The Education Doctorate (Ed.D.)

Issues of Access, Diversity, Social Justice, and Community Leadership

by Virginia Stead (Volume editor)
©2015 Textbook X, 432 Pages


This first-of-its-kind text explores the Ed.D. program as a crucible for equitable higher education and community leadership. It was inspired in part by the Carnegie Project on the Educational Doctorate (CPED) and, more broadly, by widespread international interest in the power of the Ed.D. as a force for positive social change. The book’s range of cultural contexts and educational perspectives promises new insights and solutions for policy analysts, policy makers, executive administrators, faculty researchers, philanthropists, and policy beneficiaries.
In contrast to the traditional Ph.D., the Ed.D. typically attracts educational practitioners within school boards, government agencies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), as well as standalone or internationally linked community associations. The greatest attraction of the Ed.D. is an assessment strategy that encourages graduate students to incorporate their own cultural and professional contexts into a capstone project instead of producing a classic dissertation.
This book features inclusive language, highlights everyday expressions from minoritized cultures, and clarifies new concepts to accommodate new scholars and English Language Learners. Readers will discover representative research on Ed.D. policy and practice from the United States, Canada, and a sprinkling of other countries. Renowned and emergent researchers represent multiple roles within the Ed.D. education process. Individual chapters contrast historical and contemporary issues, and raise awareness about many complexities and strategies that make the Ed.D. an ideal engine of professional empowerment and social justice leadership.

Table Of Contents

  • Cover
  • Title
  • Copyright
  • About the editor
  • About the book
  • This eBook can be cited
  • Table of Contents
  • Preface...And a Call to Action
  • Section One: Ed.D. Program Access, Curriculum, and Pedagogy
  • Chapter One: Ed.D. Program Candidate Recruitment and Admission Policy in the United States
  • Chapter Two: Online Ed.D. Program Delivery as a Medium for Enhanced Civic Engagement
  • Chapter Three: Teaching Research Method Courses in a Hybrid Ed.D. Program: A Mixed Methods Study
  • Chapter Four: An Argument for the Ed.D. Project Study as an Alternative to the Dissertation
  • Chapter Five: Reforming Practitioner-Based Ed.D. Programs: Access, Diversity, and Impact
  • Chapter Six: A Mixed Methods Research Project: Combining Research, Evaluation, and Leadership Skills in Ed.D. Programs
  • Chapter Seven: Supervising the Educational Doctorate Dual Award (Ed.D.D.A.): Juggling Truth, Relevance, and Economic Development
  • Chapter Eight: Ed.D. Program Dissertation Research: Increasing the Odds of Completion
  • Chapter Nine: Perspectives from Morgan State, a Historically Black University: Rethinking Ed.D. and Ph.D. Education Programs
  • Chapter Ten: Fitness for Purpose: Is This a Problem for Professional Ed.D. Programs?
  • Section Two: Ed.D. Program Diversity and Social Justice
  • Chapter Eleven: Designing Educational Identity and Civic Courage: Using U.S.-Israeli Cross-National Dialogue to Transform the Ed.D.
  • Chapter Twelve: Activating the Ed.D. Teaching Experience to Challenge Microaggression in Evaluations of Minority Faculty
  • Chapter Thirteen: Ed.D. Socialization Contexts: Origins, Evolving Purpose, Demographic Trends, and Institutional Practices
  • Chapter Fourteen: Promoting Social Justice Through the Indian Leadership Education and Development (I LEAD) Ed.D. Program
  • Chapter Fifteen: The Authentic Ed.D. Program: Project-Based and Counter-Hegemonic
  • Chapter Sixteen: Leveraging Multiplicity in the Ed.D. Cohort toward Transformation of Practice
  • Chapter Seventeen: Critical Discourse Analysis of Ed.D. Program Narratives: Engagement with Academic Conferences and Publications
  • Chapter Eighteen: Giving Voice Through the Practitioner-Based Ed.D. Program
  • Chapter Nineteen: The 100 Dinners Project: An Ed.D. Capstone Project Grounded in Conceptual Change Theory
  • Chapter Twenty: An Examination of the Intersecting Identities of Female Ed.D. Students and Their Journeys of Persistence
  • Section Three: Ed.D. Program Power to Create Social Justice and Equitable Community Leadership
  • Chapter Twenty-One: Transforming the Ed.D. Program into a Force for Culturally Relevant Leadership
  • Chapter Twenty-Two: Bridge Building: Can Ed.D. Program Redesign Connect Social Justice Scholars and Practitioners?
  • Chapter Twenty-Three: The Ed.D. Program in Educational Leadership: Applying Principles of Human Appreciation
  • Chapter Twenty-Four: An International Survey of the Professional Ed.D. Program: Leading Reflective Research and Communities of Practice
  • Chapter Twenty-Five: Professional Scholarship in an Ed.D. Program: Research and Writing for Real-World Contexts and Community Impact
  • Chapter Twenty-Six: Stepping Up: Tribal College Leadership and the Ed.D. Program
  • Chapter Twenty-Seven: The Doctorate in Educational Leadership for Social Justice: A Decade of Impact at Loyola Marymount University
  • Chapter Twenty-Eight: Whose Knowledge Counts in an Ed.D. Program? Building Diverse Relationships to Illuminate Opportunities and Challenges
  • Chapter Twenty-Nine: Issues of Superintendent Preparation in Disadvantaged Areas: Considering the Usefulness of the Educational Doctorate (Ed.D.)
  • Chapter Thirty: Reimagining the Education Doctorate (Ed.D.) as a Catalyst for Social Change
  • About the Contributors
  • Series index

← viii | ix → Preface...And a Call to Action

Virginia Stead

This book is a response to the pandemic not of Ebola but of social alexithymia that permeates cultures such as ours and makes so many of us indifferent to the suffering of others. Finding avenues down which social justice leaders may travel undeterred is a daunting challenge but one that some Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) programs already count among their goals and one that others are working hard to implement.

The idea of Ed.D. programs as educational crucibles of any kind arose from the idea of the forging of heated contestations about how the academy currently functions, whom it serves, and whom it marginalizes. The more I thought about it, the more the metaphor seemed fitting.

The Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate (CPED) distinguishes itself by the ways in which it offers affiliation and guidance to over 50 faculties of education as they conscientiously strive to address problems of elitism, racism, homophobia, and xenophobia. Many of the contributors to this book represent faculties of education that share CPED membership, and their insights have enormous value.

After much reflection about how the various chapters recommended themselves to collective themes, the following three sections emerged: (1) Ed.D. Program Access, Curriculum, and Pedagogy; (2) Ed.D. Program Diversity and Social Justice; and (3) Ed.D. Program Power to Create Social Justice and Equitable Community Leadership. Surprisingly, the authors who were first to respond to ← ix | x → this book’s call for chapters represented Australia, Canada, Singapore, and the United States. Over 70 chapter proposals were submitted for 30 chapter spaces within 3 days of the call.

It is our collective hope that this volume will serve as a beacon for social justice leadership through Ed.D. programs within all educational cultures and global communities.

← 2 | 3 → CHAPTER ONE

Ed.D. Program Candidate Recruitment and Admission Policy in the United States

Ann Toler Hilliard


A doctorate of education degree is based on educational research and its application in professional practices in an educational environment. Sometimes the doctorate of education degree is referred to as a practitioner’s degree. Candidates will seek the degree because they are professional practitioners or individuals who are interested in becoming superintendents of schools or other school leaders at the building, district, university, or community level. The doctorate of education degree is likely to be the preferred qualification for many mid-career employees. Many candidates in the Ed.D. program will already have master’s degrees but may wish to pursue studies at the doctoral level. Although the focus of doctoral programs may vary, many programs emphasize instructional, organizational, public, and evidence-based leadership in state agencies and in public and nonpublic schools. They also support educators as entrepreneurs within individual program specializations.

The original doctorate of education degree program was intended to prepare experienced educational practitioners to serve as principals, directors, supervisors, and superintendents, as well as in other positions of leadership. These practitioners would be able to solve educational problems using best practices and research-based strategies. The first doctorate of education degree program in the ← 3 | 4 → United States was established at Harvard University in 1921 (Shulman, Golde, Conklin Bueschel, & Garabedian, 2006).


This discussion spans a broad array of issues ranging from the need to recruit future leaders to communication with potential candidates to digital marketing tools. It also takes into account the role of faculty members and the growing importance of international communities.

In Search of Candidates Who Will Become Highly Qualified Leaders

The Ed.D.’s focus may vary from university to university. Because of the need for well-prepared educational leaders to serve in schools, it is important to have a pool of certified and highly qualified individuals to serve effectively in leadership positions in national and international educational communities. In order to assure that individuals are prepared for leadership positions, universities, colleges, and other organizations have assumed the task of educating and training candidates. Candidates are informed during the recruitment process that, when enrolled at the university, they are expected to engage in teaching and training and to jointly participate in project-based activities. The purpose of the doctoral degree is to ensure that educational systems have individuals who are qualified and ready to step into positions as leaders for the purpose of promoting high academic achievement for all students.

The recruiters for the doctoral degree program need to communicate to candidates how programs may differ in their focus or studies—that is, leadership, curriculum, technology, special education, policy studies, administration, organizational leadership, public and evidence-based leadership (Brungardt, Gould, Moore, & Potts, 1997). For over 3 decades, universities and colleges offering the doctorate of education degree have attempted to recruit underrepresented candidates. It is predicted that, by the year 2050, the underrepresented population in the United States will be approximately 50% of the total. Therefore, it is critical that members of this underrepresented population become participants in higher education so that they, too, can develop skills, knowledge, and the appropriate professional disposition to contribute to the growth of society educationally and economically.

However, the 10 years prior to 2012 in the United States were marked by a slight downturn in the number of candidates enrolling in Ed.D. programs. Since the fall of 2012, there has been just over a 1% increase in enrolled candidates in graduate programs. For the first time, there have been more than 461,000 enrolled candidates in the United States in graduate certificate, education specialist, masters, or doctoral programs (Canadian Association for Graduate Studies, 2011). The Council of ← 4 | 5 → Graduate Schools is the only national organization that annually covers the enrollment of candidates in all fields of graduate studies in the United States.

Recruitment Materials, Information, and Professional Practices

When soliciting Ed.D. candidates, recruitment teams must make every effort to be clear about when and where graduate fairs and open houses will take place and what the set agenda will entail. The recruitment team should use e-recruitment and other means of communicating with potential candidates as a strong link to the community (Gifford, 2010). The recruitment teams should discuss the quality of the program, its cost, the availability of financial aid, and how many graduates have ascended to positions of educational leadership. They should also talk about the strengths and benefits of the doctorate of education degree beyond potential financial gains. It is important for candidates to know that the recruitment management team is interested in keeping in contact with graduates after they complete the program. When recruiting candidates, it cannot be stated too often that all recruitment materials should be current, consistent, and clear about program cost and emphasize the typical return on the investment of the degree based on potential career opportunities.

The recruitment teams and office of enrollment management should also explain in an honest and tactical way that some outcomes are beyond the control of the college or university, such as guarantees of jobs or leadership positions. The teams should also explain that much depends on how favorable the economy may be at a given time. The recruitment teams should let potential candidates know where and when they may be contacted; further, if and when a potential candidate contacts the recruitment team, a team member should return calls or emails quickly and in a professional manner (Williams, 1993).

What Do Graduate Recruitment Practices Look Like?

Further research is needed on what graduate recruitment practices should look like from a broader national and international perspective. To date, many studies have focused on individual college practices and strategies, but the risk is that the portfolio of activities at a few colleges or universities will neither describe the range of possibilities nor adequately assess the effectiveness of those activities as they pertain to recruitment. Recruitment is not a one-time approach. It must be done using a systematic approach to attracting and retaining graduating candidates. Today, a broad range of technology is used by recruitment teams to attract candidates to colleges and universities. However, the life cycle of technology based on best practices for graduate recruitment is likely to be very short.

← 5 | 6 → The question, then, is this: What is the interplay between past practices of cultivating close personal contacts with prospects and faculty relationships and referring institutions and organizations with emerging technological tools and resources? In order to recruit candidates more successfully, the recruiters need to understand the thinking and needs of the adult learner (Aslanian & Giles, 2009). Graduate recruitment varies in planning and implementation. While print materials and open houses continue to be important, website information is the most frequently utilized recruitment tool. In this context, it is important to note that recruitment and marketing rarely exist as separate activities. Typically, the two use an integrated approach in the service of a common purpose. For example, recruiters should seek to reach minorities that are underrepresented in higher education but possess high performance ability. The goal at colleges and universities with low enrollments should be to recruit large numbers of candidates and build positive relationships within their communities (National Association of Graduate Admissions Professionals, 2001).

The literature identifies two notable changes in the field of graduate student recruitment. First, responsibility for recruitment appears to have shifted to a more shared collaborative model between academic units and graduate schools in the United States. Within the offices of financial aid, registrar, and enrollment management, graduate coordinators and faculty and other administrative staff work together to maintain or enhance graduate enrollment efforts. Second, while some practices continue to be important in a university’s portfolio of recruitment activities, their effects must be enhanced by combining traditional practices with the use of technology (e.g., email, the institution’s website, and social media) with emerging technology (e.g., social networks) as well as recruitment marketing tools. The blending of marketing initiatives and technology creates the best use of each resource for recruitment and may provide the highest possible return on the college and university’s resources. Using technology tools is an asset, but recruiting teams at any college or university must be very sensitive to the rights and privacy of candidates’ personal information. All communications to candidates must be professional and without future legal implications (Lindbeck & Fodrey, 2010).

Graduate recruitment must present a successful face. If it does not, the candidate population could decrease over time, and human and nonhuman resources could drop to a level at which the college or university will find it difficult to keep its doors open. Historically, the enrollment management team at colleges and universities has had to project an aura of success to national and international communities in order to be a strong competitor in the recruitment marketplace (Johnson, 2000). Recruiting candidates must be recognized as a major goal of the college or university’s strategic plan. There is a need to have an adequate number of candidates enrolled at universities and colleges in order to maintain their ability to serve the public academically, socially, and culturally. Therefore, recruiting ← 6 | 7 → teams and the office of enrollment management must speak the same language in acquiring the number of candidates needed for the success of the college or university (Tucciarone, 2009).

Program Expectations Should be Clearly Articulated to Candidates

Doctoral candidates recruited for the Ed.D. program should be aware of the importance of effective teaching, learning, leading, and field-based research with schools or district settings that support the schools. Emphasis should be placed on the importance of reflective practices in leadership behavior. During the recruitment effort, doctoral candidates should be given an overall view of program foci, standards, and expectations in coursework and clinical field experiences.

Doctoral candidates should be made aware of how most doctoral programs use a cohort group model in which candidates take courses together and work on project-based research activities. Candidates should be informed, too, about the benefits of the cohort model, which provides the opportunity for active, interactive, and engaging activities as a group. The cohort model can connect, in a meaningful way, a community of learners working together toward a common purpose (Maher, 2004). As adult learners, the doctoral candidates will be able to show their coursework initiative by creating educational study teams that can build the learning capacity to support learning communities and partnerships with local school districts in order to sustain realistic reform for school improvement (Irby & Miller, 1999). Recruited candidates will learn early on from the recruitment team that they will be connected with others in a learning community concept from Day One. This will add to the value of their experiences and should both motivate and bring comfort to them (Zhao & Kuh, 2014).

Recruiters Must be Creative

Recruitment teams and the office of enrollment management must be collaborative and seek creative ways to recruit, retain, and graduate candidates in the doctorate of education degree program. It is important for recruitment teams and the office of enrollment management to realize that recruitment and retention go hand in hand (Johnson, 2000). If candidates have had positive experiences during their recruitment, retention, and graduation, this could carry over to the marketing success of the recruitment team and the office of enrollment management in their subsequent recruitment efforts. As the recruited candidates use media to share with friends their positive experiences at the university or college, so can the recruitment team use the highlighted information regarding outstanding features of the university and college programs to urge new candidates to enroll at that ← 7 | 8 → particular institution. Again, word of mouth and the use of social media technology can be powerful recruiting tools for those who have experienced success at the university or college (Astone & Nunez-Wormack, 1991).

Benefits of Using Digital Marketing Tools

In order for university recruitment teams to stay current and take advantage of the many benefits of using digital marketing tools for recruitment, team members should encourage candidates to apply to the university or college directly through Facebook. The recruitment teams can analyze metrics to review how the Facebook pages are being used. They can identify how to benchmark candidates from other universities and balance the number of postings by faculty on the university or college’s Facebook page, as well as the number of postings by other participants in this social media connection (Thostenson, 2011). The recruitment team should provide the webpages with eye-catching graphics aimed at those requiring financial assistance, as well as special interest groups or underrepresented candidates.

During the recruitment session, candidates should be informed about the university or college’s on- and off-campus support services. They should also receive current information about admission, curriculum, and tuition fees. For the convenience of their schedules, candidates need to know about courses that are offered in a blended learning or online format, on weekends, and in summer sessions (Ntiri, 2001). Recruiting team members should telephone potential candidates or use other media to stay in touch and continue to build positive relationships with them. Smart recruiters will maintain contact with school districts, principals, and others, because at some future time, potential candidates from those districts may wish to enroll in the doctorate of education degree program (Tapscott, 2000).

Recruitment Must be Strategic, and There Must Be a Plan

The recruiting of candidates for the Ed.D. program is a collaborative effort on the part of the recruitment team and the office of enrollment management. Recruitment by Colleges of Education or Schools of Education in the United States, for example, must work together to assess the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, or threats to the recruitment of the university or college recruitment agenda. Developing a strategic plan provides the recruitment team with structure, goals, and direction during the recruitment process.

In order to improve the recruitment operation, there is a need to seek feedback from individuals in the Ed.D. program that will be passed on to potential students. Candidates could be asked about their level of satisfaction during the recruitment experience or admissions policy, procedures, and process. Feedback would help the ← 8 | 9 → recruitment team members to improve their own recruitment practices (Kaufman, Watters, & Herman, 2002).

At U.S. educational institutions, the doctorate of education degree program is generally located in the College of Education or the School of Education. The recruitment team and the office of enrollment management play a key role in persuading candidates to enroll at the university or college. Therefore, it is essential that the recruitment team and the office of enrollment management design and implement a purposeful strategic plan to attract and maintain groups of candidates that are underrepresented in doctoral programs. Methods used for recruitment today usually include Internet bulletins and media, national newspapers, research conferences, direct mail, open house sessions, television, educational partnership organizations, e-recruiting, and alumni support groups (Tapscott, 2000). Being strategic is essential to the recruitment effort. Before going out to recruit potential candidates, the recruitment teams and the office of enrollment management need a recruitment strategic plan. At this point, the recruitment team must be strategic thinkers.

Some considerations for recruitment teams may be modelled in different formats; however, the teams should take some matters into consideration before beginning the recruitment process. For example: (1) Where are we now as a committee or team with the recruitment effort? (2) What is the vision and mission of the School of Education or College of Education regarding recruitment? (3) What are the major obstacles, if any, to the recruitment effort? (4) What resources do we have at hand to do the job of recruitment? (5) What will be the key strategies to proceed in the direction in which we need to go? (6) What is a realistic timetable and method of accountability for the recruitment efforts? (7) How will recruitment be monitored and measured? (8) Who will be specifically responsible for all action tasks within the plan? (9) How will the success of the recruitment effort be measured? (Hayes, Ruschman, & Walker, 2009).

There are many definitions of a strategic plan. The most common one focuses on the process for establishing priorities in terms of what the college and/or university plans to accomplish in the future, as well as what it will do and what it will not do. The strategic plan pulls the entire college together around a single game plan for support in the recruitment effort. The plan must be based on the needs of the college or university regarding leadership engagement, diversity, international connection, and resources, and the strategic plan for candidate recruitment must be communicated effectively to the entire campus community.

Marketing Best Practices in Recruitment

After the recruiters have made initial contact with potential students, it is essential to get back in touch with those candidates as soon as possible. The recruitment manager should make sure that all team members are on the same ← 9 | 10 → page (Mahan, 2012) and that they explain how the enrolees in the doctoral program are drawn from a diverse group; share information about the success rates of graduates; send emails to potential candidates; keep the college or university’s website updated, and show photos, with permission, of faculty members and candidates’ activities in the program; cite current research publications and awards received by faculty and candidates in the School of Education or College of Education; make every effort to provide information to potential candidates in an easy, accessible manner; use mass-marketing strategies to attract additional candidates to the program (Powers, 1990); and make the websites and contact numbers easy to access in order to answer questions that potential candidates may have. To attract international students, they must enlist the efforts of current students who are visiting their home countries or who could help market the program locally or regionally; use the Internet to advertise the doctorate of education program in the international educational marketplace; and use the ideas of graduate students or alumni to telephone or email their friends and coworkers. Finally, the recruitment manager will do well to assign recruiters with the skills, knowledge, and professional demeanor to represent the university in ways that will make the best impression on the public; and keep data on the pros and cons, outcomes, and results of the recruitment efforts made by all members of the recruiting team within the national and international community (National Association of Graduate Admissions Professionals, 2001).

International Communities and Recruitment

A number of countries show no evidence of a well-organized office, team, or committee for recruiting graduate candidates for the doctorate of education degree program. For example, in Canada, most universities do not have an office or position dedicated to recruiting new candidates for various programs. For the past few years, Canada has utilized the Internet to create new opportunities to recruit candidates for graduate programs. However, the pace of recruitment has been relatively slow because the discipline-specific nature of graduate education programs at many of the universities is the same (Malaney, 1987).

The Important Role of Faculty Members in Recruiting and the Use of Technology

Since faculty members will deliver instructional services to recruited candidates, they could help with the recruitment effort. Faculty members would have the unique ability to contact potential candidates and build positive relationships with those candidates. However, research shows that some faculty members feel that they already have too much to do, and recruitment should therefore be left to ← 10 | 11 → others. Paul Bryant has claimed that some faculty members believe that recruitment is beneath their dignity (Bryant, 1987). Nevertheless, Bryant contends that faculty should be encouraged to establish and maintain relationships with faculty from other schools, departments, and professions in order to help with the recruitment efforts at the university.

If they do become involved with recruitment, faculty members should be highly competent and have basic and specific knowledge regarding the entire recruitment process as well as the specifics of a college’s programs. In addition to the use of brochures, letters, advertisements, phone calls, and conference displays, recruiters should take time to use a variety of digital media technology to market and manage their recruitment efforts during the recruitment process (National Association of Graduate Admissions Professionals, 2001).

Not surprisingly, the primary means of promoting graduate programs online is the institution’s website. Typically, this consists of entire websites—or large sections of websites—devoted to providing information to prospective candidates. Information commonly found on such websites includes academic programs (including admission requirements, program requirements, duration of study, etc.), tuition, scholarships/funding, student services, location and facilities, and research/career opportunities. In assessing the information that prospective candidates seek from graduate school websites, Poock (2005) found that admissions information, faculty research interests, financial aid, program information, and department contacts are most important.

International Communities’ Doctoral Recruitment Practices

The Ed.D. program is valuable to the extent that candidates gain new and improved skills and knowledge about effective leadership and practices through research and theorizing policy. The doctoral degree is considered an academic or professional degree. Internationally, the doctorate of education degree qualifies candidates to teach at the university level and to serve in district leadership positions in school systems. In the international community, the degree is often called a terminal degree or the highest academic degree in a given field of study.

Many European countries will recruit diverse groups of candidates to their universities. For example, France recruits candidates from Morocco, Algeria, China, Tunisia, Senegal, Germany, Cameroon, Lebanon, Italy, and Vietnam. France stresses that its graduate programs are cofunded by the Ministry of Foreign European Affairs and the French regional authorities, which finance exchange for research training and research of new curriculum, project-based researchers, and connections with Russia, Brazil, China, India, South Africa, East Europe, as well as with ten French regions. Sweden recruits candidates, for the most part, from within. The United Kingdom recruits candidates from the Middle East, Libya, ← 11 | 12 → Egypt, Saudi Arabia, India, and Pakistan by emphasizing the attractive features of its programs, features such as language, reputation, and opportunities for quality research partnerships, as well as high completion rates and long-term career opportunities. Germany recruits candidates from Eastern Europe, China, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Chile, Brazil, and Egypt. Germany emphasizes its funding sources for scholarships and work positions, English instruction, dissertation examination, and the use of applied research projects made possible by contracts with industry. These countries are marketing their graduate programs by emphasizing expected outcomes for candidates. The methods used by the management recruitment teams include research networks, websites, social media, scientific journals, and symposiums. A strong emphasis is placed on funding being available for graduate programs. Particularly in Germany, enrollment in graduate programs continues to increase because low tuition fees (or even free tuition), as well as post-study work opportunities for foreign candidates, can make Germany an ideal location for study. In order to study in Germany, however, all candidates must secure a blue card that is equivalent to the green card in the United States. Germany is expected to continue to expand its recruitment enrollment by 2020 by focusing on learning and research and providing scholarship funding for the best German and international candidates. German universities intend to raise their profile internationally and to expand their network of branch offices and information centers around the world. Germany plans to continue to educate staff to increase their knowledge of foreign cultures and educational systems to help build international partnerships that could boost their recruitment efforts.

Recruiting Potential Candidates

When the recruitment committees and enrollment management teams seek potential candidates, it is essential that the teams encourage candidates to apply to the graduate program for the doctorate of education degree as soon as possible. It is important to try to find a way to justify reduced or no fees if the candidate applies for graduate admission before a certain date or in the case of financial need. Networking is important when seeking candidates for enrollment, because candidates may be inclined to enroll in the program if team members develop a positive relationship with them. Staying in touch is essential when developing the networking relationship. Using Facebook, email, telephone contact, and—if it is affordable—inviting potential candidates to an inexpensive lunch or early dinner may boost the recruitment effort. Social media are also an important means of recruiting candidates to the doctoral program. When candidates make inquiries, recruiters should be sure to follow up and return information promptly. Recruiters should behave in a manner that makes candidates feel that they value them and want them to attend the university or college. It is important to make a favorable ← 12 | 13 → impression during the recruitment effort. Recruiters should continue to connect with potential candidates; however, recruiters should not overwhelm potential candidates with their communication behavior (Williams, 1980).

The strategic use of regional and national databases to make contact with candidates who may be underrepresented in the Ed.D. program should be a common practice for recruiters. They should visit scholarly program activities at the graduate level within and outside the university and try to recruit candidates to the Ed.D. program. It is also important to attend events at various universities, talk with graduates about the doctoral program, speak to and collect the names of individuals, leave business cards, and quickly contact potential candidates as a follow-up (Fern, 2014).

Comparing National and International Focus on Recruitment

Graduate schools in both Canada and the United States may wish to adopt a leadership role in planning, guiding, motivating, and assessing graduate recruitment activities on behalf of their institutions. However, professional staff must be trained to understand trends and changes in student recruitment efforts, adapt to change in order to survive, and take advantage of technological opportunities in a timely fashion. Linkages to faculty and alumni must continue to play an important role in candidate recruitment. Canadian institutions suggest that there must be more collaboration in their graduate student recruitment practices, both with one another and with national and international organizations that have an interest in graduate education (National Association of International Educators, 2011). In addition, graduate schools and departments must strive to be adventurous and entrepreneurial in taking advantage of sometimes-brief windows of opportunity, even when the exact direction they should take seems unclear.

Universities and colleges today must see social media as another tool that can be used during and after the recruitment process. Therefore, recruiters use social media as much as possible to recruit candidates to the Ed.D. program beyond borders (Mayers, 2013). The recruitment marketplace today is very competitive, and recruiters need to be creative and quick in order to secure desirable candidates from national and international communities for their colleges or universities. Using social media can help to facilitate the recruitment efforts to a broader audience globally (Hayes et al., 2009).

In Canadian universities, admission to a doctoral program requires a master’s degree in a related field, sufficiently high grades, recommendations, writing samples, a research proposal, and, typically, an interview with a prospective supervisor. Requirements for a doctoral degree are often more stringent than those for a master’s program. In Canadian universities, only in exceptional cases can a student holding an honors B.A. with sufficiently high grades and proven writing and ← 13 | 14 → research skills be admitted directly to a doctoral program without first completing a master’s degree. Many Canadian graduate programs allow students who start in a master’s degree program to “reclassify” into the doctoral program after satisfactory performance in the first year, thus bypassing the master’s degree (Canadian Association for Graduate Studies, 2011).

Advanced-degree candidates must usually declare their research goal or submit a research proposal upon entering graduate school in Canada. In the case of master’s degrees, there is some flexibility (that is, one is not held to one’s research proposal, although major changes—for example, from premodern to modern history—are discouraged). In the case of the doctoral degree, the research direction is usually known, as it will typically follow the direction of the master’s degree research study area at an advanced level (Canadian Association for Graduate Studies, 2011).

Some schools require samples of the student’s writing as well as a research proposal. At English-speaking universities in Canada, applicants from countries where English is not the primary language are required to submit scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Nevertheless, some French-speaking universities, such as HEC Montreal, also require candidates to submit TOEFL scores or to pass the university’s own English test. Some financial aid comes from various public and private sources in the form of scholarships for candidates. However, in many universities, the tuition fees may be waived for doctoral candidates (Canadian Association for Graduate Studies, 2011).

At the Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, the typical admission requirements include an online application, official transcript from the candidate’s postsecondary institution, a curriculum vitae, a completed form detailing the candidate’s achievements and projects, three reference letters, a letter of intent from a member of the program of study, a commitment by a faculty member who is willing to supervise the candidate during the research experience, and proof of language proficiency for non-Canadian applicants whose language skills are in neither English nor French. Photocopies of faxed documents are not accepted by the university.


X, 432
ISBN (Softcover)
ISBN (Hardcover)
Publication date
2015 (June)
Carnegie Project Professional empowerment social justice leadership
New York, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, Oxford, Wien, 2015. X, 432 pp.

Biographical notes

Virginia Stead (Volume editor)

Virginia Stead (Ed.D., OISE University of Toronto) founded the book series Equity in Higher Education Theory, Policy, and Praxis in 2015. Dr. Stead mentors students, facilitates symposia, and furthers her social justice agenda through conferences including AERA, AESA, ASHE, CIES, CSSE, CSSHE, and EAN.


Title: The Education Doctorate (Ed.D.)
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445 pages