social Justice, in recognition of his longtime service as a trustee and distinguished leader. This scholarship supports research by Fielding doctoral candidates on topics that further the achievement of a specific aspect of social justice. President Rogers appointed Dr. Goldstein as co-chair of Fielding’s newly organized President’s Advisory Council.

Dr. Goldstein is the founder and headed the education practice at Dow Lohnes, which merged with Cooley in 2014. Dr. Goldstein is a pioneer in the development and rational regulation of online, competency based, and other nontraditional modes of learning, including the creation of innovative approaches to combining the resources of the nonprofit, public, and for-profit sectors to improve access to quality higher education. He is the 2014 recipient of WCET’s Richard Jonsen Award for leadership in e-learning and is widely recognized for his distinguished service to many higher educational organizations.

Before entering private law practice, Dr. Goldstein was Associate Vice Chancellor for Urban and Governmental Affairs and Associate Professor of Urban Sciences at the University of Illinois-Chicago. Prior to that, he was an Assistant City Administrator and the Director Of University Relations for New York City. Dr. Goldstein holds a BA from Cornell University, a JD from New York University and was a Loeb Fellow at the Graduate School of Design, Harvard University.

Tags: social justice, educational leadership, conference, Competency Based Education, leadership, Distributed education, national session, higher education, fielding graduate university, graduate education, scholar activist, scholar practitioner

Fielding Graduate University Receives 2014 Best Value School Trophy

Posted by Hilary Edwards on Thu, Jun 12, 2014

Fielding Graduate University Receives 2014 Best Value School Trophy

Non-traditional graduate degree programs appeal to working adults

Boca Raton, Florida – WEBWIRE– Thursday, June 12, 2014
Best value trophy 2014 resized 600

Mature enough to do graduate coursework without handholding? Take a look at Fielding Graduate University.

While traditional master’s and doctoral degree programs, expensive and only taught on campus, were once the only option, today’s graduate student enjoys many non-traditional choices. Graduate programs, many of them online and reasonably priced, emerged over the last fifteen years. The most recent development, according to Joseph Schmoke, CEO at University Research & Review, LLC, is centered on competency based learning.
“The credit hour based system has been supplanted in some institutions of higher learning with a competency based system, where what you learn overshadows how much time you spend attending classes,” said Schmoke, a former university CEO. One such program is offered at Fielding Graduate University, Schmoke noted. “Fielding, in our opinion, is especially attractive to people who must continue with fulltime jobs. Our research shows their master’s and doctoral programs are best for serious, disciplined adults who can do the work without much handholding,” Schmoke remarked.
University Research & Review, a relatively new organization led by former college and university presidents, CEOs, provosts and professors, searches for institutions of higher learning that meet stringent criteria. Institutions that meet UR&R’s rigorous requirements, including reasonable cost and student endorsement among other things, are designated Best Value Schools and awarded a crystal trophy. Fielding Graduate University is one such school.
“We selected Fielding Graduate University as a 2014 Best Value School after about three months of research during which we evaluated hundreds of schools to come up with 124 nominees. Our process then dug deeper and our Selection Committee awarded sixteen institutions the Best Value School designation, Fielding among them,” said Dr. Denzil Edge, Selection Committee member.
“To those who are considering enrolling in a master’s or doctoral degree program, especially if your field of study is organizational behavior or psychology and you can work without too much handholding, we recommend you take a look at Fielding Graduate University,” Schmoke advised.
“Every prospective college student, whether recent high schools grads or adults with jobs and families, should take the time to visit our website,” said Paula Orezi, UR&R Nominating Committee member.  She knows prospective college enrollees will find some good schools that won’t burden them with loads of debt after graduation.  “I wish I had access to when I was selecting my bachelor’s and master’s programs.  My own student loan debt would be substantially less,” Ms. Orezi stated.   


Press release cited June 12, 2014 (

Tags: Competency Based Education, higher education, fielding graduate university, graduate education

Competency Based Education and Fielding

Posted by Hilary Edwards on Mon, Jun 02, 2014

Competency Based Education and Fielding

people at computer resized 600Fielding is poised to lead a national conversation on its application to doctoral education.

From the Office of President Katrina Rogers, PhD

As competency based education has become a subject of interest to many institutions across the country, especially for baccalaureate and masters study, Fielding Graduate University is poised to lead a national conversation on its application to doctoral education. Regardless of degree type, competency based education (CBE) addresses issues critical to the long-term vitality of higher education including access, time to degree, and affordability.

In contrast to the American model of doctoral education based on apprenticeship in research and required seminars in a standardized curriculum, forty years ago Fielding pioneered an alternative model based on concepts of adult learning, or andragogy. Formalized by one of our founding faculty members, Malcolm Knowles, the androgogical approach to doctoral education emphasizes mentoring, self-directed and self-paced learning, and assessment of prior learning. These are some of the core elements of CBE.

The application of CBE to doctoral education is complex since the required learning can be both technical and precise while also requiring abstract and conceptual skills. Depending on academic content, knowledge and skill acquired through prior work and professional experience may be readily assessed in relation to degree requirements. Similarly, students’ previous formal education may be leveraged through advanced experience to satisfy higher level learning such as is required in doctoral education.

The work of faculty in this mixed model of assessing learning can require an uncoupling of faculty roles in defining the curriculum, mentoring, and assessing learning. For more technical curricula, such as in science and engineering, these roles may remain bundled together while in professional, social science and humanities fields the functions can be uncoupled to take advantage of the potential benefits to students of following a CBE, or mixed CBE and traditional, path to the degree.

Accredited by WASC and various professional associations, Fielding Graduate University was founded in 1974 as a non-profit, independent graduate school for the adult learner.  Representing progressive education, Fielding’s learning was modeled on competency-based concepts. Located around the country, Fielding students create learning contracts with individual faculty mentors in knowledge areas required for various doctoral degrees. Students and faculty meet periodically in workshops and local clusters to advance and demonstrate learning. Faculty mentors’ primary role is to assess learning rather than teach in a traditional format.

The requirements of regional and professional accreditation created an evolution in Fielding’s education such that we now have a mix of traditional and CBE approaches to doctoral education. Currently, the focus of CBE experiments is on baccalaureate and masters education, yet the concepts have important application to doctoral education as well. Given its history and now mixed-model of educational delivery, Fielding is in a particularly advantageous to examine the role of CBE in doctoral education and assess its promise to address important issues of access, affordability and degree completion.


Tags: Competency Based Education, Distributed education, higher education, fielding graduate university, graduate education