The School of Education offers graduate programs at master’s, educational specialist, and doctoral levels for both full-time and part-time students.
Detailed descriptions of each master’s degree and doctoral degree program in the School of Education are listed in the next section. There are 3 program departments:
M.A.Ed. programs in Curriculum and Instruction which include concentrations in Elementary Education; Secondary Education; Literacy Leadership; Gifted Education; and Special Education (initial certification and Collaborating Master Educator).
M.Ed. programs in Educational Leadership with concentrations in PK-12 Administration and Supervision and Higher Education Administration; doctoral programs with concentrations in General Administration (PK-12), Gifted Education Administration, Higher Education Administration, Executive PK-12, Curriculum Leadership and Curriculum & Educational Technology.
M.Ed. programs in Counseling (School, Couples, Marriage & Family, Clinical Mental Health (with Addictions Specialty option); School Psychology with an Ed.S. option; Ph.D. program in Counselor Education.
Master’s Degree Programs
Master’s degree programs in the School of Education are designed for students who wish to pursue systematic professional study in education beyond the bachelor’s degree. Both a Master of Arts in Education degree and a Master of Education degree are awarded. The Master of Arts in Education degree in Curriculum and Instruction is awarded upon successful completion of programs in Elementary Education; Secondary Education; Literacy Leadership; Gifted Education; and Special Education (initial certification and Collaborating Master Educator). The Master of Education degree is awarded upon successful completion of programs in Counseling, Educational Leadership and School Psychology.
The following academic policies apply to all master’s degree programs in the School of Education:
- Each master’s degree program includes a specialized culminating activity that is appropriate to the content of the program.
- Students whose programs include Thesis, Project, Seminar in Education, or Master’s Degree Project as the culminating activity may not register for this final three-hour course in their programs unless they have a grade-point average of 3.0 (B) or higher.
- Early in the semester prior to their final term of study, students should consult with their program advisor about this culminating activity.
- Students have 6 years after matriculation to complete the degree.
Doctoral Degree Programs
Programs in the School of Education that lead to the degree of Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) or a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) are Counselor Education and Educational Policy, Planning and Leadership (EPPL). These programs are designed for holders of master’s degrees who wish to prepare themselves for responsible positions either in General Administration (K-12), Gifted Education Administration, Higher Education Administration, Curriculum Leadership or Curriculum & Educational Technology or Counselor Education. Students who desire licensure while pursuing the doctorate should contact the Area Coordinator upon enrollment.
Doctor of Education Degree
The purpose of the Doctor of Education degree program is to provide educators, scholars, and professionals in other human service fields with a broad and systematic understanding of the structure and process of education. Graduates of the Ed.D. program should possess in-depth knowledge of relevant educational theory and scholarship and the skills necessary to conduct research and evaluation and to apply research findings in an informed and critical manner. The ultimate goal of the Doctor of Education degree program is to prepare professionals with the commitment and competence necessary to enhance educational policy and practice in a variety of settings ranging from the individual classroom to administrative offices and government agencies.
Doctor of Philosophy Degree
The purpose of the Doctor of Philosophy degree program is to develop scholars to conduct original research and interpret and communicate the results of such research to various constituencies concerned about education and other human services. The Ph.D. degree program prepares scholars for service as college and university professors, educational administrators, government or foundation officials, or independent researchers and practitioners.
Option A requires students to enroll in a minimum of nine academic credit hours for two consecutive semesters (excluding summers), excluding internships and dissertation credits. No more than three credits per semester may be taken as independent study during the residency. Students may earn internship or dissertation credit during their residency period by enrolling for more than the minimum nine course credit hours. Internship and dissertation credits do not count toward residency. Students in the residency phase of the Ph.D. program are full-time students, and as such are expected to participate in a variety of professional socialization experiences, such as conference proposal preparation, making presentations during seminars and symposia, and writing for publication.
Option B requires students to enroll in a minimum of six academic credit hours for two consecutive semesters (excluding summers), excluding internships and dissertation credits. Independent study courses do not count toward fulfilling the credits for residency. Students may earn independent study, internship, or dissertation credit during their residency period by enrolling for more than the minimum six course credit hours. Internship, independent study, and dissertation credits do not count toward residency. Students in the residency phase of the Ph.D. program are expected to participate in a variety of professional socialization experiences, and if students selection Option B, they are required to submit a proposal to a professional conference or submit a scholarly journal article as part of their scholarly preparation.
The Comprehensive/Doctoral Committee includes the Chair or Co-Chairs, and one to two additional members, with a minimum of three members. In School Psychology & Counselor Education (SPACE) , the members of the Committee, initially selected for the Comprehensive Examination process, ideally should remain on the Doctoral Committee throughout the dissertation and final defense. (Changes in the composition of the Doctoral Committee may be requested through the standard procedure administered through the Office of Academic Programs.) The composition of the Committee should include at least one member from the primary field of study (e.g., Counselor Education, Higher Education, Educational Leadership, Gifted Education, Curriculum Leadership, Curriculum & Educational Technology), and at least one member from outside the primary field of study. The Chair of the Committee must be a faculty member in the School of Education; a minimum of two members of the Committee must be faculty members in the School of Education. Members outside of the School of Education must be approved by the Committee Chair. The appointed academic advisor may be selected by the student to serve on or chair the Committee, but inclusion of the academic advisor is not mandatory. All members of the Committee must have a terminal degree and are required to participate fully in review and assessment of written and oral examinations and in the dissertation process. The Chair should ensure that current or recent supervisory and collegial relationships between Committee members and the student are avoided. In EPPL, the review teams for the qualifying exam and the comprehensive exam are created in the area with the same stipulations outlined above for committee members. (See Educational Policy, Planning & Leadership (EPPL) )
Doctoral Comprehensive Exams
The purpose of the comprehensive examination process is threefold. The first emphasis is placed on the use of the comprehensive exam for the student to demonstrate the ability to produce an independent integration and synthesis across the graduate course work and topic areas in the program of study. The second emphasis is to assess the student’s ability to interrelate theory, research and practice in the program of study. Third, the comprehensive exam is an opportunity to assess the readiness of the student to continue the doctoral program to completion, with an emphasis on appropriate knowledge, scholarly writing and organizational skills. The comprehensive exam process is different by area. See the comprehensive exam section within the EPPL and SPACE sections for details.
The dissertation requirement is intended to prepare graduates to design, conduct, and interpret research on significant educational issues and problems. All doctoral level research should enhance understanding of the educational process and/or inform educational policy and practice.
Dissertation research for the Ed.D. degree must build upon prior scholarship and theory and apply research findings in a manner that will illuminate and enhance educational policy and practice.
Dissertation research for the Ph.D. degree should advance scholarship in the field of education by making an original contribution to educational knowledge and theory in a manner that has the potential to impact on educational practice. It is anticipated that Ph.D. dissertations will lead to publications in relevant journals or other publication outlets.
All dissertations will be judged on their overall contribution to knowledge including the study’s clarity, application of theory and prior and/or related research, and relevance to educational policy and practice.
The dissertation proposal must be a substantive, carefully crafted scholarly document. The proposal will contain a statement of the problem to be investigated, a conceptual framework, a review of related literature, and a description of the study’s methodology. Some research methodologies employ different proposal formats and require different emphases among the areas included in the proposal. In all cases, a dissertation proposal should provide a clear, systematic, and conceptually sound overview of the proposed study that explains in detail why and how the study will be conducted.
The purpose of the proposal defense is to assess the merits of the proposed research and the ability of the doctoral candidate to conduct this research in a scholarly manner. The proposal must be defended in a formal meeting to be attended by all members of the Committee. A unanimous vote of committee members at the time of the proposal defense is required for approval of the proposal. If unanimous approval is not given at this defense, the Chair will make recommendations to remedy any deficiencies. A second proposal defense will be scheduled by the Chair and the student.
Continuous enrollment during the academic year for a minimum of three semester credit hours EDUC 800 is required from the time the dissertation proposal is approved until the student has successfully completed and defended the dissertation.
The purpose of the dissertation defense is to assess the merits of the doctoral research and the ability of the doctoral candidate to interpret his or her scholarship within the context of the educational system and the larger society. The dissertation must be defended in a public forum. All members of the Comprehensive/Doctoral Committee must attend the defense and the defense should be open to all members of the university community and invited guests. A unanimous vote of committee members is required for approval of the dissertation at the defense. If unanimous approval is not given at this defense, the Chair will make recommendations to remedy any deficiencies. A second dissertation defense will be scheduled by the Chair and the student. The Comprehensive/Doctoral Committee chair will notify the educational community of the time, date, and location of the scheduled defense at least ten days prior to the event.
The chair of the dissertation committee may require the candidate to submit the dissertation to an outside editor for review and/or revision prior to final distribution before defense. Editing in this situation is limited to bringing the dissertation into alignment with APA or other identified style manual guidelines. (The committee is not expected to extensively correct or modify the writing style of the dissertation).
Following successful defense, and by the established deadline by the Office of Academic Programs (OAP), the final approval dissertation must be uploaded to ProQuest.
Policies Pertaining to Qualifying and Comprehensive Exams.
Enrollment. A student must be enrolled at the time he or she is meeting any exam requirement. The student must apply with the School of Education Graduate Registrar to take the exam.
Preparation. Students may work together as well as on their own in preparing for the Qualifying and Comprehensive Exams. During the Exam period all work must be done individually.
Duration and Location. The Qualifying and Comprehensive Exams are offered twice annually: shortly after the start of the fall and spring semesters. Students have five days to write their exams. The Exams may be written anywhere under the auspices of the Honor Code.
Materials Permitted. Students are permitted the use of any materials in writing their Qualifying and Comprehensive Exams. The Exam essays should not include work previously submitted for academic credit. Exam takers will be asked to sign a statement certifying this requirement and that they had no assistance (regarding content or editing) during the Exam period.
Evaluation. The faculty will evaluate the exam on a Pass/Fail/Honors basis. A unanimous vote is required for an Honors designation; a majority is necessary for all other evaluations. The review of the exam should be completed within three weeks. The designated committee chair will notify the Office of Academic Programs regarding the status of the student’s evaluation; subsequently, the Office of Academic Programs will notify the student. Successful completion of the Comprehensive Exam moves a student to the level of doctoral candidacy.
In the event of an unsatisfactory evaluation of the Exam, the designated committee chair will provide feedback and make recommendations to address any deficiencies. A second exam will be scheduled during the next administration of the exam for the portion of the exam failed. If the candidate fails either the Qualifying Exam or the Comprehensive Exam twice, the candidate will be removed from the program.
Formal written and oral comprehensive exams are required for admission to doctoral candidacy. The Office of Academic Programs schedules the comprehensive examination.
Purpose of the Comprehensive Examination
The purpose of the comprehensive examination process is threefold. The first emphasis is placed upon the use of the comprehensive exam for the student to demonstrate the ability to produce an independent integration and synthesis across the graduate course work and topic areas in the program of study. The second emphasis is to assess the student’s ability to interrelate theory, research and practice in the program of study. Third, the comprehensive exam is an opportunity to assess the readiness of the student to continue the doctoral program to completion, with an emphasis on appropriate knowledge, scholarly writing and organizational skills.
Comprehensive Examination Format
The Comprehensive Exam format is different for those students in SPACE and EPPL programs.
EPPL Comprehensive Exam
SPACE Comprehensive Exam
Continuous Enrollment for SOE Students
The continuous enrollment applies only to those students admitted for Summer 2012 or after.
A doctoral student must be enrolled continually for a minimum of one credit hour per fall and spring semester from the time of matriculation until successfully defending and completing the dissertation. Therefore, during fall and spring semesters during which students are not enrolled in coursework or dissertation credits, they must enroll in at least one credit of continuous enrollment (EDUC 799: Continuous Enrollment) to maintain active student status. Students working toward a dissertation proposal defense may enroll in dissertation credits prior to the proposal defense.
Students may formally request a leave of absence from their programs by completing and submitting the Leave of Absence form to the Office of Academic Programs.
Failure to maintain continuous enrollment will result in program withdrawal. Reinstatement will require a petitioned request. Repayment of tuition for continuous enrollment will also be required as appropriate for the requisite semesters during which the student was not enrolled.
Continuous Enrollment - in EDUC 800 (Dissertation)
Upon successful defense of a dissertation proposal, students must enroll in a minimum of three dissertation credit hours (EDUC 800: Dissertation) during each fall and spring semester until graduation. If students expect to work with their chair or other committee members during a summer semester, they should enroll in EDUC 800 during the summer semester after securing the approval of their chair.
Although students may have taken the minimum number of dissertation credits required for their program, continuous enrollment in EDUC 800 must be maintained once the dissertation proposal has been approved until they have successfully completed and defended their dissertation.
Dissertation work demonstrates that graduates can design, conduct, and interpret research and theory about important educational issues and problems. All doctoral-level research should enhance understanding of education and/or inform educational policy and/or practice.