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Zach Shirley EDHE 6730 Fall 2010. This presentation will discuss the emphasis on Doctoral study as chronicled by Chapter 20 in the text. Areas for discussion.

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Presentation on theme: "Zach Shirley EDHE 6730 Fall 2010. This presentation will discuss the emphasis on Doctoral study as chronicled by Chapter 20 in the text. Areas for discussion."— Presentation transcript:

1 Zach Shirley EDHE 6730 Fall 2010

2 This presentation will discuss the emphasis on Doctoral study as chronicled by Chapter 20 in the text. Areas for discussion include some of the following: Why a Doctorate? Where to attend? Selecting an Ed.D. (Doctor of Education) or a Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy) program. Steps to enhance matriculation. Career options once the degree has been completed.

3 The length of time to obtain a doctorate varies by the academic discipline, with the median time increasing from 6.6 years in the year 1983, to 7.1 in the year 1993 (de Valero, 2001, p. 341) According to Nettles and Millett (2006), in the year 2000, only about 1 percent of the nations adult population – approximately 1.5 percent males and 0.6 percent females that were eighteen years old and above – had earned a doctoral degree.

4 There are a number of students who start, but do not complete, doctoral programs. Forty to sixty percent of students who begin doctorates do not earn their degrees (McAlpine & Norton, 2006). Support from family, peers, faculty/chairperson can influence completion, along with financial support and student motivation. Specifically, a students interaction with their faculty chairperson has a more direct influence on student completion than any other factor.

5 There are two distinct challenges to doctoral student persistence, as pointed out by Nettles and Millett (2006): Faculty advisor issues, which include: Unexpected faculty departures Conflicts with a mentor Academic issues, which include: Difficulty in making the transition to an independent scholar Loss of confidence Loss of interest in the dissertation topic Changing academic interests Current program not meeting the students needs

6 Nettles and Millet (2006) reported the following facts in regards to the decision-making process for the pursuit of a doctoral degree: Students typically decide to pursue doctoral studies ten years after they complete their masters degrees. Education majors tend to be older than other doctoral students, and begin their degree programs around the age of thirty – students in other disciplines start their progressions in their early twenties. African-American doctoral students in education have an average age of thirty-seven years as opposed to the thirty-five years old age demographic for other racial ethnic groups.

7 As stated by Townsend and Mason (1990), most individuals pursue a doctorate for one of two main reasons: To maintain their current position in Student Affairs. To advance into upper-management Administrative positions. The doctorate opens up doors to either a teaching career, or one in middle- and upper-administration. The time to complete a doctorate is typically up to ten years, which can be considered to be a major interruption in the lives of many people. Careful consideration must be given in regards to making such a decision, since it puts life on hold for many individuals.

8 Collins and Barratt (2007), in their research of the American College Personnel Associations (ACPA) directory of graduate programs, found there to be approximately 134 institutions across the country with masters, specialist, and doctoral degrees in Student Affairs or Higher Education. Most programs now require prospective students to have a least one year of full-time employment in Student Affairs/Higher Education before they are allowed admittance.

9 Students should examine the following items: Faculty and their research interests Will you research interests align with theirs? Does the program demographic contain faculty that are full-time, along with faculty that hold primary roles as administrators? Program requirements Most programs require students to take courses in HiEd. Administration, Finance, HiEd. Law, Qual./Quant. Statistics, History of HiEd., and Student Development Theories, just to name a few. Financial aid options Are there assistantships available? What about grants? Academic quality Academic infrastructure Faculty friendliness Academic reputation of the program and campus

10 The oldest and most recognized degrees in education are the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) and the Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) The Ph.D. was established by Yale University in 1860, and the first Ph.D. in education was granted in 1893 by Teachers College, Columbia University (Nettles & Millett, 2006) The first Ed.D. was established by Howard University, and conferred it in 1920, followed by Teachers College in 1934 (Nettles & Millett, 2006). The degrees were created to present options for the preparation of either Administrators in HiEd (Ed.D.) or Professors, researchers, and scholars in HiEd (Ph.D.) Today, however, the programs and their requirements are strikingly similar to one another, with the line becoming blurred between the two in most cases.

11 Research has shown that there is minimal difference between the two degree tracks (Coorough & Nelson, 1991) Both require rigorous coursework Both require research tools and experience Both require end-of-coursework Qualifying Exams Both require the production of a Dissertation Ph.D. Dissertation generally utilizes multivariate statistics Ed.D. Dissertation generally utilizes survey research Differences exist between the two in regards to target populations, research designs, and statistical analyses, but those differences are minute, as well.

12 Ph.D. Program For individuals interested primarily in scholarly research and in the teaching of HiEd as a field of study credit hours beyond the Masters Degree Requires 9 additional hours in research methodology and statistics Conceptual or theoretically- based dissertation of publishable quality that is generalizable to the field of HiEd For individuals interested primarily in the application of theory and research to practice credit hours beyond the Masters Degree Requires a student to complete a cognate field in a sub-specialization of HiEd administration Applied, analytical, or descriptive dissertation requirement Ed.D. Program

13 The attainment of a doctoral degree opens up various career paths for those who have completed the degree program, with the most popular being either a career in the professoriate or in administration. Statistics show that eighty percent of doctoral candidates pursue administrative careers, while twenty percent aspire to hold faculty positions. Many students pursue terminal degrees in order to hold onto current positions, as opposed to pursuing professional advancement.

14 Howard-Hamilton and Hyman (2009) stated that doctoral students who find interest in becoming a faculty member should consider the following: Is there a line of research that you would find yourself passionate about? Have you carefully examined the institution in which you would like to seek faculty appointment? Public institution v. Private institution Does the program you wish to become a faculty member in pride its focus on the preparation of solely masters students, or does it cater more to doctoral students? Is the program you wish to work in more administratively- focused, counseling-based, or a blended model?

15 Howard-Hamilton and Hyman (2009) recommends that those aspiring for a career in administration consider the following: What are your ultimate career goals? Is your focus on becoming a senior student affairs administrator? Are you looking to retain your current administrative appointment or move on to another institution in a different role? Administrative duties differ from campus to campus and demographic to demographic (i.e. the community college, state university, private institution, etc.). Keep in mind that administrators may also accept faculty appointments.

16 Whether a doctoral student decides on becoming a faculty member or an administrator, they are both considered to be educators. Being a visible member of the campus community – regardless of having status as an administrator or as faculty – provides students a model to witness that both entities are important to the mission of the institution.

17 Collins, D. & Barratt, W. (Eds.). (2007). America College Personnel Directory of Graduate Programs. Coorough, C. & Nelson, N. (1991). Content analysis of the Ph.D. vs. Ed.D. dissertation. Retrieved from ERIC database. ED de Valero, Y. F. (2001). Departmental factors affecting time-to-degree and completion rates of doctoral students at one land-grant institution. Journal of Higher Education, 72(3),

18 Howard-Hamilton, M. F. & Hyman, R. E. (2009). Doctoral education and beyond. In G. S. McClellan & J. Stringer (Eds.), The handbook of student affairs administration (pp ). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. McAlpine, L. & Norton, J. (2006). Reframing our approach to doctoral programs: An integrative framework for action and research. Higher Education Research and Development, 25(1), 3-17.

19 Nettles, M. T. & Millett, C. M. (2006). Three magic letters: Getting to ph.d. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press. Townsend, B. K. & Mason, S. O. (1990). Career paths of graduates of higher education doctoral programs. Review of Higher Education, 14(1),


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