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PhD in Literacy Education|Curriculum & Instruction

Program Requirements

The PhD in Literacy Education requires that students comply with and satisfy all requirements specified in the UW Student Handbook/Thesis & Dissertation Format Guide. Additionally, PhD in Literacy Education doctoral candidates must satisfy the following program-specific requirements:

Coursework:

A minimum of 48 hours beyond the master’s degree are required as follows:

  • Research: A minimum of 12 hours of research methods in quantitative, qualitative, or other methodologies are required. The courses will be selected collaboratively by the doctoral student and her or his PhD advisor and committee such that the research methodology training is thorough, rigorous, and compatible with the student’s dissertation research plans and anticipated career research focus.
  • Core: Students must complete 9 hours of core courses. Students must enroll in PRST 5610,“Introduction to Doctoral Study,” and two of the following courses selected collaboratively by the doctoral student and her or his PhD advisor and committee:
    • PRST 5900 Practicum in College Teaching
    • EDCI 5600 Diversity in Education
    • EDCI 5810 Writing for Professional Publication
    • EDAD 5720 Leader as Change Agent
    • EDRE 5660 Dissertation/Thesis Prospectus Writing
  • Literacy Education: A minimum of 21 hours within or related to literacy education are required.
    These courses will be selected from existing and new advanced, graduate-level courses within the Literacy Program Area; from courses in other departments in the College of Education; and from other relevant academic departments at the University (e.g., Anthropology, Communication Disorders; English, Family and Consumer Sciences; African American, Chicano, American Indian, or Women’s Studies; Psychology, Sociology). Course selection decisions will be made collaboratively by the doctoral student and her or his PhD advisor and committee based on the doctoral student’s prior graduate work and post-doctorate career goals.
  • Dissertation Research: Students must enroll for a minimum of 6 hours of dissertation research  credit during the period they plan, implement, and defend their dissertation.

Research Apprenticeship:

Doctoral students are required to participate in a research apprenticeship in which they work closely with a faculty member in order to gain experience and skills in conducting research. The apprenticeship may involve an ongoing faculty project or may be a project initiated by the student and faculty member. Examples of acceptable apprenticeships include:

  • writing an IRB or grant proposal
  • collecting and analyzing data (e.g., a qualitative analysis, a statistical analysis)
  • writing a research report for publication independently or collaboratively with a faculty member
  • presenting theoretical or empirical work at a professional conference independently or collaboratively with a faculty member
  • a project that enhances the student’s ability to conduct rigorous educational research.

The Research Apprenticeship must be approved in advance by the doctoral committee, and at the committee’s discretion, students may enroll for independent study graduate credit as part of the Research Apprenticeship experience

Diversity:

Diversity is the adherence to the democratic value of mutual respect for, celebration of, and protection of the differences that make up the peoples of the world. It requires the development of a critical consciousness individually, institutionally, and societally about differences in all existing forms and levels of human experiences. Diversity includes, but is not limited to, gender, educational and socioeconomic status, race, ethnicity, language, religion, national origin, physical and mental health, and sexual orientation. Graduates of the University of Wyoming and the College of Education should acquire an understanding and respect of differences within and across cultures, including their own.

For this requirement, students must design, in consultation with their doctoral advisor and committee, a specific plan that enhances their knowledge of cultural diversity issues that address literacy education. This requirement can be met through curricular and extra-curricular experiences, including, but not limited to:

  • enrolling in extant courses
  • engaging in research or learning projects
  • conducting lectures or workshops
  • presenting papers at professional conference
  • engaging in service at the community, state, national, or international level


Preliminary Examination:

The Preliminary Examination for the PhD in Literacy Education is governed by policies specified in Chapter 1 of the UW Student Handbook/Thesis & Dissertation Format Guide. Program-specific procedures for the preliminary examination for the PhD in Literacy Education are as follows:

  • The preliminary examination will consist of a written and oral component, and both exams must be passed in order to satisfy the Preliminary Examination requirement. The doctoral committee will be responsible for the format, content, and scope of the preliminary examination.
  • For the written component, the student, in consultation with the student’s advisor and doctoral committee, may choose to take either a sit-down or a take-home exam. For the sit down exam option, the student will respond to 2 or 3 questions that synthesize the students’ coursework and other scholarly work up to this point in the program. The questions will be prepared by the student’s advisor and doctoral committee, with possible input from the student.
  • For the take-home exam option, the students will write 2-3 scholarly papers (which may later be submitted for presentation or publication) that synthesize the students’ coursework PhD in Literacy Education at the University of Wyoming and other scholarly work up to this point in the program. The topics of the papers will be determined by the student’s advisor and doctoral committee, with possible input from the student.
  • For students who have completed the written examination and have passed it provisionally in the judgment of the advisory committee, an oral examination will be scheduled. During the first portion of the oral examination, the doctoral committee may pursue questions or concerns about the written examination. In the remainder of the oral examination, the doctoral committee may ask the student any questions germane to research and scholarship in the field of literacy education.

Dissertation and Oral Defense:

The dissertation and final oral defense of the dissertation will be governed by policies specified in Chapter 1 of the UW Student Handbook/Thesis & Dissertation Format Guide. The dissertation will be prepared and submitted as per procedures in Chapters 2 and 3 of this document.
The dissertation will be a scholarly, independent research effort that demonstrates that the doctoral candidate is able to plan, implement, and convey to an academic audience a novel, significant inquiry in literacy education.
Within the parameters of Graduate Study policies, the dissertation for PhD students in Literacy Education may take a variety of conventional or more contemporary forms. The form of the dissertation will be determined and approved by the doctoral committee in consultation with the candidate, and may include:

  • a traditional print dissertation
  • a dissertation consisting of a series of scholarly, empirically and/or theoretically focused, professional articles to be submitted for publication, already submitted for publication, or already published
  • an electronic or multimedia (including print) format.

Residency:

Doctoral students are required to enroll full time for four consecutive terms (fall and spring semesters and/or summer sessions).

For detailed information on the PhD in Literacy Education at the University of Wyoming, please see the following:

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