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CSUSB Doctoral Student Named To National Research Team

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A Cal State San Bernardino doctoral candidate has been selected to participate as part of a national research team that will implement a mixedmethods, multi-case study to document the success of initial efforts to redesign the education doctorate degree requirements.

CSUSB doctoral student Audrey Hovannesian was chosen by The Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate to serve on the 35-member team that will send two-person research groups to 21 CPED institutions to gather data.

The group includes 21 faculty members from CPED institutions who have engaged in the redesign of their own Ed.D. programs and 14 newly appointed CPED research fellows, including Hovannesian, who are current students or recent graduates of Ed.D. programs.

“I look forward to utilizing and refining my research skills by being part of such an influential project geared to re-conceptualizing the Ed.D. program,” said Hovannesian, who lives in Apple Valley and teaches at a junior high school in Victorville.

CPED, a consortium of 56 institutions, is working to restructure the education doctorate to make it a more relevant degree for the advanced preparation of school practitioners and professional staff, and so that it is distinct from the Ph.D. that serves to prepare researchers.

Funded by a $700,000 grant from the Fund for the Improvement of Secondary Education, the researchers will gather data that will:

· Document and evaluate change in the organizational structures of a set of graduate schools to accommodate new professional practice degrees for school and college leaders;

· Document and evaluate change in the signature learning processes, learning environments, and patterns of engagement of faculty and candidates in Ed.D. programs that participate in CPED;

· Document and evaluate fidelity to a set of guiding principles developed in the first three years of the project; and

· Disseminate lessons learned and best practices for the design and implementation of professional practice degrees to a new cohort of graduate schools of education.

The research hopes to determine the importance of differentiating between the outcomes and expectations for doctoral candidates – those that choose to become professional practitioners and those who want to do research and teach in academic institutions. CPED contends that distinct separation of the programs would lead to better alignment between the needs of schools and the scholarship and practices of university education schools.

There are roughly 1,300 education schools nationwide, with approximately 275 offering the doctorate in education.

Among the most persistent advocates for change is U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, who has called for profound changes in the purposes and goals, structures and relationships, pedagogies and practices of contemporary schools of education.

The Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate and its consortium members have committed themselves to working together to undertake a critical examination of the Ed.D., with the goal of making it the degree of choice for professional practice preparation in education.

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