The doctoral program in education with majors in adult, professional and community education (APCE) and school improvement (SI), is designed for individuals in a variety of educational roles who wish to develop and refine their abilities to provide educational excellence. The program takes an interdisciplinary approach to educate leaders who will understand the need for continuous school improvement and lifelong learning and see education in the broader context.
We believe that the two concentrations (APCE and SI), and their relationships with each other, not only make sense but also constitute the greatest strength of the program. They address the reality that an individual’s education can no longer be considered in terms of K-12 or even K-16, but must be viewed as a lifelong learning venture. Although the improvement of adult, professional, and community education and school improvement require different capacities, the two areas share some core capacities that are reflected in the core courses and common research courses. Placing students from both concentrations in core courses team taught by one professor from each concentration will enable students to view education from different perspectives, learn from each other, and mirror the collaboration needed among schools, post-secondary education, adult education, community education, and the workplace. Coursework in the two concentrations will allow students to develop capacities within one of those concentrations. Focused electives will then allow each student to specialize within a specific career area within their concentration.
The core courses focus on content common to students in both programs (APCE and SI), including epistemology and learning theory, scholarly research and writing, leadership, adults as learners, reflective practice, the change process, professional development, and ethics and morality in the educational professions. The common core will allow students to develop a broad view of education in our society and an appreciation for the concept of lifelong learning. Educators in different educational roles will learn from each other and will develop an understanding of the need for different educational communities to collaborate in movement toward a “learning society.”