Username: nicole0 Send personal mail
Subject area: Education
Department: Curriculum and Instruction
Pursuing degree: Doctoral
No questions asked.
This may be a dead topic but I wanted to add one thing.
It may be possible to reorganize the committee so that the advisor becomes a member and another member steps up to become the committee head. This way you don't have as much drama, the advisor loses a lot of his/her power, and you don't have to lose time or re-defend the topic in front of a new person.
Typically (someone should correct me if I'm wrong) a Ph.D. requires novel, brand new, never seen before research. The Ed.D. requires an in-depth study, usually an intervention or program evaluation in the school the Ed.D. student is affiliated with.
Length is probably pretty much the same (i.e. LONG).
Both degrees are doctorates and are, therefore, fairly equal in the job market. I assume preference is given to Ph.D. for research positions because their dissertation typically requires more in-depth reserach analyses... but I'm not sure.
I'd have to say - talk to the schools you're interested in attending to see which program is better for you. I'm a Ph.D. student and from what I've seen at my university, the Ed.D. students are teachers and administrators who are going to school while they work and are focusing their research/thesis on something in their schools. The Ph.D. students are the more "typical" grad students who are funded by the university, have assistantships, etc.
I'm a Ph.D student in my 6th (and FINAL!) year. For me, the hard part wasn't course work, as most people have said. The difficult part was finding a novel dissertation topic that interested me. Then you need to get your advisor to support you and THEN you need to find other committee members that like your idea too.
The other part of my problem was that I worked while I was a student. I was an adjunct instructor at two other colleges and I had a Teaching Assistantship through my university up until this last year (when they pulled my funding because they decided I was taking "too long" -- this is something you should realize is possible).
So, in retrospect, I can say that I probably shouldn't have loaded myself up with so much outside work (so I could focus more on reading and finding a topic) but I have bills, so there wasn't a lot of choices for me. I hope you're able to find a good balance of home-school life -- I think that's the key to a happy and productive (and quick) graduate career.
I agree with the other posts and I want to add that your advisor is the person you should be meeting with 2-4 times a month to keep him/her up to date on your progress. Draft chapters should go to your advisor first and then go to other committee members you both agree would be likely to have valuable input (and getting input that requires rewrites is better sooner rather than later, in my opinion). But, otherwise, you shouldn't "bother" your committee members too much. They're doing us all a great service by being on our committees and the least we can do is keep their workload to a minimum.
In terms of how much influence they have on your work, I believe the answer is A LOT. They sign off on it at your Dissertation Defense and if they don't like what they're reading/hearing, you're not graduating. For me, I've listened very closely to authors/papers they've mentioned and I've worked hard to intergrate those sources into my literature review. I also try to mimic their writing/organizatioanl styles to appeal to them as they read - of course I've also found that there are conflicts in styles among my 4 member committee, so even that's not easy! But, in the end, the dissetation is yours and you need to be proud of what you've created.
Oh, and you usually can change who is on your committee but if you've already defended your topic, you may have to RE-defend in front of the new members. If you're having trouble managing your committee members (or getting them to answer their phone/email) you need to voice your concerns to your advisor and if that still doesn't work you should move up to the head of your department. We feel so rotten when we have to ask professors to do things for us... but it's part of the job requirement - so stick to it and you'll get what you need from them.