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  1. #1
    sanantone is offline Registered User
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    18-month doctorate with no dissertation

    Arizona State University's Doctor of Behavioral Health program is now open to non-clinical applicants through the management track. The program should cost about $45,000 and take 18 months full-time. There is an applied research project instead of a dissertation. A practicum is also required.

    https://chs.asu.edu/dbh/program/management
    https://chs.asu.edu/dbh/program/management/curriculum
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  2. #2
    Rich Douglas is offline Registered User
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    I have to think "18-month doctorate" refers to 6 7.5-week terms per year, two classes (6 s.h.) per term. But the links lead to pages that don't say anything about doing it in 18 months. That would be 18 courses in 18 months. And those courses would include a final project and an internship, neither of which is guaranteed to last the minimum duration.

    The FAQ notes that 18 months would be for full-time students. "It is not likely a student could work full-time and complete the accelerated program."

    The result? A professional doctorate without a dissertation leading to....nothing, yet. They're going to go state-by-state, seeking an alternate doctoral path for clinicians not seeking to become psychologists . In other words, counselors and social workers, probably. They're created a professional accreditor, the " National Institute of Behavioral Health Quality (NIBHQ)," for this purpose.

    This is all about third-party (insurance) billing, by the way. Being able to bill higher rates than master's-level counselors currently do, without becoming a psychologist .

    You'd have to have a lot of faith to get involved at this point. Right now it's a path to nowhere. But that may change in the future.

  3. #3
    sanantone is offline Registered User
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    The management track is not for clinicians, so the billing doesn't apply to them. They said they created this track because of the demand from non-clinicians. I know I contacted them about the possibility.
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  4. #4
    novadar is offline Registered User
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    This is very interesting.

    I would love to see similar Doctorate's develop for fields like Information Technology Management. I would be so all over such a program, a management track overseeing IT professionals.

    Maybe a "Doctor of Information Technology Management"

  5. #5
    SteveFoerster is offline Resident Gadfly
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    To me if it's not medical, it's not a professional doctorate, and if there's no research, it's not an academic doctorate. Anything else would just be a Master's degree wearing its father's shoes.
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  6. #6
    Ted Heiks is offline Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveFoerster View Post
    To me if it's not medical, it's not a professional doctorate, and if there's no research, it's not an academic doctorate. Anything else would just be a Master's degree wearing its father's shoes.
    If it's not medical, it's not a professional doctorate? Isn't a law degree a professional doctorate?
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  7. #7
    novadar is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveFoerster View Post
    To me if it's not medical, it's not a professional doctorate, and if there's no research, it's not an academic doctorate. Anything else would just be a Master's degree wearing its father's shoes.
    It sure looks like a Professional Doctorate to me much like Doctor of Pharmacy , Doctor of Nursing Practice, or Doctor of Science in Physician Assistant Studies specializing in Emergency Medicine. Rich seemed to have that impression based on what he wrote in his posting as well.

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  9. #8
    Rich Douglas is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Heiks View Post
    If it's not medical, it's not a professional doctorate? Isn't a law degree a professional doctorate?
    No. A law degree is a first professional degree, not a "professional doctorate." This is true regardless of the is/isn't debate about the JD being a doctorate.

    A "professional doctorate" is a doctorate that ends in a dissertation, or equivalent, but whose focus is on practice, not scholarly theory. Examples include the Doctor of Education , Doctor of Psychology , and (my favorite) the Doctor of Social Science.

    The thingy in question is a professional doctorate. It is not a first professional degree, nor is it an academic doctorate (which would result in a significant, original contribution to an academic discipline). See Achieving your Professional Doctorate by Nancy-Jane Smith for these distinctions.

  10. #9
    Rich Douglas is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveFoerster View Post
    To me if it's not medical, it's not a professional doctorate, and if there's no research, it's not an academic doctorate. Anything else would just be a Master's degree wearing its father's shoes.
    It is a professional doctorate because it advances practice, not an academic discipline. It substitutes a project in place of the thesis/dissertation, but that doesn't change its status.

    The MD is a "first professional degree" that also happens to be a doctorate. The "first professional degree" is the degree that leads to entry into a profession. The JD is another example.

  11. #10
    Rich Douglas is offline Registered User
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    For clarity:

    If it ends in a dissertation (or equivalent) and adds to the knowledge in an academic discipline (theoretical knowledge), then it is an academic doctorate.

    If it ends in a dissertation (or equivalent) and adds to the practice of a profession or occupation, it is a professional doctorate.

    If it does not end in a dissertation and qualifies one for entry into a profession (like law or medicine), it is a first professional degree.

    Most Ph.D. programs are academic doctorates, but sometimes students get a Ph.D. without making a theoretical (scholarly) contribution to an academic discipline.

    While the Ed.D. is designed to be a professional doctorate, many Ed.D. programs are identical to Ph.D. programs and students make scholarly contributions. That means they're academic doctorates, despite holding a professional doctorate title.

    The Ph.D. in Psychology is an academic doctorate, but the PsyD is a professional doctorate.



    In other words: these are guidelines, but there is overlap in all of it.

  12. #11
    Rich Douglas is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by novadar View Post
    This is very interesting.

    I would love to see similar Doctorate's develop for fields like Information Technology Management. I would be so all over such a program, a management track overseeing IT professionals.

    Maybe a "Doctor of Information Technology Management"
    Capella offers a Ph.D. and a DBA in Information Technology Management.

    The University of Northern Virginia offers a Doctor of Information Technology .

    There seems to be many others.

    Don't be misled; the program that is the subject of this thread is not a program without a dissertation. It just has an alternative approach to one.

  13. #12
    novadar is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Douglas View Post
    Capella offers a Ph.D. and a DBA in Information Technology Management.

    The University of Northern Virginia offers a Doctor of Information Technology .

    There seems to be many others.

    Don't be misled; the program that is the subject of this thread is not a program without a dissertation. It just has an alternative approach to one.
    Thanks Rich. It certainly is not without rigor, not trying to find a "watered down" program.

    I guess my take is that this DBH seems to be hyper-accelerated. For a deeply focused professional it is hard to find the time for a lengthy on-going effort. A focused, narrow, timeboxed framework like the DBH would be ideal (at least for me).

  14. #13
    SteveFoerster is offline Resident Gadfly
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Douglas View Post
    The University of Northern Virginia offers a Doctor of Information Technology.
    I realize you weren't recommending them. However, they're also unaccredited and have been (and may still be, unsure) the subject of a federal investigation for immigration fraud. I wouldn't touch them with a ten foot pole.

    Don't be misled; the program that is the subject of this thread is not a program without a dissertation. It just has an alternative approach to one.
    That's fine, then. I should add that I should have used "healthcare" and not "medical". I don't have a problem with first professonal degrees in healthcare fields (DVMs, PharmDs, etc.) being considered doctorates. And in any case, I was just explaining the way I think about it, not trying to declare things The Way They Are as if on stone tablets. There's a lot of room for individual opinion here in what one consideres to be what.
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  15. #14
    Rich Douglas is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveFoerster View Post
    And in any case, I was just explaining the way I think about it, not trying to declare things The Way They Are as if on stone tablets. There's a lot of room for individual opinion here in what one consideres to be what.
    Not really. The terms are in use all over the place. While there is certainly some overlap and some sloppiness in their use, the categories are pretty straight-forward. I cited a source earlier in the thread. For those interested in these distinctions, it is a helpful one. Here's another (online) that makes the distinction between academic and professional doctorates: Professional Doctorates | Professional Doctorates Explained

    Here's another (a .pdf file): http://www.docs.sasg.ed.ac.uk/Academ..._doctorate.pdf

    Gosh, even a little school called the University of Leicester makes these distinctions: Professional Doctoral Degrees — University of Leicester

    And if you're interested in a U.S.-based source, the University of California system has long maintained the same distinction: http://senate.universityofcalifornia...ort_Review.pdf

    Here's a professional association for holders of professional doctorates: Professional Doctorates - Professional Doctorates

    Then there's George Washington U., calling them "Practice-based Doctorates" and including some first professional degrees: Practice-Based Doctoral Programs | The George Washington University

    Tufts: Professional Doctorate Programs - GSAS - Tufts University

    Can't leave out the religious schools: NOBTS - Professional Doctoral Programs: Developing Ministry Excellence

    From the land (Down Under) of Oz: Professional doctorates - University of South Australia - quality university study and education in Australia

    Brock University in Canada: http://brocku.ca/webfm_send/17805

    And so it goes....

    And, of course, the literature is filled with distinctions about first professional degrees (many of them doctorates) like this one: Definition of Degrees Prof

    Oops, there's those pesky guys at the US Department of Education with this MS Word file: https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=...48572450,d.eWU

    If you don't want to download the Word file, here's the definition it contains:

    First-professional degrees represent a category of qualifications in professional subject areas that require students to have previously completed specified undergraduate coursework and/or degrees before enrolling. They are considered graduate-level programs in the U.S. system because the follow prior undergraduate studies, but they are in fact first degrees in these professional subjects. Holders of first-professional degrees are considered to have an entry-level qualification and may undertake graduate study in these professional fields following the award of the first-professional degree. Several of these degrees use the term “doctor” in the title, but these degrees do not contain an independent research component or require a dissertation (thesis) and should not be confused with PhD degrees or other research doctorates.

    A first-professional degree is an award that requires completion of a program that meets all of the following criteria: (1) completion of the academic requirements to begin practice in the profession; (2) at least 2 years of college work prior to entering the program; and (3) a total of at least 6 academic years of college work to complete the degree program, including prior required college work plus the length of the professional program itself.


    In sum:

    An academic doctorate leads to a significant, original contribution to the academic discipline via a dissertation. It is typically the Ph.D., but other titles may be used.

    A professional doctorate leads to advancing one's ability to practice and it contributes to the practice of a professional or occupational area via a dissertation. Many titles are in use.

    A first professional degree does not culminate in a dissertation. It may or may not confer the title "doctor." It prepares one for entry into a profession.

    These distinctions are documented everywhere. They can be confused, but that doesn't change them.

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  17. #15
    sanantone is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by novadar View Post
    Thanks Rich. It certainly is not without rigor, not trying to find a "watered down" program.

    I guess my take is that this DBH seems to be hyper-accelerated. For a deeply focused professional it is hard to find the time for a lengthy on-going effort. A focused, narrow, timeboxed framework like the DBH would be ideal (at least for me).
    The short length of the program is what I like about it. While it has an applied research project to replace the dissertation, it is quite obvious that the research project is not as nearly involved as a dissertation.

    The management track looks a lot like a healthcare administration program. There is room for 18 credits in free electives, and management track students are allowed to take courses from the clinical track. It would be interesting to know what kind of teaching jobs a graduate has obtained with this degree. I know they only have clinical graduates so far.
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  18. #16
    novadar is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by sanantone View Post
    The short length of the program is what I like about it. While it has an applied research project to replace the dissertation, it is quite obvious that the research project is not as nearly involved as a dissertation.

    The management track looks a lot like a healthcare administration program. There is room for 18 credits in free electives, and management track students are allowed to take courses from the clinical track. It would be interesting to know what kind of teaching jobs a graduate has obtained with this degree. I know they only have clinical graduates so far.

    Yes, I agree. Thanks for sharing. I hope this actually might represent a new trend. While others might (and have) argued otherwise, I see nothing wrong with "professionally oriented" Doctoral degrees being quite different in structure than academic ones.

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