What do I need to know about Comprehensive Exams?
Comprehensive examinations will consist of two examinations: 1. a Leadership Comprehensive Exam and 2. a Statistics Comprehensive Exam. The purpose of the examinations is to demonstrate substantial progress in meeting the Student Learning Outcomes of the program. By passing the comprehensive exam, a candidate demonstrates the readiness and competence needed to complete remaining courses successfully and undertake dissertation-level research and writing. Students must achieve candidacy (see "Admission to Candidacy (Graduate)" in the FHU Catalog) before enrolling in: EDU773, EDU774, and EDU775 (Dissertation Seminar I, II, and III). The Comprehensive Examination Committee, which consists of those appointed by the program director, will review and score the comprehensive exam.
Doctoral students following the Ed.D. in Instructional Leadership: Administration Supervision concentration must at least complete EDU601 Foundations of School Administration and Supervision, EDU610 Leadership Theories and Applications, EDU611 School Business Management, EDU612 School and Community Relations, EDU613 The Principalship, EDU614 Instructional Leadership Licensure Internship, and EDU637 Data Analysis for School Improvement before scheduling their leadership comprehensive exams.
Students following the Ed.D. in Instructional Leadership: Teacher Leadership concentration must at least complete EDU601 Foundations of School Administration and Supervision, EDU620 Administrative Issues in Special Education, EDU634 Seminar in Multicultural and Diversity Issues in Education, EDU637 Data Analysis for School Improvement, EDU638 Instructional Design and Improvement, EDU639 Development of Professional Learning Communities, and EDU685 Seminar in Professional Development before scheduling their leadership comprehensive exam.
All doctoral students must be enrolled or have completed EDU671A Quantitative Statistics Applied to Social Science Research I before scheduling their statistics comprehensive exam. NOTE: The PRAXIS II 6990 will serve as the Leadership Comprehensive Exam for doctoral students following the Administration and Supervision concentration. For students in the Teacher Leadership concentration, an FHU-designed leadership exam will be utilized. (The PRAXIS ILL-B 6990 or 6011 can also serve as the Teacher Leadership examination for students in the Teacher Leadership program, but it is not required.)
What is candidacy?
A student may apply for candidacy after he/she
completes all core courses from their program of studies,
has completed 36 hours of coursework,
successfully passes all comprehensive exams (written and oral), and
successfully defends their research proposal prospectus (Chapters 1-3) during EDU 670B.
A student must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.5 to remain in good academic standing. The student must complete all courses and examinations and advance to candidacy within the time period specified by the program. Students whose grade point average falls below a 3.5 will be placed on academic probation. Students must not have a grade point average below 3.5 in two successive semesters. Those who fail to make satisfactory academic progress will be officially disqualified upon recommendation of the Doctoral Unit and in accordance with University policy. Once candidacy has been obtained, students may enroll in 700 level courses.
What do I need to know about the dissertation process?
All students in the Ed.D. program will complete a rigorous research-based dissertation that integrates theory and research in the study of instructional leadership. The primary goal of the Ed.D. dissertation is to generate knowledge that contributes to the understanding of instructional educational practices, policies, or reforms. The Ed.D. dissertation is a significant scholarly work that uses rigorous research methods in the study of educational problems and practices and the application of problem-solving strategies. The dissertation is expected to be based on one or more theoretical frameworks and to include a comprehensive review of relevant literature in which the research question or questions are situated. The dissertation typically involves collection of empirical data, qualitative and/or quantitative analysis of these data, interpretation of the findings, a discussion of their significance and implications, and an indication of important areas for action or further study. Outcomes of the doctoral program will address significant topics related to systemic reform efforts in P12 schools.
What do I need to know about the Final Examination - Oral Defense of Dissertation?
The student must defend the dissertation in a final oral examination before the doctoral committee. No defense shall be scheduled until the doctoral committee chair and members have signified that in their judgment the dissertation is acceptable and thus warrants a defense and final examination. Students intending to defend the dissertation must file an Application for Dissertation Defense with the Ed.D. Program Coordinator.
The Defense Examination is an important event in that sustained student and faculty effort and critical thinking have gone into the research project. Generally, the Defense Examination consists of two major parts:
a brief presentation of the purpose(s), method(s) of study, analysis of observations, and synthesis of findings by the candidate, and
a question and answer period involving all members of the examining committee.
What about transfer courses?
Students may transfer a maximum of twenty-one (21) hours of prior coursework from a regionally accredited institution(s). Students who have completed an Education Specialist degree at Freed-Hardeman University may transfer up to thirty-six (36) hours of coursework from their Ed.S. program.
Freed-Hardeman University will extend up to 18 hours of graduate credit for students that successfully complete the NISL program and who are admitted into and begin FHU's Ed.S. or Ed.D. degree programs in Instructional Leadership.
Potential FHU applicants desiring to receive credit for NISL completion are required to submit a copy of their NISL certificate and transcript to the Office of Graduate Studies (158 East Main Street, Henderson, TN 38340). Upon request, NISL will provide FHU a confirmation of NISL completers in order to confirm a student in question of successful completion. Ed.D. students awarded credit for any of the above classes will still be required to successfully complete FHU's Comprehensive Exam.
*Transfer credit counted toward the Ed.D. may not have been taken more than six (6) years prior to graduation from the program.
What information is included in the Student Handbook, and where can I find it?
Student guidelines are fully outlined in the Student Handbook for the Doctorate of Education degree in Instructional Leadership. The handbook outlines the process from admission to graduation. The Ed.D. Student Handbook can be obtained by contacting Dr. Aarek Farmer at firstname.lastname@example.org
What is the difference between an Ed.S. and an Ed.D.?
a. The Ed.S. is an Education Specialist degree. It is a post-master’s degree attractive for those working in educational leadership. Typically this degree is valued within P-12 settings, but we have adapted the degree and created the bridge to Ed.D. so that those interested in instructional leadership as a school administrator or teacher leader may also find this to be an attractive option. The Ed.S. is a 36 credit program, which culminates with a final research prospectus.
b. The Ed.D. is a Doctor of Education degree. This degree is particularly attractive to those who wish to work in P-12 administration, P-12 central office administration, or at the state level as an instructional leader. This is a 54-credit program, which culminates with a dissertation and research article.
What does the application process consist of and are there enrollment deadlines?
Students may begin in the fall, spring, or summer. Students who desire to enroll should have a completed file in the Office of Graduate Studies by January 1 (spring enrollment), May 1 (summer enrollment), or August 1 (fall enrollment). The completed file will then be delivered to the Program Director, the selection committee will determine if an applicant will receive an interview, and applicants will be notified. During the interview process an applicant will be expected to
complete a dispositions self-assessment,
complete an on-site writing sample, and
interview with a member (or members) of the selection committee.
Is financial aid available?
a. You may be eligible for financial aid.
b. Students need to be enrolled in at least six credits per semester to receive aid.
c. To learn more about financial assistance, please visit www.fhu.edu/GradEducation and follow the link for "Financial Information."
Where will I attend class?
a. All courses are planned for Henderson, TN, Memphis, TN, or Dickson, TN. If a course is offered only in one location, students may web-conference from another campus.
b. Coursework will include traditional, web-conferencing, online, and hybrid courses.
c. The Ed.D. is a flexible program designed for working adults. Students can choose face-to-face interaction or online learning.
Where can I find necessary Ed.D forms?
All necessary forms for the Ed.D. program can be obtained by contacting Dr. Aarek Farmer, the Director of the Ed.D. in Instructional Leadership, at email@example.com or 731-989-6513.