Program Overview

The Doctorate in Education is an advanced program of study that prepares graduates to serve in leadership roles in their specific disciplines. The components of the curriculum provide an intellectual framework for investigating, understanding, and affecting the broad range of academic, social, economic, and cultural issues and pressures facing modern educational organizations. Through the research and course requirements of the program, students gain expertise needed to effect the significant educational changes needed in the region.

Doctoral Program Goals are correlated with all content, course objectives, and student assessment components. Comprehensive examinations assess student acquisition of the knowledge base and skills essential for performance outcomes attainment and for dissertation completion.

 VSU’s doctoral program has three majors: 1) Adult and Career Education, 2) Curriculum and Instruction, and 3) Leadership.

Administration

The Doctorate in Education is administered by the Doctoral Coordinating Committee, chaired by the doctoral coordinator, operating under the direction of the dean of the Dewar College of Education and the dean of the Graduate School. Responsibility for monitoring student progress is managed by the department for each major.

Mission

The mission of Valdosta State University’s Doctor of Education program is to provide advanced professional education for experienced practitioners to meet the educational needs and challenges of the region. The program draws on the region’s cultural and social diversity to develop graduates with the knowledge, skills, and attitudes for fostering equitable and inclusive educational environments. Graduates apply broad knowledge bases, critical thinking, inquiry skills, and ethical practices for the improvement of education in the region.

Goals

  • In order to develop advanced professional education leaders, The Doctorate in Education is designed to meet the following goals:
  • Provide a program of study that maximizes opportunities for study, inquiry, and reflection through contact with a broad range of educators beyond students’ area of specialization;
  • Provide for the development of the knowledge, skills, and attitudes essential for promoting technology-rich educational environments;
  • Provide an interdisciplinary approach to inquiry that promotes a variety of practical and theoretical perspectives;
  • Prepare students to engage in the investigation of educational issues and solution of educational problems; and
  • Provide opportunities for the development of leadership skills and perspectives necessary to meet the challenges of restructured education.

Investigations are conducted in simulation and in field sites in the research methodology and analysis courses. This provides a solid bridge between the theoretical and conceptual bases used in viewing educational practice and the analytical frameworks and methodologies for investigating them.

Admission Requirements

Minimum admission requirements have been established for the Doctor of Education Degree program. Applicants meeting these requirements will be considered for admission to the program; however, meeting the minimum requirements does not assure admission.

Adult and Career Education

  • The applicant must have completed a Master’s Degree at an accredited or approved institution.
  • The applicant must have completed three years or more of acceptable school or related agency experience.
  • The applicant must have a 3.50 grade-point average (on a 4.0 scale) on all graduate work attempted.
  • The applicant must submit GRE scores, with a minimum of 1000 combined Verbal and Quantitative scores and an Analytical score of 4.5 (or higher) on the GRE general test.
  • Applicants who do not meet the minimum requirements stated above may submit a letter of petition to the Graduate School for admission by exception. The petition will be submitted with the completed application packet to the doctoral coordinator for the appropriate program. To petition, the applicant must meet all of the following minimum requirements:
  • A minimum of 900 combined Verbal and Quantitative scores, an Analytical score of 4.0 (or higher) on the GRE general test, and a minimum Graduate GPA of 3.25 (on a 4.0 scale).
  • The petition must indicate any extenuating circumstances the applicant wishes to have considered and must state why the applicant believes that he or she will be successful if admitted to the program.
  • The applicant must submit a detailed biographical/career goals statement.
  • The applicant must submit three recommendations from persons who can address the applicant’s professional qualifications and potential for successfully completing the program.
  • The applicant must submit a detailed statement of professional preparation and experience, including documentation of required research and computer skills. This statement, along with the biographical/career goals statement will serve as writing samples and will be rated as part of the evaluation process.
  • The applicant must submit a letter of support from his or her school district, institution, or agency.
  • The applicant must arrange for official transcripts from all colleges previously attended to be submitted to the Graduate School.
  • The applicant must complete a full set of application forms as required by the Graduate School.

Curriculum and Instruction

  • The applicant must complete a full set of application forms as required by the Graduate School.
  • The applicant must arrange for official transcripts from all colleges previously attended to be submitted to the Graduate School.
  • The applicant must have completed a Master’s Degree at an accredited or approved institution.
  • The applicant must have completed three years or more of acceptable school or related agency experience documented in a current resume.
  • The applicant must obtain a minimum 3.25 grade-point average (on a 4.0 scale) for all graduate work attempted.
  • The applicant must submit official GRE scores (Verbal with a  minimum score of 425, Quantitative with a minimum score of 425, and Analytical with a minimum score of 425 or 3.5) on the GRE general test or an official MAT score with a minimum score of 390 or 36.
  • The applicant must submit a letter of support from his or her school district, institution, or agency.
  • The applicant must submit three recommendations from persons who can address the applicant’s professional qualifications and potential for successfully completing the program.
  • The applicant must submit a biographical/career goals statement which addresses the questions provided in the doctoral program application. This statement will serve as a writing sample and will be rated as part of the admissions process.
  • Individuals who do not meet the minimum admission standards specified may submit a request for admission by exception. A letter stating the rationale for why the applicant should be considered for admissions should be addressed to the Departmental Doctoral Admissions Committee. The letter should be submitted as part of the application packet.

Leadership

  • The applicant must complete a full set of application forms as required by the Graduate School.
  • The applicant must arrange for official transcripts from all colleges previously attended to be submitted to the Graduate School.
  • The applicant must have completed a Master’s Degree at an accredited or approved institution.
  • The applicant must have completed three years or more of acceptable school or related agency experience documented in a current resume.
  • The applicant must obtain a minimum 3.25 grade-point average (on a 4.0 scale) for all graduate work attempted.
  • The applicant must submit official GRE scores (Verbal with a  minimum score of 425, Quantitative with a minimum score of 425, and Analytical with a minimum score of 425 or 3.5) on the GRE general test or an official MAT score with a minimum score of 390 or 36.
  • The applicant must submit a letter of support from his or her school district, institution, or agency.
  • The applicant must submit three recommendations from persons who can address the applicant’s professional qualifications and potential for successfully completing the program.
  • The applicant must submit a biographical/career goals statement which addresses the questions provided in the doctoral program application. This statement will serve as a writing sample and will be rated as part of the admissions process.
  • Individuals who do not meet the minimum admission standards specified may submit a request for admission by exception. A letter stating the rationale for why the applicant should be considered for admissions should be addressed to the Departmental Doctoral Admissions Committee. The letter should be submitted as part of the application packet.

Admission Procedures

Admission procedures have been established for the Doctor of Education Degree program, as shown below.

  • Formal applications are obtained from and submitted directly to the Graduate School for initial evaluation.
  • Students may not apply for more than one program area.
  • A Program Area Committee will review the credentials of each applicant seeking admission into that program area. Candidates receiving further consideration for admission may be required to appear before the appropriate Program Area Committee for an interview. Each Program Area Committee will make recommendations concerning acceptance or rejection to the Doctoral Coordinating Committee which will make the final decisions regarding admission to the program.
  • Applicants will be notified in writing by the Graduate School of the decision of the Doctoral Coordinating Committee.

Required Courses

The following courses are required for all doctoral programs in the Dewar College of Education.

Disciplinary Core

ACED 9400 Adult Learning Strategies............................................................................................. 3 hours

Design, development, and implementation of adult learning programs. Particular emphasis will be placed on curriculum models, goals, organization, methodology, career development, and evaluation for adult learners and learning programs.

CIED 9100 C&I Systems........................................................................................................................ 3 hours

Study of concepts, theories, and trends for curriculum, instructional systems, and the change process. Includes a current review of related literature and reflective analysis of practice.

LEAD 9030 Leadership Problems: Interdisciplinary Analysis...................................................... 3 hours

Focus on Leadership problems with emphasis on the application of leadership and planning skills in the resolution of educational problems and issues.

Educational Inquiry

RSCH 9800 Research Design and Foundations for Advanced Quantitative, 
Qualitative, and Mixed Methods Research...................................................................................... 3 hours

Research design for quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods research in education. Philosophical foundations, research techniques, and fundamentals of each approach are presented. Basic statistics are reviewed from descriptive to ANOVA. This course is a foundation for all other advanced courses in research.

RSCH 9820 Qualitative Research Methods..................................................................................... 3 hours

Study and application of qualitative research methodology in educational settings.

RSCH 9840 Quantitative Research Methods.................................................................................. 3 hours

Study and application of quantitative research methodology in educational settings.

RSCH 9860 Advanced Mixed Methodologies.................................................................................. 3 hours

Prerequisites: RSCH 9820, RSCH 9840. Examined will be the application of advanced qualitative and quantitative research methodologies in educational settings.

RSCH 9870 Dissertation Topic Conceptualization......................................................................... 3 hours

Prerequisite: RSCH 9800, RSCH 9820, RSCH 9840, RSCH 9860. Research seminar for the development of the doctoral dissertation topic.