Matthew Olson, dean of social sciences, interdisciplinary studies and online education at Middlesex Community College (MCC), says there is a direct connection between the doctorate he earned in Leadership in Schooling at UML and his current job.
“My experience at UMass Lowell and what I learned in the program prepared me with the knowledge and skills for this position,” says Olson, who earned his Ed.D. from the then-Graduate School of Education in 2007. “It made it easier to step into a leadership role.”
The Leadership in Schooling doctorate is one of a suite of offerings that has earned UMass Lowell top marks for its online graduate programs in education from U.S. News & World Report in 2018. The university tied for eighth place nationally.
Olson’s early career goal was to teach psychology as a member of MCC’s faculty, where he first started working as a dean’s assistant. But his strong interest in the relationship between technology and student success led him to administration in online learning, 
Named to his current post in May 2011, Olson now oversees about one-third of Middlesex’s academic programs. He says the research and scholarship he did while working on his doctorate inform his thinking every day.
“I have a really good framework for understanding new ideas,” Olson says. “My courses at UMass Lowell have been so useful to me in my career.”
Outstanding faculty set the program apart, he says: “I felt their support all the way through.”
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