The University announced it has received a $4 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences to establish an Education Sciences doctoral program.

The grant will cover five years of the program, providing nearly 20 doctoral students with three- to four-year fellowships. The fellowships will include an annual $30,000 stipend, tuition, benefits and travel allowance to attend academic conferences.

Susan Dynarski, professor of public policy, education and economics is leading the new program. She wrote in an e-mail to the Daily that the new program will focus on quantitative methods and education policy through coursework, workshops, hands-on research and mentoring.

“The program will focus particularly on causal questions that exist within education policy, such as the effect of a universal pre-kindergarten program on student learning or the impact of online classes on academic achievement for high school students,” Dynarski wrote.

The program will be a joint effort between the School of Education, the Ford School of Public Policy and the Department of Economics. Dynarski wrote the collaboration will combine the strengths of the economics, education and public policy schools in training the students.

“The students will be able to identify the right questions, address those questions with rigorous, quantitative methods and communicate the answers to policymakers and practitioners.” Dynarski wrote.

Other lead University faculty members are Stephen DesJardinse, professor of economics and public policy; Christina Weiland, assistant professor of education; Brian Jacob, Walter H. Annenberg professor of education policy; John Bound, George E. Johnson Collegiate professor of economics; and Public Policy Prof. Jeff Smith.

The program’s research will be conducted in partnership with education policymakers and practitioners: the Michigan Department of Education, Tennessee Department of Education, Boston Public Schools, District of Columbia Public Schools, Florida Virtual Schools, community colleges and a network of charter schools in Michigan.

The program’s first class will be admitted in the fall of 2016, but the University announced it will begin recruiting students for the program in the upcoming fall semester.

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