First EdD Residency Brings Students Together in Community

First EdD Residency Brings Students Together in Community

Members of the first EdD cohort with University faculty and staff.

Members of the first EdD cohort with University faculty and staff during the program's first residency.

In August, the first cohort of Doctor of Education in Education Leadership (EdD) students met on campus for the program’s inaugural three-day residency.

The residency brings our cohorts together to give them the time and space to collaborate and to ideate as they progress through the program.

— Program Director Mack Hines, EdD

In the spring of 2021, the Doctor of Education in Education Leadership (EdD) program opened applications for the new teacher leadership track and welcomed its first cohort of students that fall. Less than a year later, the School of Education and Human Development introduced the new higher education administration track and has since welcomed a second cohort of 20 students.

As part of the three-year, hybrid, low-residency program, students complete two residencies that provide an in-depth focus on: leadership and communication, specific teacher-leadership challenges, and dissemination of ideas and research findings. In the third year, students write and defend a dissertation based on addressing a problem of practice they identify in their profession.

“The purpose of the residency is to bring the cohort together to focus on team-building, to connect in-person on certain topics and challenges in the field, and to share ideas and research,” said Program Director Mack Hines, EdD. “My approach is to emphasize being customized, organized, and personalized. We want to be customized in the way we teach, organized in our approach, and personalized to encourage our students to develop their own leadership styles.”

Dr. Hines explained the importance of community in the program. “No one walks alone; we all walk together in solidarity as part of a community. The residency brings our cohorts together to give them the time and space to collaborate and to ideate as they progress through the program.”

During the residency, students heard from experts in the field. One such expert, Jeremy Visone, EdD, associate professor of educational leadership and instructional technology at Central Connecticut State University in New Britain, Conn., presented “Cultivating Teacher Leadership in Schools and Districts.” In addition, the group explored a series of other important topics during the residency, including the fundamentals of being a social justice leader and the intersection of Jesuit ideology and teacher leadership.

“I try and emphasize the importance of building relationships and trust among the cohort with the intent that they can accomplish the same with their colleagues, peers, and students,” said Dr. Hines. “I believe we need to start with the climate and the culture to understand what it takes to be a good teacher leader.”

Student Sarah Gelish, a school psychologist, shared the unique makeup of the cohort which benefits the group. “We are a close-knit cohort of students who each specialize in different fields including school psychology, STEM, school counseling, and speech and language. It’s really helpful to have fellow classmates with unique perspectives. We each support one another in different ways.”

To learn more about the EdD program teacher leader track, and new higher education administration track, visit fairfield.edu/edd.

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Last modified: 09-02-22 11:41 AM

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