doctor of arts

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by uncle janko, Sep 1, 2002.

  1. uncle janko

    uncle janko member

    Does any institution not located in Newburgh, Indiana offer the doctor of arts degree via DL?
  2. Dennis Ruhl

    Dennis Ruhl member

  3. Dennis Ruhl

    Dennis Ruhl member

    Oh, Trinity is in Newburgh.

    Love the thought of a doctorate based mostly on coursework, as opposed to research, but DAs seem to be disappearing rather than expanding.
  4. MAYES

    MAYES New Member

    Here is a few DA programs in the US

    Ball State University (Muncie, Indiana)

    Clark Atlanta University (Atlanta, Georgia)
    Foreign Languages

    George Mason University (Fairfax, Virginia)
    Community College Education

    Idaho State University (Pocatello, Idaho)
    The D.A. at Idaho State University
    Political Science

    Middle Tennessee State University (Murfreesboro, Tennessee)
    Physical Education

    New York University (New York, New York)
    Music Therapy

    Saint John's University (Queens, New York)
    Modern World History

    Simmons College (Boston, Massachusetts)
    Library and Information Science

    State University of New York, Stony Brook (Stony Brook, New York)

    University of Miami (Coral Gables, Florida)
    Civil Engineering
    Mechanical Engineering

    University of Mississippi (University, Mississippi)

    University of North Dakota (Grand Forks, North Dakota)

    Washington State University (Pullman, Washington)
    Individual Interdisciplinary
  5. Dennis Ruhl

    Dennis Ruhl member

  6. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    I don't recall any, either. Nova Southeastern used to have a Doctor of Arts in Training and Technology. It combined online, independent study, and residential elements. This was long before the development of the World Wide Web. I believe they still offer the program in an updated form, but now it's a Ph.D. Too bad. I like the iconoclastic nature of the D.A., but I've never heard the difference between a D.A. and a Ph.D. explained in concrete terms.
  7. Jim Crouch

    Jim Crouch New Member

    As I recall, The D.A. was a degree proposed in the Education field intended to remedy the problem of professors of any particular field only knowing a very small part of that field of study. It's tough on a History Department when they hire a prof and all he seems to know about history is the first 30 years of the 20th century in Albania. The D.A. candidate is supposed to work in a broader realm and his dissertation is expected to be much broader in content. When he/she graduates there is an expectation that the Doctor will actually know enough in the field to teach it. (Perhaps schools should include this as a "consolation" degree for those whose submission is rejected because it adds nothing to the field).
  8. Dr Dave

    Dr Dave New Member

    I had thought that the DA was a courses only doctorate with no dissertation required. Is that not the case?
  9. Jim Crouch

    Jim Crouch New Member

    I am certainly no expert on the DA and have done very little checking up on it. But what I have seen has always included a dissertation, just one of broader expectations than in a PhD.
    When the oft' mentioned school in Newburg dropped its PhD and ThD programs and replaced them with the D.A. it was my opinion that they did it to aid them in their pursuit of real accreditation (RA?). Their programs were not, as I saw them, on the same level as other PhD or ThD programs, especially in the requirements for acceptance. For me to get into an accredited PhD program in Biblical Studies or Theology, I have been required to get a ThM; my MDiv is not sufficient. This is not the case with Trinity.

  10. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Wouldn't it be nice--and interesting--to see the DETC get involved, with its member schools being allowed to offer the D.A.?
  11. defii

    defii New Member

    While I certainly appreciate what the DETC does in terms of accrediting schools that offer masters and professional degrees, do you really think there would be much utility to a Doctor of Arts from a DETC school? The DA is pedagogical in its approach. The emphasis, according the web site of the DA Association, is to prepare people for teaching. Since the RA schools are not likely to hire DETC "doctors" to teach, I would argue that there is almost no point to having the DETC offer such doctoral programs.
  12. Jim Crouch

    Jim Crouch New Member

    I would agree with David's reply. The theorists in the field of education have created a monstor. Through their proposals, many of America's young people graduate from high school with little more than a 3rd grade eduaction. The D.A. was one of many of their proposals and if it had caught on, I am certain that there would be many D.A.s out teaching and even less being taught. As is the case when a Democrat proposes an idea, I am highly suspicious of any "innovation" which comes from the field of "Education."

  13. uncle janko

    uncle janko member

    I did hours and hours of research on the DA when I was in the early stages of figuring out Trinity. The NDAA website has links to a pile of info on the development and rationale of the degree, much of it fairly persuasive. IIRC, the DA always has required a dissertation, but somewhat less elaborate than that for a PhD or equivalent.
    Mayes, thanks for the list. It matches what I had found earlier on.
    The contact person at Idaho State is quite an entertaining and persuasive guy. When I asked a few DA holders about their experiences with the degree in university teaching, I got one really negative response from someone in Colorado and another strongly positive response from someone in New Jersey.
    The irony of my own inquiries is that the DA turned out to be the least of Trinity's non-wonderfulnesses; maybe their only worthwhile aspect, in fact.
    I'd be delighted to see DETC or TRACS encourage a DL DA, but I would be surprised if it ever happened.
    The DA was originally designed as a terminal degree for teachers in community colleges and 4-year schools. I wonder how community colleges would react to NA candidates?
  14. defii

    defii New Member

    Arguably, there would be no real benefit to DETC or TRACS accrediting Doctor of Arts program. As was previously stated, DA programs emphasize pedagogy. They are intended to prepare individuals to better teach their subjects. Where would these individuals teach? The RA schools certainly will not take them -- at least not for positions requiring doctorates.

    It is true that community colleges (at least here in California) only require a masters degree for administrative as well as faculty positions. However, a friend who is a department chair at a community college, tells me that a doctorate from a regionally accredited institution or foregin equivalent would earn a person a few more dollars. The community colleges are regionally accredited and look for degrees from regionally accredited schools.

    A DETC or TRACS doctorate would allow for teaching at only similarly accredited (National) schools. And in that realm, the pickings are slim.
  15. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    DETC would do well to define itself, instead of waiting for others (i.e. the RA's) to do it for them. It's called leading, as opposed to following.

    Found here is a statement about the purposes and uses of the D.A.:

    The D.A. was established as a terminal teaching degree in response to pressures existing then (and now) to upgrade college and university teaching, with emphasis being placed upon giving recipients practical experience and theoretical knowledge in pedagogy in lieu of extensive research skills. The D.A. was not and is not in competition with the Ph.D., regarded as a research degree. The substantive course content of the two are similar, the application emphasis being different.

    Why not DETC? If such a problem exists, and if the RA schools are not stepping up to address it, why not DETC? DETC could move to do this in conjunction with the affected schools. The schools would get better-trained faculty (and upgraded qualifications) while the DETC would benefit from the work and their association with these colleges and universities.

    Can it be done? Sure. Will the RA's resist it? Maybe, even likely. But if the DETC is wanting to step up to the plate with the big boys, it's going to have to find a way. The D.A. seems a more pragmatic approach to the doctorate, in line with DETC-accredited schools' emphasis on educating working professionals. According to the National Doctor of Arts Association, DA holders have been successful in gaining--or returning to--teaching positions, primarily at schools that do not offer the Ph.D.

    Can you teach someone how to teach via distance learning? Well, that doesn't seem to stop the myriad of master's and doctoral degree programs related to education and training. Perhaps DETC could team with an RA school and one of its own to develop and deliver a D.A. degree specializing in distance learning methods and pedagogy, yet still retaining the original academic major.

    I believe accrediting doctoral programs is key to DETC's acceptance as the "7th RA." The notion of a nontraditional doctoral degree being developed and delivered by nontraditional schools is appealing to me. But not to everyone. Just ask the operators of the University of Central Arizona (if you can find 'em).
  16. Anthony Pina

    Anthony Pina Active Member

    I have seen the Doctor of Arts Degree offered in a few vocational subjects and was unaware that it originated in education. That doesn't surprise me, since education already has two doctoral degrees that are virtually indistinguishable from each other (the Ph.D. and Ed.D) why not just offer a third to confuse the matter more?

    In fact, I propose that we in education just admit that we haven't a clue what to do with our degree titles and just offer the same smorgasboard of education doctorates to match our education masters. A few examples of current degrees offered by U.S. universities:

    M.Ed. (Master of Education)
    M.A. (Master of Arts)
    M.S. (Master of Science)
    M.A.T. (Master of Arts in Teaching)
    M.A.Ed. (Master of Arts in Education)

    To the existing Ed.D., D.A. and D.Sc. (Doctor of Science) and the above masters degrees, I would add the following:

    D.A.T. (Doctor of Arts in Teaching)
    M.S.T. (Master of Science in Teaching)
    D.S.T. (Doctor of Science in Teaching)
    D.A.Ed. (Doctor of Arts in Education)
    M.S.Ed. (Master of Science in Education)
    D.S.Ed. (Doctor of Science in Education)

    I think that the one that I would most rather pursue, however, is the D.A.S.Ed.T (Doctor of Arts and Science in Education and Teaching)

    Tony Pina
    Adjunct Faculty of Education
    California State University, San Bernardino
  17. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    But the D.A. isn't a degree in education. The D.A. is awarded in the particular field of study, but it emphasizes teaching that subject, rather than researching it. That's why I think a marriage between the DETC, one or two of its accredited schools, and some community colleges and liberal arts colleges would be very interesting for all parties.
  18. Guest

    Guest Guest


    You guys are just jealous because Trinity in Newburgh has resurrected the Doctor of Arts degree. This often misunderstood and maligned degree is now making global connections. :p
  19. Nosborne

    Nosborne New Member

    There are LOTS of University professors that don't have research degrees; I refer to the professions. M.D.s, O.D.s, and D.V.M.s teach clinical subjects and J.D.s teach law.

    I should think that the arts and sciences, like chemistry or engineering, or even business subjects where the education serves to equip a professional person with the necessary body of knowlege, could profit from a D.A. approach.

    Nosborne, J.D.
  20. Anthony Pina

    Anthony Pina Active Member

    My first posting on this thread was, of course, facetious and reflects my feeling that we have too many degree titles that mean virtually the same thing. I actually like the thinking behind the Doctor of Arts, although I never have liked the name. The name suggests itself as the successor of the Master of Arts and does not clarify its roots in pedagogy.

    An examination of the National Doctor of Arts website and links to institutions that offer the degree is enlightening. Many of the links are out of date and broken, but I was able to find info on each program. It is interesting that a couple of D.A. programs have become Ph.D. programs or are in the process of becoming so. At Middle Tennessee State University an external review of the program and an appeal by a faculty member in the program suggests that they are losing potential students due to the fact that the D.A. is perceived as a "lesser" degree than the Ph.D., but requires equal work.

    The originators of the D.A. seemed to have in mind a professional program along the lines of a J.D. (i.e. 3 years of post B.A. study emphasizing teaching and practice, rather than research). This would have made the D.A. a first professional degree, rather than a Ph.D. equivalent doctorate (see for a useful distinction between the two). Most of the current programs, however, appear to replace much of the quantitative research courses of the Ph.D. with guided teaching internships, teaching methods and curriculum design coursework.

    Having been a faculty member at both community colleges and universities and having been an instructional designer for a large corporation, I am acutely aware that the subject matter expertise gained from masters and doctoral study often produces ill=prepared professors. Knowing a subject and being able to transfer that knowledge to novices is NOT the same thing. So, in theory, I like the idea of a more practitioner-based degree (sort of like the Psy.D. versus Ph.D. in psychology), but IMHO, this emphasis should have occurrred within the structure of the Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) degree.

    The current Doctor of Arts degrees that I have seen appear to be graduate versions of secondary teaching credential programs (e.g. broad coursework, teaching methods and supervised interships). I don't think that this is a bad thing at all, but the Ed.D. should have been structured so as to include to goals of the D.A., without having to create another confusion, unpopular (According to the National Doctor of Arts Association, at its peak of popularity, less than 45 institutions offered the D.A.) and less-than-universally recognized degree for people to sort out.

    Unfortunately, as I have posted elsewhere, the field of education was too concerned about being accepted as a legitimate social science to push the issue of making their professional degree (Ed.D.) distinct from the accepted research degree (Ph.D.). The result is that--with a few exceptions at selected universities--there is no difference between a Ph.D. and an Ed.D. I possess most of the relevant studies comparing the two. I have also been a student in both a Ph.D. and an Ed.D. program.

    I fear that the D.A. may be heading in the same direction. Example: while one program provides its D.A. students with training only in qualitative research, another program (in chemistry) provides a list of D.A. dissertations that look identical to Ph.D. dissertations. Of the nine dissertations listed only one appears to deal at all with pedagogy. It would be a shame if the D.A. ended up as just another in the alphabet soup of equivalent yet indistinguishable degrees.

    *WHEW* I certainly did not expect to go on and on about this topic. I'll stop now.

    Tony Pina
    Adjunct Faculty of Education
    California State University, San Bernardino

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