Our PhD in Education degree program helps prepare education professionals to become leaders in their field.
The Reading, Literacy, Assessment, and Evaluation specialization is a research-oriented program of study designed for educators who wish to gain expertise in best practices in reading, literacy, curriculum design and instruction, teacher professional development, and program evaluation and assessment.
In this PhD in Education specialization, you will develop literacy-related research projects and critique significant research that can improve reading and curriculum outcomes across the educational system, including classroom instruction, program design, policy implementation, and critical thinking. Explore sociopolitical, cultural, and economic influences on literacy, curriculum, and assessment; the role of literature in promoting cross-cultural understanding in a student-centered literacy curriculum; best practices in literacy; and program design and evaluation.
This specialization can benefit you as a classroom teacher, lead teacher, reading specialist, literacy coach, department chair, or curriculum specialist if you want to gain a deeper understanding of reading and literacy practices and evaluation methods. Also offered in this program are research methods courses that will help you grow as a researcher-practitioner.
As a graduate of this program, you will be prepared to:
Walden students have up to 8 years to complete their doctoral program unless they petition for an extension.
In general, students are continuously registered in the dissertation/doctoral study course until they complete their capstone project and it is approved. This usually takes longer than the minimum required terms in the dissertation/doctoral study course shell.
To complete a doctoral dissertation, students must obtain the academic approval of several independent evaluators including their committee, the University Research Reviewer, and the Institutional Review Board; pass the Form and Style Review; gain approval at the oral defense stage; and gain final approval by the Chief Academic Officer. Students must also publish their dissertation on ProQuest before their degree is conferred. Learn more about the dissertation process in the Dissertation Guidebook.
This sequence represents the minimum time to completion. For a personalized estimate of the number of your transfer credits that Walden would accept, call an enrollment advisor at 855-646-5286.
Walden offers both an EdD and PhD in Education with a specialization in Reading and Literacy to meet your career goals. View the chart to help you determine which program is right for you.
|Course Code||EDPD 8002||Course||Leading the Future of Education||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||EDPD 8060||Course||Issues and Trends in Reading and Literacy||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||EDPD 8061||Course||Assessment and Data Analysis to Support Effective Literacy Programs||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||RSCH 8110||Course||Research Theory, Design, and Methods||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||EDPD 8062||Course||A Collaborative Approach to Literacy Across the Content Areas||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||EDPD 8063||Course||Reading Research Design: Analysis and Evaluation||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||EDPD 8113||Course||Tools for Doctoral Research Success||Credits||(3 cr.)|
|Course Code||RSCH 8210||Course||Quantitative Reasoning and Analysis||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||EDPD 8064||Course||Literacy Interventions for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Populations||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||EDPD 8114||Course||Demystifying Doctoral Writing for Research||Credits||(3 cr.)|
|Course Code||RSCH 8310||Course||Qualitative Reasoning and Analysis||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||EDPD 8065||Course||Comprehensive Literacy Model for Student Improvement||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||EDPD 8910||Course||Writing a Quality Prospectus||Credits||(5 cr.)|
As an advanced graduate student, you are about to embark on one of the most exciting journeys of your life. This practical course provides meaningful skills you will need to select your path, complete your degree, and become a successful leader of educational change in the 21st century. Networking and research skills, scholarly writing, critical thinking, use of Walden resources, and the three advanced graduate paths (e.g., PhD, EdD, EdS)—this course addresses all of these in a manner that provides a solid foundation of skill sets upon which to base your journey. You will find a balance of assignments (e.g., case studies, discussions, application assignments) that will ignite your passion for learning, that will allow you to collaborate with others, and that will guide your current and future work. This course is designed to reflect Walden's social change mission and provide you with meaningful tools for success as an advanced graduate student.
Literacy may be understood in multiple ways across various settings and populations. This course is designed to lay a foundation for educators to define literacy based on historical and contemporary perspectives, sociopolitical landscape, the influence of social media and technological innovation, and influences coming from all national, state, local, and Common Core standards that influence literacy programs in P–12. Barriers to student literacy learning and ways to engage community and family involvement, as well as increasing communication, will be examined. Based on their learning in this course and drawing on professional reading and curriculum standards, education professionals will develop a plan to gain stakeholder support for improvement of curriculum and literacy programming at the systems level.
Designing literacy programs that effectively promote and support high levels of literacy proficiency requires the use of data that accurately describe the status of student, teacher, and school performance. Education professionals in this course will examine a variety of assessment tools and validity issues for addressing individual and classroom needs as well as district and state mandates. Topics include a focus on data analysis for tiered intervention decision making and the interpretation of data to drive recommendations at a systemic level. Skills of collaboration and stakeholder inclusion are examined.
In this research course, students are provided with core knowledge and skills for understanding, analyzing, and designing research at the graduate level. Students explore the philosophy of science, the role of theory, and research processes. Quantitative, qualitative, and mixed-methods research designs and data collection methods are introduced. The alignment of research components is emphasized. Students also explore ethical and social change implications of designing and conducting research. Students demonstrate their knowledge and skills by developing an annotated bibliography.
Making academic content accessible and comprehensible for all learners requires specific strategies P–12 teachers need to know and be able to demonstrate. By focusing on academic language, content acquisition, and the appropriate use of technology, education professionals add to their repertoire of strategies to meet content standards for all students, including those with diverse needs, learning styles, and abilities. Education professionals will plan ways to collaborate and share knowledge with other educators within their professional setting and review and evaluate research to inform effective practices. Also addressedn this course are ways to develop programs that integrate both content and literacy objectives to better enhance the development of all learners throughout the content areas.
Reading and literacy instructors use research in a variety of ways to improve schools, student performance, and their own professional development and skills. In this course, education professionals will analyze and evaluate past and present research trends in literacy. They will study how to address relevant literacy issues and problems, become involved in collaborative inquiry, use data and research to inform their practice, improve student academic success, and contribute to positive social change in their classroom and school environments. Reading and literacy instructors will engage in effective communication of research for decision making in literacy at the program level and evaluate reflective practices as they analyze student reading research data and develop and implement data-informed decisions/actions to improve student learning and enhance professional growth.
Education professionals seeking the PhD in Education degree are required to make an original contribution to the field of education. The purpose of this course is to help educators begin that process by introducing them to the steps for developing the components of the dissertation—its timeline and available resources. Education professionals examine and analyze selected research to identify questions addressing a specific gap in the existing research literature, the framework and methodology, and other key components necessary to create scholarly research. They also explore resources such as the Writing Center and library, as well as specific tools they can use to complete the dissertation.
In this research course, students are provided with the opportunity to develop core knowledge and skills for designing and carrying out quantitative research at the doctoral level, including the application of statistical concepts and techniques. Students explore classical common statistical tests, the importance of the logic of inference, and social change implications of conducting quantitative research and producing knowledge. Students approach statistics from a problem-solving perspective with emphasis on selecting appropriate statistical tests for a research design. Students use statistical software to derive statistics from quantitative data and interpret and present results. RSCH 8110 or RSCH 7110 or RSCH 6110.)
Effective literacy instruction builds upon the cultural and linguistic backgrounds, ways of making meaning, and prior knowledge that all children bring to the classroom. For instruction to be successful, educators must spend time developing their understanding of literacy instruction as well as their awareness of their students' cultures, backgrounds, and experiences. Teachers can develop this understanding and awareness by acquiring specific knowledge bases relating to teaching in diverse classrooms. Through real-world scenarios and applications, educators will apply strategies and evaluate reading and literacy programs to meet the diverse needs of all learners enabling educators to demonstrate an awareness of students' prior learning, language, culture, family, and community values to improve teaching and learning in the area of literacy. Educators will analyze literacy theories and assess strategies for promoting equitable access to high-quality learning experiences while recognizing their own personal beliefs and biases. For instruction to be successful, educators must spend time developing their understanding of literacy instruction as well as their awareness of their students' cultures, backgrounds, and experiences.
Education professionals expand their knowledge of the dissertation process by reviewing tools, resources, and sample dissertations as they focus on the alignment among the identified problem, purpose, framework, research question(s), and study design. Education professionals use tools, including the appropriate rubrics and checklists, to narrow the focus of their research topic, plan a comprehensive literature review, and begin to develop their prospectus.
Students in this research course are provided with the opportunity to develop basic knowledge and skills for conducting qualitative research at the doctoral level. Students explore the nature of qualitative inquiry, how theory and theoretical and conceptual frameworks uniquely apply to qualitative research, data collection procedures and analysis strategy, and how the role of the researcher is expressed in the ethical and rigorous conduct of qualitative research. Students practice collecting, organizing, analyzing, and presenting data, and they develop a detailed research topic for conducting a qualitative study. RSCH 8110 or RSCH 7110 or RSCH 6110.)
Monitoring a school reading and literacy program is a systematic process of examining students' reading progress and one's instructional strategies to improve students' reading achievement. Continuous monitoring is an integral part of an effective literacy program because it enables educators to determine the most effective strategies for teaching reading. Education professionals will analyze a variety of literacy models to determine which models best meet the needs of specific learners, families, and communities. In this course, literacy leaders will complete a literacy program evaluation and make research-based recommendations to the existing comprehensive literacy plan to include community outreach programs, professional development plans, technology solutions, grants, and/or legislation/policy reform.
Educators in nearly all doctoral-level programs are required to complete dissertation projects that necessitate requisite knowledge of conducting research, including the development of an appropriate research plan. In this course, education professionals utilize knowledge from previous courses to develop their prospectus—a brief document that provides preliminary information about their dissertation research to serve as a plan for developing the research proposal. They engage in a logical progression from topic conception to prospectus completion. They take their individualized topic and identify the research problem, purpose of their study, theoretical or conceptual framework, and appropriate research design, while also examining the concepts of feasibility and overall alignment of study components.
|Course Code||RSCH 8260||Course||Advanced Quantitative Reasoning and Analysis||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||RSCH 8360||Course||Advanced Qualitative Reasoning and Analysis||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||RSCH 8460||Course||Advanced Mixed-Methods Reasoning and Analysis||Credits||(5 cr.)|
Students in this research course build upon knowledge and skills acquired in the prerequisite quantitative reasoning course and are presented with opportunities to apply them. They are provided with more specialized knowledge and skills for conducting quantitative research at the doctoral level, including understanding multivariate data analysis and applying more advanced statistical concepts, such as factorial ANOVA, mediation, moderation, logistic regression, ANCOVA, and MANOVA. Students explore existing datasets and apply suitable statistical tests to answer research questions with social change implications. In this course, they approach statistics from a problem-solving perspective with emphasis on selecting the appropriate statistical tests for more complex research questions and social problems. Students use statistical software to perform analyses and interpret and present results. They will apply and synthesize their knowledge and skills by carrying out a quantitative research project. RSCH 8110.)
Students build upon the knowledge and skills acquired in RSCH 8310 - Qualitative Reasoning and Analysis. and have experience applying them. Students develop a more sophisticated understanding of the theoretical antecedents and practical applications of eight contemporary qualitative approaches. Students gain experience developing qualitative interview guides, collecting data, and managing the process from transcription through analysis. The unique challenges of confidentiality and ethical issues are explored as well as implications for social change. Students will apply and synthesize their knowledge and skills by developing a qualitative research plan using a topic relevant to their capstone.
Students build upon knowledge and skills acquired in RSCH 8210 - Quantitative Reasoning and Analysis and RSCH 8310 - Qualitative Reasoning and Analysis for more specialized knowledge and skills to design mixed-methods research at the doctoral level. Students are provided with more specialized knowledge and skills for designing mixed-methods research at the doctoral level. They gain an understanding of the types of mixed-methods designs and how to select the most appropriate approach for the research question(s). The emphases of this course are on integrating quantitative and qualitative elements into true mixed-methods studies, practice in data analysis, and integration of qualitative and quantitative data within a research write-up. Students will apply and synthesize their knowledge and skills by developing a mixed-methods research plan that incorporates qualitative and quantitative elements appropriately. RSCH 8110 or RSCH 7110 or RSCH 6110 and RSCH 8210 or RSCH 7210 or RSCH 6210 and RSCH 8310 or RSCH 7310 or RSCH 6310.)
|Course Code||DRWA 8880G||Course||Doctoral Writing Assessment||Credits||(0 cr.)|
This course is part of Walden’s commitment to help prepare students to meet the university’s expectations for writing in courses at the doctoral level. In this course, students write a short academic essay that will be scored by a team of writing assessors. Based on the essay score, students will complete or be exempted from additional required writing support needed to meet writing proficiency standards. This required assessment course is free. Students will be enrolled automatically in it at the beginning of their doctoral program.
|Course Code||EDPD 8990||Course||Completing the Dissertation||Credits||(5 cr. per term for a minimum of 4 quarters until completion)|
Education professionals in nearly all doctoral-level programs are required to complete dissertation projects that necessitate independent application of requisite knowledge by conducting research based on close interaction with, guidance from, and supervision by an institution-approved dissertation committee. Students in each PhD program specialization are supported in the completion of their doctoral dissertation in this course. The PhD dissertation process is composed of several stages and requires levels of approval: prospectus, proposal, Institutional Review Board (IRB), Form and Style, abstract by Chief Academic Officer (CAO), and the final study. Education professionals develop and support a doctoral-level research problem and review related literature to develop a framework for their study. They move from a research problem to the purpose of the study, the framework, and then an appropriate design while examining the concepts of feasibility and overall alignment of study components. Education professionals consider ethical feasibility issues as related to their dissertation development and proceed to data collection and analysis. They conduct an oral defense, appropriately presenting results and outcomes of the research, as well as implications for positive social change, a Walden hallmark.Students take this course for a minimum of 4 quarters and are continuously enrolled until completion of their Dissertation with final Chief Academic Officer (CAO) approval.To complete a dissertation, students must obtain the academic approval of several independent evaluators including their committee, the University Research Reviewer, and the Institutional Review Board; pass the Form and Style Review; gain approval at the oral defense stage; and gain final approval by the Chief Academic Officer. Students must also publish their dissertation on ProQuest before their degree is conferred. Learn more about the dissertation process in the Dissertation Guidebook.
You will be registered for two courses every 11 weeks, following the completion of your foundation course. Students who wish to reduce their course load during one or more terms should contact their student success advisor.
Note on Teacher Licensure or Certification
This program does not lead to teacher licensure or certification. Teachers are advised to contact their individual school districts as to whether this program may qualify for salary advancement.
Prospective Alabama students: State Authorization to provide a program related to the preparation of teachers or other P-12 school/system personnel does not indicate eligibility for an Alabama professional educator or professional leadership certificate. Applicants who complete an educator preparation program at a non-Alabama institution must apply for an Alabama professional educator or professional leadership certificate through the Alabama Certificate Reciprocity Approach. Current requirements may be found at www.alsde.edu.