All Curry Ed.D. students enter programs that share a common set of critical outcomes, critical features, guiding principles, and assessments that reflect a research-to-practice orientation. In addition to these shared values and requirements, training requirements are currently under development for specific program areas within Curry: Administration and Supervision (EDLF Department), Higher Education (EDLF Department), Curriculum, Teaching and Learning (EDIS Department). Please refer to the Ed.D. Record of Progress for these specific requirements.
Critical Outcomes of Curry’s Research-to-Practice Ed.D. Program
In terms of an overall vision of the Curry Ed.D. graduate, the goal is to prepare individuals who meet a set of expectations distinct from those for scholars, on the one hand, and practitioners on the other. Scholars, generally, develop and disseminate knowledge. Practitioners, generally, implement practices based on the work of scholars. Practitioner-scholars focus more specifically on the challenge of bridging the research-to-practice gap. Practitioner-scholars draw on the knowledge, skills, and understanding that they have acquired in the course of their doctoral studies and beyond to solve significant problems of practice.
The emphasis for Ed.D. students includes strong foundational knowledge in theory, evaluation, and research methods. Course work and internship experiences are key components of the Ed.D. program and allow students to define and find solutions for a practice-based problem in an institutional or organizational context. Student cohorts and internship opportunities support the importance of systematic examination of practice and the development of strategies and policy recommendations that reflect the realities of the local and national educational contexts. For practicing educators in their field of study, their work experience is used in place of the internship to address practice-based problems.
Critical Features of Curry’s Research-to-Practice Ed.D. Program
In order to achieve the critical outcomes of a research-to-practice-oriented Ed.D., Curry’s Ed.D. program includes intensive faculty advising that begins upon student matriculation and continues throughout the program. Students develop an orientation toward the systematic examination of practice-based problems. To this end, detailed examination of the educational context at the local and national level and in the specific domain of individual students are central to coursework, discussions, and advising. Speakers, journal clubs, cohort groups, and internships combine to help students become critical consumers of research, policy, and practice.
Beyond outcomes and features, there are four principles foundational to Curry’s Ed.D. program. First, although certain shared experiences are important for all Ed.D. students, each graduate is a uniquely prepared practitioner-scholar. Second, given the importance of analysis of professional practice, the opportunities to complete internships and/or use personal professional opportunities are supported at the faculty and institutional level. Third, students have the opportunity for both discipline-specific and cross program area experiences. Finally, quality control is paramount.
Program areas determine a checklist of key student training goals or competencies across each year of doctoral training. Program areas may use accreditation or licensing requirements as the foundation for this checklist. Students receive written and oral feedback on their annual progress in meeting training goals and competencies.
All students complete a written comprehensive examination that covers the knowledge base and methodology of their disciplinary area. At least two faculty members independently grade the examination.
All students complete a capstone proposal and capstone project following the models described in the Curry Capstone Manual.
In some programs, after their first semester of study, students complete a preliminary examination, designed to assess and support the student’s continued success in Ed.D. study. The exam consists of three parts: an original paper, a critique of a research study, and an oral presentation to faculty. This initial assessment is structured to achieve four purposes: (a) to evaluate the student’s strengths, weaknesses, motivation, and potential for acquiring an in-depth knowledge of education issues in the declared area of study; (b) to assess the student’s ability to write and present clearly; (c) to determine whether there is a match between the student’s professional goals and the degree program; and (d) to identify specific coursework, internships, or other experiences that will enhance the student’s planned course of study and/or address identified weaknesses.