For more than a century, the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) has been committed to excellence and expansion of its disciplinary study, and since 2011 has been recognized by the Carnegie Foundation as a research and doctoral institution.
Applying Theory To Practice
By Dr. Kay Keiser, Educational Leadership Department Chair
The Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) from the College of Education is a practitioner’s degree that incorporates applied quantitative and qualitative research. Candidates are discovering the answers to the questions they have asked—searching for key pieces that answer their calling to education.
Dissertations have a direct relationship to each doctoral candidate’s area of expertise, a clear impact on improvement in educational leadership, and a defined relevance to schools and the community.
“Our candidates set out to change the world, but they do it one program, one school, one district at a time...”
Kay Keiser, Educational Leadership Department Chair continues, “By adding the intensity and the rigor of doctoral research to the immediate and future needs of school leaders, teachers, and students, our graduates are also contributing to knowledge for improvement within their fields.”
Ed.D. candidates are engaged with the current issues affecting districts across the metro area. Through the college’s relationship with the Metropolitan Omaha Educational Consortium (MOEC), candidates are focusing on issues that reach beyond responding directly to the community—they are reflecting on their responsibility to address the needs of P-12 students. MOEC’s Executive Steering Committee shares data and provides input on the importance of the key issues candidates are examining. The relationship fosters a successful trajectory for conducting research and applying theory to reality.
The breadth and depth of their research reflects well upon the candidates' dedication, but also makes a difference in the educational practices, policies, and vision. Recently, the faculty in Educational Research studied the trends and commonalities of their candidates’ topics of research in the past five years. The most common elements were interest in issues of poverty, ethnicity, and equity. Themes included effects upon student achievement, teacher effectiveness, school culture, and district decision-making.
In May of 2015, eleven area education leaders joined the 169 graduates of the Ed.D. program. Recent research has addressed the following topics:
- Elementary guided reading
- High school student engagement
- Omani English language learners
- Pre-service teachers’ instructional coaching
- School based mentoring
- School culture and teacher job satisfaction
- School librarian diversity dispositions
- Spanish immersion program student achievement
- Summer learning loss
- Teacher self-efficacy
- Teacher self-efficacy with iPads