2022–2023 Walden University Catalog (September 2022) 
    Dec 09, 2022  
2022–2023 Walden University Catalog (September 2022)

Organizational Research, Assessment, and Evaluation - PhD in Education

Return to: PhD in Education  

The focus of this specialization is on helping students create a culture of continuous improvement within programs and organizations and as individuals. It emphasizes the theory, trends, and perspectives in the field as well as the role of assessment and evaluation as a vehicle for positive change. Students in this program engage in hands-on applied experiences and utilize processes for the rigorous research, assessment, and evaluation of complex organizational systems through data gathering and analysis. In this specialization, students evaluate programs systematically to resolve problems and engage in evidence-based decision making. 

Specialization Learning Outcomes

In addition to the core program learning outcomes , graduates in this specialization will be prepared to:

  1. Develop ethically and socially responsible research, evaluation, and assessment practices.
  2. Demonstrate the ability to develop a comprehensive assessment plan designed to improve the performance of individuals, programs, and/or institutions.
  3. Integrate evidence of sociological, political, and economic considerations in evaluation/assessment proposals.
  4. Communicate findings of research in a way that is actionable by organizations and/or individuals.
  5. Communicate assessment information appropriately based on the audience and purpose.
  6. Demonstrate the ability to plan for a sustainable organizational culture of assessment and improvement.
  7. Demonstrate the ability to conduct research that positively impacts social change.


Core Research Sequence (15 cr.)

Courses composing the core research sequence are conducted online and require weekly readings, participation in discussions, and assignment completion. Course instructors guide discussions and evaluate discussion and application assignments. RSCH 8100 or 8110 must be completed prior to Residency 2 of the academic residencies. RSCH 8200 or 8210 and RSCH 8300 or 8310 must be completed prior to beginning the dissertation or attending Residency 3.

Advanced Research Course (5 cr.)

Those enrolled in this specialization are required to complete an advanced research course. The university offers three advanced research courses: quantitative, qualitative, and mixed-methods. When the prospectus is approved, students will take the advanced research course selected as the methodology approved for the dissertation.
Students are required to complete one of the following courses:

Residency Requirements

Course Sequence

The recommended course sequence is as follows:

Course Credits
  OR   (6 weeks) 5 cr.
Complete Residency 1 as soon as you begin your program; should be completed within 90 days of completing your Foundations course (EDPD 8002/EDPD 8006). 0 cr.
   5 cr.
   5 cr.
  OR    5 cr.
Complete Residency 2 after RSCH 8100/RSCH 8110. 0 cr. 
   5 cr.
   5 cr.
   3 cr.
  OR    5 cr.
   5 cr.
   3 cr.
  OR    5 cr.
Complete Residency 3 after RSCH 8200/8210 and RSCH 8300/8310. 0 cr. 
   5 cr.
   5 cr.
  OR   OR    5 cr.
  5 cr. per term for a minimum of 4 terms; taken continuously until completion

Complete Residency 4 after your prospectus is approved and you are enrolled in EDUC 9000 or EDPD 8990 as:

0 cr. 
Optional: Complete a PhD dissertation intensive during EDPD 8990. Contact Student Success Advising to register. Note: Intensives are not included in Fast Track tuition.  

Students will be registered for two courses every 11 weeks, following the completion of their foundation course. Students who wish to reduce their course load during one or more terms should contact their student success advisor.

* Students take this course for a minimum of four quarters and are continuously enrolled until completion of their dissertation with final chief academic officer (CAO) approval.

To complete a doctoral dissertation, students must obtain the academic approval of several independent evaluators including their committee, the University Research Reviewer, and the Institutional Review Board; pass the Form and Style Review; gain approval at the oral defense stage; and gain final approval by the chief academic officer. Students must also publish their dissertation on ProQuest before their degree is conferred. Learn more about the dissertation process in the Dissertation Guidebook.

Note on Certification

This program is not intended to lead to teacher certification. Teachers are advised to contact their individual school districts as to whether this program may qualify for salary advancement.