Am I done being a doctoral student?

Discussion in 'Education, Teaching and related degrees' started by bigposse, Sep 5, 2019.

  1. bigposse

    bigposse New Member

    I've started a couple of different EdD programs via distance learning, and am struggling with seeing the finish line. Not because I can't do the work. I started at both ACE and am now at Liberty. I had also at one point enrolled in the DHSc program at Bridgeport (but backed out because even though I loved the content and what the initial assignments looked like, a final bill of 50k for that degree just didn't seem to have an ROI). My time at Liberty currently is less than fulfilling. Its an EdD in C&I, and most of the content is bland, boring, and stuff I have already learned having been in education in various roles for 10 years+. A lot of cheesy discussion boards, monotonous musings on institutional processes, etc. Boring writing at its best, and nothing I'm passionate about. What I AM passionate about is content at programs that aren't accepted by my institution as qualified "terminal" degrees, or come from NA schools (which doesn't matter to me, but it matters to them). My goals were ultimately to broaden my utility from being siloed in physical therapy education to broader things, administration, remote work opportunities (not just in Education), etc. But I've learned a degree does not a job make/bring. Its more about who you know than what letters are behind your name, or where you went to school. I'm beginning to wonder: What's the point of all of this?? I'm aware that in America the PhD is the be all/end all, but I have no interest in doing something so research/statistics heavy. Talk about boring. I want something with usefulness and practicality, but terminal/academic.

    Any suggestions or thoughts?
  2. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Well-Known Member

    Just admit that you're not up to the task. You started off by saying you are struggling but not because you can't do the work. However, close to the end you say you don't want to do any research or statics heavy work. I don't know if you're aware, but Liberty's Ed.D. now has a capstone option. I don't know how research-focused that will be. Maybe a first-professional doctorate is what you need and not a professional or research doctorate such as the Ph.D., Ed.D., etc.
  3. bigposse

    bigposse New Member

    Actually, this is about passion and ROI, not ability to do work. I already have a professional doctorate, a Doctorate in Physical Therapy. My institution requires a "terminal/academic" degree, thus the predicament. I have no plans or interests in doing "bench research", thus the disinterest in a PhD or heavy statistics. I am aware of the Capstone option, and am in that path right now. It just feels like a slog because so much of the content is stuff I've already been through in life in education, nothing new. And maybe that is just what it will be......"it is what it is". By the way, I don't mean to slight LU as a whole (since I know you're a student there too).
  4. LearningAddict

    LearningAddict Well-Known Member

    What you're describing is a pretty common thing for experienced career professionals. If you already have a lot of experience in a field, you're bound to find a good deal of information to be already-covered ground. This is why I like competency-based education so much, but AFAIK there is no such thing at the Doctoral level.
  5. LearningAddict

    LearningAddict Well-Known Member

    Found this posted back in 2005:

  6. GregWatts

    GregWatts Member

    So, according to this logic, how long do I need to balance my personal checkbook to be granted a Master of Accountancy?
  7. AlK11

    AlK11 Active Member

    If I could make a suggestion. It sounds like you're capable of doing the work, you just don't want to because you already know the stuff. You can tough it out and continue to do work that you already know without learning something new if the end goal is worth it. Is what you want to get out of the degree itself worth doing boring work for a few years? Another option would be to really go out there and explore the vast number of doctorates that are out there. I'm sure there is one out there that will offer something new for you to study while still being in line with your goals. Why did you end up picking the current Liberty program? What did you think you would like about it that you now don't?
  8. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    No, you don't have a professional doctorate, which IS an academic doctorate. You have a first professional doctorate, something that allows you entry into a licensed profession while being decidedly not academic, nor scholarly. Other examples include the JD, OD, DO, DC, and JD.

    Your EdD program may or may not be scholarly. It might be professional. It depends on the kind of research the school will allow you--or expect you--to undertake. In other words, the EdD can be either one depending on how the school treats it.

    Now, your question. Who knows if you're done? I'm not so sure you ever really got started. In "taught" doctoral programs (like those in the US), it's easy to enroll and take classes--that's what you've been doing for your entire time in college. But the classes are not particularly material; it's the research you do that matters. And you're not doing it. My simple advice for success as a doctoral student is to have a clear outcome in mind and don't lose sight of it. The thing is hard enough as it is; not being totally committed will allow you to get knocked off course too easily. And if you were dedicated to your research outcome, you wouldn't be dropping out of multiple doctoral programs without any idea of where you're going.

    Oh, a note about lame courses: too bad. The doctorate is what you make it, not what is served up to you. The courses themselves are a really minor issue. If that's what is in your way, you don't have a way.
    chrisjm18 likes this.
  9. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Sigh. There used to be....
  10. Steve Levicoff

    Steve Levicoff Well-Known Member

    Suicide. Or Xanax.

    Um, not in that order. :D

    I wish I could remember where the line is from, ,because it's so good . . . We can only hope that once your head stops spinning around that you're facing forward. :rolleyes:
  11. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Well-Known Member

    Rich already said it, but I'll say it again, you don't have a professional doctorate, you have a first-professional doctorate. A professional doctorate is considered by the U.S. DoED to be equivalent in scope and recognition to the Ph.D. These degrees include Ed.D., DBA, DPA, Th.D., etc. I would encourage you to tough it out at Liberty since you've already been bouncing around a bit. You won't get anything better than a capstone project. If you must slight LU, feel free. I won't be the least offended. I am only at LU because it's one of two non-profit schools offering a Ph.D. in CJ. It is the most affordable of the two and on top of that, I get a 25% discount. Apart from that, I prob wouldn't attend LU. However, I have grown to like the school because of some of the awesome faculty members I've had the opportunity to interact with. Hope you stick around and get the real "D."

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