I graduated with an Ed.D. in Curriculum and Instruction, Educational Technology Leadership, in Spring 2007. I am currently the Associate Dean of eLearning at Gulf Coast Community College.
I decided to pursue my doctorate because I wanted to extend my master's degree from George Washington University in the same area. I have been working with educators and technology for over 15 years. I chose UWF because it offered a more flexible and accessible program than other colleges. Over half of the courses in the program were online, even over 5 years ago. Equally important, the good reputation of the college made the degree more appealing. I never regretted my choice. However, the one aspect of the program that really stands out in my mind is — hands down! — the faculty. To a person, they were innovative and on the edge of their respective fields. My dissertation committee and chair were nothing short of incredible in their patience and persistence. I found the coursework very meaningful, with no fluff courses. Looking back, each course was applicable to my current job and provided me with the knowledge and experiences I need to succeed...and to help others. The doctoral experience is unique. Comps will force you to pull it all together, and the dissertation will make you a unique expert in your topic. The journey of scholarship and collegiality is irreplaceable...and well within your reach.
Pursuing the doctoral degree through UWF was one of the wisest decisions I have made in my life. It immediately opened up opportunities for advancement at my college. More importantly, it has given me the theoretical underpinnings and practical skill sets I need to guide GCCC in the continuing integration of technology into teaching and learning.
To prospective students, my advice is to start! Jump in and begin, even if you are only remotely thinking about a degree in the area. UWF is the best place to begin. The faculty are engaged not only in their students but also in real-world applications of their areas of expertise. They can help on many levels. Once you begin, never quit, even if you can take only one course. I alternated between taking one and two a semester so I would not burn out. Everyone's personal situation is different, and finding your path to success will be unique, but never...ever...quit!