Five features differentiate Bay Path’s EdD in Higher Education Leadership & Organizational Studies from all other higher ed doctorates:
#1: Developing Scholarly Practitioners as Self-Aware and Reflective Leaders
Bay Path’s program connects the classroom and workplace by approaching students as “scholar-practitioners” who are empowered to apply academic knowledge to their organizations in order to elevate practices or solve problems. Key to developing scholar-practitioners able to inspire organizational change is leadership development, which is embedded in Bay Path’s immersive experiences, Communities of Practice (CoPs), and mentoring support groups (Leader-Scholar Communities). Through self- assessment, reflection, sharing of exemplary practices, and peer and professional mentoring, students will develop the heightened self- and organizational awareness needed for strengths-based leadership. They will map their leadership growth through assignments and assessments in digital ePortfolios. And they will develop a personalized leadership vision and executable plan to guide their journey through the program and into their professional life.
#2: Offering a Signature Pedagogy focusing on Change Management and Innovative Practice
Experts in the field have warned repeatedly that without strong leadership, higher education may not respond fast enough to changing technological and societal demands. Recognizing the nature and relentless pace of change, Bay Path offers a curriculum steeped in change management, including The Reflective Leader: Theory and Practice; Organizational Development, Change, and Transformation; Leading Transformation and Change; Entrepreneurial Thinking and Innovative Practice in Higher Education; Capacity- Building for High Performing Academic Organizations. By preparing students to develop self-reflective individual leadership styles and to drive organizational change in innovative ways, Bay Path’s curriculum surpasses traditional programs that exclusively teach core competencies of higher education.
#3: Embedding the Skills of "Inquiry as Practice" throughout the Curriculum
Inquiry as practice means connecting academic analysis and theory to real problems of local practice. Bay Path’s inquiry-as-practice approach to learning will allow students’ research knowledge and real-world knowledge to inform and enrich the other. It will enable students to improve their professional settings through research-based, measurable, innovative actions. Bay Path University’s doctoral program will therefore be a catalyst for change across all of the institutions where students are working and/or practicing active learning.
#4: Delivering Communities of Practice-Based Learning
In The Good Society, Robert Bellah and his co-authors warn that if higher education students do not experience a sense of community in their doctoral programs, their ability to create strong community in their professional roles may be diminished. Knowing that community collaboration is necessary to accomplish complex tasks and that graduates must be able to foster collaboration in their own administrations, Bay Path’s doctoral program prioritizes collaborative learning and study. Students meet online monthly in faculty-guided cohorts called Communities of Practice (COPs) and are encouraged to conduct workplace research as a group, take most classes together, and participate in small online study/work groups, called Leader-Scholar Communities, while working on the dissertation. These collaborative learning groups provide opportunities for students to build collegial relationships, gain new perspectives and peer knowledge, engage in collaborative inquiry-based decision-making, and reflect on professional beliefs, strategies, and the consequences of their actions in a supportive environment.
#5: Providing A Culminating and Integrative Dissertation in Practice
Bay Path’s doctoral program aims to prepare students to transform higher education institutions by creating innovative policies that solve problems of practice. Toward that end, students’ dissertations will be grounded in the “action research” that “Change and Higher Education: A Multidisciplinary Approach” explains is the foundation for contemporary organization development. Students will apply behavioral science knowledge and data collection/analysis skills to real organizational problems through this iterative process: 1. Identify a problem; 2. Plan a change process; 3. Take action; 4. Evaluate, then repeat. Thus, Bay Path’s students will learn how the outcomes of action research can lead to new planning or new objectives.