On campus or online, doctoral programs in education should feature these four critical components.

Smiling professor faces camera students are working in the background.Earning a doctorate in education is about more than professional advancement. Becoming a Doctor of Education (EdD) symbolizes a lifelong commitment to education that goes beyond the classroom.

Whether you’re considering online doctoral programs in education or traditional campus-based Doctor of Education programs, prospective EdD students should look for four critical components when considering EdD programs: research and analytical thinking, diversity, collaborative social change, and faculty experience and expertise.

The Four Essentials of Great EdD Programs:

Research and Analytical Thinking
Most EdD programs require a great deal of research, but several EdD programs go a step further, combining teacher research with reflective thinking. This pairing enables those pursuing a doctorate in education to perform education-based research while delivering results in the classroom. Ultimately, learners develop the ability to analyze the effectiveness of certain theories and classroom methods, then adjust accordingly.

Diversity
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, by the fall of 2023, public school enrollment in the United States is expected to reach 52.1 million. The federal research agency predicts that racial and ethnic classroom diversity will continue to rise, with the Hispanic student population projected to make up 30% of the student population. Both campus-based and online doctoral programs in education must train those enrolled in EdD programs to teach in culturally, ethnically, and racially diverse settings.

Collaborative Social Change
A doctorate in education shouldn’t just prepare educators to be lifelong advocates for education. Exemplary EdD programs encourage and equip future doctors of education to become leaders at the forefront of social change. By working with other stakeholders, those with a doctorate in education can use their graduate-level education, as well as past experiences, to create a learning system that works for all learners, regardless of background.

Faculty Experience and Expertise
EdD programs are designed to deliver information, knowledge, skills, and training through experienced faculty members and other experts. On campus and online, doctoral programs in education must be led by faculty with extensive research and classroom experience. Their experience should serve as a model for those pursuing a doctorate in education to conduct their own research and investigation.

Interested in becoming a Doctor of Education? Get your EdD on your own time and your own schedule. Explore Walden University’s online doctoral program in education.

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