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Clarks Summit University Professor Earns Doctorate Degree

Published May 17, 2017


Completing a terminal degree is an arduous process that takes determination. One Clarks Summit University professor has just reached the summit after conquering this great feat. On Thursday, May 11, 2017, professor Caroline Burleigh successfully completed all requirements necessary to earn her Doctor of Education in early childhood education.

A CSU Story

Burleigh accepted Christ at a young age, grew-up in a Christian home and attended a Christian school her entire life. This foundation shaped her faith and love for the Lord. She grew-up to become an educator; earning her Bachelor of Science in Education from Clarks Summit University in ’99 and her Master of Science in Christian School Education in ’04 from the same institution.

As a member of CSU’s faculty, Caroline Burleigh has spent 12 years preparing Christian educators to head-out into the workforce and countless ministries. Prior to coming to CSU, she also taught second grade at Portsmouth Christian Academy, the largest Christian school in New England. She also spent time tutoring, teaching Sunday school and serving through vacation Bible school.

Vice President for Academics, Dr. Bill Higley, said, “Caroline is a vital part of our School of Education faculty. Her experience as an elementary teacher brings real-life perspective to the students she is preparing. When you combine that experience alongside her own educational pursuits, you have the ingredients for a dynamic professor, and that’s what Caroline is. She cares deeply about her students’ personal and professional development, and in that, she exemplifies all of the values we want our CSU faculty to have.”

Of Burleigh’s conduct as a professor, CSU Elementary Education program senior, Sara Cumberland, said, “Miss Burleigh is an outstanding professor who genuinely cares for each of her students. She teaches with excellency by combining real-life scenarios with best practices to cultivate effective educators.” Burleigh is Cumberland’s academic advisor and will be overseeing her student teaching in the upcoming fall semester.

The Journey

Burleigh began pursuing this degree from Northcentral University in September of 2010 and will graduate in June of this year. The process was definitely a journey for Burleigh and she admits that it “took a great deal of perseverance.” She acknowledges that she ran into a number of setbacks outside of her control.

Despite the setbacks, “I give all thanks and praise to God for giving me the strength, ability and perseverance necessary to see the journey through to completion,” continued Burleigh. “Throughout the process, I was constantly reminded of the truth of Philippians 4:13; that’s really what helped me and kept me going through the challenging times and the long journey. I was also blessed to have the support and prayers of family, friends and colleagues who encouraged me along the way.”

Those who work alongside Burleigh recognize the amount of dedication and care that she puts into educating and mentoring future elementary educators.

Dean of the School of Education, Dr. Ritchie Kelley, said, “Dr. Burleigh is an excellent educator.  She is able to bring the right balance of humor and academics to her courses. Students love her and appreciate her ability to prepare them to be effective teachers. I count it a real honor to work with Dr. Burleigh.”

Moving Forward

As demonstrated by her dedication to the completion of her degree and her desire to serve the CSU community, Dr. Caroline Burleigh is sure to continue shaping outstanding future Christian educators and impacting lives.

“As a Christian Educator this accomplishment means I will be better able to serve the students at CSU and make a difference because of the knowledge and skills I have gained throughout this process. Educators should be life-long learners who are continually learning and improving their craft, so this accomplishment is one way of demonstrating that,” acknowledged Burleigh.


The CSU community would like to offer their congratulations to Dr. Caroline Burleigh on her achievement, her dedication to Christian education and her service to the university.

-Jessica Eddy, junior in the Communications-Writing program

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