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Doctoral Response to the Announcement of the New PhD in Education

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To: Kathleen McCartney, Dean, Harvard Graduate School of Education; Hiro Yoshikawa, Academic Dean, Harvard Graduate School of Education; Bridget Terry Long, Director, Ed.D. Program, Harvard Graduate School of Education; Daphne Layton, Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Harvard Graduate School of Education; Shu-Ling Chen, Assistant Dean, Doctor of Education Program On Monday, March 5, 2012, Deans McCartney and Yoshikawa informed the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE) doctoral community of the faculty’s proposal to replace the current EdD program with a new PhD in Education with the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS). HGSE doctoral students accepted Dean McCartney’s invitation to meet with her and discuss the new proposed program. However, during this meeting, Dean McCartney indicated that current EdD students interested in pursuing the PhD would have to apply as part of the general applicant pool and “start over.” Establishing this barrier demonstrates a lack of good faith in our abilities as scholars, severs our understood commitment to one another as a community, and undermines our ability to realize our full potential to make an impact in our field. Traditionally, equitable institutional changes have included consideration for the interests of persons subject to the existing structures. We are disappointed in this case that our collective interests as current EdD students were not considered in the decision-making process or the final proposal submitted for approval to FAS. The proposal to phase out the EdD in favor of the PhD should have included provisions for us because we are here—we are the HGSE doctoral students. We are dedicated and knowledgeable researchers, trained under the guidance of world-renowned faculty in the tradition of some of history’s most influential thinkers in our field. We are already doing great work; we should not have to “start over.” As such, we request that the proposal currently under consideration be amended to include provisions allowing current HGSE doctoral students who wish to do so to meet appropriate and reasonable academic milestones required for the PhD, without reapplication. We have attached a proposed pathway for current EdD students to pursue the PhD option. We look forward to hearing your response to this request and engaging with you in a truly open and productive discussion of this matter. Regards, Undersigned members of the HGSE doctoral community Proposed Pathway for Current EdD Students Pursuing the PhD: EdD students enrolled as of the fall 2012 semester may elect to pursue either the PhD or the EdD. Students pursuing the PhD option will agree to satisfy the following requirements-- currently presented as the curricular outline for the forthcoming PhD program-- with a combination of equivalencies and new coursework, as outlined below. These students will also agree to meet the designated milestones of the new PhD program. What follows are the proposed new PhD requirements, with our proposed equivalent pathway for current EdD students in brackets. 1. First-year proseminar [fulfilled with existing EdD proseminar] 2. Five research methodology courses and required research training activities (labs, apprenticeships, etc.) [fulfilled with existing methodology courses; lab/apprenticeship requirements may be met with existing research pursuits or new labs/apprenticeships as needed] 3. Concentration-based core course [existing EdD students will enroll in the new course] 4. Concentration-based electives spanning domain knowledge in education and relevant disciplinary training and exposure [may be satisfied with a combination of existing coursework and new enrollments, as needed] 5. Thematic Colloquium Series (noncredit) organized around key problems or topic areas in education, both within and across concentrations [existing EdD students will enroll in the new colloquia]


Undersigned Members of the HGSE Doctoral Community


To view the PDF version of the letter that will be sent to the Deans, visit bitly.com/HGSE-PhD.
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