MURRAY, Ky. — On April 20, the Murray State University College of Education and Human Services saw its first doctoral-level dissertation defense. John Eveland, a student in the Ed.D. in P-20 and Community Leadership program, presented his dissertation entitled “The Relative Effectiveness of Course Delivery Methodology on Student Success, Retention, and Persistence in Remedial Mathematics.”
This is a fairly new program for the University and is the first doctoral-level offering from the College of Education and Human Services. As such, Eveland is the first student to complete the dissertation process for the Ed.D. in P-20 and Community Leadership program.
Dr. Randy Wilson, program coordinator, explained, “The Ed.D. in P-20 and Community Leadership program began with its first cohort in the fall of 2014. This is a 60-hour, cohort-based, executive-style-delivery program that is designed to be completed in three years. There are four specializations: postsecondary leadership, pK-12 leadership, STEM leadership and agriculture education.”
Currently a mathematics teacher at Bardstown High School, Eveland is also an adjunct instructor for the Kentucky Community and Technical College System through both West Kentucky Community and Technical College and Bluegrass Community and Technical College. Furthermore, he serves as a tutor and a mentor for other tutors with Tutor.com.
Eveland summarized his experience by stating, “The greatest advantages of this program have been the opportunities to reflect on and observe educational leadership outside of my vocational setting. The program has provided opportunities to network with educational leaders representing a variety of organizations across the state, not the least of whom were fellow cohort members.”
“I do not plan on any immediate vocational changes,” continued Eveland. “I enrolled in the program because of interests that I have in mathematics education, which span the gaps between secondary and post-secondary education. I am still interested in this topic, and I am continually looking for opportunities to increase student success in these areas of mathematics.”
“There are good opportunities offered by this program for personal and professional growth,” Eveland explained. “I have greatly enjoyed the opportunities to read, write, think and converse with a diverse set of educational and community leaders from the region.”
Dr. David Whaley, dean of the College of Education and Human Services, shared how impressed he was with Eveland’s dissertation defense. “The dissertation was very forward-thinking and addressed new areas of research. His study embodied great critical thinking and high levels of rigor while reaching important conclusions and recommendations that should be shared in a future journal article.”
“This first-ever dissertation defense for the Murray State Ed.D. program was a highlight event and reflects so well on the doctoral committee of faculty and the leadership provided to the program by Drs. Randy Wilson and Teresa Clark,” continued Whaley.
Since Eveland’s presentation, six other students in the program have defended their dissertations.
When asked about the future of the Ed.D. in P-20 and Community Leadership program, Wilson answered, “The program and college leadership are always looking for new ways to deliver the program and recruit students with diverse backgrounds.”
To support these goals, program leaders will begin exploring new partnerships and specializations as well as an increase in online delivery options.