Doctoral FAQ

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Program Questions:

We will have already done a preliminary assessment of your writing skills as a part of the admissions process, but it is important to note that writing skills are developed over a very long period of time, so there is little that can be done in the short term to “become a writer.” One of the first courses in the EdD program will be Academic Writing, which will further assess your writing skills, especially as they pertain to writing in a research format, and make recommendations as to how to address any substantial shortcomings. In addition, we plan to arrange tutoring services for those requiring additional help.

There are many districts (mostly mid-size to larger ones) that will require their superintendent and/or executive team (curriculum director, finance person, etc.) possess a terminal degree. Of course other positions such as those found in consulting carry more weight and prestige with the terminal degree.

There are five courses embedded in the Administration specialty that were specifically designed around Texas State Superintendent standards to prepare an administrator for the state superintendent exam.

In general, an EdD implies a practitioners degree for educators who will actually work in the trenches. EdD courses are most often taught by those with current/former principal or superintendent experience. The PhD is more theoretical in scope and would apply more to someone who will pursue research or Higher Ed as a career.

If you leave your job during the program (and it is a school job), you will still have the responsibility of securing entry into a district for your internship.

Attendance at all meetings will be critical to your success in this program; however, we are open to considering an accommodation in emergency situations.

Grades will be determined based on very explicit criteria outlined for each course, and grades will be updated on a regular basis in Blackboard, so you should know where you stand at any point in the course. Should a student fail a course, a decision will have to be made, depending on the course in question, whether the student can continue with the course sequence and pick up the failed course the next time it is offered. Any course taken out of sequence is likely to delay completion of the program due to the way courses are scheduled.

Students will need to make their own arrangements once a month when they come to Austin for class.

This is a doctoral-level program designed for working professionals. We understand students have a day job. We also understand students process material differently. It is difficult to say how many hours will be required for class preparation, outside readings, research, and follow-up reporting. Some courses will demand more time than other courses for students to fully comprehend the material, however, students will definitely need to budget time outside of the class face-to-face meetings and will need to re-consider some of life’s priorities throughout the program.

Students will have to make up any materials missed due to absence, and there may be a grading penalty, depending on the class.

Anyone who has to miss a semester of the program due to personal situations will have to sit out until that point in the next cohort comes around, but you can pick up where you left off.

There is a limit of 6 years to complete the entire program, including the coursework.

Students may work with any central office administrator who is certified as a superintendent. The work must reflect the standards established by the State.

Admissions Questions:

The requirement is a combination of five years experience, at least part of which has been in a leadership capacity, so 3-4 years teaching experience would work only if there is an additional year or two of administrative work present.

The service record is the official employment record a school keeps on its employees. This is the document which determines the years of service which an employer determines compensation based upon years of experience. It also serves for Teacher Retirement eligibility.

A letter from the supervisor should have the supervisor acknowledge that the applicant is entering into a doctoral program which will require meetings in Austin one weekend a month as well as a time commitment to participate in the program. Further, the supervisor understands that during the practicum, the supervisor will allow the candidate to expand his/her job duties to log at least 200 hours within the standards as required. Employers could be given the brochure which describes the program.

You do not have to be employed at a school to be in the program, but you will have to have a relationship with a district such that they will allow you to do your 200 hour internship with them.

You do not have to obtain superintendent certification to go through the EdD Administrative specialty, but you will have to take the same courses since they focus on leadership skills needed by all school administrators. The only exception to this will be students who completed the CTX superintendent certification program and obtained their certification. They will not be required to retake the five courses mentioned above.