Doctoral Curriculum Core Values: Factors That Contribute to Graduate Success


Truitt Leake

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D)


Curriculum and Instruction

Date of Award

Fall 2013


The challenge for higher education is building a theory of change for institutions that reflects its culture, uses appropriate operating structures, and is replete with examples of good practice. University climate, culture, and community directly reflect management and leadership. Individual departments are the dominant factors in graduate education, particularly at the doctoral level. Doctoral graduate education should be designed to prepare students for a variety of responsibilities and professional careers. In the 21st century, analyzing which core curriculum courses have a direct impact on the doctoral graduates' career provides a better understanding of the graduates in the Doctor of Education in Supervision, Curriculum, and Instruction-Higher Education program at Texas A&M University-Commerce. In higher education, limited research evaluating doctoral program graduates and program effectiveness is available. The purpose of this research was to identify factors that define effective doctoral graduate program design for doctoral graduates in the Doctor of Education in Supervision, Curriculum, and Instruction-Higher Education at Texas A&M University-Commerce for the period of 2007-2012. The study compares the demographics of the doctoral graduates by gender, age at graduation, ethnicity, and career trajectory, the career value of the three core curriculum courses ranked by order of importance, and the characteristics of individual core curriculum courses that contribute to career planning. Universities in the United States are facing serious financial challenges from a variety of economic and demographic factors. Developing a strategic plan for any institution, division, and department will be the essential process necessary to remain competitive in the 21st century. A number of quantifiable quality indicators for doctoral programs in the state of Texas exist, including grants awarded to the university, faculty publications, full-time graduate students, graduation rates, time for degree completion, and graduate placements. Understanding how doctoral graduates use program core curriculum information and the core curriculum courses that directly impact doctoral graduate career decisions provide key elements in doctoral graduate program design.


Jon Travis

Subject Categories

Curriculum and Instruction | Education