Executive PhD in Urban Higher Education

The Cohort Model

The Executive Ph.D. cohort model represents a cadre of committed colleagues who enroll in, and graduate from an accelerated research-based doctoral program collectively. Matriculation occurs through a rigorously planned and intensely prescribed academic program of study according to a signed agreement, and a related pledge agreed upon by each student in the cohort. Although culminating dissertation development is finalized in the latter stages of doctoral studies, the preparation, planning, and refining of the dissertation are interwoven throughout the 24-month period. Students are required to develop a two-year plan, which identifies a balance between their course work and professional work duties at their home/host institution or agency. The development of the plan facilitates high performance and sustainable productivity in the student’s life during enrollment in this program.

The EPhD cohort model requires students to carefully and diligently plan ahead. The model promotes collegiality, interdependence, networking and camaraderie among students for a lifetime. The Cohort model has a transdisciplinary curriculum, allowing students to apply theories and practices in daily workplace situations in urban higher education settings. The model provides a setting in which faculty in the fields of higher education, public policy and administration, business, and urban and regional planning are brought together as colleagues and experts from the field. The Cohort model is designed for adult learners who are working professionals  who can persevere, as well as endure the rigor of the program so as to promote personal and professional growth.

The EPhD cohort model informs students, in advance and upon enrollment, of expected outcomes and the competencies necessary to complete the academic program of study as designed. Students receive personalized guidance from faculty to ensure completion of the academic program on time and on task. Toward this end, students have access to the support of faculty resource coaches who are carefully selected and designated to help with dissertation preparation, comprehensive examination preparation, written and oral communication and, other areas related to personal and professional guidance. Students learn academic theories and are exposed to faculty who are either trained academicians, practitioners in the field or visiting scholars and leaders. The cohort model encourages extensive group work that follows a framework with the following participants: (a) moderator/convener, (b) recorder/reporter, and (c) observer/evaluator.

It is imperative that EPhD applicants recognize that this program requires dedication, commitment, focus and discipline, as well as awareness of the common tenets in the program such as complexity theory, exchange analysis,generative learning and community of practice.