Doctor of Education: Higher Education Leadership Information Session

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Are you are passionate about education and looking for further your education? This is the perfect information session to for those seeking to obtain or finish their Doctorate of Education in Higher Education Leadership degree online, at your convenience. Learn more about admission, tuition, and an overview of available online courses for the Doctorate of Education in Higher Education Leadership degree program.


Cassandra:          Well, welcome everyone, again, this is Dr Cassandra Gordon-Fletcher and I would like to welcome you to our information session talking about the Online Doctor of Education in Higher Education Leadership. So thanks for taking some time out of your busy schedule to join us today.

Before we get started, we have myself as the moderator, and then the other panelist is Dr. Robin Grebing, and she’ll be talking a little more in depth about the program and some of the things that it entails.

Before I begin, I’d like to let you know that you’re in listening mode and to avoid any background noise; and then second you may ask questions by typing into the Q&A box at any point through the session; and then third, I’ll be sending out the recording today of the presentation after we’ve concluded the session.

There’s a resource box there that will have some information for you, so you can check that out at a later time, I think what will be in there is the link to the application and then the student experience video will be there.

Okay, here’s our agenda for today: we’ll talk a little lit about Maryville University; we’ll go over the Program; well have Dr. Robin Grebing talk a little bit about the Faculty Experience; we’ll also talk about the Online Experience; the Enrollment Requirement; our Student Support Service; and then at the end we can do a little bit of Q&A if time allows.

I’ll introduce myself and then Dr. Robin Grebing can, when it’s her turn to speak, she can do her introduction as well. My name is Dr. Cassandra Gordon-Fletcher and I’ve recently joined Maryville Doctorate of Education Higher Ed Leadership program, and I also teach, I work with two universities online and I teach business courses, and I received my doctorate about five years ago, and you guys are really lucky with the way Maryville has outlined their program, so it will be a wonderful experience for you.

All right, well here, let me talk a little bit about Maryville. Maryville was founded in 1872, and we’re located in St. Louis, Missouri, so we’re pretty well established in the St. Louis community. We are accredited through the Higher Learning Commission, now we’re ranked among the top colleges, Forbes in 2017, and ranked among the best value in private schools in the Kiplinger Personal Finance in 2018. And we’re also recognized as an Apple Distinguished School.

All right, for our Program Overview. The program is 100% online, your attendance to the residency can be on campus with face-to-face, or it can be online via a live stream. I always advocate for students to attend the residency in person. People are relational so I just would rather have a face-to-face, but not saying that the online isn’t a way of getting information from the residency, but face-to-face is good.

Also, you can complete your course and your dissertation simultaneously, so as you’re completing the coursework, you’re working on the dissertation concurrently. Traditionally, when students do a doctorate program they will work on the dissertation at the end of their coursework, but Maryville has an innovative way of getting our students through that dissertation, and that’s having them work on it concurrently. It makes sense, coming from doing my doctorate, if I had done it that way I think it probably wouldn’t have taken me such a long time to get mine completed, so this is a really good aspect of our program.

Also, more of the program overview, you’ll receive personal mentorship from our scholarly-practitioner faculty. 90% of our faculty members, they hold a doctorate degree, so definitely have some experience there. There will also be benefits from added support from our cohort learning model, so you will start with the same group of people, you will end with the same group of people, you’ll just go through the program with that same people. The benefit to that is that you will build some kind of comradery and you’ll be relying on each other and networking and just building a really good relations.

Now it takes 32 months in which to complete this program, and so it’s 12 hours shorter than more doctoral programs, so that’s another good aspect of our program. And this is one that folks are really liking, there’s no GMAT or GRE requirement. So, yay!

All right, and that’s our Program Overview. Now here’s what to expect in this doctoral program. Now, our standards are very high, the rigor is definitely there. Technology is a part of our program, the learning management system that we use, it’s called Canvas, and if you have experience with online courses, it’s similar to Blackboard, so if you have experience with Blackboard, you’ll definitely love Canvas.

Now it requires time, the required time, a student will spend anywhere from 136 hours per course, which equals to about 17 hours per week. But in general, students have been reporting to me that they’re spending anywhere from about 15 to about 25 hours per week doing their coursework, and if you’re adding in the dissertation, that will definitely require a little bit more time, but plan on spending no less than 17 hours per week working on this program.

Now it is a family commitment, you will definitely not have a lot of time to spend with your family, but it’s doable, it’s online so if you take care of your time management and plan this properly, I don’t see any issues with you moving through this program successfully.

Now communication is very vital, communication especially with your faculty member, because they are your first line of contact when you have any issues, and then if things go haywire you can always definitely reach out to others, however, I would definitely count on the faculty members bar none, they are very responsive and very supportive to any issues that you might have. The faculty and the cohort will provide guidance and support, and also I’d like to mention to you that from around your second class you will have your dissertation chair picked for you, and this person will be there to help guide you through the dissertation process. So you will have tons of support there to help get you through the dissertation.

Now I did mention that the program does take 32 months, now one thing I’d like for you to take note of is, within that 32 months, the expectation that we’re having of the students is that they will be able to complete their coursework and the dissertation within the 32 months. Providing you stick to the prescribed way in which we are offering this program. So it’s very doable and we know that this works because our students that are doing it on campus, we’ve been doing it for over six years and it works. All right.

Why Maryville for our online dissertation? Now, I’m gonna have Dr. Grebing talk about this aspect of why you should choose Maryville for doing your doctorate degree. Dr. Grebing?

Robin:                   Hello, can everybody hear me?

Cassandra:          Yes, they can hear you.

Robin:                   Okay, great. Just to recap a little bit of what Dr. Gordon-Fletcher covered in the previous slide, I wanna touch on the highlights here. Our dissertation is different than most programs, where they’re structured traditionally, students do the coursework and that usually takes about two years, and then they start the dissertation after the coursework is finished. And students pay tuition and enroll in a dissertation course, until they get their dissertation completed, which can take anywhere from 2-5 years.

In our program, our dissertation is done concurrently, so we are guiding students through the dissertation process while they are doing the coursework, and the faculty are very involved in guiding students through that process. For example, I meet with my students, for whom I’m their dissertation chair, I meet with them at least monthly via Skype for Business, and sometimes we meet even more than that depending on where they are in the dissertation process and what their needs are. So there is a lot of support and guidance from the faculty.

The focus of our program is also a little bit different than a traditional program. A Doctorate in Education is a degree of practice, which means that we’re very focused on giving students the skills they need to be able to progress or enter leadership positions at their institutions and solve the problems that are prevalent in today’s education environment. So we really focus on the macro environment, things like economic pressures and compliance, and then internal pressures, organizational change and technology, for example.

We are cohort based, so our classes are pretty small and we encourage a lot of student-to-student and student-to-faculty interaction in our courses, and we really work on forming that community in the cohort so that they can support each other through the dissertation process. Because as Dr. Gordon-Fletcher mentioned, it is challenging and so that support from peers and from faculty is really, really critical. 30% of the population gets a college degree, and only 2% of those get a doctorate degree and that’s including medical doctors. So that gives you an idea of just how challenging a doctorate program is, but I think we’ve created a structure here at Maryville where we support you through that process and it is certainly an achievable goal. Whereas most doctorate programs have a graduation rate of about 50%, ours is about 90%, so that gives you an idea of how much guidance and support we provide.

A little bit about our curriculum. We focus on leadership skills, organizational leadership, managing change, innovation, again, trying to focus on those skills that people will need in order to lead their institutions in these complex times. Some of the skills that we focus on include conducting research, many of us are used to using data, but we haven’t necessarily collected our own before we do a doctorate. So we focus on being able to design and conduct research to get the information you need for decision making. We also focus on database decision making, using existing data, different leadership strategies, reflective practice, and that is a big focus for us, the reflective practice. Being able to both reflect on what’s happened and reflect in the moment, to be able to make better decisions.

Popular careers for people who get a doctorate degree, definitely executive administrative positions, like deans, provosts, chancellors, we have several college presidents in our program, often even in the very first class, we find that some students get a promotion because they’re pursuing their doctorate. And it’s very, very common for students to get a promotion while they’re in the program and then to have further growth after they finish the degree.

What I like to tell students is that you don’t know what opportunities will come your way because you get a doctorate. New doors that you didn’t even know were there will open for you because you have this degree.

The Online Experience. I hear over and over from students, even from students on our program who are faculty, who teach online at other institutions, that our online course are the best they’ve seen. And we work with instructional designers to make sure that our courses utilize technology in meaning ways, and to make the learning engaging and interactive so you’re not just reading notes. We use a lot of video lecture in short little mini-lectures to really focus in on the important information each week, we utilize the multimedia resources that are available on the web, we have guests speakers that we bring in, asynchronously, we just really try to utilize that technology to make full use of the online environment, and again, we hear a lot from students about how well designed the classes are.

And the last thing I wanna touch on is the Faculty. We have four full-time faculty and then we have a lot of agent faculty that work with us in a dissertation chair capacity, and those faculty are in a variety of disciplines, at institutions all across the country, so that we’re able to match students with dissertation chairs that are well-suited to their areas of interest and their professional goals.

But our full-time faculty, pictured here, Dr. Susan Bartel, Dr Jason Castles, and Dr. Gearin, and I’m gonna brag on them just a second, because I think they’re too humble. Dr. Bartel is a tenured professor, she has 30 years of experience in administration, teaching and consulting, but she is a sought after consultant in the national education spectrum for both leadership and organizational structures and she’s also very sought after for contributing articles to journals and chapters to text books, so she’s very well known in our field.

Dr. Castles has been an administrator in student life before he came over to the faculty role, and his expertise is developing inter-cultural competence, and again, he is well known in this area and is often called upon to do consulting work. Dr. Gearin is our newest faculty member, he just retired from his college presidency position and he has research interests in leadership development, mentoring, college transitioning and I also like to point out, even though he won’t tell you, that he is a Harvard graduate, so we have faculty who are very experienced administrators in a variety of areas, but also accomplished in their fields.

Now I’d like to hand it back over to Dr. Gordon-Fletcher.

Cassandra:          Thank you so much Dr. Grebing, now let’s talk a little bit about the tuition, ’cause I know this is on everybody’s mind as far as the cost of our program.

Currently, we’re looking at a cost per credit hour at $897 per credit hour, and you’ll have 48 credit hours in which to complete. There’s also an additional administrative fee, and so the total cost of our program, we’re looking at 48,256.

Now, for those of you who have been doing research, you will realize that this is a very competitive cost, as far as a doctorate level program. You’ll see the cost of some programs are a little lower than ours, and you’ll see some that are astronomically higher. What I’d like to tell students is, caveat emptor. Buyer beware. The ones who are very higher, they’re that way for a reason, so us being very competitive, 48,256, is a good number.

Now the financing options that are available to our students is the Federal Student Loan, and now people ask, is financial aid available, well financial aid is available to all those who apply and that are qualified for it. There’s also the Grad Plus Loan and the Monthly Payment Arrangement can be also made, and anybody who’s interested in that kind of arrangement can get in touch with me and I can send them some information regarding how they can get information for that.

There’s also Employer Tuition Reimbursement, so find out from your employer if this is something that they’re willing to partner with you as far as taking care of the tuition. We also have Military Benefits, and Private Student Loans are also available for students to use.

All right, here’s some of the things that are required for the application process. One, you will need to complete an application online and the application fee is waived so you don’t have to worry about paying for the fee. Secondly, we’d like for you to send us all your official transcripts. Now I know in the past, some students will have transferred from one school and said, hey, I went to two schools, aren’t those two transcripts sufficient? The answer to that is, “no,” so if you’ve gone to ten schools at the collegiate level, I will need to have ten transcripts.

So I know it’s kind of a pain, but it’s just the policy that we have to adhere to, so when I ask you for all your transcripts, please make sure that you’re ordering all of them. And now, in your application there’s a spot there for you to list all the schools that you’ve attended, and what this will do, it will help me keep track of the transcripts as they come in and I will know what transcripts we’re missing. So it’s definitely there to help me as well as to get you through the application process. So, very important, transcript for every school, even if you’ve taken one class at that particular school, we’re gonna need the transcript.

And this is the part that holds up your application process, because sometimes we have a completed file and I’m just waiting on one transcript, and I have a couple of scenarios like that right now, and if we’ve taken care of the transcripts up front or in the beginning of the process, that’ll be great.

There’s also an essay that you’ll have to write, and now for this essay it has two parts. There’s also a word count limitation, we’re looking at an essay that will have anywhere from 500-550 words. Now the first part of the essay, it’ll be simple, you’re talking about yourself. So you’re gonna tell us about two to three of your experiences that you believe has enabled you to be a good doctoral candidate. We’ll also like you to tell us what your goals are for the degree. And now the second part of the essay is kinda like where we start to get you to focus a little bit on starting to do research and doing the dissertation. We would like for you to take a look at higher ed, see what kind of issues are out there, and tell us one of that issue, and then tell us why you believe this particular issue is significant to the future of higher education.

I know that some of you are not from higher education but if you just go out and do some research online, there’s a plethora of information out there telling you what’s wrong with higher education today. So there’s no shortage of information, so just pick an issue that speaks to you, write about that issue, tell us why you think it’s significant to the future of higher education, and then you’ll need to have at least one citation, ’cause this is gonna be written in APA style, your dissertation is gonna be written in APA style, so this is good practice to see if you have the ability to do that, and if some people are having issues with APA style writing, let me know and I can forward resources to you to get you on track with that. But the writing should be in APA style with at least one citation. Okay?

You will also need to upload your resume or your CV to the application, so there’s a spot there in the application that you’re creating online, for you to put your resume or CV, so that should be pretty simple to do.

And now the other step is, you’ll need two letters of recommendation. Now one of your recommenders I suggest could be somebody who could speak to your leadership ability, so maybe a current supervisor or a manager, or somebody that you’ve worked with in the past. But definitely somebody who knows you and can speak to your leadership ability. And then the second person could be somebody that you’ve known for a while who could speak to, let’s say, your stick-to-itiveness in completing a doctoral level work.

Now Maryville has a great way of getting these letters of recommendation to us quickly, and that is if you include the email address into the application that you’re creating, there’s a spot there that says recommenders, now if you include the email addresses there, it will immediately send an email with a survey to these individuals and they will fill out the survey, they can make a few comments, and they could also attach that letter that they’re gonna write on your behalf to that survey, and once they hit submit, it will kinda like update your application. So that’s the most efficient way of receiving the letters of recommendation, but it all starts with you putting in the email addresses of those recommenders in the application as you’re creating it.

So hopefully that is clear. And that’s it as far as the application process goes. Now our successful students can get through this application in as little as two weeks. So I’ve had students that completed this process in less than two weeks, so two weeks is the maximum that I’d wanna get through this process, and our application deadline is fastly approaching, so two weeks is what we’re looking at to get applications completed. And I know it can be done, ’cause I’ve seen it.

Now, here’s our next step. I want you to go out online, ’cause the link is everywhere in this presentation and you can contact me also to get access to that link, and start that application. You can also schedule an appointment with me to go over the process some more if there’s something that I mentioned that you wanna little bit more clarification on, you can go ahead and give me a call. And we can speak about how the program format, a little bit about financial aid contact, and about the entire admission process. So if you want more information on that, please don’t hesitate to give me a call, you’ll see my number down there at the bottom. It is 877-323-3811 and the extension is 4231. And that’s how you’ll be able to getta hold of me.

You can also email me as well and the email address is not here, but you can also contact me and I will be able to send you an email. So once your application is completed, what happens next? Okay, once I have your files completed, once the letters of recommendations are received, once your transcripts are all here and I have hold of it, once you’ve finished your essay and I’ve gotten all of the information needed for sending your file to the committee for them to make a decision on your application, I’ll get that file completed and then I’ll send it over to the committee.

Usually the committee will take anywhere from 2-3 weeks to get a decision on your completed file. And I’ve seen them work magic where sometimes they’ll get it back to us within a week, depending on how often they’re gonna be meeting, but the committee does a really good job in getting those decisions to us back promptly. All right, and again there’s my contact information for anyone who needs to get a hold of me.

All right, now, as a Maryville student, Maryville has a very comprehensive and integrative approach to assisting their students academically, financially and personal transitioning to Maryville. We do offer resource and expertise to help support our student whether they’re online or in-person. We have a student service person, this person will work with you through the beginning of the program till when you graduate, so you have somebody there with you through the entire program and if you have issues they will reach out to you and follow-up with you to see how you’re doing, and if you have questions, by all means, ask away and this person will be there to help you through the process.

We also have resources that you’ll be able to tap into. We have the Academic Success Center, there’s Tutoring Service, there’s the Writing Studio and there’s also Career and Professional Development. So if any of these things are in need, these are available for you to tap into.

All right, we’ve come to the part where we’re gonna, we’ll do some question and answer, so if you have questions, please, write them in the question and answer box and I’ll do my very best to answer those questions. Let’s see if we can, Dr. Grebing and I can answer some of the questions that you guys have listed.

Let’s start with this one. “I work at a traditional institution and an online education is at times frowned upon.” You know, I would agree with you if this were about maybe ten, fifteen years ago. The online community has grown and the acceptance of online is overwhelmingly acceptable currently. It’s kinda like the wave of the future and if you notice, many, many schools have an online component. So at one point, like I said maybe ten or fifteen years ago, might have been frowned upon. Not so these days, so hopefully, I would have answered your question.

Okay, somebody would like to know what the start dates are. We have three times in which we start our program. We are currently taking applications for August, August 27th is when classes start. And if you’re not able to do August, we’re looking at January of 2019, and May of 2019, so we take students into the program August, January and May. All right?

Next question. Here’s a question, and I’ll let Dr. Grebing take a look at this one, it says, “How are the courses structured?” So Dr. Grebing, if you could shed some light there?

Robin:                   Sure. Our course are eight weeks, so students take a first eight week, and a second eight week course in a semester. And they’re also enrolled in a zero credit advising course that is sixteen weeks, and that advising course is how we interact with students and work with them on their dissertation. But the eight week courses are accelerated, so they move at a fast pace, and there are, all students log in at their convenience during the week, there are set due dates during the course that students need to be aware of and be making sure that they get those deliverables in on time.

Cassandra:          Great, thank you for that response Dr. Grebing. Here’s another question, we already said that we are cohort based, one of the questions that came in says, “What is the average cohort size?” Now, we’re looking for cohort sizes are usually anywhere from about 15 to about 25 students, so if it gets larger than that then we’ll probably have to split the cohort but that’s kind of like the average size that we’re looking at, anywhere from about 15 to 25 students.

All right, next question. This says, “Are these classes taken in order, or are they chosen per semester?” The classes are in a particular order, and you kind of move through the program in the order in which the courses are prescribed, so you’ll start out with one and then the cohort will just move through, kind of like a carousel, you just move through it with the courses that we’ve set up for you. So you won’t have to wonder which course you’re gonna take next, it would have already be … You might have to register yourself in it down the line, but we always know which course you’ll be taking next. Okay?

All right, next question. “Is there something I can be working on during the summer while I am on summer vacation for my teaching job?” I’ll ask Dr. Grebing to go ahead and take this one, ’cause it’s more specific to the curriculum.

Dr. Grebing?

Robin:                   [inaudible 00:33:53] Yes?

Cassandra:          There’s a student here, they’re asking, “Is there something I could be working on during the summer while I am on summer vacation from my teaching job?”, so something to help get them prepared, they wanted some resources that they could look at or research to help get them prepared.

Robin:                   Yes, one of the thing that students can do is to work on identification of a problem of practice in higher education, that could be their dissertation topic. We try to work on and get narrowed in on a dissertation topic in the very first semester, so if students come into the program with an idea of what they wanna research then that is helpful to them in order to get a problem statement by the end of the first semester.

So I’d be looking at some of the things in your professional practice, at your institution, or just in the larger education environment that are issues that concern you, and that you might wanna do some additional research on.

Cassandra:          Thank you Dr. Grebing. All right, moving ahead, here’s another question. “Are there any additional scholarships available?” Now usually, at the doctorate level, universities don’t really offer scholarships at this level, however there are a few universities out there, and they’re very hard to locate, it’s kinda like finding a needle in the haystack. But as far as Maryville’s concerned there aren’t any scholarships or grants that are offered through this program, so unfortunately, there aren’t any scholarships or grants.

All right, let’s move on. This question says, “What are the applications deadlines for the fall and for the spring?” Right now we’re taking applications for both the fall and for the spring, we would like to get applications completed in two weeks and it’s fastly approaching, so about mid-July, third week of July is the last week in which we will take any more applications for the fall session. So if any of you on the line that are looking to start school in the fall, it starts August 27th, you need to be calling me as soon as you get off this webinar, so I can get your application process started for you to get to start classes in the fall.

So please, don’t hesitate any further, get in touch with me as soon as you’re done with this call, so that we can get you started. Okay?

All right, here. Here’s the next question. “Does the transcript indicate that the program was completed online?” Transcripts or certificate when you’re graduating, all it says is that you completed a Doctorate of Education from Maryville University, so there’s nothing that mentions online. And I get this question a lot from students, ’cause of that fear of having the online phobia, but rest assured, everything just says that you attended Maryville University and you received a Doctorate of Education in Higher Education Leadership.

All right. Next question. “I am currently working on my Master’s in Higher Ed Administration. How do you feel the coursework, the rigor, the difficulty is in comparison is, compared to the Doctorate?” Well, you know what, let Dr. Grebing take a gander at this one, because she’s one of the instructors, she will be able to talk a little bit more about the rigor.

Dr. Grebing?

Robin:                   Yes, I think you can expect that the rigor would increase a little bit because this is the terminal degree for your field, and so the expectations go up. And I think where students are most surprised is how they need to step up their writing, because when you write a dissertation, you’re essentially writing a book, and you’re also doing your research in order to produce articles that could be produced in a peer-reviewed journal. And the expectations for writing there are very high.

So I would expect that you would need to step up your game a little bit. And we actually offer a lot of resources to students to help them advance their academic writing skills, and the faculty provides assistance in that area. But this is not a master’s program, it’s a doctorate and students can expect that it will be more challenging.

Cassandra:          All right, thank you so much Dr. Grebing, for answering that question.

All right, here’s another question. “Do the letter of recommendation have to be on a letterhead?” We recommend that it is on a letterhead because it has more authenticity if it is, but sometimes we do recognize that students, their recommenders are not related to an organization like a school or so, but if by all means it’s possible to put it on a letterhead, that will be the way to go. But in addition to filling out the survey, if there isn’t a letterhead available, we would take a look at it anyway.

All right, next question. “Do I have to attend live classes online every week?” No, this program is asynchronous, so you log in whenever the time is available to you. So there’s no specific login time that you have to adhere to, you just log in whenever you set your schedule and whenever you have the time. Now, as long as you’re turning in your assignments on time, and are doing your discussions in a timely fashion, the time is yours to manage. But there’s no specific meeting time that you have to adhere to. So, therein lies the flexibility of the program, so it’s very flexible as long as you are dedicated and able to follow a set schedule to do your studies.

All right, next question. “I graduate in December of 2018 with my master’s. Would I have enough time to apply for start for the January 2019?” The minimum qualifications for being in this program, and we probably should have said some of this earlier, but we’re looking for a student that has a master’s degree with a GPA of 3.0 or higher. We’re looking for you to have at least 3-5 years of higher ed experience, and in lieu of the higher ed experience, ’cause we do have students that are not a part of higher ed but would like to move into higher ed, so in lieu of having their 3-5 years of higher ed experience, we’re looking for some kind of leadership experience or administrator-type experience. And it doesn’t necessarily have to be in your career, this leadership, it could be a voluntary organization that you’ve been in that you hold a leadership position there.

So we do take a look at other things other than being in the higher ed experience, but you definitely have to have some years of leadership experience or administrator experience. What we don’t want is for students who just completed their bachelor’s degree, and they went ahead and started the master’s degree, and now they wanna start the doctorate degree. There is not enough work experience in between those programs and that person would not do well in a program like this because this program is preparing students to be in a leadership position and a person who just did the bachelor’s, master’s, and now wanting to do the doctorate, I don’t think this program would work very well for them because they will need that working experience.

Because you don’t wanna put them behind the eight ball, with them not having the experience and the knowledge to be able to participate in some of the discussion that you guys will be having. So that experience is very vital to the program.

All right, hopefully I would have answered that question, next question. “For the advising course, what is the average size of the dissertation group, is that smaller than the cohort group?” Not sure, I don’t know if Dr. Grebing can answer this one. I’ll repeat the question, “For the advising course, what is the average size of the dissertation group, is that smaller than the cohort group?” Dr. Grebing?

Robin:                   Cohort is enrolled in the advising class together as a cohort, but you meet with your dissertation chair individually, because the dissertation is an individual piece of research and writing, so while some chairs have some group meetings of maybe five or six students who are at similar places in their dissertation and need similar guidance, most of the meetings that you have with your chairperson are on individual basis.

Cassandra:          Great, now let’s move on, ’cause we got a lotta questions to go through and I wanna make sure that I at least get through all of them. Here’s the next question. “Are all the books provided online through Canvas? Are they included in the costs of the course, or are there additional charges for each course?” All right. The books and materials are not provided in your tuition, it’s not a part of your tuition. However, in Canvas the instructors will put material in there for you to review, but as far as your text books are concerned, you are responsible for finding your text books. So the text books are not a part of the tuition.

All right, next question. “How does the transcripts read? Does it read Maryville University?” Well we kind of answered that question, it doesn’t say online. Okay?

All right, next question. “What are students doing during the 17 hours of work each week? What percentage is reading, what percentage is writing?” Good question. I’ll have Dr. Grebing take a look at that question.

Robin:                   I think how a person uses that time is a pretty individual decision. Some people need to focus more on the writing process, so if there’s a paper due they may need to allow more time for revision and editing. Some folks may focus a little more on the reading, especially for people who are new to higher ed, or don’t work in higher ed, work in another field, then the reading becomes probably more important in the beginning. There’s also a discussion that occurs online and students spend a portion of that time in the discussion.

So I think it also varies from week to week, depending on what assignment is due and how much reading there is assigned for that week. Some weeks it’s more than others. So, I think it’s gonna vary and folks need to be prepared to be flexible and to make some decisions about what their priorities are for the week.

Cassandra:          Great. Right, let’s keep it moving. Thanks, Dr Grebing. Next question. “How much should I budget for books?” You know what, Dr Grebing, since you are quite familiar with the materials that are needed, could you take this one?

Robin:                   Sure. I think most of our books are probably in the $30-$50 range, and we try to provide as many online resources as we can. We have a provider called RedShelf, that’s a company that provides digital material, so often, even though there is a paper book, students could choose the ebook, or even the audiobook, so for example the very first book that we use is Higher Education in America by Derek Bok. And that book is an audiobook and a lot of students opt for that and instead of doing reading they listen to the book in the car on their commute.

So I think most of our textbooks come in a variety of options that students can choose from, and typically, we have one to two books per course, and we also try to reuse books, so the research book that you use in the first class, we use that book again later. So we try to be conscious of the textbook cost and keep that to a minimum.

I would also say, I just wanna add, there are some books that I recommend students get the physical version, just because they’re good books to have for reference on your shelf at work, like the Bolman and Deal books, for example. Your primary research book is another good one to have. The student development theory book, some of those. But we recommend and then it’s up to students still to choose how they want to consume that material.

Cassandra:          All right, great answer, thank you Dr. Grebing. I’m also gonna mention that there are tons of resources out there for students for books, different online vendors have books, so some of those costs could vary, so do your best, make your best judgment to be able to get those books at a reasonable cost.

All right, moving right along, “How long is each class size, six or eight weeks?” Well, we’re looking at eight weeks, so every eight weeks you’ll be switching to a new course. We do run on a 16 week semester basis, so in the 16 weeks you will have completed two courses, so we focus you on one class at a time for eight weeks. So, the answer to that is, eight weeks.

Next question, “Have students ever had to take a break from the program, if so, what is it difficult to rejoin?” Okay, we do understand that life happens and students will need to maybe stop out for a class or two. You do have the option of doing that, but keep in mind that when you start with a particular cohort, and when you come back the cohort that you started with will have moved on, so you will be joining another cohort when you come back in. So, we do understand that students will need to take time off, but ’cause we go year round and the only time we have a break is during the Christmas-time season, there’ll be about three to four weeks that you’ll have off, but other than that, in order for us to finished with this in the 32 months, it is a continuous eight weeks that we go, so if you need a break, or you need to stop out you can do that, but like I said, keep in mind you won’t be joining the same class that you started out with.

All right, moving on. “In regards to financial aid, the government informed me that I am approved for a student loan. Will the financial aid office contact me?” I’d say that you’d be a little bit more pro-active and you get in touch with them, and if you need me to get you information regarding their contact information, I can forward that information to you. So whoever asked that question, just get in touch with me, and I’ll be able to give you the contact information for our financial aid office.

All right, next question. “Are most courses three hours?” Yes. The courses are three hours for each of the courses.

All right, the residency. “Could you describe the residency?” I’ll have Dr. Grebing speak on this one, since we just got out of residency about a week or so ago, so she’ll be able to tell you a little bit about how it went and what’s involved in the residency. Dr. Grebing?

Robin:                   Yeah, the residency, like Dr. Gordon-Fletcher mentioned, there’s an on campus version and then there’s a virtual version, and in the virtual version, students can participate in workshops via Skype for Business. In the on-ground version, students attend the workshops in person, and it’s really like a conference atmosphere and students are attending the workshops to get the information they need for where they are in their dissertation. So if someone is doing a qualitative research project, for example, they might attend the session on how to conduct interviews, or how to use [Deduce 00:53:04] to analyze their transcript data.

A quantitative person might go to the session on how to design surveys and then how to use SPSS to run the tests that they need. There are other workshops, like how to get through the institutional review board process and we have our IRB folks there on site to help students with that. So it’s just a real variety of workshops really targeted at helping students get the knowledge they need to make progress after residency on their dissertation in a very significant way.

And then in the in-person residency, students have a lot of other opportunities to connect with each other, and to interact, they meet with alumni, they have opportunities to meet with different faculty, to spend time with their dissertation chair, and that’s the part of residency that is difficult to recreate in the virtual environment, and we overwhelmingly hear from students that the on campus residency is a fantastic experience and they’re glad that they attended on the Maryville campus.

But it is a really exciting couple of days and students leave that event really motivated and eager to get to work on their dissertation when they get home.

Cassandra:          All right, thank you so much for answering that question, Dr. Grebing, I saw some of the pictures from the residency and it looked like the students were just have a really good time there and seemed like they got a lot out of it, so really good. So those three days on campus seemed like it was a really good experience for some of the students.

All right, let’s move on. “How many hours do students register per semester?” Each of the courses are three hours so hopefully that’s the answer that you were looking for, so each class is three hours.

Okay, “Can you elaborate on the three to five years of leadership experience? I’m currently in the technology leadership field and I want to move my career into education. Do I need experience in higher education field?” I’ll answer it a little bit and then if Dr. Grebing wanna chime in, she can more than happy to do so. Now we are looking for students that have the higher ed experience, but we also want students to have an eclectic background, we’re looking for students that have that leadership experience, and when I say leadership, we’re looking at if you have had a leadership role within the career that you are currently working in.

So say for instance, this person who’s in the technology leadership field, so now, if you are the director of a department or you create programs, you know if you’re in a leadership role within the organization that you’re currently in. Because this is a program that prepares students to be in that leadership role within higher ed, so leadership in one organization can still transfer into leadership within academia, ’cause having leadership qualities and leadership skills, it’s very transferrable. So, we’re looking for that leadership regardless if it’s in higher ed, or in another industry.

Dr. Grebing, would you agree or do you have anything to add to that?

Robin:                   Yes, I would agree with that, and just give you a couple more examples. We have a person in our program who is an administrator of a safety organization and because they do a lot of training, he wants that organization to function more like higher education, and so he’s getting an EdD to be able to get more information about how higher education operates, and to transform his organization into a more functional service entity.

We have another person who is part of a law enforcement training academy, and again that person sees that higher education can be a model for how that organization operates, and so this degree is really appropriate for what that person is trying to do. And also, we have quite a few students who are in K12, but they work in areas that deal with student transition to college, and so it’s beneficial for them to have an EdD to be able to help their students in their school districts navigate that transition more appropriately.

So there’s just a real variety of students and backgrounds that come into this program and that it turns out that this is a really good fit. So I think if you’re wondering about your specific situation, that you would contact Dr. Gordon-Fletcher or me and we could have a conversation about how this might be a degree that works for you and your goals.

Cassandra:          Great, thank you Dr. Grebing.

All right now, I’m taking one last question because I wanna be cognizant of everyone’s time, so here’s the last question of the session. “How many hours do students register per semester?” Now, since it’s a 16 week semester, we have two classes, so each class is three hours, so for the 16 week semester you will have registered for two classes, so that will be six hours for one semester.

And that’s all the time we have for all the questions, and I’d like to thank everybody for asking those very informative and relevant questions to our program. Now, as I said before, if you have any other questions please you can get in touch with me and I’ll be happy to answer those questions. My contact information is in the slides, so you have my phone number, please contact me and I’ll be able to answer any of the questions that we did not get to today, so I do apologize for that.

Now, we want you to go out and get registered, get the application started, we still have some time. So if you get your application started this week, we can get it completed within the next two weeks and then you’ll be good. So I know I said that we wanna get this done quickly and classes start on the 27th, but there’s things that needs to take place prior to us starting on the 27th, so we would definitely like to get that application completed in the next two weeks.

So for those of you who are thinking of starting on August 27th, we need you to get the application started right away. It’s very germane to the process, so go ahead and get the application started, that gets the ball started to roll and as I said, the easy way of getting this done quickly is to start the application, put the email addresses of your recommenders in the application, upload your resume or CV to the application, list the names of the schools that you’ve attended, and then submit your application, and that gets the ball rolling for you and then we can take everything else via email, and then I’ll have your application in front of the committee as soon as we get those things taken care of.

So, I’d like to thank everybody for taking time out today of their busy schedule, to attending this webinar and asking those very important and relevant questions, and I do appreciate you spending this time with me and Dr. Grebing, looking forward to speaking with you soon.

Thank you so much Dr. Grebing, for spending this time with us, and giving the students the information that they need to make this informed decision to move forward with the application process.

Thank you all so much, have a wonderful afternoon. Goodbye.