TAMIU Ph.D. Provides Educators New Access
After receiving three masters degrees from Texas A&M International
University, Jesus Amezcua decided his next degree would be a doctorate.
But as Chief Financial Officer for Laredo Independent School District,
getting away to pursue a Ph.D. was not going to be easy.
Fortunately, a collaborative venture between TAMIU and Texas A&M
University brought the program to Laredo.
"This is the first opportunity that a group of highly talented
educators have access to a doctoral degree. When they finish, they will
have a Ph.D. in Educational Administration from Texas A&M University,
but they will have taken the majority of their classes here," explained
Dr. Humberto Gonzalez, dean of the TAMIU College of Education.
Currently, the first cohort consists of 12 practicing administrators
from Laredo, United, and Mirando City independent school districts. (photo)
"It helps that it is a small cohort. We are able to motivate and
help out one another," said Amezcua.
"Being able to take the classes here at TAMIU makes a tremendous
difference. Instead of having to work on the degree a little at a time
and spending my summers over there [College Station], I get to stay here
and finish my coursework in three years. It was a big determinant for
me to continue my education," expressed fellow cohort member David
Canales, United High School Engineering and Technology Magnet director.
"To fulfill their A&M residency requirement, the students will
have to take nine hours this Spring and at least nine hours this summer
at College Station," stated Dr. Gonzalez, "After two and a half
or three years, they'll work on their dissertation and expect to finish
in about four and a half or five years."
"It really helps that I can take the classes here, whether it's
distance learning or online. It's a good time for me to continue while
I'm still young enough, even though at times I feel like I'm not. But
when some of us in the group ask, 'What am I doing here?' we support each
other," said Canales.
As part of the program, students will also receive a superintendent
Canales is one the two students in the group who already has a superintendent
"I already have a superintendent certificate, but because the professors
and the University really want this to work, they've grandfathered those
classes I took [towards the superintendent certificate] so I won't have
to take them again," he noted.
Dr. Gonzalez said the next cohort is expected to start in Fall 2006.
The College of Education at TAMIU could start offering this degree as
a TAMIU degree by 2008. The University is in the process of filing an
application to The A&M System Board of Regents and the Higher Education
Coordinating Board to be able to do that.
"Instead of it saying Texas A&M University, it will say Texas
A&M International University," said Dr. Gonzalez.
Amezcua said he appreciates the opportunity the program brings to the
cohort members and the commitment they bring to it.
"There's a commitment to the program. It's not easy. I've had to
give up a lot of time and things to pursue the program. But it's a great
opportunity for all of us to improve our careers and be educated in a
program we've waited for a long time. I'm thrilled I'm in the program.
We made a commitment to stick together, help each other and finish on
time," he said.
Other collaborative Ph.D. programs offered in conjunction with the A&M
System campuses include Curriculum and Instruction, English and Hispanic
For more information please contact Dr. Gonzalez, at 326-2420, e-mail
firstname.lastname@example.org or visit
offices in the Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library room 329.
University office hours are 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests
and interviews should contact the Office of Public Affairs and Information
Services at email@example.com