Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Center for the Advancement of Education


The last major curriculum change in the Programs for Higher Education (PHE) took place seven years ago when the specialization courses were incorporated into the summer institute. Since that time there have been significant changes in the higher education environment which have impacted on the vitality and marketability of the PHE programs. Changes in PHE student demographics have also contributed to an increasing concern about the lack of variety of courses in the academic program, as well issues such as the viability of introducing more specific fields of specialization and/or concentrations to the programs, the potential need for a more diverse faculty, and the development and utilization of a greater variety of instructional modalities. Working through a series of task forces, the Director's Team, assembled in 1987 to review PHE's current structure, procedures and staffing patterns, was charged with the responsibility of formulating recommendations for program improvements and enhancements. The consensus of the curriculum and marketing task forces was that the needs, interests, and demographics of both the current students and the potential student marketplace, needed to be examined as a framework for curriculum enhancement was developed. The purpose of this study was to support the work of the Director's Team by determining the usefulness of Nova's generic degree in Higher Education in a competitive market place where professional educators are developing higher degrees of specialization. Having determined that many students pursue the doctoral degree to enhance their professional or personal status, current PHE students and their current or potential employers in the fields of corporate training, student personnel services and nursing/health education were studied to determine if Nova's generic Ed. D. in Higher Education adequately met their professional development needs. The investigation focused on three research questions: 1. Are the three existing specializations sufficient to meet the professional development needs of future applicants? 2. As curriculum enhancements and modifications are deliberated, what are the ways in which the programs can become more flexible and offer a wider array of options to potential students? 3. How can the Programs for Higher Education be revitalized to make the programs more attractive to either a larger share of the current marketplace, or to attract an increased market share of new students for whom Nova's programs were not previously an appropriate alternative? At the 1989 PHE summer institute 160 attendees were surveyed to determine the suitability of the current PHE structure to the needs of students and recent alumni. A review of the survey data results suggested that potential specializations for PHE be investigated in the fields of health care education, training and development, and student personnel administration. A comprehensive literature review was made of the trends in doctoral education for those fields. The catalogs of thirty-seven accredited institutions offering doctoral programs were reviewed to determine the competitiveness of the PHE with regard to admissions and graduation requirements, student costs, programs offered, and instructional modalities. Structured interviews were held with forty-three educational leaders in the fields of nursing, allied health, training and development, and student personnel administration to validate the trends reported in the literature and to enhance the data obtained through the summer institutes and catalog surverys.

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