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ERIC Number: ED517784
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 134
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1241-6220-1
A Comparison of Non-Traditional Capstone Experiences in Ed.D. Programs at Three Highly Selective Private Research Universities
Stevens, David A.
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, University of Southern California
In higher education, the dissertation is the traditional capstone experience through which the student presents research findings in support of a doctoral degree. This dissertation explores the non-traditional capstone experiences utilized in Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) programs at three highly-selective research universities. Higher-education scholars frequently criticize universities for offering Ed.D. programs that do not provide pragmatic leadership training. In particular, a notable critique of Ed.D. programs is the use of dissertations that are too theoretical and resemble the capstone experiences used in Ph.D. programs. Vanderbilt University, Saint Louis University, and the University of Southern California each differentiates their Ed.D. programs from their Ph.D. programs by providing non-traditional, practitioner-oriented capstone experiences in efforts to provide pragmatic leadership training. In order to glean useful practices that are common among the three programs, this study explores why each university implemented non-traditional capstone experiences, what distinguishes those experiences from the traditional dissertation, and how each program determined the essential components of their non-traditional capstone experiences. Faculty interviews at each university reveal consistent practices among the three programs that can be emulated at other institutions. Student surveys reveal correlations between the program's goals and students' experiences. Student responses are extremely positive and support the idea that practitioner-oriented capstone experiences lead to increased leadership knowledge, increased leadership skills, and changed attitudes toward leadership. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California; Missouri; Tennessee