Why Get a Doctorate in Education at Marymount: Q&A with Dr. Lisa Turissini

Dr. Lisa Turissini
Dr. Lisa Turissini

Learn more about Marymount's online EdD program.

We asked Dr. Lisa Turissini, Associate Professor and Department Chair - Education, about the value of earning an EdD from Marymount. Read below to learn about the program format, coursework, career outcomes, and more.

What kind of career opportunities are available to professionals who possess an EdD?

Earning a Doctor of Education degree prepares students for a wide range of careers both in and outside of academia. Many EdD graduates go on to top-level positions in PreK-12 or higher education, working in school or district administration, curriculum development, educational policy, research, teaching, or more. However, there are also options for those interested in leading organizations, or training and development roles in business or corporate settings, the government, military, nonprofits, or nearly any sector, depending on one’s particular qualifications and experience.

Marymount’s EdD program focuses on advanced theories and practical skills related to transformative leadership, problem-solving, team building, and producing positive change in workplace environments. Those who pursue this degree are looking to advance in their current positions or move into higher level roles where their impact to effect change can dramatically increase.

There are a variety of career paths available in academia for those with a Doctor of Education degree. EdD graduates take on administrative roles, overseeing institutions, programs, departments, or entire districts at the grade school or college level. Others work behind the scenes, using their expertise to develop and assess curricula or instructional methods, train other teachers, advocate for education reform, or further research in the field.

The EdD program prepares students for leadership roles outside academia as well. Students can choose to concentrate more broadly on organizational leadership, human resources, or entrepreneurship, and even in niche areas such as criminal justice, nursing, or healthcare administration. Graduates can be found working in the public or private sector for businesses, corporations, nonprofits, the government, military, or other organizations, either in leadership positions or as educational experts, leading or developing workplace training programs.

When people hear EdD degree, they think about education professionals. Is this degree limited to that career field?

An EdD degree prepares professionals from a variety of settings to be effective and influential leaders by providing knowledge, insights, and strategies that can be applied immediately in their current jobs. An EdD degree helps prepare students to broaden their perspectives, improve their performance in their current positions, as well as pursue their career goals with high-level education credentials and professional credibility.

Our fully online, accredited Doctor of Education program provides a comprehensive approach that embraces critical decision-making and leadership skills, as well as the doctoral study experience of designing, implementing, and assessing research in a variety of subject areas. The practical application of research and theory to address complex, real-world problems of practice become a transformative experience for all professionals in the program.

You will broaden your worldview and acquire the tools to make positive change through your work with deep knowledge, competitive skills, and a strong professional network. These skills and outcomes are not only important in the field of education, but included in our EdD cohorts are professionals in business, healthcare, and corporate settings, the government, military, nonprofits, social justice organizations, the criminal justice system, consulting groups, and many others.

Can you describe the coursework in Marymount’s EdD program?

The EdD program’s 48 credit hours are built around the themes of transformative leadership, innovation, and evidence-based decision-making.  Coursework builds practitioners’ knowledge and skills in scholarly analysis, empirical inquiry, organizational processes and systems, strategic planning, ethics and social justice, and oral and written communication. Courses are designed so you can collaborate alongside other professionals in a community of lifelong learners, guided by expert faculty to help propel your career and understanding of each topic to the next level.

Our Doctor of Education program is embedded with research skills’ development throughout the coursework. As a learner in our online doctorate program, you have the opportunity to work on content expertise with specifically integrated dissertation milestones that give you the opportunity to complete the doctoral journey in as few as three years.

This doctoral program, with an embedded dissertation, challenges students to become effective leaders who contribute to their fields of study and inspire meaningful change.

Are students able to juggle full-time work, families, and community obligations while completing this degree?

If you’ve been out of school for a while, expect a transition period as you enter your doctoral program. In particular, working professionals will need to figure out how to balance academics and employment. However, while your schedule will be tough, it’s not an insurmountable challenge. Remember, the program is designed for working professionals and you will go through the program in a cohort model, so you will have the support and encouragement of a great group of peers. You will also have the professors from your courses, your academic advisor, and a student success advisor to keep you on track and focused on your goals!

Going back for your terminal degree at the same time that you are working can facilitate connections between theory and practice. You can bring your new learning and perspectives into your workplace and vice versa. This can also ground your experiences as a doctoral student and help you see the ability of your studies to advance your skills, critical thinking, and problem-solving abilities. Trust that you will be able to develop that work-life balance!

Also important is the flexible learning environment which allows students to attend classes wherever there’s an internet connection, making it easier for professionals to balance work, school, and family.

What would you tell a professional who is thinking about earning an online EdD degree? Why should they enroll at Marymount?

Are you looking for ways to change educational or organizational systems for the better? Do you want to advance to administrative and leadership positions, especially in roles where you can effect change and increase your sphere of influence? Do you want to promote and lead change and social justice efforts in organizations through your leadership capacity? Whether you’re a professional in academia, human resources, business or government affairs, earning an EdD may help propel you into a leadership role or hone your skills in your current supervisory, academic, or administrative job.

 At Marymount University, you’ll find our faculty and staff to be highly responsive and vested in your progress and goals. Our online format is suited for active professionals and is focused on impactful faculty-to-student communication and student-to-student collaboration. Our fully online doctorate in education provides future leaders with the knowledge and skills needed to address modern educational and organizational challenges through problem-solving and innovation. This EdD program emphasizes critical and creative thinking to solve problems of practice. Students engage with leading academicians while conducting research that can lead to improvements in educational and organizational systems.

Becoming a Marymount doctoral student is a great way to accentuate your impact by proposing and implementing solutions to current industry-relevant issues. We know that earning a doctoral degree takes a significant investment of time, dedication, and finances. However, the benefits of earning a doctoral degree will provide a real sense of accomplishment, increased recognition personally and professionally, and the confidence and credibility for being an expert and researcher in your field. Contact us today and find out how to get started on a fabulous new learning adventure!


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