Why the UMHB Ed.D.?
Three Year Completion Pathway
The pursuit of a doctorate degree includes two major activities that are required for graduation. A doctorate degree generally requires a major research project, such as a dissertation, in addition to a series of courses. The dissertation represents the culminating project of a doctorate degree in which the student uses existing research to discover new knowledge. In most doctoral programs the dissertation process resides at the end of the course sequencing after traditional coursework has been completed. This can lead to extended time frames for completion as students often encounter feelings of isolation and low motivation levels for taking on such a task "alone." It is also the point in a degree program where most students fail.
In contrast to national trends in doctoral programs, the UMHB Ed.D program has a history of producing graduates in a high percentage and in a relatively short period. Throughout its existence, the doctoral program has had a majority of its students complete their degrees within four years. For example, 73% of the three most recent graduating cohorts finished their dissertation within three years and 79% finished within one year after completion of coursework. This superior performance may be related to intensive personal advising that each student receives and the embedded dissertation process that begins in the first semester of study.
Researching Professional vs. Professional Researcher
A doctoral degree expresses the obtainment of the highest degree of achievement within a specific field. At its core, the degree not only entails an extended period of knowledge consumption but also an evolution of the learner to the point in which they can add to the existing body of knowledge through research. According to Taylor (2008), doctorate degrees are awarded to students that have demonstrated an acquisition and understanding of existing knowledge and also the creation and interpretation of new knowledge. The applied doctorate degree, on the other hand, focuses on training individuals for applied fields. The Doctor of Medicine and the Doctor of Education are two examples of applied doctorates as they use research to better practice their craft.
Individuals are often attracted to professional doctorates for their perceived “relevancy” to their field (Neumann 2005), in which most students have prior experience before enrolling. One of the key differences lies within this facet, due to most professional doctorate students being more experienced and serving as part-time students while continuing their full-time profession (Neumann, 2005). These students wish to increase their base knowledge and their ability to conduct research applicable to their chosen field to develop into more complete professionals. The UMHB Ed.D attempts to create educators that are researching professionals that are equipped to make informed decisions in an applied realm.
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Council of Graduate Schools. (2008). Ph.D. completion and attrition: Analysis of baseline program data from the Ph.D. Completion Project. Washington, DC
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Lovitts, B. (2001). Leaving the ivory tower: The causes and consequences of departure from doctoral study (1st ed.). New York: Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, Inc. Neumann, R. (2005). Doctoral Differences: Professional doctorates and PhDs compared. Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management, 27(2), 173-188.
Taylor, J. (2008). Quality and Standards: The challenge of the professional doctorate. Higher Education in Europe, 33(1), 65-87.
Page last updated November 04, 2020