Ed.D. Student Applying Her Education to Executive Coaching: Kate Miller

Kate Miller
Kate Miller

What can Marymount University’s Online Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Educational Leadership and Organizational Innovation be used for?

Kate Miller, a business owner and executive coach, shares about her experience in our Online Ed.D. program. In this interview, Kate elaborates on how she applied the curriculum to her current career and goals, the support she received from her cohort and more.


How has Marymount helped you navigate being a business owner? 

The Ed.D. at Marymount came to my attention at a transformative time in my career and life. The information from the last two years has helped me rethink a range of opportunities, from webinar topics to blog posts to creating a regular LinkedIn posting series. In short, the program has presented opportunities that could expand my practice past simply being an executive coach. The professors and my cohort have shared tips, ideas and feedback that helped me realize my ideas as a business owner are not that far off and are quite achievable.

“The program has presented opportunities that could expand my practice.”


What skills have you learned to improve your operations? 

The one tool I am implementing into my practice is the needs assessment. I have found that a needs assessment will save a lot of time explaining what and how to use executive coaching if the team or organization knows what they need and want from a coaching perspective and program. The needs assessment allows me to understand where they are currently and their end goals. This tool sharpens the project and tightens the timeline.


Describe your professional background and interests. What led you to pursue an Ed.D.? 

I have been an ICF certified executive coach for nearly 10 years. Prior to that I was a program manager for government funded grants, which was more data-driven work than talking to people. But, as all grant work goes, the project wound down and closed. Even as the grant work was wrapping up, I was simultaneously training to be an executive coach. My goal was to use my (long ago) therapy training as a springboard into coaching, and I realized with a doctorate degree, I could fine tune the use of my data work and program management with executive coaching and maybe become a leader in the coaching industry.

What is the biggest advantage of pursuing your degree online? 

This is my second degree earned online and my fourth degree (in process) as someone working full-time, raising a family and tending to my personal educational goals. An online degree has made it possible to be in step with the demands of life and yet give space to chase these academic pursuits.


What is the rest of your cohort like? Do they add value to the curriculum? 

I am forever indebted to my cohort B. My husband died August 11, 2021, one week before the end of the summer semester, and I managed to finish the class. But it was the fall semester that was extremely difficult. I had the choice to step back and become a member of another cohort or continue with cohort B. I chose to continue even though my heart was a mess because the people in cohort B were incredibly supportive, helpful and caring. I even flubbed an assignment and a classmate said, "we got you,” and they meant it! I found the strength to go on, and I can't imagine another group of people. Aside from their help personally, often the feedback or comments yielded another perspective I had not considered, and it helped. The program is about innovation. Innovation can only happen if we have space to dream, hear and share.


Has this Ed.D. program changed how you approach leadership? 

My approach to leadership has been to take my observations, formulate a strategy, and create a program that benefits my identified leaders. The Ed.D. has boosted my confidence to take my observations from a concept or a vision and turn them into a real program or product.

“Innovation can only happen if we have space to dream, hear and share.”


What advice would you give to people considering an Ed.D.? 

I was in a PhD program and stepped back from that work, and about a year later found this Ed.D. The Ed.D. has been a better match for my career as it allows me to implement and try tools of leadership in the current moment, which in a way creates immediate movement or impact. The question you should ask yourself whether you choose a Ph.D. or Ed.D. is — what are your immediate or long-term goals? 


Considering an Online Ed.D. Program?

The Online Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Educational Leadership and Organizational Innovation at Marymount applies to a variety of careers and industries in addition to education. Our Online Ed.D. program is designed to be flexible enough for working professionals, and it features a robust curriculum that can be implemented to advance your career and achieve your goals.

Connect with an Enrollment Advisor today to learn more and take the next step.