Bridge Theory and Practice with Scholarship
The Doctor of Education in Educational Practice is a doctoral degree intended for practitioners. Areas of study available are the themes around which learning communities are formed. Members of the learning communities advance through the program as a cohort in three to three-and-one-half years. The program is 80 credits with the Master’s degree included in the 80. A Dissertation in Practice is the capstone.
Why Choose the Ed.D.?
The Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) degree is a program that prepares practitioners to be leaders who use practical wisdom, professional skills, and knowledge of educational literature to address the high-leverage problems of practice facing their area of education. The program applies an Inquiry as Practice model of scholarship. Graduates gain the ability to use data to inform decision-making and enhance their practice by gathering, organizing, judging, aggregating, and analyzing situations, literature, and data. The intention is to prepare scholarly practitioners in their professional work. As such, the Doctor of Education degree de-emphasizes research for theory building and preparation for the professoriate in higher education.
The curriculum of the Doctor of Education degree is intended to prepare practicing professionals to transform both their practice and the field by working in community, just as practitioners collaborate with key stakeholders to address complex problems of practice. Students are admitted to the degree program and simultaneously to a learning community of practice formed around a theme such as educational policy or character education. The learning community and a mentor team of faculty and practitioners stay together and work together throughout the program by meeting in a learning community seminar every semester. The skills to work collaboratively to develop, test, and advance innovative solutions to high-leverage problems of practice are fostered throughout the program.
In addition to the thematic learning community of practice format, the curriculum features Laboratories of Practice and a Dissertation in Practice as culminating activities. The Laboratories of Practice take the doctoral studies away from the University campus and to a context where theory, inquiry, and practice can intersect and the implementation of practice can be measured. The Dissertation in Practice allows the learning community to address a high leverage problem of practice through collaborative and connected work beyond what a single individual could do alone. Individuals contribute work that feeds into group work. The Dissertation of Practice is characterized by generative impact.
The University of Missouri-St. Louis College of Education is a member of the Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate, a national group of over fifty universities re-designing and re-orienting the Doctor of Education degree as a program distinct from Doctor of Philosophy in Education degree programs. Our program reflects our commitment to the work of the Carnegie Project and its working principles.
The Doctor of Education degree builds on Master’s and Education Specialist degrees with continuous learning community seminars, core courses reflecting the Carnegie Project working principles, and community-selected inquiry and tool courses. The total credits, including previous graduate work and the dissertation in practice credits, are 80. The program is completed in three to three-and-a-half years. There is one admissions window per year in the spring (April 1st deadline date for complete applications), but not all learning communities have a yearly admissions window. See additional information on this web site for admissions windows and upcoming community themes. GRE scores are not required.