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About the Foundations of Education Program

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PROGRAM OVERVIEW

Students in the Foundations of Education Doctoral Program develop conceptual and research skills from multiple disciplines—history, philosophy, anthropology, political science, sociology, and more—to understand and develop creative responses to the grand challenges of education. We have special program focus on critical theory, rural education, literacy, social justice, equity, and inclusion.

The Foundations of Education Doctoral Program  prepares students for a wide variety of roles, including but not limited to leadership roles at education-focused foundations, faculty positions, consulting, journalism or editorial jobs, executive positions at non-profit organizations, in entrepreneurial settings, or policy making for state and national governments and international organizations. 

The program is fairly small, which allows for greater interaction among doctoral students and faculty. Individualized programs of study are developed for students to ensure that their studies prepare them well for the career paths they choose. The faculty works closely with students to tailor their learning experiences to meet their goals.

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WHAT YOU'LL STUDY

Students in the Foundations of Education Doctoral Program develop conceptual and research skills from multiple disciplines—history, philosophy, anthropology, political science, sociology, and more—to understand and develop creative responses to the grand challenges of education. Students can be prepared for careers in an array of educational, government, non-profit, and entrepreneurial settings.

Foundations of Education Doctoral Program students take at least 69 hours of post-master’s credits, including up to 30 hours of dissertation research and writing.  

Courses in the program include topics like Schooling in American Society, Academic Writing for the Social Sciences, Discourse in Classrooms & Schools, Gender & Education, The Analysis of Educational Concepts, Education & Anthropology, and Ethnographic Methods in Educational Research.

DISSERTATION

The Ph.D. in Foundations in Education is not awarded solely on the basis of coursework completion. To graduate, each student must also conduct an original research study culminating in the presentation and defense of a dissertation.

Many students write their dissertations in the traditional five-chapter format (i.e., as a research paper with an introduction, literature review, methodology section, results, and conclusion).  Other options such as a journal article, creative, or arts-based dissertation are available.  Students work with the dissertation chairs and committees to determine the best format for their dissertation.

NATIONALLY RECOGNIZED FACULTY

Dr. Weaver-Hightower smiles happily at the camera. He stands in front of a wall of Hokie Stone, wearing a white shirt with narrow grey stripes, and a grey tie with blue and tan dots
Marcus Weaver-Hightower, Professor and Program Leader
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Amy Price Azano, Associate Professor of Adolescent Literacy and Rural Education

EMERITUS FACULTY

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Jim Garrison, Professor Emeritus
dr kris tilley-lubbs smiles into the camera - she wears a black shirt with a maroon drape - her brown hair is short and styled. she wears glasses
Kris Tilley-Lubbs, Professor Emeritus