Improving the Candidacy Process in the Interdisciplinary Ed.D. Program in Leadership (poster 09)
Moss Breen, Jennifer
Martin, James R. Jr.
Poursharafoddin, Hamed; Lux, Sarah
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ABSTRACT: The Interdisciplinary Ed.D. Program in Leadership is working to improve the program’s candidacy process. Passing candidacy is a requirement in the program. To pass candidacy, students must demonstrate graduate level writing skills, higher order thinking skills, and ability to apply their knowledge to address real-world problems. Candidacy is an opportunity for students to demonstrate their preparedness to complete the dissertation phase of the program. In the past, the program’s candidacy process was an assessment of the student’s attainment of the program’s learning outcomes up to that point in the program. Recently the program’s core faculty identified an opportunity for the candidacy process to be an assessment forlearning for both faculty and students rather than just an assessment oflearning. This evaluation project followed a three-step process: (1) a new candidacy process (Process 3) was pilot tested; (2) a focus group with core faculty members was conducted; and (3) core faculty participated in a rubric validation exercise to test the authenticity and reliability of the new rubric. The evaluation findings provided (1) descriptive data with which to evaluate candidacy outcomes compared to the candidacy process used previously, (2) qualitative data with which to inform program decisions about further adaptations related to the candidacy process, and (3) process data which will continue to drive the logic and reasoning that informs our teaching and learning practices as they relate to preparing students for candidacy. Core faculty used the findings to create action items including a learning protocol for the candidacy process so the process and outcomes of candidacy can be used by both students and faculty to learn and grow.