Ed.D. vs. PhD

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by khalidalhariri, Apr 15, 2014.

  1. khalidalhariri

    khalidalhariri New Member

    Hello everybody,

    Will someone with an Ed.D. get employed as an assistant professor and get promoted to associate and full professor or is it a kind of professional degree that doesn't allow academic progress?
  2. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    This gets asked a lot.

    Assuming all other things are equal, the EdD and PhD in Education are normally--but not always--virtually the same degree. In some schools, however, the EdD is treated as a professional doctorate, not a scholarly one. This distinction matters; the professional doctorate is not normally used to prepare someone for academia. But all of these things are fluid. YMMV.

    Better to look at the academic processes involved. If the program under consideration is scholarly and is designed to prepare you for a career in academia, then the title won't matter. So....

    You could take some EdD programs that will start you on an academic career path. You can also take some PhD programs that will not. Again, it's more about the process than the actual degree title.
  3. mattbrent

    mattbrent Well-Known Member

    I would argue that it depends on where an individual is employed. I teach for the Virginia Community College System. Our promotion system is based on several factors. Here's a link to our system - http://tncc.edu/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/VCCS_29FacultyQualifications1.pdf If you scroll to page 3, you'll see the chart.

    Per our system, as long as you have the requisite credit hours in your discipline, your doctorate can be in whatever you want it to be.

  4. SurfDoctor

    SurfDoctor Moderator

    I would also add that it is unlikely for a doctorate of any kind that was earned online to be honored at a traditional school. There is a prejudice in academia against degrees earned online. I'm sure there are exceptions, but the rule generally holds true.
  5. brianlegg

    brianlegg New Member

    How does a "traditional school" know if you earned your doctorate online, if the school you attended also has a brick and mortar location? Very curious about this. Both my masters were completed online, but I had the option to do the traditional residence. No one has ever asked me whether it was earned online or not when presenting my credentials.
  6. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    What does "honored" mean? That sounds like some box getting checked, and whether or not a particular degree checks that box. But this isn't what happens.

    On-campus, full-time doctoral programs are designed to prepare some grads for careers in academia. DL programs don't do that. Still, we've seen many people teaching in tenure-track positions--or holding other responsible academic positions--holding degrees earned by DL. Union used to maintain a list of its graduates doing just that, for example.

    A degree earned by DL isn't designed to get you on an academic track. But it could "check the box" at a traditional school that wants to either hire a particular person or promote him/her.

    It isn't about prejudice (although some of that may exist, too). It's about process.
  7. Paidagogos

    Paidagogos Member

    This may be true. Of course, there will always be those who will look down on your online degree, but in higher education at least here in NC it doesn't matter how you earned your degree as long as it is accredited. Another thing is, as long as you have a master's, or Ph.D., you will get a get a pay bump. I got a $2 raise over a lot of my colleagues when I started my job, simply for having a master's degree. Some may look down on my degree, but most of the time I'm too busy laughing my way to the bank to care. :laugh:
  8. SurfDoctor

    SurfDoctor Moderator

    I suppose that "honored" was not the clearest choice of terms. By that I mean "get you a job."

    I agree with you on the process aspect. However, there is also a good deal of prejudice and it is probably tied to the points you bring up. I have experienced this prejudice first hand in discussing an online PhD with the dean of a business school at a university I attended. He didn't want to hear about it, wouldn't consider the merits of the applicant and terminated the conversation within a few minutes of hearing the word "online." It was a deal breaker. I have spoken with other persons of power in universities as well, and most individuals I have spoken to about this have said flatly that they would not consider hiring someone as a professor if their degree was earned online. DISCLAIMER: My information is a few years old, so hopefully things are changing. My information is also quite subjective and not scientific in any way.

    There are exceptions, of course, and I believe that acceptance of online degrees will increase. In my own doctoral program, I attended a class at Liberty that was taught by an assistant prof who earned her degree online. She, however, brought a wealth of experience to the table when they hired her.

    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 24, 2014
  9. SurfDoctor

    SurfDoctor Moderator

    I suppose it might be possible that they wouldn't find out, but I doubt it. It's likely the question would be brought up in an interview. I believe that Liberty is open to online degrees given that the applicant has some good teaching experience. Why don't you do what I did and make an appointment with a couple of deans to discuss the subject. I would be interested in what you find out and I would love to be wrong about this. No problem there.

    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 23, 2014
  10. SurfDoctor

    SurfDoctor Moderator

    Oh yeah, I agree. All of my graduate degrees were earned online and have served me well. I am not a professor at a traditional university though. I'm not saying degrees earned online suck. I'm saying that a number of academics think they suck. They are wrong, of course.

    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 24, 2014
  11. graymatter

    graymatter Member

    I was in practice in the town where your alma mater is located. This question (online or residential) was asked of every applicant. The positions where I worked required at least a masters degree. If both the undergraduate and graduate degrees were online, we didn't call the applicant to schedule an interview.
  12. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    I think that this is not only because the online nature of the degree. PhD holders from online schools tend to have little or no conference presentations, publications and on ground teaching experience. If a PhD from Capella shows a strong resume with publications and solid teaching experience, most of the time will be preferred over a PhD from your average no name school earned on ground with no publications nor teaching experience.
    Schools are normally afraid that the online PhD graduate might not be able to deliver. If there is no history of teaching nor publications, the assumption is that the individual might not handle these two critical activities. You might argue that professional experience should help but the reality is that you might have an individual with a lot of working experience that sucks in the class room.
    I believe that if the online doctoral student is currently teaching and publishing and the granting school doesn't have negative image (e.g. UoP), then there is a strong chance of success.
  13. Anthony Pina

    Anthony Pina Active Member

    The Ed.D. vs. Ph.D. (or D.B.A.) tends to be a non-issue at most colleges and universities. The online doctorate continues to gain more acceptance in higher ed but is still not the best choice for someone looking for that first tenure-track assistant professor position at a brick & mortar university. There is high acceptance for existing faculty or administrators who seek online doctoral degrees (e.g. to go from assistant to associate professor). As RFValve has stated, a strong record of scholarship (publications, presentations, grants, etc.) is absolutely critical and can largely mitigate where and how you received your degree.

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