Doctoral Pursuits

Roadrunners could first pursue a cooperative Ph.D. in education in the late 1980s.

Doctoral Pursuits

UTSA’s first Ph.D. students enter a cooperative program in educational leadership with UT Austin

[ This article was originally published in the UTSA newsletter The Roadrunner on April 10, 1989 ]

Nine middle-management educators, primarily public school principals and other administrators, have gone back to school. They are the first cohort of candidates enrolled in the Cooperative Ph.D. in Educational Leadership, UTSA’s first doctoral program, which began this spring [1989]. The degree is designed to offer students an opportunity for advanced study in administration and governance of educational organizations, with specific emphasis on team effort for instructional leadership.

Robert Krajewski, director of the Division of Education, says the first cohort was selected from about 36 applicants. The rigorous selection process began with application review by a joint review committee of UTSA and UT Austin professors. From that screening process, 15 applicants were then chosen to participate in an Admissions Assessment Center in which there were 40 assessors, including UTSA and UT Austin faculty, and area practitioners.

The final selection of candidates was made early last December; by mid December, the candidates attended an orientation meeting. For the January 1989 spring semester the first cohort enrolled in two advanced graduate courses offered on the UTSA campus.

“This is an opportunity for middle-management educators to get in on the ground floor of a program which I believe may eventually become a model program for other universities,” Krajewski says. “This is our chance to mold a program around our special needs in San Antonio—specifically a program that is designed for a multicultural population and a city, which like many cities nationwide, has an urban character.”

“San Antonio provides the perfect classroom,” he explains, “from which we can draw our experience and transfer knowledge for dealing with situations of concern to public schools with multicultural populations. These concerns may include language and cultural barriers, the dropout problem, literacy concerns, and even AIDS education.”

Krajewski says another important aspect of the new UTSA program, which is the only doctoral degree in education leadership offered by a San Antonio institution, is that the program is being cooperatively administered with UT Austin in the initial phases.

“We aren’t just starting from scratch,” Krajewski says. “We are working with UT Austin, which has one of the top five programs in the country.”

The Ph.D. program, approved by The University of Texas System Board of Regents last December, offered the first two courses this spring semester at UTSA. Ben Harris of UT Austin is teaching Personnel Administration, and Krajewski is teaching Supervision Tools and Techniques.

In April the cohort will participate in the Meadows Diagnostic Executive Assessment Competency Assessment System Workshop and complete a Professional Development Program Plan from which they will develop, with the assistance of faculty mentors, their tentative program of studies for the degree. The first cohort of candidates is expected to receive their degrees in 1990–91.


UTSA goes on to launch in 1993 its first full Ph.D. program in biology with a specialty in neurobiology. The first two Roadrunners to graduate with the biology Ph.D.s are Karla Kopec and James Colston in 1996.

The UT System had in 1979 approved a plan for UTSA to operate a Ph.D. program in bicultural-bilingual student; however, the program did not launch.