Harvard University, home of the oldest American Ed.D program, announced plans this week to end the program and transition graduates towards a Ph.D instead. This fracturing could be part of a greater trend towards Ed.D reinvention including initiatives like the Carnegie Project, a grant-funded program which has helped over 50 institutions modernize their Ed.D programs. The idea behind these initiatives is to equate the Ed.D with other terminal professional degrees instead of comparing it unfavorably with researched-focused Ph.D programs in education.
As part of this trend, Harvard is restructuring its program with guidance from the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Harvard’s program, already aligned with research over practice, will emphasize Arts and Sciences disciplines like psychology, sociology, and economics of education. In September of this year, Harvard launched a doctor of education leadership program (Ed.L.D.) which will serve as a magnet for practice-oriented graduate students of education.