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«Department of Educational Administration Doctoral Degree K-12 Educational Administration Student / Faculty Handbook For accepted / enrolled students ...»

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Department of Educational Administration

Doctoral Degree

K-12 Educational Administration

Student / Faculty Handbook

For accepted / enrolled students

Last Updated: 08/20/2015


I. Program Overview

• PhD Program Mission and Philosophy

• PhD Program Expectations

II. Program Components

Credit Accrual Preliminary

Exam Comprehensive

Exam Research Practicum • Dissertation Proposal • Dissertation Defense • III. Degree Requirements

Residency Requirement • Time Limitation • Transfer Credits • Core Courses • IV. Selection of Advisor and Advisor Role

V. Formation of the Program Guidance Committee

• Program Plan

• Changes in Committee Membership VI. Dissertation Defense and Final Oral Examination

The Dissertation Final Oral Exam • Final Certification • Dissertation Completion • Submitting your Dissertation • VII. Procedures for Graduation

Requirements for Graduation • Complete an Application for Graduation • Responsibilities of the Department Chairperson or the School Director • How to Avoid Delays and Meet the Deadlines (Checklist) • VIII. Departmental Policies : Academic Performance

Course Performance Standards • Attendance • Writing Standards • Academic Probation • Incompletes, Defers and Extensions • Annual Review of Student Progress • IX. Departmental Policies: Integrity and Safety in Research and Creative Activities.... 24 Academic Integrity  Research Integrity 

–  –  –

X. Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution

Grievance Procedures •

–  –  –

APPENDIX A - Statement of Integrety of Scholarship and Grades APPENDIX B – Contacts and Cmpus Information APPENDIX C – College, Department, and Program Forms I. Program Overview (Return to Table of Contents) Advanced study in the Department of Educational Administration leads to a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree.

The Doctoral program in K-12 Educational Administration enrolls professional educators and others interested in the intersections of leadership, school organizations, research and policy. Its mission is to improve leadership practice and to expand knowledge for educational leadership development and the improvement of school organizations and systems. Through courses and individual learning plans students critically examine current knowledge in these fields and learn inquiry and research methods used to investigate critical issues facing K-12 education.

Throughout the program, students advance their capacity to frame questions and to conduct and communicate disciplined inquiries that contribute to professional practice and scholarship.

Each year’s cohort enrolls a mix of U.S. and international educators who go on to assume positions as school and district leaders, professors, researchers, policy analysts and consultants in the U.S.

and beyond. Entering students are expected to possess knowledge equivalent to that represented in a masters degree in educational administration or a closely related field. Students from other fields may need to supplement the minimum requirements of the Doctoral program to meet program standards.

The program supports the inclusion of professional educators who enter as either part time or full time students by using evening, weekend and online learning in the scheduling of courses, symposia, colloquia and other key events.

PhD Program Mission and Philosophy The mission of all programs in K-12 school administration at MSU is to develop professionals who work toward the creation of schools and education systems that are open and democratic, academically rigorous, genuinely extended to all, reflective of social and cultural pluralism and grounded in an ethic of care for the well being of all served.

Our programs are inspired by the principle that leadership matters. High quality, equitable schools require educational leaders who possess a broad range of professional experiences, well-formed personal and educational philosophies, a depth of knowledge and understanding of schools as complex organizations and a commitment to continuous inquiry and learning. We believe this leadership can be exercised by teachers, administrators, researchers, consultants, policy analysts and others seeking to improve K-12 schooling.

The program emphasizes inquiry and scholarship as a means to strengthening knowledge and practice for the field. Students examine assumptions, practices and policies related to the leadership and organization of schooling across a spectrum of K-12 settings, critically examining the evidence for contemporary theories and practices. Course work and independent study stresses theoretical and disciplinary perspectives on problems of practice, the development of analyses and arguments and the conduct of original research and scholarship.

The program aims to build a learning community among students that challenges and supports a range of personal and professional goals. The initiating basis of this community is the first year core where students develop and revise understandings of critical issues in conversation with one another. As they progress in their studies, faculty assist the formation of study groups to support the development of individual learning plans, research knowledge and skills and dissertation design and completion.

PhD Program Expectations Students in the doctoral program are expected to enter with interests in inquiry, research and scholarship in the areas of leadership, school organizational development and policy. For some students, this research and scholarship may be of a highly applied nature, for example the in-depth study of a particular problem of practice in order to develop knowledge and tools for practitioners. For others, the goal may be to develop specialized disciplinary knowledge as the basis for an academic career.

In the first year, course work is the main focus for learning and development. As they progress in their programs, students are expected to work with their guidance committee to develop comprehensive learning plans for acquiring content knowledge in their specific areas of interest and specialization. The expectations are that there will be a steady increase in in-depth learning through the years in the program, with the preliminary and comprehensive exams tapping basic and more specific content knowledge. Students are expected to acquire high levels of expertise in areas related to their dissertation research through independent study, involvements in faculty research and participation in the symposia and colloquia that regularly occur in the College of Education. It is also an expectation that doctoral students, as emerging leaders and scholars, contribute to the field through involvement in professional associations at the state, regional, national and/or international level.

II. Program Components (Return to Table of Contents) Credit Accrual Candidates for the PhD degree must complete a minimum of 61 post-MA credits. Students entering the doctoral program without graduate level studies in administration or with gaps in their academic preparation may be required to take foundational or collateral courses. In close consultation with students, guidance committees determine what additional coursework will be necessary. Credits earned in foundational or collateral courses may not count toward the minimum credit requirements.

Credits are distributed across four areas:

Core study credits In their first year, students must complete a 9 credit sequence of core studies.

Core studies review contemporary research and theory in school reform and improvement (EAD 920), school organizations (EAD 922), and learning theories (EAD 923). The core is designed to orient students to doctoral research and scholarship and to build learning community among cohort members.

*First year core course are taught Saturday mornings from late August to mid May (with semester and holiday breaks). Online learning is used some weeks, with face-to-face seminars most others.

Selective studies credits: Students work with their advisor and guidance committee to develop extensive knowledge in a selected area of study through a plan that may involve coursework, independent study, research practicum and interning. A minimum of 15 credits of selective study is required but students may need further study to adequately prepare for dissertation research.

Research and inquiry credits: Students complete a minimum of 12 credits of research and inquiry coursework including introduction to educational inquiry (CEP 930), qualitative research methods (EAD 955b or TE 931), quantitative methods (CEP 932) and a research practicum (EAD 995).

Students may need additional study to learn research methods specific to their area and mode of doctoral inquiry.

Dissertation credits: After completing coursework and passing the comprehensive exam students must earn 24 dissertation credits; 1-3 hours may be allocated to dissertation seminars periodically offered by faculty. With the guidance of their advisor and dissertation committee, students draw from their courses and independent study to design the dissertation proposal. Then, while conducting their dissertation research, students meet regularly with their advisor, drafting and revising sections of the dissertation until a final version is ready for submission to the dissertation committee for review and recommendation. Participation in writing support groups is encouraged and facilitated during this stage of the program.

Preliminary Exam

At the end of the first Summer students complete a preliminary exam which tests their knowledge of the field as presented in core courses. Faculty teaching the first year core prepares the exam questions. The preliminary exam is used to assess student’s capacity to explain critical concepts and issues and to construct an effective argument. Students take the exam during a designated week where they answer two questions in short essay form. The scoring rubrics used to assess student’s preliminary exams are shared and discussed with students during their first year studies to make clear how exams are evaluated and what a passing score requires.

To take the preliminary exam, students must have successfully completed all core coursework (EAD 920, 922 and 923) and be enrolled during the semester it is given. The exam is given to the students in August. Blind copies of students’ answers are assessed and scored by 2-3 faculty members using designated rubrics.

A student who does not obtain a passing score on an exam question must retake that question at a session scheduled by the faculty for late October or November. A student who does not pass the preliminary examination a second time will normally be counseled out of the program. Under exceptional circumstances, a student may petition their advisor and the K-12 faculty for a third opportunity to take the exam.

Comprehensive Exam

Upon completion of almost all coursework (but prior to taking EAD 995), students must complete a comprehensive exam prior to the dissertation proposal. The comprehensive exam involves a scholarly question designed to demonstrate student knowledge in their specific area of concentration and expertise. The question is framed by the student’s advisor in consultation with the student and the student’s guidance committee.

The comprehensive exam is a take home exam intended to produce a high quality paper of 20-25 pages that works with key pieces of theory and research. The student is given a maximum of 4 weeks to respond and must turn the paper in by a clearly designated date. The paper is evaluated by at least 3 members of the student’s guidance committee (including the chair/advisor).

Evaluations are compared and discrepancies resolved through faculty discussion. Three determinations are possible: pass, revise, or fail. A student who is asked to revise or redo their response will be given specific feedback by the examination committee and assigned a faculty mentor for the revision. Revisions must be completed within a 4 week period and turned in by a specified date. Students who do not successfully complete the revision are normally counseled out of the program. Under exceptional circumstances, a student may petition their committee for a third opportunity to revise their response.

Students must be enrolled for at least one semester hour of credit during the semester in which they take their comprehensive exam. Because summer is often a good time for students to take their comprehensive exam but not for faculty to monitor it, it is very important that students communicate with their advisor and committee members about scheduling this exam.

The comprehensive examination is a major landmark of a doctoral program. Evaluating a student’s performance at this stage is much more heterogeneous and inclusive than assigning a grade for a particular course or assignment. The penalty grade policy, referred to in the Integrity of Scholarship and Grades Policy, was developed in the narrow context of assigning a reduced or failing score on an assignment or a reduced or failing grade in a course, because of academic dishonesty. This policy was not intended to apply to Ph.D. comprehensive exams. Therefore, the Graduate School does not endorse the use of a penalty grade as a mechanism to fail a student on a comprehensive exam and expects that allegations of academic misconduct on a comprehensive exam be considered as part of the broad-based evaluation of the student at this critical stage. If a department or unit decides that in addition to failing the comprehensive exam, an act of academic dishonesty deserves additional sanctions, e.g., not permitting a re-take of the comprehensive exam which results in dismissal from the program, then the guidelines provided by GSRR 5.5.2 must be followed. To dismiss a student for reasons other than academic dishonesty, the department or unit should follow GSRR 2.4.9. If a student believes that the evaluation of his/her performance in the comprehensive exam was unfair, then the guidelines provided by GSRR 2.2.4 must be followed. Students can reference the procedures at the following College of Education Document for grievance hearings (http://www.educ.msu.edu/college/resources/Graduate-Student-Hearing-Procedures-Departme nts.pdf).

Research Practicum

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