College of Education; Research

Clemson joins national network of institutions shaping Doctor of Education programs


Clemson Ed.D.
Clemson’s first Ed.D. cohort in Education Systems Improvement Studies.

Clemson has become one of nine new higher education institutions to join the Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate. The project works to redesign professional practice preparation in education for the improvement of PK-20 education and the organizations that support it.

As a member of the project, Clemson will be part of a 113-institution network that stimulates each institution’s work and provides space for sharing, learning and providing feedback in a national dialogue across faculty, students and administrators in Doctor of Education programs.

Clemson’s educational and organizational leadership development department houses the university’s Ed.D. in education systems improvement studies. Jane Clark Lindle, chair of the department, says inclusion in the Carnegie project will allow Clemson to help shape Ed.D. programs in general while gaining valuable tools to improve its own program.

Jane Lindle
Jane Lindle serves as chair of Clemson’s educational and organizational leadership department.

“Involvement in the project will allow Clemson to participate in important innovations in adapting graduate-level education to a relevant approach to life-long learning,” Lindle says. “Our Ed.D.’s first cohort is just starting its second year, so the faculty and students also will benefit from the experiences and insights of other institutions which have had as many as 10 cohorts finish their degree.”

Clemson participated in a rigorous application process to be accepted to the project. The detailed application required letters of support from key university leaders and administrators. The Carnegie project board expects a focus on equity, ethics and social justice.

Clemson’s Ed.D. is unique in that it is defined by collaboration with other South Carolina universities including Coastal Carolina University, Winthrop University and The Citadel. These institutions have joined forces to provide a seamless transition from each institution’s Education Specialist (Ed.S.) degree programs to Clemson’s Ed.D. program.

Students completing Ed.S. programs at any of the four institutions graduate with prerequisite courses for Clemson’s Ed.D., which speeds their time of completion. Clemson then delivers the Ed.D. program in several formats — including online and hybrid — at off-campus sites across the state.

“Clemson’s Ed.D. stands out because of its collaborative nature and its impact on school systems across the state,” Lindle says. “Students are required to have district-level knowledge in their Ed.S., which provides Clemson with an opportunity to expand that knowledge through courses in systems-level change and improvement.”

The Ed.D. is a more applied doctoral research program that prepares educators for the application of appropriate and specific practices, the generation of new knowledge and the stewardship of the profession. By design, Clemson’s Ed.D. program explores complex problems in education and culminates with action-based research dissertations that see candidates working with consortium universities, school districts and communities.

In its involvement with the Carnegie project, Lindle sees an already strong program becoming even more effective. Involvement in the project will only amplify the Ed.D.’s impact on persisting systemic issues in schooling caused by poverty, racism and rurality.

“Using the tools of improvement science, our Ed.D. program offers new opportunities for university and school system efforts to address persisting problems of practice,” Lindle says. “We are thrilled to be a part of the Carnegie project to learn and contribute to other institutions on a program that is poised to make positive change in education and school systems.”


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