Faculty of Education

All students completing a Doctor of Philosophy in Education should refer to the overarching comprehensive examination guidelines within the Doctor of Philosophy in Education Policies and Procedures.

The following concentrations have their respective guidelines:

Counselling Psychology Concentration

The comprehensive examination for the Counselling Psychology concentration has the following components:

Examination Component:

Description:

Written Component

Purpose:

  • Tests the student’s knowledge in research methodologies, which can be related to the student’s chosen methodology for the doctoral thesis  
  • Tests the student’s knowledge within the field of counselling psychology as it relates to current controversies/debates within the field of counselling Ethics. Student needs to demonstrate competencies beyond what would be expected from master’s level competencies
  • Tests the student’s knowledge within the field of counselling psychology as it relates to interventions or assessments, beyond what would be expected from master’s level competencies

Evidence:

  • The student will receive two written questions from each of the above competency areas, and will select one question from each area to address. Thus, there will be a total of six (6) questions presented to the student, and the student will select three (3) questions to answer (one from each competency area).
  • Questions will be drafted by the Comprehensive Examination Committee. Two (2) questions from each competency area are to be presented to the student.
  • Upon receipt of the questions, the student has twenty-eight (28) days to submit a written response to each selected question. This work is done independently with no guidance from the Comprehensive Examination Committee or the Chair. If the student has questions, the student can consult the Chair via email communications only.
  • Each written response is to be submitted in Microsoft Word in a professional format that adheres fully with APA standards.
  • Each written response must actively integrate current research (within the last 10 years) and show ample critical reflection. The questions will not address rote/recall and require reflections at a higher level than what would be expected of a master’s level graduate.
  • Each written response should be at least twenty (20) pages and not more than forty (40) pages, excluding title page, abstract and references.
  • General criteria will be identified and used to evaluate the quality of each piece of written work.
  • The Comprehensive Examination Committee will have three (3) weeks to review the three (3) written responses before an oral examination is held.
  • Students are strongly encouraged to publish their written responses upon completion of this process.

Oral Component

  • Oral examination consisting of questioning and discussion designed to test the student’s depth of knowledge in the above areas, and in the general subject area.
  • Developed by the Comprehensive Examination Committee, and administered by the Chair of that committee.
  • Normally, two (2) hours long.
 

A ‘Pass’ grade will be awarded when a majority of committee members vote as such on both the written and oral components of the comprehensive examination.

Formal and Distributive Leadership Concentration

In addition to the guidelines pertaining to the Doctor of Philosophy in Education, the comprehensive examination in the Formal and Distributive Leadership concentration will assess the student’s preparedness to conduct research in educational leadership using qualitative, quantitative, or mixed methodologies. In addition, the examination will assess the student’s knowledge of conceptual frameworks specific to theories and models of educational leadership. The following components will be included in the comprehensive examination:

Examination Component:

Description:

Written Component

Purpose:

To assess the student’s:

  • knowledge of research methodologies and, in particular, those that relate to the study of educational leadership.
  • conceptual understandings of the underlying models, theories, and ontologies of educational leadership.
  • ability to apply methodological and conceptual frameworks to solve case-related problems in educational leadership

Evidence:

  • The student will receive two written questions from each of the above competency areas, and will select one question from each area to address. Accordingly, there will be a total of 6 questions presented, from which the student will select 3 questions to answer (one from each competency area).
  • Questions will be drafted by the Comprehensive Examination Committee. Two (2) questions from each competency area are to be presented to the student.
  • Upon receipt of the questions, the student has twenty-eight (28) days to submit a written response to each selected question. This work is done independently with no guidance from the committee or the Chair. If the student has questions, the student will consult the Chair via email communications only.
  • Each written response is to be submitted in Microsoft Word in a professional format that adheres fully with the APA standards (commensurate with the edition of the year the student entered the program).
  • Each written response must integrate seminal and current (within the last 10 years) research and demonstrate high levels of analysis, synthesis, and critical reflection.
  • Each question response should be at least 20 pages and not more than 40 pages, excluding title page, abstract and references.
  • Criteria will be provided to the student in advance of the examination and will be used to evaluate the quality of each response.
  • The committee will have three (3) weeks to review the three question responses before the oral examination is held.

Oral Component

  • The oral examination will consist of questions and discussion designed to test the student’s depth of knowledge in the above areas, and in the general subject area.
  • The examination will be developed by the Comprehensive Examination Committee, and administered by the Chair of that committee.
  • Normally, the oral examination will be two (2) hours in duration..
 

Learning, Teaching, and Curriculum Concentration

In addition to the Doctor of Philosophy in Education comprehensive examination guidelines, the comprehensive examination for the Learning, Teaching, and Curriculum concentration will utilize its own guidelines within the overarching Doctor of Philosophy in Education framework.

The comprehensive examination for the Learning, Teaching, and Curriculum concentration has the following components:

Examination Component:

Description:

Written Component

The Supervisory Committee will generate one (1) or two (2) questions that address the following components:

  • Knowledge of research methodologies relevant to the area of study
  • Conceptual understandings of core theoretical constructs relevant to the area of study
  • Capacity to situate understandings within the broader discourses in the field
  • Students will not be given a choice of questions. 
  • Students will generate a reading list which must be negotiated with and approved by the Supervisory Committee.  Students will be given thirty-five (35) days to complete the written component. 
  • If the student has questions, the student will consult the Chair of the Comprehensive Examination Committee via email communications only.
  • Each written response is to be submitted in Microsoft Word in a professional format that adheres fully with APA standards.
  • The Comprehensive Examination Committee will have three (3) weeks to review the written responses before an oral examination is held.
  • Students are strongly encouraged to publish their written responses upon completion of this process.

Criteria

Purpose                                                                      

  • Is the student’s intention clear?

Question                                                                       

  • Has the student recognized the relevance and significance of the question(s)?
  • Are relevant related questions explored?
  • Do they allow for the exploration of learning, teaching, and curriculum  concepts and issues in appropriate depth and breadth?

Information                                                      

  • Is the paper informed by relevant readings and research studies?
  • Is information (sources cited) sufficiently broad and deep?
  • Is the information accurate?

Concepts                                                          

  • Does the paper demonstrate accurate understanding of relevant concepts?
  • Are relevant concepts clearly and accurately identified?
  • Are concepts understood in adequate depth and detail?

Conclusions                                                      

  • Is the paper’s key question clearly answered?
  • Is the answer (argument) supported with appropriate, detailed evidence?
  • Does the answer follow logically from the information provided?
  • Does the answer address the complexities in the questions at issue?

Perspective

  • Does the paper demonstrate fair-mindedness?
  • Does it address relevant perspectives on the question(s) at issue?

Implications                                                      

  • Are the implications for educational practice clear?
  • Do they follow logically?
  • Are they significant for educators’ professional practices?

Presentation                                                     

  • Is it professionally presented?
  • Are writing conventions observed?
  • Are APA guidelines observed?
  • Is the format effective?
  • Is it well organized?

Oral Component

  • Oral examination consisting of questioning and discussion designed to test the student’s depth of knowledge in both their program research area, and in the general subject area.
  • Developed by the Comprehensive Examination Committee, and administered by the Chair of that committee.
  • Normally, two (2) hours long.