Macomb, IL – Western Illinois University is ready to offer its first doctoral program. The Educational Doctorate degree recently received approval from the North Central Association Higher Education Commission, which is the accrediting agency for colleges and universities. The program will be offered beginning in the spring. It will be administered by the College of Education and Human Services. Dean Bonnie Smith-Skripps says one aspect of the program will focus on some of the challenges facing rural school districts. Western has talked about offering such a program for nearly two decades.