Program Recruitment and Design of An Innovative EdD Program

Carolyn Mamchur

Claire Carolan

Grant program: Teaching and Learning Development Grant (TLDG)

Grant recipient: Carolyn Mamchur, Faculty of Education

Project team: Claire Carolan, research assistant

Timeframe: October 2013 to March 2014

Funding: $5,000

Courses addressed:

  • EDUC 964 – Seminar in Educational Theory
  • EDUC 950 – Approaches to Educational Resesarch
  • EDUC 907 – Selected Topics: Aesthetics and Transformation
  • EDUC 908 – Selected Topics: Dialogue - A Relational Approach to Learning
  • EDUC 911 – Colloquium in Curriculum Theory I
  • EDUC 983 – Doctoral Comprehensive Examination
  • EDUC 899 – Doctoral Thesis

Description: The EdD in Transformational Change is an innovative program whose first cohort of twenty-four students began in 2011.  The program design was intended to attract professionals from a variety of fields (business, education, health, arts, indigenous leadership), offer them a program which would address their desire to change a specific problem in their respective fields, and to complete graduation in a three year period.  The EdD in Transformational Change program goals are:

  • To develop capacity for self-knowledge and awareness to enable transformational change at the personal level.
  • To improve students skills as agents of organizational change.
  • To develop capacity to work with others for change at the social/community level.
  • To develop capacity to create and manage practical projects that enable systemic change in a context.

Several challenges emerged as the program unfolded in 2011.  This study will address two interlocking challenges: (1) did the course deliver what students expected, and (2) were students able to pursue their initial research question in a way that satisfied their desire to make a change in their respective organizations?  The goals of the present study are:

  • To determine whether the program as currently marketed is meeting the pedagogical expectations of the cohort student body.
  • To determine if it is effective to have students come with a specific systemic problem.
  • To learn from the experiences of the first cohort how the program can be improved.  The graduate students in the first cohort of the program are invited to participate in the study.
  • The program was designed to meet individual needs of students with an emergent curriculum.  A real challenge emerged when some students had expected most readings and discussion to focus on their topics of interest.  This caused dissention among the group and a feeling by some students that their needs were not being met as promised.
  • Some students were challenged by the demands of all their professional responsibilities and taking a course and conducting research concurrently.  Time demands on students became a real issue.

Questions addressed:

  • Are the implied promises for opportunity to achieve particular goals of the EdD in Transformational Change as presented and marketed to the first cohort being met?
  • Is it effective to have students come to a program with a clear expectation of research focus?
  • Was the timing of the delivery of the research course effective as compared with other EdD programs that have a standard model.
  • Are the any changes we need to or can make in recruiting students to this program? Is there a better way to write advertisements and present program goals during the recruitment period?

Knowledge sharing: Results will be shared with faculty and instructors of the EdD program and with the Dean of Education and the Director of Graduate Programs in Education.