Assessment, Learning, and Student Success: Higher Education Concentration, Ed.D.
Kevin Krahenbuhl, Program Director
Jennifer Hyde, Program Secretary
The Ed.D. in Assessment Learning, and Student Success is a doctoral program capitalizing on faculty expertise in the College of Education and across the University. This program provides a structured curriculum with early development and ongoing support for students as they work to complete their doctoral dissertation. The Ed.D. in Assessment, Learning, and Student Success has two concentrations: Assessment, Learning, and School Improvement and Higher Education.
The concentration in Higher Education is designed to
- prepare individuals at community colleges, universities, and state coordinating boards to be successful leaders in curriculum and policy development, and accountability initiatives;
- prepare individuals to become more effective faculty members;
- prepare individuals to lead student success, academic affairs, and other divisions within academic institutions.
This degree will provide educational leaders with the knowledge and analytical skills to analyze all forms of student-learning data (formative and summative, quantitative and qualitative) in order to accurately identify initiatives that will improve their students' success.
Please see the undergraduate catalog for undergraduate information.
Admission is limited and will be based on a holistic review of test scores, past academic success, and potential for success in a rigorous doctoral program. The following are guidelines for admission to the Ed.D. in Assessment, Learning, and Student Success (although meeting these criteria does not guarantee admission to this selective program of study). Applicants are
- expected to have a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.00 in undergraduate coursework.
- expected to have a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.50 in any graduate coursework previously taken.
- expected to have scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) that indicate capacity for success in doctoral study.
- expected to submit three letters of recommendation from former professors or other individuals who know the student's ability to succeed in a rigorous doctoral program.
- expected to submit a statement of purpose that outlines how earning this degree will facilitate the student's ability to achieve his or her career goals.
Use of Prior Earned Credits
A master's degree is not required for entry to this program. Students with a master's degree in a related field may have up to 15 hours of previous coursework applied after determination that the content of the courses is directly equivalent to existing courses in the curriculum. Students entering with an Ed.S. degree in a related field may have up to 30 hours of previous coursework applied after determination that the content of the courses is directly equivalent to existing courses in the curriculum. No more than 15 hours at the 6000 (master's) level may be applied to degree requirements. All previous course work and requests for substitutions must meet MTSU College of Graduate Studies guidelines and be approved by the Program Admissions Committee.
All applications materials must be submitted to the College of Graduate Studies. NOTE: The program is partnering with local school districts for off-campus cohorts. Please contact program office for current procedures pertaining to location and deadlines.
- have earned a Master's degree from an accredited institution;
- submit application with the appropriate application fee (online at www.mtsu.edu/graduate/apply.php). Once this initial application has been accepted, the applicant will receive directions on how to enter the graduate portal to be able to submit other materials.
- submit official transcripts from all colleges and universities previously attended showing a grade point average (GPA) in previous academic work that indicates potential for success in advanced study (successful applicants will typically have a GPA in prior graduate work that exceeds 3.50);
- submit official scores for the verbal, quantitative, and analytical writing measures of the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) that indicate potential for success in the Assessment,Learning, and Student Success doctoral program. Although specific minimum scores are not set, evaluation of scores is an important factor in admission decisions and successful applicants will typically submit scores above the 50th percentile on each measure.
- submit three letters of recommendation which must meet the following specific criteria. The first letter must be from an educational leader ( principal, assistant principal, central office administrator, school board member) of your school or school district and should specifically address: (a) your abilities and (b) their support for you to lead an effort to significantly improve student learning and achievement in your current position. The second letter must be from a tenure-track professor, and it should address your potential to successfully complete an academically rigorous doctoral program. The third letter may be from any educational professional (i.e.LKPreK-12 education leader,university faculty, policy maker, governmental agency representative, non-profit or philanthropic organization leader, etc.,) and should address your specific skills, attitudes, and experience(s) related to the goals of this program.
- submit a statement of purpose (750-1000 words) communicating your professional goals and suitability for the doctoral program in Assessment,Learning, and Student Success. In your statement you should address how your participating in this program will result in increased student learning and achievement as measured on standardized test scores for students under your educational care and authority. You may include a brief discussion of any literature (e.g. research articles, texts-please use appropriate APA citations) that has informed your professional practice or influenced you in some way.
- submit a current vitae including education and employment history, experience with school improvement, professional presentations and publications, awards, recognitions, etc.;
- participate in an interview with the Assessment,Learning, and Student Success doctoral program admission committee as part of the admissions process.
NOTE: Accepted students will be required to attest to their commitment to the cohort and to contribute the necessary quality and quantity of time and energy to ensure the success of this community of learners as each student prepares to lead an effort to significantly improve her/his school or school district.
NOTE: International students will be required to meet MTSU's English language proficiency requirements in addition to the program admission requirements.
The Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Assessment, Learning and Student Success Doctoral Program requires
- completion of a minimum of 60 semester hours;
- completion of a minimum of one research-based article submitted for publication in a peer-reviewed professional journal; (The research-based article and presentation must receive approval from the program director [or designee] to meet degree requirements.)
- completion of one research-based presentation at a regional/national educational conference. (The research-based article and presentation must receive approval from the program director [or designee] to meet degree requirements.)
- mastery of academic coursework (measured by course grades and successful completion of a comprehensive examination); and
- successful defense of a dissertation that demonstrates mastery of applied research methods in the field of education.
Curriculum: Assessment, Learning and Student Success, Higher Education Concentration
The following illustrates the minimum coursework requirements.
Core (12 hours)
ALSI 7600 - Educational Statistics
Prerequisite: One undergraduate statistics course or permission of instructor. Provides students with knowledge and skills needed to understand, interpret, and apply appropriate statistical methodologies and concepts to the educational settings. A survey course for basic statistical methods, including descriptive statistics, confidence intervals, sampling, distribution, Central Limit Theorem, logic and procedure of hypothesis testing, z-tests and t-tests of means and proportions, chi-square tests, correlation and simple regression, and one-way ANOVA. Statistical software packages such as SPSS and SAS will be utilized for data analysis. Prerequisite for ALSI 7620 and ALSI 7630.
ALSI 7610 - Qualitative Research Methodologies
Provides candidates with a thorough understanding of cognitive learning theory in order to inform best instructional practices on behalf of diverse learners. Framed by a collaborative team approach within a school community.
ALSI 7050 - Application and Research Seminar: Student Learning
Provides students with structure and format for reflective practice regarding student learning, including application of research knowledge base to challenges faced in educational settings.
ALSI 7250 - Application and Research Seminar: Assessing Student Learning
Provides students with structure and format for reflective practice regarding assessment of student learning, including application of research knowledge base to challenges faced in educational settings.
ALSI 7450 - Application and Research Seminar: Student Success
Provides students with structure and format for reflective practice regarding student success, including application of research knowledge base to challenges faced in educational settings.
ALSI 7620 - Advanced Quantitative Research Methodologies
Prerequisites: ALSI 7600 and ALSI 7610. Provides students with advanced quantitative research methodologies that can be applied in an educational setting. Topics include power and effect size, ANOVA (One-Way Analysis of variance, Two-Way Analysis of Variance), MANOVA (Multivariate Analysis of Variance), ANCOVA (Analysis of Covariance), Factor Analysis, Multiple Regression, Logistic Regression, and ranking or Non-Parametric tests. The Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) will be used. The course will include the study of the methodologies used in growth models.
ALSI 7630 - Advanced Qualitative Research Methods
Prerequisites: ALSI 7600 and ALSI 7610. Provides students with advanced qualitative research methodologies that can be applied in an educational setting. Course content focuses on conceptual issues, ordering, framing inquiry, applying appropriate approach and design, selecting and collecting data, approach-specific analysis, interpretation of data, and reporting procedures. Course tasks provide opportunities to develop skills in qualitative coding, bracketing, restorying, descriptive culture sharing, and cross-case theming.
Dissertation (12 hours)
ALSI 7640 - Dissertation Research
1 to 6credit hours
Selection of a research problem, review of pertinent literature, collection and analysis of data, and composition of the dissertation. Once enrolled, students must register in at least one credit hour of dissertation research each semester until complete. Open only to students who are in the Assessment, Learning, and school Improvement Doctor of Education degree program. S/U grading.
Required Courses (30 hours)
FOED 7060 - Seminar in Educational Foundations
Opportunities to think reflectively and critically on the historical, philosophical, and psychological foundations of education and attendant implications.
FOED 7520 - Evaluation in Higher Education
Introduction to testing theory, design, and construction. Use of the evaluation process and instruments; instructions, advising, and research situations.
FOED 7570 - Issues in Higher Education
Higher education in America and its historical, philosophical, political, and sociological background, development, and relationships. Current trends and problems, particularly those relating to the financial and legal aspects.
FOED 7571 - The Ethics of Higher Education
Examines the ethical issues facing higher education (national, regional, and state) and what may be the appropriate solutions. Attention is given to the interrelationships of the institution and its internal and external constituencies.
FOED 7580 - The College Student
The changing nature of the college student with emphasis on institutional efforts to provide for the development of the student.
SPSE 7080 - Studies in Leadership
Roles, responsibilities understandings, and behavior patterns in effective administrative and supervisory personnel. Developing sensitivity to individuals, the nature and structures of groups, and the problems of communication within and among groups and individuals.
SPSE 7210 - Legal Issues in Higher Education
The legal framework as it pertains to higher education and its operations. Special attention given to rights of students as well as professors. Law cases, constitutional provisions, attorney general's opinions, rules and regulations of the Tennessee Board of Regents, Tennessee Board of Trustees, and the Tennessee Higher Education Commission studied and discussed.
SPSE 7530 - Administration of Higher Education
Complexity of the structure of higher education (national, regional, state, and local) and how it is organized. Attention given to the interrelationships of the institution and its internal and external constituencies.
SPSE 7540 - Overview of Higher Education
Higher education in America. Attention given to its historical, philosophical, political, and sociological background, development, and relationships. Includes current trends and problems, particularly those which relate to the financial and legal aspects of higher education.
SPSE 7551 - Instructional Development in Higher Education
Prerequisite: Previous college teaching (instructor of record) or completion of the LT&ITC graduate teaching assistant teaching preparation certification program or approval of the instructor. Addresses effective course design, instructional strategies, and use of technology in teaching at the higher education level.
Electives (6 hours)
Please choose two courses from the following:
SPSE 7001 - College Teaching Practicum
Allows students to gain experience teaching a college-level course within the student's area of specialization under the direct supervision of a faculty member; creation of a professional portfolio which showcases materials the student created.
SPSE 7005 - Student Affairs in Higher Education
Provides an overview of student affairs in higher education. Covers the history and development of student affairs, structure and organization of student affairs divisions, and introduces the profession with an understanding of the expectations and ethics of the field.
SPSE 7007 - Student Success in Higher Education
Overview of student success in higher education. Covers the enhancement of student success through professional learning communities, cultural change, collaboration, and the utilization of data analytics to drive decision-making for student success in higher education leadership.