2014-2015 Walden University Catalog (June 2015) 
    Dec 07, 2021  
2014-2015 Walden University Catalog (June 2015) [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Self-Designed - PhD in Education

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Some educators are interested in fields that are just emerging and are not yet recognized as areas of specialization at Walden University. The Self-Designed specialization, working within the General Program of Study (POS) outline, allows such individuals to create a program of study that is clearly focused on new and emerging ideas and practices. Examples include, but are not limited to, K–12 curriculum and instruction, second-language learning, community college issues or education, mathematics education, science education, adult literacy, international education, middle level education, music and arts education, and vocational education.

Note: Students follow the General Program of study and will develop a focus for their Self-Designed specialization for their advanced Knowledge Area Modules (KAM) V and VI. This can entail substituting KAMS V and VI with Walden PhD program courses (three to four per KAM) or refocusing the KAM itself on the area of specialization. Students will have to supply the URL of an accredited university that offers a PhD program with similar courses for the program to be approved.

In addition, the Self-Designed program is not intended for students who want to teach or apply for certification in a specific area (e.g., history, art). It is suggested that the students interested in this option review the General Program requirements carefully.

Declaring a Self-Designed Specialization

Students design and declare the Self-Designed specialization in conjunction with the development of the Professional Development Plan (PDP) during their first quarter. Students are enrolled in the General program for the first quarter and beyond until completion and approval of their PDP and POS. Students work with the General and Self-Designed specialization coordinator who will give final approval of the plan. Failure to meet any of the criteria for the Self-Designed specialization will result in the student continuing in the General Education program and/or petitioning to change to another specialization. Changing specializations may result in extra time to complete degree requirements.

The PDP must clearly reflect how the student intends to integrate the Self-Designed specialization into the Depth and Application sections of all the KAMs, as well as the dissertation. The Breadth component of the specialized KAMs must also support the specialization; however, the Breadth component of the core KAMs is not used to support specializations. Students should complete the Program of Study form using the education General Program specialization course numbers for the Breadth, Depth, and Application components of each KAM. The Depth and Application components should include a subtitle that reflects the focus of the student’s unique Self-Designed specialization. In the specialized KAMs, the titles of the Breadth component must also reflect the Self-Designed specialization. The core research sequence and advanced research course, which are required in all PhD in Education specializations, are also required in the Self-Designed specialization. Students can contact Academic Advising Team to discuss the option of substituting three to four aligned Walden PhD courses per KAM.

Completing a Self-Designed Specialization

To complete the Self-Designed specialization, students follow the requirements outlined in the program of study, demonstrating doctoral-level competency in all academic work and meeting all prescribed Walden University academic program requirements. 

Note on Licensure

For initial licensure or adding endorsements (e.g., new teaching fields) to existing licenses, individuals are often required to complete a state-approved licensure program. Walden offers Minnesota state-approved licensure programs in special education, early childhood education, and P–12 principal licensure.

Additionally, not all of Walden’s programs include a practicum or cover the grade span of K–12, which are requirements for obtaining an endorsement in some states, especially in the area of reading.

The graduate degree program and coursework within the program in which you are enrolling is accepted by many states toward upgrading or renewing a license or obtaining a salary increase (depending on state or district policy).

Prospective students seeking licensure must research their state licensure requirements to determine (1) if they are required to complete a state-approved licensure program, and (2) if there are any other requirements that apply, especially requirements pertaining to programs provided by out-of-state (except Minnesota) or online institutions.

Walden enrollment advisors can provide guidance on licensure issues; however, it remains the individual’s responsibility to understand and comply with all state licensure requirements. Walden makes no representation or guarantee that completion of Walden coursework or programs will permit an individual to obtain state licensure or endorsement. For additional guidance on licensure issues, please refer to www.WaldenU.edu/educlicensure.