Finishing my Ed.S. at Liberty this Semester---any suggestions?

Discussion in 'Education, Teaching and related degrees' started by StefanM, May 22, 2014.

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  1. StefanM

    StefanM New Member

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    I'm currently in my last class for the Ed.S. program at Liberty University, and I'm evaluating my options for fall and beyond:

    1) I have the option to continue with Liberty toward the Ed.D.

    2) I have the option to stop entirely.

    3) I have the option to start with a different school.

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    I've been on this board for a few years, and, although my posting has been off and on, I have kept up with the general discussions, so my pondering is not a matter of failing to search the forum. (Translation: no "utfse" comments, please.)

    I thought I would throw the ball up in the air to see what options this community recommends.

    Some background:

    I work in Christian higher education administration, and I do like an evangelical Christian focus in coursework and research. My BA is in ministry, and I have a background working for churches and in Christian higher education. Nevertheless, I'm open to a program at a secular university as long as the environment isn't openly hostile to evangelical Christians.

    I am concerned a bit about continuing with the Liberty Ed.D. because my MA (Human Services with a business concentration) and my soon-to-be-completed EdS are both with Liberty.

    I have 18 graduate hours in English from WNMU (plus 3 additional hours in creative writing), and I am very interested in this field.
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    Does anyone have any suggestions about a terminal degree I could consider?

    In terms of research, education is actually my least favorite area I have studied. I enjoy studying religion, psychology, sociology, and the integration of these areas, and I also have an interest in literature and writing.

    I would consider doing an Ed.D. if the program is flexible enough and would accept a decent number of my Ed.S. hours. Liberty will accept 27 hours toward the Ed.D., so I would want the number to be comparable.

    Here are my limitations:

    1) Cost---I don't want a prohibitively expensive program, but I understand graduate degrees will be somewhat expensive.

    2) Flexibility---I need an asynchronous program. My work schedule often involves nights, and I can't necessarily predict when those nights will be.

    3) Limited residencies---I can maybe do a week per year, but I can't do two or three week residencies, due to my job.

    4) U.S. Program--I need a program based in the U.S. because I will need to use federal financial aid.

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    I know this community has the best information available, so I am now officially open for suggestions!
     
  2. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly

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    As a Baptist school, the University of the Cumberlands would obviously be a safe harbor for your worldview. You could apply your 18 semester-hours in English as your specialization, or 18 semester-hours from your EdS. (Not both, though.) That would leave you with ten courses and a dissertation for an EdD in Educational Leadership or 12 courses and a dissertation for a PhD in Leadership. At $375 per semester-hour, your total tuition would therefore be $15,750 for the EdD and $18,000 for the PhD.

    The downside, from your perspective, is that yes, there are synchronous class sessions. Depending on how many you would potentially miss, you might be able to simply watch recordings whenever life interferes with being online live, which is what I've done for the first three courses without penalty.
     
  3. mattbrent

    mattbrent Active Member

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    Darn... he beat me to it!

    -Matt
     
  4. StefanM

    StefanM New Member

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    RE: UCumberlands

    I checked with the University of the Cumberlands, and I really don't have the ability to manage the synchronous element. I would enjoy a synchronous program, but my work schedule isn't really compatible, at least with UC's program.
     
  5. PilgrimPastor

    PilgrimPastor New Member

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    My recommendation is to get a haircut and a real job sir! :biglaugh: I crack myself up...

    Ok, more seriously, when you say you have "worked for churches" in what capacity are you referring to? I'm assuming either as the Pastor of Christian Education or as the administrator at a Christian School?

    I'm only asking because I think while both of your stated career interests would welcome an Ed.D. (the suggestion above sounds like a great choice) if your strong interest is in creative writing / English in what capacity would you like to pursue that?

    A Ph.D. in Leadership, while it wouldn't hurt anything to have, isn't going to advance that interest in any way, while an Ed.D. seems to be the safest choice for all possible-likely future paths. Ok, I don't think that helps much but I feel better about being sarcastic since I at least made an attempt at contributing to the discussion after the sarcasm.
     
  6. RAM PhD

    RAM PhD New Member

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    Unless you have a specific reason for needing/wanting the EdD, personally, I would pursue the PhD.
     
  7. StefanM

    StefanM New Member

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    In ministerial roles---I have served as a youth minister and as a bivocational pastor. I have also done some periodic pulpit supply for churches without pastors. My interest in Christian higher education sparked after my time in church-based ministry.

    I am an adjunct instructor of English at the university where I serve. I recognize, however, that a PhD in English is likely not feasible. I have no expectations of finding full-time employment as faculty, but a terminal degree in English could open doors for administrative positions that require a terminal degree.

    I appreciate the input. I would like the PhD nomenclature, but the fields of leadership and education do not interest me that much on an intellectual, theoretical level. I understand the importance of research-based practice, but actually conducting the research seems rather mind-numbing to me.
     
  8. StefanM

    StefanM New Member

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    Do you have a program in mind? UCumberlands won't work for me, but I'm open to suggestions.
     
  9. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly

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    If that's what you really want, there's at least one PhD in English you could do by distance, the one from Old Dominion University.
     
  10. Jonathan Whatley

    Jonathan Whatley New Member

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  11. StefanM

    StefanM New Member

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    I've checked into that program, and, although I would love the subject matter, the synchronous classes and summer residencies wouldn't work with my job at all.

    I appreciate the help, though.
     
  12. StefanM

    StefanM New Member

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    I've also checked into this program, and I would like it, if not for the residencies. I could handle one-week residencies, but I can't commit to two-week residencies, due to my job and family responsibilities. I have to keep some vacation time in case my son (who is in leukemia treatment) needs me available for hospital stays, etc.
     
  13. PilgrimPastor

    PilgrimPastor New Member

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    I understand. The PhD from ODU sounds like a great option depending on cost. I love near Old Dominion. It is a fantastic school.
     
  14. Michelle

    Michelle New Member

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    My daughter is considering enrolling in an on-campus PhD in English / Creative Writing in a few years because her "dissertation" would be a novel. If you enjoy creative writing but don't enjoy conducting research, perhaps a similar program would be a good match for you. A quick search did not find any similar online PhD programs, but I'm not familiar with the field so I might not have used the best search terms. An alternative idea would be an MFA in creative writing, which would be considered a terminal degree, although obviously not a PhD.
     
  15. Jonathan Whatley

    Jonathan Whatley New Member

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    "Virginia is for lovers" indeed! :redface:
     
  16. Mark76

    Mark76 New Member

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    Ed.S Liberty

    I'm considering Liberty's Ed.S online program, as their cost has to be the best for Veteran. How was your overall experience with their Ed.S program? Especially in the availability of getting the classes you need?

    Northcentral looked good, as they have a specialized Ed.S in SpEd without the Admin/leadership component.
     
  17. SurfDoctor

    SurfDoctor Moderator

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    I picked up an ED.S. from Liberty as I was working in the doctoral program. I really enjoyed the ED.S. material and would recommend it. It is heavily Christian though, and if that doesn't sit well with you, you may not like it.
     
  18. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member

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    If you are open to the idea of doing your PhD in English over five summers, then you can add Indiana University of Pennsylvania Indiana University of Pennsylvania to your short list.
     

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