Our PhD in Education degree program helps prepare education professionals to become leaders in their field.
Creating a culture of continuous improvement within programs and organizations and as individuals is the focus of the Organizational Research, Assessment, and Evaluation specialization. Coursework emphasizes the theory, trends, and perspectives in the field as well as the role of assessment and evaluation as a vehicle for positive change. Engage in hands-on applied experiences and utilize processes for the rigorous research, assessment, and evaluation of complex organizational systems through data gathering and analysis. In this PhD in Education specialization, you will also evaluate programs in a systematic way in order to address and resolve problems and engage in evidence-based decision making.
As a graduate of this program, you will be prepared to:
Walden students have up to 8 years to complete their doctoral program unless they petition for an extension.
In general, students are continuously registered in the dissertation/doctoral study course until they complete their capstone project and it is approved. This usually takes longer than the minimum required terms in the dissertation/doctoral study course shell.
To complete a doctoral dissertation, students must obtain the academic approval of several independent evaluators including their committee, the University Research Reviewer, and the Institutional Review Board; pass the Form and Style Review; gain approval at the oral defense stage; and gain final approval by the Chief Academic Officer. Students must also publish their dissertation on ProQuest before their degree is conferred. Learn more about the dissertation process in the Dissertation Guidebook.
This sequence represents the minimum time to completion. For a personalized estimate of the number of your transfer credits that Walden would accept, call an enrollment advisor at 855-646-5286.
|Course Code||EDPD 8002||Course||Leading the Future of Education||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||EDPD 8020||Course||A New Vision of Organizational Research, Assessment, and Evaluation||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||EDPD 8021||Course||Assessment, Evaluation, and Accountability: The Sociological, Political, and Economic Factors||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||RSCH 8110||Course||Research Theory, Design, and Methods||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||EDPD 8022||Course||Assessing for Individual Growth||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||EDPD 8023||Course||Evaluating and Improving Programs, Organizations, and Systems||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||EDPD 8113||Course||Tools for Doctoral Research Success||Credits||(3 cr.)|
|Course Code||RSCH 8210||Course||Quantitative Reasoning and Analysis||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||EDPD 8024||Course||Dynamics of Communication for Impact and Results||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||EDPD 8114||Course||Demystifying Doctoral Writing for Research||Credits||(3 cr.)|
|Course Code||RSCH 8310||Course||Qualitative Reasoning and Analysis||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||EDPD 8025||Course||Building a Culture of Continuous Improvement||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||EDPD 8910||Course||Writing a Quality Prospectus||Credits||(5 cr.)|
As an advanced graduate student, you are about to embark on one of the most exciting journeys of your life. This practical course provides meaningful skills you will need to select your path, complete your degree, and become a successful leader of educational change in the 21st century. Networking and research skills, scholarly writing, critical thinking, use of Walden resources, and the three advanced graduate paths (e.g., PhD, EdD, EdS)—this course addresses all of these in a manner that provides a solid foundation of skill sets upon which to base your journey. You will find a balance of assignments (e.g., case studies, discussions, application assignments) that will ignite your passion for learning, that will allow you to collaborate with others, and that will guide your current and future work. This course is designed to reflect Walden's social change mission and provide you with meaningful tools for success as an advanced graduate student.
The role of assessment and evaluation as a vehicle for positive change is recast in this course. The notion of accountability is supported by the concepts of social and ethical responsibility, and informs continual improvement efforts for individuals and organizations. Theory, trends, and systemic perspectives of the field are connected to changes required for enhancing performance and increasing effectiveness. Topics include evaluator credibility, national and international assessments and comparisons, and facilitation with individual and cultural values underpinning evaluation purposes, processes, and judgments.
At the thought-leadership level, the context of sociological, political, and economic demands are primary to understanding the purpose of assessment and evaluation. This course will focus on the decision-making models that influence assessment, evaluation, and accountability systems. Topics include political astuteness; knowledge of sociological structures, including roles, status, power, rewards, and sanctions; as well as cost-benefit analyses, responsiveness to federal/state mandates, and organizational goals and objectives.
In this research course, students are provided with core knowledge and skills for understanding, analyzing, and designing research at the graduate level. Students explore the philosophy of science, the role of theory, and research processes. Quantitative, qualitative, and mixed-methods research designs and data collection methods are introduced. The alignment of research components is emphasized. Students also explore ethical and social change implications of designing and conducting research. Students demonstrate their knowledge and skills by developing an annotated bibliography.
The value of performance assessment coupled with accountability systems can vary widely, depending on how resulting data are used to enhance learning. Students in this course examine the nature of personnel evaluation in multiple contexts including education, reward and acknowledgment systems, hiring, and dismissal case studies. Supporting technical skills are integrated into the course, including quantitative, qualitative, and mixed-methods of data-gathering and analysis.
Determining comprehensive value and worth of a curriculum, project, instructional method, institution, or policy is a complex endeavor. This course examines the process of determining the value, purpose, efficacy, and social implications for programs, organizations, and systems within a framework for continuous improvement. Supporting technical skills are integrated into the course, including quantitative, qualitative, and mixed-methods of data-gathering and analysis.
Education professionals seeking the PhD in Education degree are required to make an original contribution to the field of education. The purpose of this course is to help educators begin that process by introducing them to the steps for developing the components of the dissertation—its timeline and available resources. Education professionals examine and analyze selected research to identify questions addressing a specific gap in the existing research literature, the framework and methodology, and other key components necessary to create scholarly research. They also explore resources such as the Writing Center and library, as well as specific tools they can use to complete the dissertation.
In this research course, students are provided with the opportunity to develop core knowledge and skills for designing and carrying out quantitative research at the doctoral level, including the application of statistical concepts and techniques. Students explore classical common statistical tests, the importance of the logic of inference, and social change implications of conducting quantitative research and producing knowledge. Students approach statistics from a problem-solving perspective with emphasis on selecting appropriate statistical tests for a research design. Students use statistical software to derive statistics from quantitative data and interpret and present results. RSCH 8110 or RSCH 7110 or RSCH 6110.)
Finesse and skill are needed to communicate complex information and findings from data analysis to particular stakeholders in ways that convey understanding, impart meaning, and stimulate a call to action. Students in this course focus on how to report results, consequences, options, and recommendations in compelling ways for multiple audiences. A wide variety of communication methods are explored that include presentation technology, Internet communications, technical writing, writing for publication, press releases, grant writing, and collaborative communication. Data compression is practiced as part of the communication and recommendation process.
Education professionals expand their knowledge of the dissertation process by reviewing tools, resources, and sample dissertations as they focus on the alignment among the identified problem, purpose, framework, research question(s), and study design. Education professionals use tools, including the appropriate rubrics and checklists, to narrow the focus of their research topic, plan a comprehensive literature review, and begin to develop their prospectus.
Students in this research course are provided with the opportunity to develop basic knowledge and skills for conducting qualitative research at the doctoral level. Students explore the nature of qualitative inquiry, how theory and theoretical and conceptual frameworks uniquely apply to qualitative research, data collection procedures and analysis strategy, and how the role of the researcher is expressed in the ethical and rigorous conduct of qualitative research. Students practice collecting, organizing, analyzing, and presenting data, and they develop a detailed research topic for conducting a qualitative study. RSCH 8110 or RSCH 7110 or RSCH 6110.)
Continuous improvement is a phrase that is applied in both business and educational settings. Operationalized, the term crosses fields that include leadership, organizational development, change theory, and evaluation and assessment. This course connects continuous improvement as referenced in these fields and moves beyond to include organizational culture, professionalism, social justice, and codes of ethics that support the formation and sustainability of this type of culture. The culminating project provides a platform for individualizing a plan with a self-chosen organization that incorporates evaluation, assessment, and a vision for social responsibility as part of creating a culture of continuous improvement.
Educators in nearly all doctoral-level programs are required to complete dissertation projects that necessitate requisite knowledge of conducting research, including the development of an appropriate research plan. In this course, education professionals utilize knowledge from previous courses to develop their prospectus—a brief document that provides preliminary information about their dissertation research to serve as a plan for developing the research proposal. They engage in a logical progression from topic conception to prospectus completion. They take their individualized topic and identify the research problem, purpose of their study, theoretical or conceptual framework, and appropriate research design, while also examining the concepts of feasibility and overall alignment of study components.
|Course Code||RSCH 8260||Course||Advanced Quantitative Reasoning and Analysis||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||RSCH 8360||Course||Advanced Qualitative Reasoning and Analysis||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||RSCH 8460||Course||Advanced Mixed-Methods Reasoning and Analysis||Credits||(5 cr.)|
Students in this research course build upon knowledge and skills acquired in the prerequisite quantitative reasoning course and are presented with opportunities to apply them. They are provided with more specialized knowledge and skills for conducting quantitative research at the doctoral level, including understanding multivariate data analysis and applying more advanced statistical concepts, such as factorial ANOVA, mediation, moderation, logistic regression, ANCOVA, and MANOVA. Students explore existing datasets and apply suitable statistical tests to answer research questions with social change implications. In this course, they approach statistics from a problem-solving perspective with emphasis on selecting the appropriate statistical tests for more complex research questions and social problems. Students use statistical software to perform analyses and interpret and present results. They will apply and synthesize their knowledge and skills by carrying out a quantitative research project. RSCH 8110.)
Students build upon the knowledge and skills acquired in RSCH 8310 - Qualitative Reasoning and Analysis. and have experience applying them. Students develop a more sophisticated understanding of the theoretical antecedents and practical applications of eight contemporary qualitative approaches. Students gain experience developing qualitative interview guides, collecting data, and managing the process from transcription through analysis. The unique challenges of confidentiality and ethical issues are explored as well as implications for social change. Students will apply and synthesize their knowledge and skills by developing a qualitative research plan using a topic relevant to their capstone.
Students build upon knowledge and skills acquired in RSCH 8210 - Quantitative Reasoning and Analysis and RSCH 8310 - Qualitative Reasoning and Analysis for more specialized knowledge and skills to design mixed-methods research at the doctoral level. Students are provided with more specialized knowledge and skills for designing mixed-methods research at the doctoral level. They gain an understanding of the types of mixed-methods designs and how to select the most appropriate approach for the research question(s). The emphases of this course are on integrating quantitative and qualitative elements into true mixed-methods studies, practice in data analysis, and integration of qualitative and quantitative data within a research write-up. Students will apply and synthesize their knowledge and skills by developing a mixed-methods research plan that incorporates qualitative and quantitative elements appropriately. RSCH 8110 or RSCH 7110 or RSCH 6110 and RSCH 8210 or RSCH 7210 or RSCH 6210 and RSCH 8310 or RSCH 7310 or RSCH 6310.)
|Course Code||DRWA 8000||Course||Doctoral Writing Assessment||Credits||(0 cr.)|
This course is part of Walden's commitment to help prepare students to meet the university's expectations for writing in courses at the doctoral level. In this course, students write a short academic essay that will be scored by a team of writing assessors. Based on the essay score, students will be guided toward any further recommended or required writing support needed to meet writing proficiency standards. This required course is free. Students will be enrolled automatically in it after they complete their first term of their doctoral program.
|Course Code||EDPD 8990||Course||Completing the Dissertation||Credits||(5 cr. per term for a minimum of 4 quarters until completion)|
Education professionals in nearly all doctoral-level programs are required to complete dissertation projects that necessitate independent application of requisite knowledge by conducting research based on close interaction with, guidance from, and supervision by an institution-approved dissertation committee. Students in each PhD program specialization are supported in the completion of their doctoral dissertation in this course. The PhD dissertation process is composed of several stages and requires levels of approval: prospectus, proposal, Institutional Review Board (IRB), Form and Style, abstract by Chief Academic Officer (CAO), and the final study. Education professionals develop and support a doctoral-level research problem and review related literature to develop a framework for their study. They move from a research problem to the purpose of the study, the framework, and then an appropriate design while examining the concepts of feasibility and overall alignment of study components. Education professionals consider ethical feasibility issues as related to their dissertation development and proceed to data collection and analysis. They conduct an oral defense, appropriately presenting results and outcomes of the research, as well as implications for positive social change, a Walden hallmark.Students take this course for a minimum of 4 quarters and are continuously enrolled until completion of their Dissertation with final Chief Academic Officer (CAO) approval.To complete a dissertation, students must obtain the academic approval of several independent evaluators including their committee, the University Research Reviewer, and the Institutional Review Board; pass the Form and Style Review; gain approval at the oral defense stage; and gain final approval by the Chief Academic Officer. Students must also publish their dissertation on ProQuest before their degree is conferred. Learn more about the dissertation process in the Dissertation Guidebook.
You will be registered for two courses every 11 weeks, following the completion of your foundation course. Students who wish to reduce their course load during one or more terms should contact their academic advisor.
Note on Teacher Licensure or Certification
This program does not lead to teacher licensure or certification. Teachers are advised to contact their individual school districts as to whether this program may qualify for salary advancement.
Prospective Alabama students: State Authorization to provide a program related to the preparation of teachers or other P-12 school/system personnel does not indicate eligibility for an Alabama professional educator or professional leadership certificate. Applicants who complete an educator preparation program at a non-Alabama institution must apply for an Alabama professional educator or professional leadership certificate through the Alabama Certificate Reciprocity Approach. Current requirements may be found at www.alsde.edu.