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The Education Doctorate (Ed.D.)

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


Edited By Virginia Stead

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.
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Chapter Six: A Mixed Methods Research Project: Combining Research, Evaluation, and Leadership Skills in Ed.D. Programs

← 70 | 71 → CHAPTER SIX


Cohort-based doctoral degrees are now common, and most require one to three research courses. The New Doctoral Leadership Program (NDLP) at the University of Bridgeport in Connecticut requires seven mixed, action, qualitative, and quantitative research seminars; 18 credits of program evaluation, policy analysis, and grant writing; and 18 credits of education leadership coursework. Overarching research question: Does the NDLP meet admitted students’ needs?

From a critical stance, cohort-based online Ed.D. programs are designed to save institutions money rather than improve necessary skills. An iterative mixed methods research design was used to determine whether or not the NDLP meets the needs of a highly competitive K–12 and postsecondary job market. Seminar projects, course and faculty evaluations, comprehensive examinations, and dissertations were analyzed to determine the strengths and challenges inherent in the Ed.D. Education Leadership program at the University of Bridgeport. The findings presented in this chapter include methodological strategies and lessons learned from the 17 most-offered seminars over the past 3 years. Strategies that students found to be most helpful, as well as lessons learned from faculty, will be presented along with evidence concerning the challenges associated with a program that requires 62 semester credits with few electives.

Cohort-based doctoral degrees in education are now common, and many are less rigorous in terms of research requirements than those previously offered. For example, the number of research courses at participating colleges in the Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate demonstrates that a practitioner orientation rather than research...

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