|Photo by ~John~|
Hello everyone! My name is Leah MacVie and I'm going to be guest posting on my 'Great Doctoral Hunt' over the next few weeks. This is a cross-post series from my site www.leahmacvie.com. I'd love to hear about your experience, so please feel free to comment here on Peoplegogy or at www.leahmacvie.com.
Going back to school and 'finishing up' has been something on my mind for a while. I was the first on both sides of my family to complete even a Master's, but I still don't know if that's enough. When I've asked great people like Gardner Campbell or Scott Chadwick this question, they usually reply with "Well, what do you want to do?" and my answer always is "I'm not sure." Their eyes get quizzical and then they usually reply with "That's actually OK, and probably better." Though I don't know what my future holds for me, I don't want to be in a situation where I'm limited if I don't have a doctoral degree. After countless conversations with my hubby about what is the best cost and time choice for us, I've decided to start narrowing down my search, but to keep it open to different degree options. This series will document my progress over the next few weeks.
Mission 1: Identify an Ideal SituationBecause I am employed full time, my ideal and preferred situation is to enroll in hybrid program where I visit the campus at least once a year to connect with peers and instructors in the program and attend the rest of the classes online. Because attending classes outside of my institution is in no way covered by my employer, I will be cost-conscious during my search. I will also be on the lookout for other financial-coverage perks, such as applying for scholarships or financial aid opportunities. As for the subject, I am looking for a topic that combines all my interests (education, informal learning, social media, technology) or allows me to customize my degree. Although I would prefer a Ph.D. program, I will also be on the lookout for exceptional Ed.D. programs as well.
Mission 2: Connect with Individuals Who Performed Similar SearchesI thought it would first be helpful to read first hand accounts by individuals who have gone through this type of search before in order to see what search methods they used. These are the resources I found:
- Rukshan Fernando is a doctoral candidate in Community Economic Development at Southern New Hampshire University. He blogs atBricks and Mortar and started a series on his reflections of a Ph.D. student. Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3. I'll be reaching out to him this week on Twitter. You can follow him as well: @RukshanFr
- April Niemela is a Ph.D. candidate at the Educational Psychology and Educational Technology Program at Michigan State University, one of the programs I've had my eye on. She blogs on her site, April Niemela. She's actually in the first cohort to go through the MSU program and she has documented a lot of her experiences on this blog.
Mission 3: Begin to Collect ProgramsI am using my Google Booksmarks to collect hybrid programs in the states and programs I am interested in abroad. Although the list is public and you can search for it ("doctoral programs" by leahmacvie), Google has not built in the sharable URL feature yet which prevents me from linking it here on the post. However, here is a bit of the list I have going so far: My goal over the next few weeks is to keep accumulating options. Then I will compare them in spreadsheet so that I can dwindle it down to the final 3 that I will apply to. I am still searching for more individuals who have documented their hybrid Ph.D. searches and hybrid programs, but this info is not easy to come by. If you know of anyone or programs not currently listed, please send me the info. I will be very grateful!