Section 4.3: The Doctoral Degrees

Section 4.3: The Doctoral Degrees

 

4.3.1: Philosophical Comparison between the Ph. D and D. Ed. Degrees

The aim of the doctoral programs is to prepare future leaders in the field of adult education as knowledge producers and disseminators. This requires a commitment to collaboration with students in research; a commitment to collegiality between and among students, the faculty, the University and the greater adult education community; a commitment to both national and international adult education and learning; a commitment to reflective teaching; and a commitment to the development of the individual as a lifelong learner.

In offering students a choice between two doctoral degrees (a Ph.D. and a D. Ed.), the Adult Education Program follows a long established tradition in American higher education. This choice between two degrees allows students to develop areas of knowledge that have common foundations but also allows for specialization in alternative directions, the choice being determined primarily by the student’s career aspirations.

The Ph.D. is designed for students who are presently engaged in, or planning to pursue teaching, and research positions central to the study of adult education (e.g., professorate). Study in the Ph.D. program is generally designed for the full-time student with an emphasis on research training and the construction of knowledge central to the field of adult education. By comparison, the D.Ed. is generally designed for part-time students currently or prospectively employed in fields related to adult education (e.g., higher education, community colleges, human services, nursing and health services, community development, human resource development and staff development, engineering, criminal justice, prison and correctional education, and religious ministries). The emphasis in the D.Ed program is on the theory, research and practice of adult learning and teaching. Course work emphasizes the development of an informed educational philosophy and reflective practice in the related field in which students teach and work.

Students are admitted to either program on the basis of their research interest and ability as scholars and practitioners. This decision is examined at candidacy and in the comprehensive examination. Equally high standards of performance are expected of students in both programs, and equal faculty and other support is provided regardless of the student’s choice between the two options. Specific requirements of each doctoral degree program are described in the next sections.

4.3.2: Specific D.Ed. Requirements

Like the M.Ed. program, the D.Ed. is designed for students who intend to pursue careers in the professional practice of adult education. Graduates are qualified to provide leadership in one or more of the following domains of adult education practice: teaching and learning, curriculum and instructional design and development, program planning and administration, or curriculum and/or program evaluation. D.Ed. students receive greater and more extensive preparation than M.Ed. students—thereby qualifying them to assume top-level leadership positions in their specific area of practice.

The D.Ed. is a credit-driven degree: all D.Ed. students must earn at least 90 credits beyond the baccalaureate degree to graduate. A breakdown of D.Ed. course requirements follows. See the Appendix section for samples the D.Ed. Plan of Studies, Course Sequence, and Checklist.

  • Advanced Standing: (30 credits beyond the baccalaureate): May be earned from a previous master’s degree or from previous graduate courses taken at PSU-approved institutions
  • ADTED core (9 credits): ADTED 460, 510, and 542
  • Emphasis Area: (27 credits): At least 12 credits from Adult Education (ADTED Electives) and at least 15 credits from one or more supporting areas outside the program (Minor or General Studies). Courses are determined by the academic advisor in consultation with student and the doctoral committee
  • Research Design and Methods (9 credits): A graduate-level basic statistics course; a course that explores qualitative designs and methods (ADTED 550); and a course that explores quantitative designs and methods. It is expected that students would develop additional research skills during the dissertation phase.
  • Thesis Research (15 credits of ADTED 600/610)

Registration for Thesis Research:  As noted earlier, D.Ed. students must complete 15 credits of Thesis Research (ADTED 600 or ADTED 610, as appropriate). Unlike their Ph.D. counterparts, D.Ed. students are not required to continuously register for Thesis Research. However, while using the resources (including faculty advisement) of the university, they must be registered for at least one (1) thesis credit (ADTED 601/610). The number of thesis credits a D.Ed. student carries each semester (including summer) is determined by her/his thesis advisor in consultation with the student. Registration for Thesis Research continues until the D.Ed. student has completed the dissertation even if the minimum number of thesis credits is exceeded.

4.3.3: Specific Ph.D. Requirements

The Ph.D. is a research degree. Graduates pursue careers in research and scholarly work. Ph.D. students in the adult education program at PSU share a common focus on ways in which Globalization and Lifelong Learning shape specific adult education practices—in the home, place of worship, workplace, community, and wider society.  Comparative Lifelong Learning is also a theme that pervades the Ph.D. curriculum.

The Ph.D. is not a credit-driven degree. Accordingly, there is no minimum course credit requirement to complete it, and no advanced standing credits are awarded. The number of course credits taken is ultimately determined by the student’s doctoral committee. Typically, Ph.D. students earn around 48 credits beyond the master’s degree to graduate. The 48 credits include a 3-credit hour prerequisite: ADTED 460 or its equivalent. A breakdown of Ph.D. course requirements follows. See the Appendix section for samples of the Ph.D. Plan of Studies, Course Sequence, and Checklist.

  • Ph.D. Prerequisites: (3 credits): ADTED 460 or equivalent
  • ADTED core (9 credits): ADTED 508, 510, and 542
  • Emphasis Area (18 credits): At least 6 credits from Adult Education and at least 9 credits from one or more supporting areas outside of the program. Courses are determined by the academic advisor in consultation with the student and the doctoral committee members.
  • Research Design and Methods (18 credits): A graduate-level basic statistics course; a course that explores qualitative designs and methods (ADTED 550); and a course that explores quantitative designs and methods; advanced level research design/methods courses that augment the skills the student needs to conduct her dissertation research—these may include Research Topics, Independent Studies and/or Thesis Research (ADTED 594, ADTED 596 and/or ADTED 600/610); and a capstone course (ADTED 594A)

Continuous Registration:  It is expected that all graduate students will be properly registered at a credit level appropriate to their degree of activity. After a Ph.D. student has passed the comprehensive examination and met the two-semester full-time residence requirement, the student must register continuously for each fall and spring semester (beginning with the first semester after both of the above requirements have been met) until the Ph.D. thesis is accepted and approved by the doctoral committee. (Students who are in residence during summers must also register for summer sessions.)

Post-comprehensive Ph.D. students can maintain registration by registering for credits in the usual way, or by registering for noncredit 601 or 611, depending upon whether they are devoting full time or part time to thesis preparation. Students may take 601 plus up to 3 additional credits of course work for audit by paying only the dissertation fee. Students wishing to take up to 3 additional credits of course work for credit, i.e., 590, 602, etc., with 601 may do so by paying the dissertation fee and an additional flat fee. Enrolling for either 3 credits for audit or credit will be the maximum a student may take with ADTED 601 without special approval by the Graduate School. Registration for additional credits above this will incur an additional charge at the appropriate tuition per-credit rate (in state or out of state). Students wishing to take more than 3 additional credits of course work must register for 600 or 611 (i.e., not for 601, which is full-time thesis preparation).

The least expensive way for a student to maintain full-time status while working on research and thesis preparation is to register for 601. This clearly is the procedure of choice for international students who need to maintain status as full-time students for visa purposes.

If a Ph.D. student will not be in residence for an extended period for compelling reasons, the director of Graduate Enrollment Services will consider a petition for a waiver of the continuous registration requirement. The petition must come from the doctoral committee chair and carry the endorsement of the Professor-in-Charge.

4.3.4: SARI (Scholarship and Integrity Research) Requirement

Penn State has implemented a new requirement for ALL graduate students. Beginning with the incoming class of Fall 2009, the University requires all graduate students to complete online training in research issues and the ethical conduct of research. There are two requirements, or parts, that students in the program must complete within the first two semesters of enrollment.


M.Ed. Student Requirements

Part One

During the first two semesters of enrollment, graduate students will complete an online RCR training program provided by the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) https://www.citiprogram.org/.  The Office for Research Protections (ORP) provides the conduit to this training via the SARI Resource Portal on the ORP website http://www.research.psu.edu/training/sari

Steps

1.   Students must first register with CITI (see above for website) and create a unique user name and password. Be sure to select "Pennsylvania State University" (NOT Hershey) as your institution.

2.   After you have registered on the site, you will be taken to a page that shows courses in two categories:

a. Human Subjects Research (IRB/SARI) (Choose Social Science Research from the three options)

b. SARI Program Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) (Choose Social and Behavioral Responsible Conduct of Research Course from the options).

3.   Make sure that you choose these specific courses from those offered.

4.   This self-paced training, which can be done intermittently over the course of the first two semesters of enrollment, will take about 6-8 hours. You may log in and out as often as you like to complete the course.

5.   When you have completed the course (with 80% or higher scores on the quizzes), you will receive a completion report. You then must deliver a copy of that report to the Adult Education Staff Assistant, for recordkeeping.

Part Two

Students are required to engage in an additional five hours of discussion-based RCR education prior to degree completion. These discussions encompass both universal and discipline-specific material. This discussion will take place in ADTED 507: Research and Evaluation in Adult Education.

 

D.Ed. and Ph.D. Requirements

Part One

During the first two semesters of enrollment, graduate students will complete an online RCR training program provided by the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) https://www.citiprogram.org/.  The Office for Research Protections (ORP) provides the conduit to this training via the SARI Resource Portal on the ORP website http://www.research.psu.edu/training/sari

Steps

1.   Students must first register with CITI and create a unique user name and password. Be sure to select "Pennsylvania State University" (NOT Hershey) as your institution.

2.   After you have registered on the site, you will be taken to a page that shows courses in two categories:

a. Human Subjects Research (IRB/SARI) (Choose Social Science Research from the three options)

b. SARI Program Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) (Choose Social and Behavioral Responsible Conduct of Research Course from the options).

3.   Make sure that you choose these specific courses from those offered.

4.   This self-paced training, which can be done intermittently over the course of the first two semesters of enrollment, will take about 6-8 hours. You may log in and out as often as you like to complete the course.

5.   When you have completed the course (with 80% or higher scores on the quizzes), you will receive a completion report. You then must deliver a copy of that report to the Adult Education Staff Assistant, for recordkeeping.

 

Part Two

Students are required to engage in an additional five hours of discussion-based RCR education prior to degree completion. These discussions encompass both universal and discipline-specific material. This discussion will take place in ADTED 550: Qualitative Research Course. 

 

Ph.D Program Minimum Requirements

Prerequisites: 3 credits; ADTED 460 (or equivalent)

Advance Standing: 0 credits; Not Applicable

ADTED Core: 9 credits; ADTED 508, 510, 542

Emphasis Area: 18 credits;  At least 6 credits from Adult Education and at least 9 credits from one or more supporting areas outside of the program. Determined by academic advisor in consultation with student and other doctoral committee members

Research Design and Methods:  18 credits; A grad-level basic stats course; a course that explores qualitative designs and methods (ADTED 550); and a course that explores quantitative designs and methods; advanced level research design/methods courses that augment the skills the student needs to conduct her dissertation research—these may include Research Topics, Independent Studies and/or Thesis Research (ADTED594, ADTED596 and/or ADTED600/610); and a capstone course (ADTED 594A)

Candidacy Evaluation: 0 credits; Determines "fit" between student’s academic and career aspirations and program potential; assesses student’s abilities in areas critical to completion of the dissertation process and other research endeavors; and confirms student as candidate to either the Ph.D. or D.Ed.  Taken within three semesters (summer sessions do not count) of entry into the doctoral program—after the student has completed 30 and before s/he has completed 48 credits beyond the baccalaureate degree.

Comprehensive Exam:  0 credits; Assesses student on knowledge of foundational issues that transect the field; mastery of an area of specialization; and readiness for the research phase.

- Taken after substantial completion of coursework.

- To be eligible student must maintain a minimum grade-point average of 3.00

Thesis/Dissertation:  0 credits; Student registers continuously for ADTED 601/611 until thesis is successfully defended. This course carries no credits.

Total credits: 48 credits

 

D.Ed Program Minimum Requirements

Prerequisites: 0 credits; None

Advance Standing:  30 credits; May be earned from previous master’s degree or previous grad courses taken at PSU-approved institutions

ADTED Core:  9 credits; ADTED 460, 510, 542

Emphasis Area:  27 credits; At least 12 credits from Adult Education (ADTED Electives) and at least 15 credits from one or more supporting areas outside the program (Minor or General Studies). Determined by academic advisor in consultation with student and doctoral committee

Research Design and Methods: 9 credits; A grad-level basic stats course; a course that explores qualitative designs and methods (ADTED 550); and a course that explores quantitative designs and methods. It is expected that students would develop additional research skills during the dissertation phase.

Candidacy Evaluation: 0 credits; Determines "fit" between student’s academic and career aspirations and program potential; assesses student’s abilities in areas critical to completion of the dissertation process and other research endeavors; and confirms student as candidate to either the Ph.D. or D.Ed.

Taken within three semesters (summer sessions do not count) of entry into the doctoral program—after the student has completed 30 and before s/he has completed 48 credits beyond the baccalaureate degree.

Comprehensive Exam: 0 credits; Assesses student on knowledge of foundational issues that transect the field; mastery of an area of specialization; and readiness for the research phase.

- Taken after substantial completion of coursework.

- To be eligible student must maintain a minimum grade-point average of 3.00

Thesis/Dissertation:  15 credits; of ADTED 600/610. Student must be registered in the semester in which s/he graduates.

Total credits:  90 credits

 

4.3.5: Minor Requirement

Required courses: Choose any  two of the following four core courses:  ADTED 460, ADTED 508, ADTED 510, and ADTED 542.

Elective courses: Choose any three  ADTED courses.  NOTE:  If student takes ADTED 460 as a required course, then at least one elective must be at the 500 level.