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The PhD in education and human development links an intensive research-based course of study with a content area specialization in order to prepare candidates to assume faculty positions in institutions of higher education or research-based organizations. Successful applicants will be paired with a faculty mentor who will engage the students in research, development, service, and other forms of professional activity.
You will complete a plan of study that includes at least 45 semester credits of coursework (including all required core courses) and 30 semester credits of dissertation. The PhD program is designed to provide each student with an induction into the university research and teaching culture. PhD coursework is intensive and substantive, requiring significant writing, analysis, and critiquing of theory and professional literature.
Overview of Course Work:
The PhD program consists of a minimum of 75 semester credits. Total credits may vary in order to fully prepare for career opportunities. Students complete 45 credits in three core areas outlined below. The final 30 credits are completed through the dissertation.
12 credits - Foundation courses/experiences: Equity and Diversity; Learning; Epistemology; and Teaching in Higher Education
18 credits - Research Methods
15 credits - Concentration Area (see the list options below)
30 credits - Dissertation
Doctoral students complete a series of courses/experiences in a specified concentration area. Concentration areas focus on a defined discipline or content area in preparation for professional roles as researchers and faculty members.
The following concentration areas are available.
Administrative Leadership and Policy. This concentration serves as key area for those concerned about leadership in schools and a key focus for research by scholars in higher education. A crucial assumption the underlies this concentration area is that school leadership makes the difference in how schools succeed in improving learning outcomes for all students, but we are only beginning to scratch the surface in understanding why leadership is successful when it is, what the interactions are between effective leadership and effective teaching, and their collective impact on learning outcomes at all levels in schools.
Early Childhood Special Education/Early Childhood Education. The goal of this concentration area is to introduce students to issues and practices in early childhood special education/early childhood education and to prepare students to provide leadership to improve outcomes for all children including children with disabilities across early childhood settings. Students will obtain the skills and knowledge of evidence-based practices needed to meet state and national leadership needs within institutions of higher education to address issues in ECE/ECSE. Graduates will: conduct rigorous research related to culturally responsive, evidence-based practices; translate research into practice, thus expanding the use of evidence-based practice in the field; and, create, evaluate, and improve pre-service teacher education programs in ECE and ECSE.
Family Science and Human Development. The goal of this concentration is to prepare students to critically examine and understand family science within an ecological life span development lens. This program prepares students to work in academic careers as professors, researchers and scholars in Family Science and Human Development. Students are provided a rich curriculum that centers on theoretical and scholarly based knowledge in family science, human development and research inquiry. Another objective of this program is to integrate the importance of family diversity (which includes race, ethnicity, culture, class, gender, sexual orientation, age, religion, ability and language) into the curriculum as it relates to social justice in family science and child, adolescent and adult development. Central to the Family Science and Human Development concentration is the conceptual framework of family and human ecological systems and how that impacts research, practice and policy with diverse families in the United States and at the global level.
Math Education. Students and faculty in this concentration area focus on teacher learning and professional development experiences. Specifically, projects investigate the ways that particular interventions used in professional development for mathematics teachers impacts their content knowledge and pedagogical practices in their classrooms. Work in this area is framed by a situative perspective of learning and incorporates mixed methods to answer questions around the ways particular interventions support teacher and student learning. Video data is prominent in both the design of professional development interventions as well as a major data source for analyses. Analytic methods vary based on the research question and grain size.
Research, Assessment and Evaluation. The goal of this concentration area is to prepare students to design and carry out significant applied research on individual and organizational change in the field of education and human development. Through problem-based pedagogy and hands-on learning, students will be prepared to be collaborative applied researchers who work with community, university and school partners. Students will learn advanced quantitative, advanced qualitative and mixed methods research techniques. Course content includes mixed methods, advanced statistics, advanced qualitative data analysis, systems analysis, collaborative team research and practicum experiences. Graduates of the program are prepared to work as faculty members, school district and organizational researchers, data analysts and assessment coordinators.
Science Education. The goal of this area is to prepare students to explore, understand, and think critically about the nature of science and science education from a largely research-oriented perspective. Students may elect to focus on environmental science education as an area of specialization within this concentration area through electives and discipline- specific research agendas.
Urban Ecologies. This concentration area brings together several faculty members in interdisciplinary study of education in urban ecologies. Participating faculty members are aligned with the interdisciplinary concentration area as a whole, rather than specific threads or foci. The philosophical assumptions underlying work in this concentration area are: 1) Cultural groups are not monolithic, 2) Urban life and learning, including Pre-K-20 education, complex phenomena that benefit from the multiple lenses offered by multi-disciplinarity, and 3) Trans-nationalism characterizes the cultural experiences and political/economic realities of many communities in cities and contributes to the hybrid identities of residents. These assumptions contribute to a conceptual frame for investigating diversity within the city that is not focused on specific groups and is concerned with the influence of globalization on communities in general within the city. Experiences of and issues confronting different cultural and ethno-linguistic groups will be the key content of this concentration area.