School of Education
Beyond the Ed.D. CTHE Coursework
As described in the Ed.D. in CTHE coursework, students must complete the required number of core courses and specialization courses for a total of 42 credits of coursework. After completing this coursework, there are a series of steps through which students proceed to complete the Ed.D. in Curriculum, Technology & Higher Education (CTHE). The steps to completing the degree are enumerated below.
1. Choose an EPP Advisor and Topic
The Ed.D. in CTHE concludes with the writing of the Executive Position Paper (EPP). By the end of the semester in which you complete your coursework, you must decide which faculty member in the School of Education you would like to have serve as your EPP advisor. As soon as this person agrees, all administrative responsibility for you as a student is transferred from your current mentor to the EPP advisor. Because your EPP advisor will serve as the chairperson of your EPP committee, you need to choose an EPP advisor who has expertise in the topic you have chosen for your EPP. Therefore, the selection of your EPP advisor goes hand-in-hand with your choice of an EPP topic, which you need to discuss in advance with your intended EPP advisor. If you cannot find a faculty member who has the expertise in or is willing to mentor you on your choice of topic, you will have to modify your topic. There are numerous exciting and important topical areas represented in the expertise of the dozens of faculty members in the School of Education, so choosing a mutually agreeable topic normally does not present a problem. Note: the EPP advisor is permitted to be, and often is, the same person who served as your mentor up until this point in the program.
2. Form Your EPP Committee
You should form your EPP committee in consultation with your EPP advisor during the semester in which you complete your coursework. The Executive Position Paper Committee shall consist of not less than four and not more than six members. At least two members shall represent the specialization area, one of whom shall be the committee’s chairperson. One member shall represent the area of minor study (where appropriate) and at least one member shall be an external examiner chosen from a different academic unit or from outside the University of Delaware. The chairperson must have established a record of publication and/or scholarship in the field of the executive position paper and shall be a full-time member of the faculty of the University; the definition of faculty includes professional staff who hold secondary faculty appointments. Faculty who have retired or resigned from the University may chair committees of students whose work began under their direction prior to their retirement or departure from the University. An advisor who is not employed full time by the University of Delaware may serve as co-chair of the committee providing that the other co-chair meets the conditions stated above. In the case of dissenting votes, the majority opinion rules.
3. Pre-Candidacy Study
The program guidelines require that each candidate be enrolled continuously in the program. Until you pass your EPP proposal defense, the course to enroll in is EDUC 964: Pre-Candidacy Study. If there are extenuating circumstances, you can request a leave of absence. Leave of absence is “fee free” and must be due to a mitigating condition.
Note: You may not enroll in EDUC 964 until you have completed all of your coursework, including the 24 credits of core courses and 18 credits of ed tech specialization courses required in the ed tech doctoral program.
4. Write the EPP Proposal
Before you can begin taking thesis credits, you must write an EPP Proposal, which must be approved at a meeting of your EPP Committee at which you will present and defend your proposal. The proposal must provide a clear identification of the problem to be investigated, a brief review of the pertinent literature, a plan of the procedures to be followed, and a statement of how the solution to this problem might contribute to the improvement of educational practice. At this time, a form entitled “Confirmation of Dissertation/Executive Paper Committee” needs to be completed, signed by you and your EPP advisor, and sent to Mary Martin, Graduate Office, Hullihen Hall. If your EPP project involves the use of human subjects, you must obtain approval from the School of Education (SOE) human subjects committee, which uses this checklist to determine whether you have met the necessary requirements. Be sure to visit the School of Education’s human subjects page for more detailed information regarding human subjects training, policies, and procedures.
5. Write Your EPP
This is the step during which you will develop and write your Executive Position Paper (EPP). You must enroll multiple times, for a total of 12 credits, in the course EDUC 969: Thesis. How you distribute those hours is determined between you and your EPP adviser. With your adviser’s permission, and with the understanding that you are in fact making progress whenever you sign up for EDUC 969, you are permitted to sign up for winter and summer thesis credits. Note: You are not permitted to enroll in EDUC 969 until such time as you have passed your EPP Proposal defense. If you are enrolled in EDUC 964, Pre-Candidacy Study, during the semester in which you pass this defense, the graduate school will automatically convert your EDUC 964 credits into EDUC 969 thesis credits. Also during that semester, you have the option to add three more credits if your EPP adviser agrees that the work you have done justifies a total of six credit hours, as long as payment is made and you send a receipt showing payment for those extra credits to Mary Martin, Graduate Office, Hullihen Hall.
6. Defend the EPP
Your final evaluation checkpoint is the oral defense of the EPP. Your EPP Committee conducts and evaluates the defense, which is open to the public. During the defense, you will present the findings of your EPP and respond to questions from the Committee and the audience.