In Trident’s Ph.D. in Educational Leadership program, preparing for the qualifying exam requires a great deal of planning. Passing the exam is a prerequisite for advancing into the dissertation phase. The exam itself is comprised of different concepts including research methodology and theoretical frameworks, the population in the study and variables, as well as the novelty in the study as it pertains to the research questions. Students will choose whether their study will be quantitative or qualitative in nature.
Trident University International
The motivation for obtaining a degree varies from person to person, but one of the keys to being a successful student is to know and understand that motivation. Upon starting his doctoral studies at Trident, Dr. Aaron Maike was already a president at Baker College’s Allen Park campus, and then its Owosso campus.
In his journey to completing a Ph.D. in Business Administration not only did Dr. Maike accrue increased professional responsibilities and learn how to do his job better, he was able to set a positive example for one of the most important audiences of all.
Trident: Since you were a student at Trident, have you made moves upward in your career?
Dr. Aaron Maike: I am currently the President of Baker College’s Muskegon (Michigan) campus. When I started the Ph.D. program, I was the President at the Allen Park campus, a commuter campus near Detroit.
I was asked to lead the Owosso campus in 2014 during the dissertation phase of the program. The Owosso campus has one of two Baker College branded programs ADI (The Auto/Diesel Institute). The campus also has a significant residence hall population. During my time in Owosso we created a strategic plan for ADI and transitioned the program into a cohort model.
Dr. Shehnaz Khalfan-Washington, who earned her Ed.D. in Educational Leadership at Trident from 2017, was startled to learn that 30% of K-12 teachers leave the profession by the end of their first year, and that 40% to 50% of teachers leave the profession within the first five years. She presented research on the subject in a recent Trident CORE webinar.
As a mentor herself, she wondered if and how teacher mentoring programs could help reduce the rate of teacher turnover. In her study, Dr. Khalfan-Washington interviewed 15 participants (mentees) that have been teaching between one and three years.
Although the participants felt that there is ample support and professional development opportunities for teachers, their experiences with mentoring programs was ineffective.
Based on feedback from the participants in Dr. Khalfan-Washington’s study, here are 5 tips for creating an effective mentoring program:
One of the most frequently asked questions from aspiring doctoral students is, “What is the difference between a Ph.D. program and a practitioner-based doctoral program like a Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)?”
Knowing the differences between these two doctoral degrees will help prospective students make the best educational decision for their career goals. If a student is interested in higher education academics or scholarly research, a Ph.D. program will likely be the right fit. Those who are interested in executive management, administration, or consulting should consider a practitioner-based program.
Here are the objectives of both types of doctoral programs in education:
Organizations recognize that skilled employees are their most valuable asset. They spend countless dollars on recruiting the right employee to fill their needs then, a short time later, the employee leaves to seek employment elsewhere.
Dr. Gary Covella, Trident Ph.D. in Business Administration alumnus (2017), titled his dissertation “Person-Job Fit and Person-Organization Fit Influence on Turnover Intention: A Mixed Model Approach.” This research study explores correlations between employee fit and whether firms have the capability to affect an employee’s intention to leave.
Starting a doctoral program is not a decision to be taken lightly. One must consider his or her career goals, personal interests, time, and finances prior to committing to this kind of program. However, the learning and development opportunities of these programs are both strenuous and rewarding - providing both a sense of achievement and the opportunity to contribute new learnings and practices to a given field.
Here are three things to consider before beginning a doctoral program:
1. Always be realistic about the workload
It would be tempting to get into a doctoral program and fantasize about walking across the stage and finally being able to be called a doctor, but there’s a lot to consider before getting to that point. It is essential to be well-prepared and understand the high expectations for students. For working professionals who also wish to fit a doctoral program into their schedules, it may be best to discuss your goals and expectations with the director of your desired program. At the doctoral level, a full-time schedule is one course.
FIND THE RIGHT JOURNAL
Getting published in a reputable, high-impact academic journal is imperative for an academic job candidate. If you’re not published, you simply won’t be competitive compared to candidates who have had several published papers.
It is important that you find the right journal for your dissertation. Familiarize yourself with the requirements of each specific journal and prepare your paper accordingly. Make sure you know the scope of the journal, the subject, the structure, and the citation format. The same is true if you are preparing a paper for presentation at a conference.
Graduates of Trident’s Ph.D. programs are trained to become independent researchers. As students work towards the completion of their dissertation, they collaborate closely with University faculty who help to guide the development of research skills.
A goal of many graduates is not just to successfully defend their dissertation, but also to see it published in an academic journal. Research that is published in a peer-reviewed journal is a formal recognition of a scholar’s contribution to the public body of knowledge for his or her chosen field.
Not all journals are created equal. Students and alumni alike should be aware of the types of journals out there – many are quite good and can be great CV-builders, while there are some that need to be avoided.
“Life kept me so busy so I didn’t have time to look back. Then one day earlier this summer my dissertation committee – Dr. Frank Gomez, Dr. Bernice B. Rumala, and Dr. Welford Roberts started calling me Dr. Fernando. I had just completed my doctorate at Trident,” remarked the newly minted Ph.D., Dr. Wickramarachchige Sugath Rohitha Fernando.
Dr. Fernando’s beginnings were humble. He came from a small village in Sri Lanka, growing up on a tea plantation. Each day would begin with walking several miles to school, and although this journey may have been difficult, it helped to build perseverance and focus.
Research methods can be classified in two different categories – quantitative and qualitative. We looked at the former method in the past, so it’s time to shine some light on the qualitative method and how it fits into your dissertation or scholarly research that you’re performing.
While quantitative research requires the collection of numerical data, qualitative research attempts to understand a specific organization or event and does not involve the collection of a numerical sample from a population.