The Graduate School of Education and Human Development will offer a new doctorate in educational science.
The Board of Trustees approved the new research-focused Ph.D. in June, which is designed to promote cross-disciplinary education research by concentrating on critical national and global problems in which education and human development play a significant role, Senior Associate Dean Carol Kochhar-Bryant said in an email.
Kochhar-Bryant said she hopes the new program will draw in top students.
“It is envisioned as a way to attract top doctoral candidates to GSEHD and GW, build faculty collaboration and research among subdisciplines, draw research funding to the school and work on critical issues facing the nation and the world,” Kochhar-Bryant said.
GSEHD currently offers a master’s degree in research methods that analyzes testing theories and educational measurement. The master’s was also introduced with the goal of attracting more applicants.
The doctoral degree is currently in development and an official launch date has not been decided. Kochhar-Bryant said all GSEHD faculty were invited to provide feedback on the proposal during development.
James Williams, an associate professor of international education and international affairs, chaired the committee that created the proposal for the new degree. He said the degree will offer faculty within GSEHD another opportunity to work with other faculty to pursue research and teaching on cross-disciplinary topics.
Williams added that teaching about education is a part of the degree, but “not necessarily the only part.”
“Education is a part of major social, political, economic issues and so bringing education into that and working on these cross-disciplinary issues is of interest to a variety of faculty,” Williams said.
GW approved a University-wide strategic plan in 2013 that called for new interdisciplinary research centers and courses. Williams said that several years ago, the dean called for ideas related to the strategic plan for the University and the doctoral degree was one of those ideas.
GSEHD Dean Michael Feuer said in an interview in August that he is enthusiastic about the new degree, which he said will encourage both students and faculty to work together at the school.
“With a Ph.D., it opens even more opportunities. We want to make sure that we get this right,” Feuer said. “It is a very exciting moment in the life of the school that we now have our own school-wide Ph.D.”
The new degree is one of several recent changes in the school. GSEHD began to implement new programs through a strategic plan, called “GSEHD Vision 2020,” to boost enrollment and keep the school competitive.