Educational Leadership Doctoral Faculty Academic Qualifications and Practitioner Experiences in Georgia

Steven Tolman, Juliann S McBrayer, Deborah Evans
International Journal of Doctoral Studies  •  Volume 14  •  2019  •  pp. 085-104

This study examined doctoral faculty of educational leadership within the state of Georgia in the United States. The aim was to illustrate the academic qualifications and practitioner experiences of the faculty that develop students in educational leadership programs to be scholarly practitioners and future educational leaders.

Faculty of educational leadership programs prepare their students to hold imminent senior leadership roles in P-12 school administration and higher education administration. In this apprenticeship model, doctoral faculty utilize their academic qualifications and/or practitioner experiences to develop students into scholarly practitioners.

A descriptive quantitative study utilizing content analysis was conducted to examine faculty of doctoral programs in educational leadership (n=83). True to this methodology, the inquiry of this study sought to better understand the academic qualifications and practitioner experiences of doctoral faculty in the field of educational leadership.

This study serves as a primer for faculty and researchers to visualize the doctoral faculty of educational leadership programs. It can serve as a catalyst to encourage empirical studies of educational leadership faculty and their effectiveness in preparing scholarly practitioners.

Key findings included that nearly 2/3 of the faculty have their terminal degrees from a Research 1 institution, 3/5 hold a PhD, and 3/4 have practitioner experience in their respective field.

Doctoral programs should examine the diversity of the academic qualifications and practitioner experiences of their faculty and develop strategies to enhance their programs with these complimenting skill sets.

Descriptive studies effectively “dip our toe” into a new area of inquiry. Considerations for future research includes examining student perceptions of their faculty who hold either a PhD or Ed.D, as well as those who are academics versus practitioners to better understand their effectiveness.

True to the work of John Dewey, education serves as the vehicle to promote a democratic society. Recognizing these doctoral faculty are preparing the future leaders of education, understanding the experiences of faculty will allow for better insight into those who are ultimately shaping the future of education.

Future research should focus on empirical studies that explore the effectiveness of faculty based on their academic qualifications and practitioner experiences through the lens of student perceptions.

academic qualifications, Doctor of Education, doctoral faculty, educa-tional leadership, practitioner experiences, scholarly practitioners
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