Problem of Practice and Immersion

Baylor University’s School of Education is committed to preparing organizational leaders who will go on to bring impactful change to public and private corporations, government, nonprofit organizations, and schools and universities.

Delivered by Baylor’s Department of Curriculum & Instruction, the EdD online in Learning and Organizational Change offers two immersion experiences designed to provide intensive, in-person forums for aspiring EdD leaders.

Taking place on Baylor’s historic Waco campus, students and faculty collaborate through workshops, team projects, and presentations. A cornerstone of the program, immersions serve as dedicated opportunities for students to apply newly acquired skills and bring their vocation to life. During this time, students will also start to conceive and develop their Problem of Practice (PoP) dissertation.

What Is a Problem of Practice?

The PoP dissertation sets Baylor University’s EdD online program apart by giving students an opportunity to select a specific problem that will create measurable change in their immediate spheres of influence. While many programs offer a dissertation for their EdD students, a PoP dissertation is a non-traditional way to translate insights learned from the curriculum into everyday life.

Before students select a problem of practice, a SMART guideline is set forth to ensure students choose a PoP that is beneficial to themselves and others, yet narrow enough to be completed during their doctoral journey:

S pecific;
M easurable;
A ttainable in the time frame;
R elevant to you, your employer, and your community of practice; and
T imely to the current area of practice.

By choosing a PoP that is SMART, students emerge from the EdD online program as competent leaders who are ready to bring viable solutions to their workplace.

Phases of the PoP Dissertation

The PoP dissertation is composed of three phases encompassing four courses that students will complete during their last two years of the EdD online program. Each course is three credits and is designed to help students plan, develop, and finalize their project.

Phase One
Term Five

PoP Phase I: Introduction, Statement of the Problem and Purpose, Review of Literature

PoP Phase II: Research Methodology

PoP Phase I and II have an immersion component that is held on Baylor University’s campus so that students can learn from each other and begin building their PoP through the guidance of faculty members. Weekly learning coursework sessions take place during this term.

Phase Two
Term Eight

PoP Phase III: Data Analysis, Results, and Distribution of Findings/Implications, Executive Summary

Students will analyze results, record their findings, and complete their written PoP document. The second immersion takes place in this term. The EdD Writing Center can continue to help students with the PoP document during this course.

Phase Three
(Final Phase)
Term Nine

PoP Capstone: Defense Process, Receive Recommendations

The final PoP course lets students present their findings from PoP Phase I–III in an executive summary. After receiving feedback, students will then work with the EdD Writing Center to finalize their PoP document’s formatting and prepare to graduate.

PoP Resources

Students receive ongoing support from the first day of their EdD journey. To ensure students are getting the most out of their PoP courses, they are each assigned a faculty advisor and given access to the EdD Writing Center.

Faculty Advisors

During the third term of the EdD online program, students are carefully matched with a faculty advisor who can provide support and guidance for their specific dissertation project.

Writing Center

The EdD online program offers a writing center available to all Doctor of Education students. Through consultations and workshops, writing consultants are readily available to assist students as they complete the EdD online program and construct their PoP documents.

Writing Consultations

During a writing consultation, students meet with EdD writing consultants one-on-one to discuss their PoP document. To best utilize this resource, consultations must be scheduled one week in advance. Documents need to be submitted two days prior to the consultation so that students can receive written feedback.

Writing Workshops

Writing workshops bring great value to the EdD online program by helping students communicate the importance of their selected PoP. These workshops are available for students during all stages of the writing process and occur both online and on campus during the immersion experiences.

The Baylor EdD Immersion Experience

Immersions bring students together on Baylor’s campus in Waco, Texas. During the first immersion, students participate in a two-day workshop where they begin to work on elements of their Problem of Practice with the assistance of EdD faculty and staff. During the second immersion, students return to Baylor’s campus to engage in peer working group sessions and present their PoP dissertation.

Immersions not only give students the opportunity to meet their classmates in person but also offer hands-on learning that will empower graduates to enter the field with confidence. The immersion series cultivates community and is invaluable to Baylor’s EdD online program and imperative to formulating the PoP dissertation.

Immersion One

The first of two immersions occurs at the beginning of the third term. During this immersion experience, students will come to Baylor’s campus and participate in a two-day workshop. This workshop plays a vital role in the development of the PoP that students select, as they will receive real-time feedback and the tools necessary to continue building their PoP dissertation.

In addition to the workshop, students will also meet their peers and faculty in person for the first time during the EdD online program. As a result of working alongside fellow students and advisors, students will walk away with a solidified PoP and forge relationships that will guide them for the duration of the EdD online program.

Attendance for the first immersion series is mandatory for students to receive credit in the Educational Evaluation course.

Immersion Two

The second immersion occurs in Term Five and also takes place on Baylor University’s campus in Waco, Texas. Students will come to campus prepared to present their PoP to fellow graduate students, faculty, and members of the EdD online leadership team. After receiving feedback on their presentations, students will participate in peer working group sessions and workshops to continue their learning.

Attendance for the second immersion series is mandatory to receive credit for the PoP Phase III course.

Learn More About In-Person Immersions

If you want to learn more about the transformational power of the EdD immersions, our admissions counselors are available to answer your questions.

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