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January 23, 2003

English tapped for national study of doctorate

The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching announced this month that Pitt’s English department is one of six English departments nationwide selected to participate in the Carnegie Initiative on the Doctorate (CID).

CID, a multi-year research and policy project aimed at improving doctoral education at American universities, selected 32 partner departments nationwide in chemistry, education, English and mathematics.

Partner departments will analyze all aspects of their doctoral programs and link specific activities to desired outcomes. Departments will begin this analysis by clarifying their goals for doctoral education in their respective disciplines, and will commit to creating “design experiments” in doctoral education to better meet their identified goals.

“This is a great honor for our department and the University,” said Eric Clarke, associate professor and director of graduate studies at Pitt’s English department. “The other departments selected are among the very top English graduate programs in the country: Columbia University, University of Michigan, Ohio State University, Texas A & M and Indiana University.”

Carnegie senior scholar Chris Golde explained that the project goals were to support and study experiments in doctoral education with leading graduate programs, to document and analyze the character of those initiatives and, working with these innovative departments, to help the disciplinary community create models and evidence of success to inform others in the field. “We’re working with departments which are committed to being stewards of the discipline,” Golde said. “We don’t just mean a preservation of the heart and essence of the field, although that’s important, but we chose those departments who have a critical eye toward the future, who are willing to take risks and move the discipline forward.”

Carnegie senior scholar George E. Walker, who heads the five-year study, said, “We embarked on this project because we felt that this is a propitious time to study new opportunities and responsibilities resulting from evolution of the disciplines as well as general changes in education and society.” Walker also is vice president for research and dean of the University Graduate School at Indiana University.

Funding for the project is provided by the Atlantic Philanthropies and The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

Chartered in 1906 by an act of Congress, The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching is an independent policy and research center with a primary mission “to do and perform all things necessary to encourage, uphold and dignify the profession of the teacher.” The foundation fulfills this mission through its contributions to improvements in education policy and practice.

Atlantic Philanthropies identify and support leaders, institutions and organizations dedicated to learning, knowledge-building and solving pressing social problems.

Further information about CID can be accessed on the Carnegie web site at: www.

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