Message from the Chair
The doctoral programs in higher education consist of two doctoral degrees: the Ph.D. in Higher Education and the Ed.D. in Higher Education Leadership. Both programs emphasize preparing values-driven scholars and leaders to have a positive impact on student learning and social justice in higher education. We strive to be a community of scholars and disciples who make a difference in the world.
The Ph.D. is a 54-unit research degree designed to develop scholars who are able to conduct original research and communicate the results of that research through their writing, teaching, and leadership. The Ed.D. is a 48-unit professional degree designed to develop educators and leaders who are able to apply their knowledge in order to improve educational practice, primarily at the institutional level.
As a community of scholars, our faculty and students collaborate on research that makes a difference. We want our graduates to be able to do the kind of research that changes students' lives and transforms the way colleges and universities do their work. Part of being "salt and light" in the world is being excellent researchers who tackle the significant issues affecting the field of higher education.
As a community of disciples, the integration of faith and "the life of the mind" is an important distinctive that our program capitalizes on in our interactions with our students and in our classroom teaching. We value the importance of being mentors to our students, walking alongside them as they develop professionally.
By virtue of our work with the Gallup Organization's StrengthsFinder and StrengthsQuest, APU offers the only doctoral program in the country that takes a strengths-based approach to higher education. We focus on our students' strengths at entry into the program, helping them develop and leverage those strengths in order to achieve excellence. Our connection with the Noel Academy for Strengths-Based Leadership and Education enables our students to become active participants in the research in this newly developing field in higher education.
The intensive cohort format of our program means that each entering student joins a community of professionals who are journeying together toward the highest level of scholarship and difference-making in the academy. We are glad you are considering APU as the next step in advancing your career. Should you join us, we are confident that you will find a network of friends, colleagues, and mentors that will last a lifetime.
Laurie Schreiner, Ph.D.
Chair and Professor
Department of Doctoral Higher Education