The Penn State College of Education has appointed the first faculty director for its new professional doctoral program that is being offered online.

Joseph A. Polizzi will oversee the development, implementation, and administration of the Doctor of Education that will be offered online through Penn State World Campus. Polizzi will also serve as an associate teaching professor.

“We are excited to place our new online D.Ed. program in the hands of Dr. Polizzi,” said Rayne Sperling, the college's associate dean of Undergraduate and Graduate Studies. “We are confident that with his stewardship, the D.Ed. program offered via World Campus will uphold the high standards that have become synonymous with the Penn State College of Education.”

The first courses in the new Doctor of Education will be offered in August for the start of Penn State's fall 2023 semester.

A new director for a new program

The Doctor of Education is the first doctorate the College of Education has developed to be offered online. 

As the program liaison with World Campus, Polizzi also will be ­involved with admissions and advising, materials development, course enrollment management, coordination with curriculum committees, coordinating logistics for scheduling courses and coverage, and organizing and implementing doctoral student recruitment efforts.

“This new online education doctorate program is an important development for the future of the Penn State College of Education,” said Gerald LeTendre, H.L. Batschelet Chair of Education. “With the addition of Dr. Polizzi, we are now better positioned than ever to prepare tomorrow’s educational leaders to promote equitable and compassionate practices wherever they practice.”

Polizzi graduated from Penn State's University Park campus in 2007 with a doctorate in educational administration and leadership. He holds a master’s in secondary education-English from Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, and a bachelor's degree in English from Le Moyne College in Syracuse, New York.

He comes to Penn State from Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Connecticut, where he had been serving as director and associate professor in the Leadership and Literacy Department since 2019.

Prior to that, Polizzi worked for 12 years as a faculty member at Marywood University in Scranton, Pennsylvania. He also served six years as a graduate assistant in the Penn State College of Education and spent seven years as a high school English teacher in New York City.

A comprehensive portfolio of graduate education programs online

The Doctor of Education has been designed to allow students to customize the degree to best fit their professional and educational needs from various subject areas taught by the graduate faculty from the College of Education.

The doctoral program is one of 22 education degree and certificate programs offered online through Penn State World Campus.

The offerings include master’s degrees in curriculum and instruction; educational leadership; higher education; learning, design, and technology; lifelong learning and adult education; organization development and change; and special education, as well as a variety of graduate certificates.

Learn more about the Doctor of Education that is offered online through Penn State World Campus.