Dr. Dianne Olivier is a professor in the Department of Educational Foundations and Leadership in the College of Education. She also serves as the graduate coordinator for the Educational Leadership Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) program.
Olivier has been honored as a 2019-2020 Outstanding Doctoral Mentor by the Office of the Vice President for Research, Innovation, and Economic Development.
Helping Leaders Reach New Heights
The Ed.D. program in Educational Leadership at UL Lafayette prepares its graduates to take on high-level leadership positions both in higher education and in K-12 arenas at local, state, regional, and national levels.
Many of our Ed.D. students are already working in a leadership position, and they bring extensive knowledge and experiences to their studies. Providing mentorship based on each students’ unique needs and goals is crucial.
“We encourage our students to research an interest area in which they have a passion, that may or may not be related to their own leadership area, or to venture into an interest area in which they would like to spend time reading, investigating, and perhaps ultimately working,” Olivier says.
She offers several courses related to her research interests in professional learning communities, educational leadership, change process, and organizational culture.
“I often use the areas in which I personally research as an avenue for examples provided in class, thus allowing students to see the application of theory into practice,” she notes.
“I tell my students they need to develop a strong knowledge base and link to their experiences and situations, in order to inform their decision making and eventually their behaviors and actions.”
Scholarly and Professional Expertise
The Ed.D. program in Educational Leadership provides a supportive community with a performance-based emphasis on learning and professional growth. The flexible instructional format is designed to help students balance graduate work alongside their work and family commitments.
“I am amazed at their high level of commitment and efforts to succeed in all areas,” Olivier notes. “The transition and transformation that occurs within our doctoral students, from the time they enter the doctoral program to completing the program is remarkable.”
As students develop confidence in their scholarly abilities, they use their newfound knowledge to effect change in their workplaces.
“They combine their scholarly transformation with their leadership experiences and work towards enhancing those institutions in which they work, thus resulting in personal and organizational benefits,” Olivier explains.
Preparing for Long-Term Success
While dedication, resiliency, and perseverance are key to success in graduate school, Olivier notes an additional factor: maintaining an open mind.
“To gain the most benefit from their studies, students should view themselves as lifelong learners,” she says.
“As their knowledge and experience evolves, they still should feel very comfortable in reaching out to those around them who are more experienced, in order to gather new information, observe new experiences, and create new learning.”
Olivier takes care to let her students know that her mentorship does not end at graduation.
“I truly enjoy and appreciate the professional relationships developed with those students whom I have chaired and worked closely with throughout the doctoral program,” she says.
“I share with my students and graduates my desire to remain connected with them and to offer assistance and guidance whenever they need. I can easily name each of the 66 Ed.D. students whom I have served as Chair – it’s an easy task since each one was unique and special and remains part of the professional side of me.”