Doctor of Education

Program Benefits

Why Choose Program Development at the USF College of Education?

The program prepares educators for the application of appropriate and specific practices to real challenges in educational settings, the generation of new knowledge with application to “problems of practice,” and the stewardship of the education profession in diverse environments. The program includes a strong inquiry component that focuses on addressing and solving significant problems of practice in educational settings.

The Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate (CPED) states that the Professional doctorate in education:

  • Is framed around questions of equity, ethics, and social justice to bring about solutions to complex problems of practice.
  • Prepares leaders who can construct and apply knowledge to make a positive difference in the lives of individuals, families, organizations, and communities.
  • Provides opportunities for candidates to develop and demonstrate collaboration and communication skills to work with diverse communities and to build partnerships.
  • Provides field-based opportunities to analyze problems of practice and use multiple frames to develop meaningful solutions.
  • Is grounded in and develops a professional knowledge base that integrates both practical and research knowledge, that links theory with systemic and systematic inquiry.
  • Emphasizes the generation, transformation, and use of professional knowledge and practice.

Program Development with an Emphasis in Educational Innovation

The program provides graduates with the skills needed to conduct rigorous inquiry and apply findings to real-world decision-making in professional settings. The Ed.D. is generally designed for working professionals, takes about three years to complete and provides students with knowledge and analytical skills that can be applied directly to challenges in education and related fields.

The program fosters intellectual and professional growth as students work with faculty in seminars, research projects, and other assignments. As a result, this deepens students' understanding of innovative practices and inquiry skills and refines their ability to communicate important findings to a broad audience of practitioners and other applied researchers.

Main components of the program:

  • Students complete the three-year program in a cohort with other professionals.
  • Classes are scheduled using alternative formats, such as weekend meetings, hybrid design, and distance learning options to increase accessibility.
  • Face-to-face classes are heavily supplemented by online activities and independent research between meeting sessions.
  • The flexible format allows participants to continue with their careers while they master a range of applied research skills.
    The dissertation in practice requirements are rigorous but also flexible. They may be fulfilled with an applied research thesis, book, or major research and development project.

Because the scope of education in most communities extends well beyond the formal school environment, this program is open to students from a variety of fields that are engaged in or related to educational activity. This includes schools, businesses, nonprofits, governments, media, youth-serving agencies and public service organizations.

Graduates are prepared to design, promote, and evaluate sustainable innovations in their professional settings and communicate the results of their work to the larger nonprofessional and professional communities.