Categories
Ed.D. or Ph.D.

The Crossroads Between the Ed.D. and Ph. D. Program

The school bell has rung and class is now in session

Good day or evening, depending on your time-zone. I just wanted to write a blog about Ed.D.’s and Ph.D.’s because I have had a few people, who do not have either degree, ask about the differences or whether one is better than the other.

Let me preface this by saying, years ago I started an online Ph.D. in Business Administration program but stopped after two classes because the online format was not conducive to learning for me at that time.

A few years afterwards, I applied for two other doctoral programs: an Ed.D. and D.Min.. I was accepted to both but chose the Ed.D. because it seemed to fit my career path and would allow me to teach at a university which is my second career goal. I researched and saw that the D.Min. degree did not typically secure adjunct or full-time positions in higher education because it was mostly for people working in full-time ministry. The person could teach within ministry but are not often seen teaching in universities. This may vary because they may be hired to teach in some seminary programs. Instead of pursuing the D.Min., I decided to complete a Ministerial Training Program through church, in order to increase learning in that area.

After being in the Ed.D. program for a year, I was volunteering in a Youth Entrepreneur Program through a nonprofit and University School of Business Department. I was able to work with the Dean of the School of Business and some of other professors.

My background as a teacher consisted of teaching high school business courses 9 of my 12 years in education. I taught Accounting, Personal Finance, Computer Applications, Business Management, Career Management, and Technical Math. My undergraduate and graduate degree is in Business Administration, but I also obtained a Master’s in School Administration with a principal’s license which I decided to pursue once I made Education my career choice. While conversing with the Dean, she told me if I planned to teach in a School of Business at the university level, I should consider switching from the Ed.D. to a Ph.D. in Business. I told her that I thought I could still teach in the School of Business since I had a Master’s in Business Administration. She told me that I could but would have a better chance if I had a Ph.D. in Business.

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I went on a quest, looking up Schools of Business state and nation wide just to get a marginal figure of how many of the professors had Ed.D.’s or Ph.D.’s. While there were quite a few with Ph.D.’s there were also some Ed.D.’s. The interesting thing I noted was that Ed.D.’s were in other departments as well as long as those who had a Masters in the subject they were teaching. For example, a person with a Master’s in Science or Business with an Ed.D. could also teach in the School of Science or School of Business or the School of Education.

A person with their Ph.D. would normally be placed in a department based on their subject-matter expertise. For example, if a person has a Master’s in Business or Science with a Ph.D. in Nutrition, they would normally be placed in the Nutrition Department. While this individual could still work in the School of Business or the School of Science, they typically would go into the Nutrition Department; whereas I have seen people with their Ed.D. more readily spread throughout other departments based on the majors in their Master’s Program.

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Listening to the Dean of the School of Business, I decided to apply to UNC Greensboro’s School of Business because they had a really interesting program called “Consumer, Apparel and Retail Studies.” The curriculum was fascinating and the amount of research their faculty had conducted was phenomenal, so I was excited to apply. Long story short, I applied and got accepted. I was at a crossroad. One year and foot into my Ed.D. program and the other foot aching to be in the Ph.D. program. What was a girl to do? I had to make a decision and had three months to do it.

I did some soul-searching and prayed for clarification. I decided to write down some goals which at the time was:

#1 Professional goal was to reach the School Superintendent level

#2 Professional goal is to become an adjunct and/or full-time professor

If you research Ed.D. degrees, they were made for serving the K-12 grade level. It teaches the candidate the ins and out of a school system, and how to bring it together within the community it serves.  A school district is not an organization but a living organism that consist of a lot of different functions that depend on one another. It is a challenging but rewarding career and is the kind of work that never gets boring.

I asked myself this question, if I were to receive my Ph.D. from the School of Business, would I remain in the K-12 school system or would I resign and pursue something in the business field? After looking in the Occupational Outlook Handbook (shout out to my former business students) I saw that the job availability in Business was slower than average and that it would be a challenge due to lack of positions so more than likely I would have chosen to stay in education even if I were to pursue the Ph.D. in Business.

When I looked up the job availability for principal and/or school superintendent positions, it listed faster than average because of the amount of people who would be retiring in the near future.

Remaining in the Ed.D. program was beginning to look more appealing. I also sought the advice from my mentor (a retired Assistant School Superintendent/Current full-time professor) and he mentioned that if I was going to remain in K-12, the Ed.D. was a better fit with the added perk that after I retire; I could still pursue an adjunct and/or full time professorship in the School of Education or School of Business.

In conclusion, I personally do not think one degree is better than the other because it honestly depends on what your future plans are. It is pure ignorance to make a blanket statement that one-degree program is better than the other, just “because it is” without knowing the person’s career aspirations. I feel I can say this because I have experienced both the Ed.D. and Ph.D. programs. I was accepted into an online Ph.D., an in-person, brick and mortar, Ed.D. and Ph.D. program. I am coming from a place of understanding. I made a decision based on my research interest, current and future career goals. All of which are in accordance to personal preference.

Just remember that at the end of the day, Ed.D.’s and Ph.D.’s, will be both be called, Doctor So-And-So in the end.

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If you have any questions about Ed.D. or Ph.D. programs or need advice on any other graduate programs, leave a comment or email me on the contact page and I would be happy to get back to you. Happy Soul-Searching!

The school bell has rung, class dismissed

Wellness Tip: Clean out the pantry. Choose more natural foods and less processed foods.

“A wise man can learn more from a foolish question than a fool can learn from a wise answer.” ~Bruce Lee

Categories
The Why behind your career

Are you Currently in the Right Position?

     The school bell has rung, class is now in session

I was listening to a lecture last night and the speaker was sharing a story of when he was the President of a University and was about to leave his position. The Academic Dean who worked for him, told him that he was interested in applying for his position and to please recommend him to the board. The speaker’s response to the Academic Dean is what sparked this post. The speaker, who happened to be the President of the university at the time, told the Academic Dean, “Please don’t take a step down to become President. You are in your anointing (your skillset and niche) as an Academic Dean, if you stepped out of that, you would be out of line with what you have been gifted to do.” As you can imagine, the Academic Dean got upset but I personally found wisdom in the speaker’s words. He told the audience if he was an Academic Dean instead of a President, he could not have done nearly as fantastic of a job as the current one because of how his skillset worked. He went on to give an illustration of his meaning.

 

The Hierarchy of a Ship

In our humanistic minds, if asked which position we would like to strive for, we always mention the top job position. If asked which job we would like on the ship, typically we would aim to be the Captain so that we could be “large and in charge,” but have you ever considered that it may not be your calling? What if you were called to support position instead of being solely in charge? Does that make you less than a person?

In most of our eyes it may appear less than because we have been conditioned to try and make it to the top. We encourage our children and students to graduate, go out there and become in charge. This is poor advice because if the person is not anointed (gifted or have that skillset) to do that; they will not have the human capital (tools) needed to succeed in those positions. This reminds me of two psychological concepts I covered in another story titled, “The No Zero Grading Policy.”

The Dunning Kruger Effect and the Peter Principle

Let’s discuss the first one, The Dunning Kruger Effect, when a person has the confidence, they can work in a higher capacity but lack the expertise to do so.

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      There are a lot of leaders operating in workplaces, churches, and volunteer organizations that are working under capacity all because they desired to be a leader and never challenged that desire. This can be combated when you have good mentors in your life, people who would encourage you to self-reflect and/or consider interning in a position in order to see if you truly have the expertise and cognitive fortitude to be in those positions.

 

Here is an illustration of the Dunning-Kruger Effect

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     The second psychological concept is The Peter Principle which simply demonstrates
that promotion for some people is actually a demotion. This is because when a person is promoted to a level in which they lack the expertise, they are essentially being promoted to a level of incompetence and will not be successful. This is what the speaker meant by telling the Academic Dean, “Please don’t step down by becoming a President.” He was talking about staying in the anointing, the skillset naturally given and not stepping outside of that area.

The opposite is The Roger Principle, which is when a person actually performs better when being challenged. This is the type of person to promote because they will flourish as the work gains more responsibility. If this type of person is not promoted, they will become stagnate and no longer work as well because the task will become mundane.

Some of you may have never heard of any of these concepts before but hopefully it will help you as you go forward and pursue what you have been purposed to do. Stop living by the world’s standards to “climb the ladder” or “reach the top” if that is not truly what is for you. Start being real with yourself by working in areas that compliment your expertise, whether you are a Peter or a Roger; you will be happier and less stressed in the long run. I recommend reading my story titled, “Purpose” it touches on this topic as well. https://schoolspiration.com/2020/05/06/purpose-מטרה-σκοπός/

Wellness Tip: Change. Let go of the past, focus on what you can do to improve your present and future.

“If someone is going down the wrong road, he doesn’t need motivation to speed him up. What he needs is education to turn him around.” ~Jim Rohn

The school bell has rung, class dismissed!

Categories
Career Choices

Career Destination, Stage Left

This is a personal story but thought it would be beneficial to share. One of my former high school students recently accepted a teaching position and before he did, he asked me how I knew I wanted to be a teacher. Instead of answering the question straight away, I gave him a story instead. So, sit back and relax.

The school bell has just rung and class is in session

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My summer before entering university was filled with private cheerleading and tumbling classes in order to prepare for my first college cheer camp and practices, which were intense. It was safe to say, declaring a major was NOT in the forefront of my mind. Honestly, if you’d asked me what I wanted to be at that time, I would have said either a Dance Studio Owner or an Archeologist, yet I attended an Undergraduate Institution noted for their PGM Golf Program.

So, when I met with my freshman Advisor and told her I wanted to be an Archeologist, she sweetly informed me that there were no such majors at the college but could try “Geology” instead. After taking my first class on rocks, I considered changing to Education. Only one other girl on my cheer team was an Education Major and she was always teased that teachers did not make any money. (Newsflash: she was from Jersey, where teachers made a lot of money because they had a Union) either way, peer pressure got to me and I decided to switch my major to Psychology instead.

As I sat in Dr. Campbell’s psych class and listened to him drone on and on about the history of Psychology, I decided to schedule another meeting with my Advisor. The poor woman was always so kind, but I bet she was getting tired of me. I told her that I wanted to be a Psychologist, but the class was not interesting to me. She nicely informed me that I would need at least a master’s degree in order to practice Psychology, so if the classes where not interesting, I may want to consider changing my major to something else.   One of my friends told me maybe I should consider Business Administration. (Are you all noticing how “my friends” were guiding my career decisions? eye roll) So I decided to switch to Business Administration, but I had to declare a minor, in which I decided on Health Care Administration. I was then placed with the Health Care Advisor and I clicked with him instantly. He told me how I had the option to Teach business at the middle and high school level if I should decide to get a teaching certificate and could also work in hospitals and clinics. I did not get the teaching certificate but performed exceptionally well in Business and Health Care courses. Once I reached my senior year, completed my internships; one at hospital and another at a private imaging clinic, I felt this sinking feeling I had made a mistake.

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I digress by saying throughout undergrad, I always kept a part-time position even though I was a full-time student and, on the cheer, and dance team. I mostly worked with children in After School Programs/Childcare Centers. I even worked at Circuit City (r.i.p. Circuit City) during my last semester in school. When it was nearly time for me to graduate, and I had my first job offer in my major, a nagging question entered my mind, “How on earth did the Childcare Center and Circuit City pay more than what was offered to me by the Private Health Care Imaging Practice?” I was extremely insulted that I had spent four years plus an arm and a leg in school, only to be offered a part-time position, working from 7pm to 11pm, making less than I was already making!

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I didn’t even ENJOY working at the Private Health Care Imaging Company. Please don’t misunderstand me, I am not trying to sound like an entitled spoiled brat; I am making a point that I was sold a bill of goods in college, that choosing a certain major will PAY WELL instead of choosing what you truly wanted to do. Because I chose something I thought “paid well”, I ended up spending the following two years after undergrad in an MBA Program, working in group homes and childcare facilities. It was during the time I was working in a Childcare Center that my former cheerleading coach from high school saw me (her son was attending there). She told me the high school I graduated from was in dire need of a Business Teacher. She mentioned that four Teachers had quit during the first semester and they needed someone to start January. I was a little frighten to hear this, but she told me she thought I could do it. So, she set up an interview with the Principal (who ironically happened to be her former high school cheer coach) and I was offered the position.

Let me tell you, as I sip my tea, the salary was way more than what any of the health care facilities were posting at that time and was more than what I was making and on top of that; I would have the holidays off. This was huge because in childcare, there were hardly any days off. I was ecstatic! I started teaching high school and coaching cheerleading and I must say, it felt really organic. I have always loved working with young people (in church, group homes, babysitting, and in childcare), so I had finally found my niche!

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Do you know, if I had stuck to majoring in Education during undergrad, I would have found a position right after graduation. This means I would have been able to start paying my students loans and establishing myself straight away. Because I did not do this, I had to put my loans in deferment. For those of you who do not have experience in this area, your loans will indefinitely capitalize during this time period. Which is why I am paying more now, in order to pay it off quickly.

In Conclusion after getting my second Masters in School Administration and Ed.D. at Gardner-Webb University, located in the beautiful mountains of North Carolina. I was blessed with professors who retired as Instructional Leaders, Principals, Directors, Assistant Superintendents and Superintendents. They taught us that you can make a good living in Education, but it was not about chasing money, it was about doing what you loved. Because when you chase money, it will run from you, but when you do what you love, money will follow.

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Now back to what I was originally talking about, my former student asked me how I knew which career I wanted to do, and it seem that knew all along I wanted to work with children, especially based on my interest throughout time, unfortunately I took the “Career Scenic Route” to get to my Career Destination. I am so glad I did.

            Moral of the Story: Do not listen to your peers, or to other people about certain positions not bringing in any money, it simply is not true. What sense did it make for me to be jobless and have to work odd jobs making less, all because I chose a major in which I thought would bring me more money, when in reality I would have been better off in the long run with the major presumed to bring in less? If I had majored in Education, I would have found a teaching position right out of college which is the norm compared to majors “rumored” to be more lucrative. In these cases, student loan companies do not care whether you find a position or not. They will defer your loan but at your expense. I will talk more about student loans in the future because I have experience in that area and would like to help others avoid the mistakes I have made. If you have questions about student loans, feel free to contact me. The school bell has rung, class is dismissed!

            Wellness Tip: Avoid artificial sweeteners (saccharin, acesulfame, aspartame, sucrose, neotame, high fructose corn syrup, and sucralose). Sweet and Low, and Splenda are artificial sweeteners and also contains some of these ingredients. This should be avoided because it can cause weight gain, increase desire for sweeter foods, induce blood sugar disturbance potentially leading to chronic disease, decrease good gut bacteria and immune response, has been linked to some cancers and is not found in nature.

“A man who wants to lead the orchestra must turn his back on the crowd.” ~Max Lucado

Take a peep at some of my books!

 

 

To learn more, go to https://kaminafitzgerald.com