HCTCs Ella Strong earns Ed.D

Dr Ella Strong

HCTC s Dr. Ella Strong has passed a milestone in her professional career by obtaining an Ed.D. from the University of Kentucky. This has always been a life goal. I have always been a lifelong learner and will continue to be, noted Dr. Strong, who serves as the Dean of Distance Learning at Hazard Community and Technical College.

The doctoral program Strong completed was part of a cohort program offered by the University of Kentucky. The process included the completion of a companion dissertation using a journal format dissertation. The degree Dr. Strong received was is in Educational Policy Studies and Evaluation (with emphasis in Leadership in Higher Education in Community Colleges). Her dissertation research focused on course design effects in online education on student success and was one of three areas of study in the companion dissertation called The Revolving Door of Online Education. The other cohort members of the same research and completed their doctoral degrees were Dr. Michael Quillen (focused area: developmental education), from KCTCS, and Dr. Richard Roe (focused area: technology access), from Big Sandy Community and Technical College. In the program, they learned more about research and literature and how that can help in planning and using data-informed decision-making. Dr. Strong plans to use her education to continue her career in administration in higher education, aspiring eventually to the role of vice president or president of a community college.

HCTC President Dr. Steve Greiner praised Dr. Strong for her work. HCTC is becoming a leader in distance learning because of Ella Strong. She has persevered in obtaining her degree while juggling a demanding job and I applaud her for her work.

HCTC Provost Dr. Kathy Smoot indicated her pride in Dr. Strong s academic accomplishments. A former HCTC student, I ve watched Ella grow from an excellent teaching faculty to an outstanding academic leader, and we re extremely fortunate to have her on our HCTC Academic Leadership Team!

Dr. Strong first came to HCTC in 1990 as an instructional specialist in the Business and Office Lab. She has held numerous leadership positions, including serving as Director of Virtual Learning Initiatives for four years, Coordinator for Distance Learning, Coordinator for Assessment and Outcomes, Division Chair for Business and Technology, Program Coordinator for Information Technology and Business Administration, and full-time Computer Information Services faculty member.

I love teaching, but I also love being in a position that can have wider impact to assist students. I love students and want to ensure we always live by guiding principles to support and assist students in everything we do.

Her excellence was recognized in May 2004 when she was named the KCTCS New Horizons Faculty of Excellence Award recipient where she was in competition with all of the 15 colleges in the system.

Dr. Strong obtained a bachelor s degree in Business Administration from EKU in 1989 and a master s degree from Nova Southeastern University in Science in Computing Technology and Education in 1995.

She is president-elect of the Hazard Rotary Club and will begin her duties on July 1.

Dr. Strong has three children and lives in Hazard. Her daughter, Megan Jones, is a Technology instructor at Elizabethtown Community and Technical College. Daughter Malissa Strong graduated high school in May 2011 and earned an Associate in Science in August 2011, and currently is continuing her education at HCTC with plans to apply for the Radiography or Sonography program. Her son, John Britt Strong, attends R.G. Eversole Elementary School.

Her hobbies include watching movies, drawing, carpentry projects (and tools), and travelling.