PhD in Public Policy

About the Concentration in Educational Leadership and Policy

The Ph.D. in Public Policy: Concentration in Educational Leadership and Policy is a collaborative program offered by the faculties of the Muskie School of Public Policy and the School of Education and Human Development. It is a 45 credit-hour cohort program designed for working professionals with experience in education policy and leadership. The program integrates courses in public policy, educational policy and leadership, and dissertation research. After the second year of the program, students will complete a substantial part of a dissertation proposal that will be assessed to qualify them for continuation in the program. The partial proposal will include a problem statement, a stated hypothesis or research question, a theoretical base, and literature review.

Curriculum Overview:

Policy courses (12 credits):

  • PPM 610 Government, Democracy and Public Policy Making
  • PPM 611 Economics for Policy, Planning and Management
  • PPM 615 Organizational Theory, Management, and Leadership
  • PPM 620 Introduction to Policy Analysis

Educational Leadership and Research Courses (24 credits)

  • EDU 701 Foundations of Education Policy and Research (6 credits, 3 each semester)
  • EDU 702 Contemporary Issues in Educational Leadership and Implications for Policy
  • EDU 705 Data Collection and Analysis in Education Research (6 credits, 3 each semester)
  • EDU 706 Evidence-based Practice and Programs (6 credits)
  • EDU 708 Dissertation Proposal Seminar (6 credits)

Dissertation (9 credits)

  • EDU 799 Dissertation in Education (9 credits)

Three Year Schedule of Courses (DRAFT 11.23.2015)

Academic Year Fall Spring Summer
2016-2017

PPM 610 Government, Democracy and Public Policy Making (3 credits)

 

EDU 701Foundations of Education Policy and Research - part 1 (3 credits)

PPM 611 Economics for Policy, Planning, and Management

 

EDU 701 Foundations of Education Policy and Research - part 2 (3 credits)

EDU 705 Data Collection and Analysis in Education Research (6 credits)

2017-2018

PPM 615 Organizational Theory, Management, and Leadership  (3 credits)

 

EDU 706 Evidence-based Practice and Programs - part 1 (3 credits)

PPM 620 Introduction to Policy Analysis (3 credits)

 

EDU 706 Evidence-based Practice and Programs - part 2 (3 credits)

EDU 702 Contemporary Issues in Ed. Leadership and Implications for Policy (3 credits)

 

EDU 708 Dissertation Proposal Seminar (3 credits) (2 sections)

2018-2019 EDU 799 Dissertation in Education (3-6 credits) EDU 799 Dissertation in Education (3-6 credits) EDU 799 Dissertation (3-6 credits)

 

Comprehensive exam held at the end of spring 2018 or during summer 2018.

Course Descriptions

PPM 610 Governance, Democracy, and Public Policymaking
This course examines the relationship between the political process, public policymaking, and decision making. Topics include public policy formulation, adoption, implementation, and evaluation; the role of policy actors and stakeholders; effective policy communication; and the examination of contemporary public policy issues. Cr 3.

PPM 611 Economics for Policy, Planning and Management
This course introduces students to the basic concepts and analytical tools of microeconomics and demonstrates how these concepts are used in analyzing public policy problems and designing appropriate responses. The course assumes little or no familiarity with economics; students who have taken undergraduate courses in microeconomics will generally find the public policy focus of the course useful. Cr 3.

PPM 615 Organizational Theory, Management, and Leadership
This foundational course considers contemporary perspectives, issues and strategies regarding the management of public sector organizations, the importance of public service and provides a basic understanding of public management theory and the application of theory to governmental and other public and nonprofit sector institutions. Topics covered include a wide range of public management concerns including community governance and public participation, managing collective action, partnership and collaboration, strategy and innovation, nonprofit service delivery, leadership and trust. The course prepares students to become public and nonprofit managers and leaders of public and not-for-profit institutions who can enhance the capability of these institutions. The course presents a realistic view of effective management and leadership in government and nonprofit organizations and the ways in which these organizations work and interact, and focuses on the creation of social and public value, keeping in mind that economic and private value creation is often a part of public and non-profit management. Cr 3.

PPM 620 Introduction to Policy Analysis
The first part of the course covers the theoretical and conceptual frameworks that guide policy analysis, including neoclassical microeconomics and its extensions and political economic theories of distributive justice, public choice, and government failure. The second part of the course covers the steps of policy analysis process (problem identification and definition, specification of policy solutions, and the evaluation and comparison of the solutions) and the various data collection and analytic techniques used at each step. Real-life examples and case studies are used throughout to provide concrete illustrations of the components of policy analysis. The course will enable students to critically evaluate policies, policy analyses, and the policy analysis process itself. Cr 3.

EDU 701 Foundations of Education Policy and Research
This six hour, two-semester course follows PPM 707.  It focuses on selected educational reform policies from historical, social, and political perspectives and the research designs that are appropriate for studying them empirically. Students will engage in careful readings and critical analyses of primary, empirical, and peer-reviewed studies of educational reform policy formation and implementation, and they will examine appropriate designs for doctoral research along these lines. The reform policies that will be considered will reflect recurring issues and the dilemmas they pose for educational leaders. These include, but are not limited to: multiple and conflicting educational aims and purposes, upgrading the teaching profession (preparation, recruitment, retention, development), evaluating student achievement and teaching effectiveness, reducing inequalities in student opportunities and outcomes, and the interplay between corporate and non-corporate models of schooling. The following research designs will be emphasized: qualitative and mixed methods case studies, interview studies, content analyses, survey research, correlation studies, experimental studies, and ex-post /causal comparative studies. As part of the course, students will be introduced to doctoral faculty and their areas of research. Prerequisites: Acceptance into the Ph.D. program and successful completion of PPM 707. Cr 6 (three each semester).

EDU 702: Contemporary Issues in Education Policy and Leadership
This course builds on EDU 701 and examines the role of the local, state, and federal government in creating educational policy to address contemporary education-related issues, and the impacts and challenges they pose for leadership in the context of federal, state, and local environments. As a group and individually, students will engage in careful readings and critical analyses of position papers, primary, empirical, and peer-reviewed studies that deal with current issues in educational policy drawn from various topics and from diverse political paradigms. Prerequisites: Successful completion of EDU 701. Cr 3.

EDU 705 Data Collection and Analysis in Education Research
This six hour, two-semester course follows EDU 701.  This course focuses on mixed methods for conducting research in education policy and leadership.  The course’s emphasis is on the quantitative and qualitative methods of data collection and analysis that are appropriate for studying issues in the fields of education policy and leadership.  Students will develop research questions and appropriate data collection and analysis methods for studying these questions.  The following research designs will be emphasized: qualitative and mixed methods case studies, interview studies, survey research, correlation studies, experimental studies, and ex-post /causal comparative studies.  Prerequisites: Acceptance into the Ph.D. program and successful completion of EDU 701. Cr 6 (three each semester).

EDU 706 Evidence Based Analysis: Policy, Programs, and Accountability Systems
This course focuses on conducting evidence-based reviews and analyses of the design, implementation, and impacts of current international, national, and state education policy, policy initiatives, and education reforms. Using the frameworks articulated by researchers and policy analysts such as Canon, Rushcamp & Freeman (1990), Spillane (1996), Hill (2001), students will analyze approaches countries, states, and school districts take in implementing education policy. Phase I of the course will focus on an analysis of educational reform efforts in American states as well as comparisons of US national efforts with those of other countries. Review of international assessment systems and educational commentary will be examined in light of reform efforts. Phase II of the course will focus on using evidence from Phase I to construct accountability systems for monitoring and assessing the impacts of reform efforts both nationally and in Maine. Students will examine state and local policy implementation, develop accountability systems, and present their reports to state policy makers.  Prerequisites: Successful completion of EDU 701. Cr 6, three each semester.

EDU 708 Dissertation Proposal Seminar
This course is designed to lead students through the process of completing a dissertation proposal. At the end of the course, students will have completed a dissertation proposal that includes: a problem statement, complete research review, a research question, hypotheses, if appropriate and a methodology section. The course will address each of the proposal components in a recursive fashion, developing, sharing, and refining of content. Students will be expected to work closely with their dissertation chair in finalizing the proposal. Successful completion and dissertation committee approval of the proposal are prerequisites for continuation toward the dissertation. Prerequisites: Successful completion of EDU 706 and EDU 707. Cr 3.

EDU 799 Dissertation in Education
This course is designed to lead students through the process of completing a dissertation. At the end of the course, students will have completed a dissertation that includes: a problem statement and research questions, a review of research, data collection and analysis, findings and implications. The course will address each of the components in a dissertation in a recursive fashion, developing, sharing, and refining of content. Students will be expected to work closely with their dissertation chair and other committee members in finalizing the dissertation. Students must register for a total of nine dissertation credits to graduate. Successful completion of the dissertation and oral presentation to the dissertation committee and their approval are prerequisites for completing the Ph.D. (9 credits required). Prerequisites: Successful completion of EDU 708. Variable credit of 1-6 for a total of 9 credits.