Three Ed.D students make Point Park history

Written By Hannah Walden

Kelly Noyes, Laura Miller and Amy Miller made Point Park University history after becoming the first Point Park students to successfully defend their dissertations for a Ph.D. in education (Ed.D.) on Aug. 29.

The classes required for the degree were created at Point Park just two years ago, meaning this is the first time students at Point Park could achieve this degree.

During the first year of the course, students worked together in teams for normal coursework before branching off in the second year to start their own individual research. After the research period concluded, students had to present their work in front of a panel of faculty members to defend their research and conclusions.

Eric Stennett, director of the Ed.D. in the Leadership and Administration program, believes the students have become more like friends than colleagues.

“Through academic endeavors, they have made an impact,” Stennett said. “This is a team effort, and we help each other get through it…I feel that these students are great leaders and that their dissertations mean something special and has made this a very unique program.”

Noyes spent the year researching Pennsylvania public schools and their English as a Second Language (ESL) program, as well as why and how certain schools run their programs.

“Dissertation can be very scary but it was a very positive experience for me. I was very prepared and there were no surprises,” Noyes said. “My overall experience in the course was very enjoyable. I enjoyed the rigor of it all and I didn’t feel like any of my time was wasted in any of my classes.”

With the Ed.D., students can pursue careers as college professors, superintendents school administration, and leadership positions for both public and private schools.

Point Park is expected to produce many more education doctorate degrees in the next six months, and in the future. According to Noyes, there are 19 education students scheduled to defend their dissertations in the next six months.