Samford University’s Orlean Bullard Beeson School of Education and Professional Studies will begin offering graduate programs online during the fall of 2013, as part of the Master of Science in Gifted Education (MSE) and the Doctorate in Educational Leadership (Ed.D). 

Both programs are moving to an online venue, but also will have some on-campus components including orientation. 

“These programs will offer flexibility for working teachers and administrators,” said Dr. Jean A. Box, Samford’s education school dean, “but the personal emphasis will continue to be a strong component of our education programs.  Students will be able to build relationships with classmates and with faculty members through several onsite meetings, phone calls, and availability online.” 

She added, “Both programs will provide the Samford education school opportunities to reach educators beyond the campus and to increase the school’s positive impact on education in the Southeast.”

Dr. Patti Wood serves as director of the MSE Gifted program and Dr. Jane Cobia serves as director of the Ed.D. program.  Dr. Marian Carter will work with both programs as director of the Online Education Initiative.

Dr. Wood stressed the importance of flexibility in graduate programs for educators with demanding jobs as well as family and community responsibilities.

“The School of Education faculty is enthusiastic about the potential that online programs have to meet this growing need for high quality flexible learning opportunities while continuing its commitment to developing meaningful relationships with our students,” said Wood.

Dr. Cobia noted that the Ed.D web-enhanced program would “continue its tradition of excellence with a practitioner emphasis.”  She added, “This program will allow a bit more flexibility to students and yet offer the same high quality experiences with certified professors.”

Orlean Bullard Beeson School of Education and Professional Studies


Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.