Carson-Newman University

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Updated August 6, 2020

Carson-Newman University appears in our ranking of 10 Most Affordable Doctorate in Educational Administration Online.

Founded in 1851, Carson-Newman University celebrated its 165th year in 2016 with a record enrollment of 2,659 students. The school boasts incredible rankings despite its size and scope as a Baptist liberal arts college. U.S. News and World Report ranked Carson-Newman among the top 15 schools in the Southern region and in 2016, the top spot for teaching in the South. Washington Monthly also ranked the school highly for different categories in 2015: number six for its ROTC program and number nine among baccalaureate colleges. The school's individual programs and student organizations have also achieved recognition. For the 2015-2016 academic year, the university's music fraternity was granted the Chapter of Excellence award for the 49th consecutive year.

Carson-Newman offers a variety of programs at undergraduate and graduate levels. Undergraduate students can choose from 50 majors. For the last three years, the school has boasted record enrollment but maintains a comfortable student-to-faculty ratio of 14:1. The private university holds Division II ranking in athletics, and students who are interested in athletics have 19 intercollegiate sports to choose from at Carson-Newman.

Students at the school can participate in over 70 student organizations, and there's plenty of off-campus activities to meet individual needs and preferences. Located just half an hour from Knoxville – one of the Volunteer State's largest cities – the school affords easy access to metropolitan pursuits. For outdoorsy students or those who crave a more natural environment, Great Smoky National Park is an easy 30-minute drive from campus. The school itself boasts natural beauty. In 2014, Carson-Newman gained certification from the Tennessee Urban Forestry Council as a Level 2 State Arboretum.

Carson-Newman Accreditation Details

Carson-Newman holds institutional accreditation from the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, allowing the school to offer bachelor's degrees, master's programs, specialist degrees in education and doctoral programs. In addition, the school's educational programs hold accreditation from the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education and have been approved by the Tennessee State Board of Education.

Carson-Newman Application Requirements

Application requirements vary based on program, but students are encouraged to create an account with the school website for applying. Undergraduate students should submit a completed application, an official high school transcript, transcripts from other schools as applicable and official test scores from the ACT or SAT standardized tests. Letters of recommendation are suggested but not required, as is a list of honors and activities.

Graduate students will attend classes in a hybrid or fully online format. Hybrid classes happen off campus at 13 locations across the state of Tennessee, including Chattanooga, Knoxville, Nashville and Memphis, among others. Graduate applicants should complete the online application and registration form, and there's a nonrefundable $50 application fee. Official transcripts, employment verification, relevant graduate test scores, a statement of purpose, a scholarly writing sample and other documentation should also be submitted as required by individual programs.

Tuition and Financial Aid

As a private school, Carson-Newman charges students of the same enrollment type the same fees regardless of residency status, meaning out-of-state students will pay the same tuition rate as in-state students. For the 2018-2019 academic year, undergraduates at the school will pay $13,350 per semester for full-time enrollment, which is 12 to 17 hours. Additional credits cost $779 per credit hour. Students enrolled part time pay $1,113 per credit hour. Students should also expect additional fees since these are just the base tuition rates.

The tuition and fee structure works differently for graduate students. Graduate-level programs require different fees per program. For instance, the education department charges $390 per credit hour for tuition while the nursing program requires $650 per credit hour. Technology and other fees may also be assessed, so students should review the requirements carefully before applying.

For those who need assistance in paying for school, Carson-Newman participates in a wide range of financial aid options, including scholarships, grants, work-study opportunities and loans. The school offers merit-based scholarships for freshmen and transfer students, as well as performance and athletic scholarships for the broader population. Military and ROTC students will also find specific awards available. Graduate students can take advantage of work-study programs and teacher forgiveness opportunities to offset the cost of higher education.

Carson-Newman also participates in a tuition exchange program, in which students who work at participating schools can attend the university for a reduced rate. Applicants should explore the school's Financial Aid office to learn more about specific opportunities.

Online Degree(s) Available

Carson-Newman offers its graduate degree programs in a hybrid or fully online format depending on program, meaning that students who pursue graduate degrees here don't actually attend classes at the physical campus in Jefferson City. Instead, enrollees of the hybrid programs will attend classes at 13 different locations in Tennessee. Certain programs are available entirely online, such as the Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) w/Administrative Leadership Concentration.

The educational doctorate is designed for educators with at least three years of experience teaching in a Pre-K to 12th grade classroom. Students must also be working in a Tennessee school for the Administrative Leadership concentration. The program expands on master's-level knowledge and practical experience, preparing graduates for advanced research and analytical opportunities within the context of educational leadership. Along with advanced coursework in specialized topics, students will complete a qualifying exam as well as a capstone research project.

Students can complete the Ed.D. with Administrative Leadership Concentration in about three years following the prescribed course load of three-credit courses every eight weeks in the spring and fall, and up to four courses each summer. For residency purposes, students must enroll for three consecutive semesters. And while students may take longer to finish the program requirements, all requirements must be completed within seven years of admission.

The doctoral degree in education requires 57 credit hours to complete. Students will take 15 courses worth three credits each and a dissertation worth 12 credits. Course topics include Educational Leadership Theory and Policy Analysis, Mentored Residency Internship & Professional Portfolio, and Quantitative and Qualitative Research Design. Once students complete the course requirements, they will be required to meet additional criteria for the degree, including a practicum, an administrative licensure assessment, an annual review and a comprehensive exam. Students who pursue an advanced degree from Carson-Newman University benefit from the intimacy of a small, private college combined with the prestige of national recognition.

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