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Beyond Borders: The Global Reach of Online EdD Programs (2024)

An online educational doctorate can be a powerful tool for experienced educators and professionals. These programs offer students a way to enhance their leadership roles and increase their earning potential.

The curriculum often focuses on research and preparing leaders for organizational change. Some online programs also feature a Problem of Practice (POP) dissertation.

Distance Learning

Online education has long been famous for students due to its accessibility and flexibility. Although enrollment in higher education dropped during the COVID-19 pandemic, colleges specializing in online instruction saw increases.

In addition, the internet allows students to connect with their peers worldwide and collaborate in a virtual classroom. Many students excel in personalized learning environments where they can comfortably learn at their own pace.

Lastly, online education allows students to gain a global perspective on the issues they are studying in class. Students must be exposed to the diversity of views and experiences in their course materials, which can help shape how they approach the problems they will face professionally.

While most of an EdD program is completed online, some programs require on-campus residencies or internships where students apply the advanced concepts they have learned to their professional environments. 

International Travel

Whether visiting exotic locations or experiencing other cultures, international travel can be exciting and eye-opening. But, it’s also risky and requires planning to ensure safety and security measures are considered.

That is especially true for students pursuing an online program who may need to be near a physical campus to attend campus-based classes or events. Fortunately, many online EdD programs from schools nationwide and internationally offer options for students to participate in their desired program even if they don’t live within commuting distance of the campus.

For example, A University in Missouri offers an entirely online Doctor of Education in Higher Educational Leadership but has optional on-campus research residencies for its students to attend. Likewise, other universities’ fully online EdD programs in Education Administration and Leadership allow their students to participate in two on-campus dissertation research residencies.

Some have developed a set of policies and procedures to support the university’s global reach, including facilitating consistent planning, operation, and response among diverse academic units engaged in international activities, supporting quick and constant institutional support for international action in the event of a crisis; and reducing overall institutional risk. To help minimize the risks associated with international travel, all faculty and staff traveling abroad on university business must register for their trip. By registering for their journey, they enroll in the International Travel Registry, which provides them access to emergency assistance and insurance.

Intercultural Communication

The world is increasingly interconnected, and people from many different cultures interact frequently with each other. This globalization has increased the need for practical intercultural communication skills, especially in business. Working well with people from other countries and cultures requires understanding and respecting differences in language, values, beliefs, and behaviors. These skills are necessary for misunderstandings and conflict to occur.

While most people think of intercultural communication as the interaction between two nationalities, it also applies to interactions within one geographic area between multiple co-cultural groups. A dominant culture exists in most geographic locations, and the dominant culture defines the attitudes, beliefs, and values that are widely shared and considered ‘normal’ amongst most people living there. Co-cultural groups exist in all countries, and co-cultural communication involves interactions between these various social groups that share several common understandings, values, and behaviors.

Most people interacting with members of other cultures don’t realize that their cultural assumptions and biases are often the most significant barriers to effective communication. Misunderstandings can be severe, and misunderstandings may lead to conflict, violence, or even genocide. The key to overcoming these barriers is understanding your culture, values, and beliefs and learning about other cultures. Develop cross-cultural awareness and communication skills with an online doctoral program in education.

Global Perspectives

A global mindset teaches learners to recognize how diverse perspectives influence a problem. It helps them appreciate how the world around them is interconnected and understand how their actions can affect others, whether investigating links between globalization and Somali pirates or supporting charitable causes.

An online EdD program can help develop these skills by introducing learners to various sources, including primary materials and media coverage of critical events worldwide. These resources enable learners to see how different people think and feel about the same topic. It can also teach them to evaluate sources for quality and identify which ones are most reliable.

The global focus of an online EdD program helps prepare graduates for careers that span multiple industries. They can work in the education sector, as university deans or school administrators, or in corporate roles such as chief learning officers.

Learners who earn an online doctorate in educational leadership can also become influential thought leaders through their research and dissertation projects. They can shape policy, advance teaching practices, and influence the next generation of students. To learn more about how an online doctorate in educational leadership can transform your career, speak to an admissions adviser today. This unique hybrid program offers online and on-campus study alongside overseas travel to develop your international knowledge and perspectives.

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