The Ed.D. in Educational Leadership and Administration: The students' and alumni's experiences

Edith B Vera, University of Texas at El Paso


The doctoral experience unfolds many complexities and challenges for students, faculty, and institutions that contribute toward degree completion. The purpose of this study is to investigate the students' and alumni's experiences afforded by the Ed.D. in Educational Leadership and Administration at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP). The integration of quantitative and qualitative data, through surveys and interviews, contributes to the understanding of student and alumni experiences. A total of 56 Ed.D. students (cohorts 10-16) and 43 alumni (cohorts 1-12) participated in the surveys for this study; of those surveyed, 15 students and 12 alumni were interviewed. This includes Ed.D. students from different stages in the doctoral program, which these are: the stages of exploration, engagement, consolidation, and exit of the program. As well, it includes alumni from two groups categorized by programmatic and curricular changes implemented in the Ed.D. program in 2007. Group one (cohorts 1-8) is related to alumni who were enrolled in an "All Monday plan" (courses were scheduled solely on Mondays), while group two (cohorts 9-12) is related to alumni who were enrolled in the present "week-summer admission classes" (since 2007, new cohorts initiate their courses in summer and programmatic changes in curriculum and courses were implemented). Findings were distinctive by definition, structure, and support in the preparation of leaders, scholars, and practitioners in the Ed.D. program at UTEP. While students and alumni encountered some consistency and optimistic experiences throughout the different stages they traverse in the doctoral program, ambiguities and challenges were also encountered regarding their scholarly identity and profession. The overall findings show that the Ed.D. program needs to clearly differentiate the areas or specializations in relation to K-12 and Higher Education. Implications and recommendations for program improvement and further research are presented.

Subject Area

Educational leadership|Higher education

Recommended Citation

Vera, Edith B, "The Ed.D. in Educational Leadership and Administration: The students' and alumni's experiences" (2012). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI3552263.