How My EdD Dissertation Has Benefited My Career
Interested in earning your EdD but not sure how it will benefit your career? Excited to advance your practice but feeling uneasy about the dissertation? What better way to find out more than by asking those with first-hand experience?
Concordia University-Portland’s doctoral program prepares current and emerging leaders to become transformational change agents, impacting PreK-12 schools, nonprofits, institutions of higher education, and government organizations. So we reached out to some of our Cavaliers to find out exactly how they’ve benefited from their dissertation research and from their doctoral journey as a whole.
Increased credibility and influence with stakeholders
“I have honed my ability to research, critique scholarly journals, synthesize common themes between research, analyze data, and present it in a way that is readily understood by stakeholders and, most importantly, apply it to my professional practice.” – Frederic Washington, EdD, academic counselor
“It’s given me more credibility in the district and even with my administration. I’ve had [credibility] to a certain extent, but because they know that what I’m researching is so relevant, they’re asking more about what I’m discovering. I’ve also gained credibility with our local university in southern Oregon. I’ve been invited to present my research to the professors and the department heads there, so I can see how this degree has already begun to benefit everybody that I’ve come in contact with personally and professionally.” – Camille Schuler, EdD, English teacher
Helped underserved populations
“I knew [for my dissertation] that I really wanted to study a group of students that I felt were underserved. I studied middle school English language learners and how educators perceive them. Through the whole research process, I learned about the emotional piece that English language learners face. It’s not just academics. It’s how other students and people perceive them at school and those challenges that these kids have to overcome that are different from other students in the classroom. There are so many underserved in our own backyard and, as teachers, we have to be a light for them. I was able to share my research with my undergraduate students and they have such a passion for English language learners. The emotional wellness piece and students’ sense of security are so important to the whole learning climate. So I’ve really been working with my undergrad students on that and I’ve been asked to present to some local school districts.” – Rachael Hoffert, EdD, professor of education
“My research will focus on dyslexia in adults, and I have offered many of the techniques and tools to my students publicly; at least 20% of my students have acknowledged using the information I’ve given and used my alternative test formats, but none of these people identify publicly as having a learning disability. I believe that the subject of making people aware of learning disabilities in adults needs addressing in higher education.” – John Hoskins, EdD student and adjunct instructor
Gained organizational insight
“It has given me the lens to look at organizations…look at those folks that do the work and get them in the right spots for the benefit of the community. It’s given me the tools to make a policy and guide others who execute policy so that they can see beyond themselves to the greater good and do what’s best for students. Before I had my doctorate, I had intuition. Now I can tell you that I’m doing it because I understand, and can share the reasons why things need to be done.” – John Paul Sanchez, EdD, principal
“My focus was on transformational leadership, and it gave me a better scope of the reasons that decisions are made. That’s one of the things I talk to parents about as a consultant. I am able to share my understandings, which I’ve actually gained in large part from studying organizational development, which is a huge part of transformational leadership. And, by gaining that understanding, I’m able to help build that bond between parents and schools and districts.” – Debra Harper, EdD, special education advocate & consultant
Built a business teaching teachers
“My dissertation was on positive teacher-student relationships and how they encourage the mathematics achievement of Black males. There’s a lot of research out about Black males and the fact that they score far beneath their peers in terms of academics on any level. My question has always been not why, but what do we do to fix it? We can’t keep pointing the finger at the problem. The data that I pulled from my research was unanimous. If you want to be able to impact the academic behavior of Black males, you have to learn how to relate to them on their level…Completing my research has given me the confidence to educate teachers on how effective relationships build the social, emotional, and academic prowess of Black males. Since completion, I have started an educational consulting company that partners with schools to professionally develop teachers on relationship-building strategies with diverse populations. My desire is to provide a blueprint that allows teachers on every level to feel confident and empowered when it comes to teaching Black male students.” – Makeba Butler, EdD, consultant, educator, and entrepreneur