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Postsecondary and Adult Education Specialization Doctor of Philosophy in Education

School of Education

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Residency Requirement(s):

Three ten-week courses with a four-day embedded residency experience (ED-R8925, ED-R8926, ED-R8927). See university policy 3.04.05 Attendance at Residencies and the Residencies page on Campus for more information. Also see each graduate school’s residency courses.

 

 

Twenty Required Courses

 

 

72 quarter credits

Core courses:

ED7311
Theory and Methods of Educating Adults

In this course, learners study adult learning theory and learning styles and preferences. Course topics include adult education theories, principles of adult learning, and methodology for best practice in adult education. Learners also reflect on their personal educational philosophy and practice. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer or prior learning assessment.

4 quarter credits
ED7590
Critical Thinking in Adult Education

This course provides learners with a framework for critical inquiry and reflection. Learners examine models and best practices of thinking, reading, and acting critically in adult education. Learners apply key principles of critical thinking in personal and professional situations. Cannot be fulfilled by prior learning assessment.

4 quarter credits
ED7860
Survey of Research Methods

Learners in this course critically evaluate research in order to gain an understanding of the scientific methods of inquiry and the ethical considerations of research. Learners focus on becoming educated consumers and creators of research. Learners also use their research design skills to analyze and apply research methodologies, validity, reliability and other components of scientific research related to their field of interest. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits
ED7864 *
Quantitative Design and Analysis

In this course, learners investigate the fundamental concepts needed to conduct quantitative research. Learners examine and apply quantitative research techniques; appropriate applications of quantitative research; research design, measurement, and analysis, and their associated interdependencies; variable types and levels of measurement; sampling; descriptive and inferential statistics; and hypothesis testing. Learners define the strengths and limitations of descriptive statistics, analyze the quantitative scales of measurement, review the logic of probability and null hypothesis testing, and leverage technology when applicable. Learners also determine the steps necessary to ensure human subjects protection, and consider methodological adaptations when conducting research with vulnerable and diverse populations. Prerequisite(s): ED7860. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits
ED7868 *
Qualitative Design and Analysis

Learners in this course assess the fundamental concepts needed to conduct qualitative research. Learners practice qualitative research techniques; appropriate applications of qualitative research; the strengths and weaknesses of qualitative research design, sampling, and analysis and their associated interdependencies; and leverage technology when applicable. Learners also determine the steps necessary to ensure human subjects protection, and consider methodological adaptations when conducting research with vulnerable and diverse populations. Prerequisite(s): ED7860. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits
ED8000
Advanced Studies in Education: Theory, Practice, and Purpose

This is the introductory course for learners pursuing doctoral, education specialists, and post-master's certification within the School of Education. Learners in this course focus on critical thinking and scholarly writing—requisite skills for graduate study and professional practice. This course provides opportunities for learners to acquire and practice skills necessary to succeed in online learning. In keeping with Capella University's focus on the scholar-practitioner model, learners also critically examine and apply relevant educational theory to their practice. Finally, learners articulate and examine their professional purpose and how it aligns with their chosen degree program and professional career aspirations.  Must be taken during the learner's first quarter.  Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits

ED-R8925
PhD Dissertation Research Seminar Track 1

The intensive, ten-week PhD Dissertation Research Seminar Track 1 includes both an online courseroom and a face-to-face weekend residency experience. Learners interact with peers and faculty as they participate in online courseroom and weekend residency activities that emphasize applying the research skills necessary to initiate the development of a dissertation research plan. Throughout the course, learners focus on identifying a theory, topic, and research problem appropriate for their specialization. Track 1 learners must also complete PhD Dissertation Milestone 1 (Research Ethics Education). Following the weekend residency experience, learners complete a final assessment that demonstrates Track 1 learning outcomes. For 92-credit PhD in Education learners only. Learners in the 120-credit PhD in Education program should register for ED-R8930 instead. Should be taken concurrently with ED7860. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

3 quarter credits
ED-R8926 *
PhD Dissertation Research Seminar Track 2

The intensive, ten-week PhD Dissertation Research Seminar Track 2 includes both an online courseroom and a face-to-face weekend residency experience. Learners interact with peers and faculty as they participate in online courseroom and weekend residency activities that emphasize applying the research skills necessary to develop a research question and to select an appropriate dissertation topic. In Track 2, learners complete PhD Dissertation Milestone 2 (Topic Approval). Following the weekend residency experience, learners complete a final assessment that demonstrates Track 2 learning outcomes. For 92-credit PhD in Education learners only. Learners in the 120-credit PhD in Education program should register for ED-R8931 instead. Prerequisite(s): ED-R8925. Should be taken concurrently with ED7868. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

3 quarter credits
ED-R8927 *
PhD Dissertation Research Seminar Track 3

The intensive, ten-week PhD Dissertation Seminar Track 3 includes both an online courseroom and a face-to-face weekend residency experience. Learners interact with peers and faculty as they participate in online courseroom and weekend residency activities that emphasize applying the research skills necessary to detail a methodological design, sampling plan, and strategy for data analysis. In Track 3, learners complete PhD Dissertation Milestone 5 (Research Plan Approval). Following the weekend residency experience, learners complete a final assessment that demonstrates Track 3 learning outcomes. Learners must complete Track 3 prior to beginning the comprehensive examination phase of the program. For 92-credit PhD in Education learners only. Learners in the 120-credit PhD in Education program should register for ED-R8932 instead. Prerequisite(s): ED-R8926. Should be taken concurrently with ED7864. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

3 quarter credits

Specialization courses:

ED7310
Evaluating the Effectiveness of the Educational Process

The focus of this course is on adult education program evaluation strategies and techniques. Learners analyze various program evaluation models used to evaluate the effectiveness of post-secondary education programs and learn how to apply appreciative inquiry (AI) as a data collection method. Learners also design appropriate and effective program evaluation strategies and propose them to conduct a basic evaluation of a program. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits
ED7312
Teaching Adults

This course presents best practices of higher education teaching. Learners evaluate multiple teaching models and strategies and their underlying theoretical and research bases. Learners also examine cultural influences on teaching and learning; identify ways to incorporate technology into the teaching-learning process; and assess their teaching dispositions and educational philosophy. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits
ED7314
International and Multicultural Perspectives in Postsecondary and Adult Education

In this course, learners develop the international and multicultural skills and understandings necessary to become culturally competent adult educators in their specialization. Learners define cultural competence for their professional role, learn to address the needs of diverse learners, foster intercultural learning in the classroom or other educational settings, and develop strategies for incorporating relevant international and multicultural perspectives into their curriculum, instructional activities, and assessments. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits
ED7712
Classroom Assessment in Education

Learners in this course explore evidence-based classroom assessment and evaluation practices and apply a variety of tools and strategies to assess and evaluate learning. Learners also develop appropriate formative and summative classroom assessment techniques that address intended learning outcomes and promote learning in a global society. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits
ED7716
Faculty Leadership

Learners in this course assess the role of educational leadership in higher education. Learners examine faculty leadership, explore ways to build effective relationships and lead ethically, and assess leadership effectiveness based on theory and self-reflection. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer or prior learning assessment.

4 quarter credits
ED8446
Curriculum Development and Teaching Strategies for Adult Learning

This course focuses on the evaluation and development of curriculum for adult learners. Learners in this course incorporate trends, theories, models, various instructional strategies, and technology as employed in designing 21st-century learning. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer or prior learning assessment.

4 quarter credits

Upon completion of all required coursework: 

EDCN9919 *
Doctoral Comprehensive Examination

This course includes an overview of the comprehensive examination process, the university’s expectations of academic honesty and integrity, the three core themes of the examination, and the evaluation criteria. The courseroom mentor provides three questions addressing the core themes. Learners write answers to the comprehensive examination questions. Answers are evaluated by faculty readers using pointscale scoring rubrics. Upon passing the comprehensive examination, learners are eligible to register for the first dissertation course. For 92-credit PhD in Education learners only. Learners in the 120-credit PhD in Education program should register for ED9919 instead. Grading for this course is S/NS. Prerequisite(s): Completion of all required and elective coursework with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better. Completion of practicum courses, if applicable. Completion of external exam requirements, if applicable. Fulfillment of all residency requirements. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

3 quarter credits

Learners must register for EDCN9960 a minimum of four times to fulfill their specialization requirements.

EDCN9960 *
Dissertation Courseroom

This course provides learners with resources, guidance, and peer and mentor support during each dissertation course as they complete the required milestones. For 92-credit PhD in Education learners only. Learners in the 120-credit PhD in Education program should register for ED9960 instead. Grading for this course is S/NS. Learners must register for this course a minimum of four times to fulfill their specialization requirements. Prerequisite(s): EDCN9919. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

3 quarter credits each

 

 

Five Elective Courses

 

 

20 quarter credits

Recommended elective courses:

ED5317
Foundations of Adult Education

In this course, learners studythe foundations of adult education including the past and present understandings. Learners identify the aspects of the foundation of adult education, the diversity in characteristics of adult learners, the various contexts of adult education, and prominent learning theories as they apply to teaching adults. Learners engage in interactive activities and assignments as they examine the various topics related to adult education.

4 quarter credits
ED5346 *
Assessment of Learning and Teaching in Adult Education

This course focuses on skills for effectively assessing adult learning in a variety of postsecondary and training environments. Topics include classroom assessment techniques, training evaluation models such as formative and summative tests and authentic assessments, and ways in which assessment data can be used to improve adult instruction and learning. Prerequisite(s): ED5012, ED5016.

4 quarter credits
ED8601
Online Course Design, Facilitation, and Assessment

In this course, learners examine online andragogy from both theoretical and practical perspectives. Learners gain an understanding of the tools available in learning management systems and online learning platforms, and learn how to use them to apply concepts of adult learning theory to improve the online learning experience and participant satisfaction. Finally, learners design and assess their own online class. Cannot be fulfilled by prior learning assessment.

4 quarter credits

 

OR

Choose any graduate course(s).

 

 

Total

 

 

92 quarter credits

* Denotes courses that have prerequisite(s). Refer to the descriptions for further details.

Residency Requirement

To support your academic and professional success, residencies provide learning and community-building experiences in a stimulating scholarly environment. For this specialization, you must complete three four-day residencies (ED-R8925, ED-R8926, ED-R8927).

What can I expect?

Each unit consists of readings, discussions, and other activities you will be expected to complete throughout the week. Assignments are due on Sundays, though not every course requires an assignment each week.

In each course, you will receive a detailed scoring guide that describes expectations for every graded assignment.

Grades are based on your participation in weekly reading discussions and completion of assignments. You will also be assessed on your ability to demonstrate an understanding of expected outcomes for your program or specialization. These outcomes are based on the needs and performance standards of your field or discipline.

Learn more about online learning at Capella.

Transfer Credits

There are many ways to reduce tuition costs, including transferring credits which can help save time and money. You can transfer up to 16 credits into this specialization.

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Whether you're completing additional credits for your own education, want to see if online learning is right for you, or are simply interested in a specific topic, you can enroll in many of Capella's online courses without committing to a degree program. We recommend speaking with an enrollment counselor to discuss your goals and ensure that the credits you earn now may be applicable to a Capella degree program.

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