Specialist and Doctoral Programs

Individuals who already have a master's degree can pursue an Ed.S. (Specialist in Education) or Ed.D. (Doctor of Education) degree at UWF in the area of instructional and performance technology. Classes for the individual specializations are available online; core classes are available at the Pensacola campus and at the Fort Walton Beach campus. Pursuit of either degree can enhance your current career or open the door to new career paths.


Program Description

What is the difference between a specialist and a doctor?

  • A specialist is a consumer of research. Specialists find, evaluate, and apply research in the workplace.
  • A doctoral graduate is not only a consumer of research but also a developer of research.

That is why a doctoral student must plan and conduct a rigorous, original research study and write a dissertation.

A specialist degree involves much of the same coursework as a doctorate. If you are planning to pursue a doctorate after receiving your specialist degree, inquire about dual enrollment in the Ed.S. and Ed.D. programs so that your coursework will apply to both degrees.

Specialist Degree (Ed.S.)

Choose an Ed.S. in Curriculum and Instruction (see catalog) with a specialization in instructional technology if you are a professional in the field of education or training who wants an administrative and leadership position. The degree requires that you complete at least 36 semester hours and maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0.

There are two options available for an Ed.S. with a specialization in instructional technology:

  • Performance Technology Option. This option focuses on the innovative use of technology to enhance human performance.
  • Distance Learning Option. This option focuses on the analysis, design, development, implementation, and evaluation of distributed learning systems.

Doctoral Degree (Ed.D.)

Choose an Ed.D. in Curriculum and Instruction (see catalog), with a specialization in instructional technology, if you:

  • are a professional in the field of education or training
  • want to assume an administrative or leadership position
  • want to conduct and evaluate research studies to address local, state, and regional educational issues and problems

The doctoral program has the same two options as the specialist program:

  • Performance Technology Option. This option focuses on the innovative use of technology to enhance human performance.
  • Distance Learning Option. This option focuses on the analysis, design, development, implementation, and evaluation of distributed learning systems.

However, in addition to the coursework, Ed.D. students take a comprehensive written and oral exam, design and execute a research study, and write a dissertation.

Career Opportunities with an Ed.S. or Ed.D. in Instructional Technology

The Ed.S. and Ed.D. programs in Curriculum and Instruction with a specialization in Instructional Technology are designed to meet the educational needs of regional, fulltime employed professionals from a variety of backgrounds. Completing one of these degrees allows students to expand their thinking, gain experience, and develop the professional skills needed to advance within their chosen discipline and profession.

Following are some of the career opportunities available for an Ed.S. or Ed.D. graduate with a specialization in Instructional Technology:

  • Junior college instructor or administrator
  • P12 teacher or administrator
  • Training director in military or industry
  • Performance improvement consultant
  • Distance learning specialist
  • Technology coordinator
  • Corporate training specialist
  • Training consultant
  • Instructional project manager
  • Instructional quality control manager
  • business meeting

In addition, Ed.D. graduates may become university instructors or administrators.

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