Online Doctor of Arts

Discussion in 'Education, Teaching and related degrees' started by TESOLer12, Oct 30, 2016.

  1. TESOLer12

    TESOLer12 New Member

    I'm From Kentucky and Murray State is well respected and popular among instate residents. Not widely know out of the area though. It's in the extreme western part of the state so it's a four hour drive form my home in central KY. It's in the middle of a corn field, but I hear many professors brag about grad programs they sent students through there. Should be a decent choice.

    I thought of doing the program. I'm a public school teacher and it's the only way I could get a instate doctorate in my field. Kentucky schools does not guarantee rank changes to out of state programs.
  2. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member Staff Member

    Newsflash # 1: Clark Atlanta University now offers a PhD in Humanities/Afro-Amrican Studies.
    Newsflash #2: Saint John's University now offers a PhD in World History.
  3. Asymptote

    Asymptote Member

    Saint John’s also revised their DA in English to a PhD.
  4. Dustin

    Dustin Well-Known Member

  5. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    I have two prices as a consultant: full and free. Now, perhaps we can re-scale our efforts to fit within your spending limits.

    (Scaling, not discounting. I NEVER discount.)
  6. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Since someone necromanced this thread, I'm going to add my two-cents about the DA.

    The DA was conceived during a time of great innovation in higher education. The think was, why should every scholar focus on research? The other great function of a university is to teach. The DA was designed to teach the future doctor teaching skills. The DA program would consist of a combination of subject-matter learning and learning about the teaching discipline. Sounds great, huh? Except that DAs found that their degrees were considered inferior to the PhD. in academic circles. See, a PhD can be considered an instructor. He/she can also be considered a researcher. But a DA is only the first one of these.

    I think the DA concept is a fantastic one, but it got gobbled up by the "publish or perish" phenomenon. I also think it would be a good thing for community colleges and other, non-research colleges. But the DA got a reputation as a crippled credential instead. Too bad, since an emphasis on andragogy would have suited the DA best--and the students such degree-holder would have guided.
    SteveFoerster likes this.
  7. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    Well, what do you do? If you make the D.A. into a lesser (read: easier) "doctorate" the degree's reputation will suffer. If you make it something on a par with the Ph.D. you have to require a dissertation of some sort so why not go for the Ph.D.?
  8. Asymptote

    Asymptote Member

    And what about the Ed.D. in this equation? Has the Ed.D. effectively achieved the purpose of what the D.A originally was supposed to do?

    Rather than try to distinguish a D.A. and a Ph.D., how do we distinguish a D.A. and an Ed.D.?
  9. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    Ed.Ds are normally in education-related fields, and most of them require dissertations or a substantial research project. They're designed for educators (mostly K-12) and education administrators (K-12 and post-secondary).
    Asymptote likes this.
  10. Asymptote

    Asymptote Member

    Yes, but how is an Ed.D. different from a D.A., or what a D.A. was meant to be?
  11. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    It's my understanding that DA programs were intended to prepare college instructors in any field, but most of them appear to be in the liberal arts (natural science, mathematics, social science, and humanities). This is different from an EdD intended to get K-12 teachers a pay boost, prepare principals and school administrators, educate corporate trainers and curriculum designers, and act as a check the box degree for those who don't need a specific doctorate.

    An EdD in Mathematics Education will teach you how to be a better K-12 math teacher, and the level of math covered will not be graduate-level. Most of it won't be upper division at the baccalaureate level. A DA in Mathematics will prepare someone to teach college-level math. The DA blends the advancement of knowledge in the discipline one would get in a PhD program with the pedagogy courses one would get in an EdD program.
    Asymptote likes this.
  12. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    I think this is a good example of how a DA differs from an EdD. In an EdD in Social Science Education, the dissertations and capstone projects would be focused on teaching the subject. In this DA in Political Science, I think I saw one dissertation that was about instruction, but the vast majority of dissertations are about political and policy issues and have nothing to do with education.
    Asymptote likes this.
  13. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    No. Please go back and read my post earlier in this thread. The DA and EdD are distinct from each other.

    Rather than try to distinguish a D.A. and a Ph.D., how do we distinguish a D.A. and an Ed.D.?[/QUOTE]

    Okay, I'll try again.

    The EdD is about the discipline of education. The entire degree is focused on that subject. It is typically a professional degree, designed to advance practice. But it is sometimes designed to be a scholarly degree, focused on advancing scholarship by developing or testing theory. In either case--professional or scholarly--it is a research degree.

    The DA was designed to prepare people to teach a particular subject in a university setting. It was supposed to be a companion to the PhD. Together, these two degrees would cover the two major functions of a university: teaching and research. The DA would be a teaching degree (in whatever specialty area), while the PhD would remain a research degree (in whatever specialty area).

    All of this is general, and you can find many exceptions to any component of it.
    Asymptote likes this.
  14. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    The opposite of that. The EdD typically focuses on the discipline of education, but you can see where it drifts outside that lane at times. One would expect a dissertation for the EdD to either advance scholarship in the discipline of education, or the practice of conducting education.

    The DA was a degree in the specialty that also had a component about andragogy and other aspects of teaching at the university level. So, a typical dissertation would be on teaching in a particular discipline, like designing and testing a new math teaching program.

    But again, these lines were blurred early and often. YMMV.
    Asymptote likes this.
  15. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    You're not contradicting what I'm saying; you're just using terminology differently. EdDs are typically focused on education no matter what academic subject might be included in the degree title i.e. science education. The goal is to teach students how to teach the discipline (typically at the P-12 level) and not to advance their knowledge in the discipline. When I say that the DA focuses on the discipline, I mean that it focuses on learning a specific field of study and not just how to teach it. Curriculum and instruction courses are included, but one will take doctoral-level courses in the discipline so one can teach it at the college level. The DA is a disciplined-based degree, and the discipline can be in a variety of fields; the EdD is a research-based education degree. The PhD is a research-based discipline degree. Like I said above, the DA blends characteristics from the PhD and EdD.

    Doctor of Arts in English Pedagogy - Murray State University

    Looking at current DA programs, the dissertations are typically in the discipline and not about teaching the discipline. For example, one school has a DA in music. There are various concentrations; if you want to focus on music education, then you'll choose the music education concentration. The composition, performance, and other concentrations can have a traditional dissertation about those subjects or a creative project demonstrating competency in those subjects.

    The Doctor of Arts Degree: A Review of the College-Teaching Question on JSTOR
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2021
  16. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    There aren't that many DA programs left, so I searched for theses and dissertations for the ones that were in a specific discipline and not in things like education leadership or mathematics education because those obviously will be about education.

    This is a 1998 DA thesis from Ball State University's music program. It's about the development of the orchestra in China.
    Development of the western orchestra in China (

    A 1995 Ball State thesis on the introduction of the piano in China.
    A study of five Chinese piano pieces with a review of the introduction and development of the piano in China (

    A 1983 DA thesis on Puerto Rican composers.
    Selected orchestral works by Puerto Rican composers born between 1945 and 1956 (

    University of Mississippi lets DA in Chemistry students do experimental research or an analysis of the literature. The topic can be chemical education or a regular chemistry topic. UND lets DA in History students write a paper on a topic that's of concern to historians or teachers of history. UNCO has music education, conducting, performance, and history and literature concentrations for the DA in Music program, so those who want to focus on education will select the music education concentration.

    Most of Idaho State University's DA in Political Science dissertations are not related to education.
    Placements | Idaho State University (

    Clark Atlanta University replaced its DA in Humanities program with a PhD, but here are examples of the DA in Humanities dissertations.

    "On the threshold of becoming": an examination of three works of postcolonial Caribbean women's fiction: Zee Edgell's Beka Lamb, Merle Hodge's Crick Crack, Monkey, and Merle Collins' Angel, 2001 | Atlanta University Center (

    The words beneath the sand: an examination of the works of three Virgin Islands poets, Cyril Creque, J. P. Gimenez, and J. Antonio Jarvis, 1995 | Atlanta University Center (

    Navigating the Gullah culture using multimedia technology, 1999 | Atlanta University Center (

    I didn't bother with searching for theses in the DA in Marriage and Family Therapy program at Eastern University because there are no curriculum and instruction courses in the curriculum. It's a licensure program and culminates in a project that applies theory to counseling.
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2021
  17. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    I have the impression that even Hahvahd has converted its Ed.D., the original Ed.D. mind you, to a Ph.D. I don't think there's much if any difference between the degrees.
  18. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    Hm. Guess not. Don't know where I got that idea.
  19. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    Oh, I see. The dissertation Ed.D. is dead and buried:

    Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
    Please note: The Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) enrolled its final cohort in Fall 2013 but continues to equip graduates with the knowledge and skills to have a broad impact in the worlds of policy and practice.

    The Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) degree prepares education scholars and leaders for the 21st century. The program provides rigorous research training that equips graduates with the knowledge and skills to have broad impact in the worlds of policy and practice. Working with premier faculty in the field, students conduct cutting-edge research that addresses the most pressing problems in education. Graduates often assume roles as university faculty, senior-level educational leaders, policymakers, and researchers.

    They're still selling a J.D. like 3 year Ed.L.D. "professional doctorate".
  20. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    Sigh. Et tu, Hahvahd? "Doctorization" continues apace even in the last bastions of conservative academia. I think I will emulate King Canute and put away my scepter in the face of the advancing tide.

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