GCU’s Glossary for Doctoral Learners

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In today’s competitive world, a doctoral degree can provide you with the skills needed to take your career to the next level. Grand Canyon University’s College of Doctoral Studies offers a wide variety of doctoral degrees for learners to gain specialized knowledge in their field.

What makes GCU’s doctorate programs unique?

Here are some key terms to keep in mind when considering a doctoral degree at GCU.

Accreditation: GCU is an accredited university that holds both college-specific and program-specific accreditations. This is important because it reflects the quality of the university as acknowledged by other institutions. Agency experts and trained peers have visited GCU and reviewed a variety of aspects, such as educational activities, administration, financial stability, admissions and student personal services.

CIRT: The Center for Innovation in Research and Teaching (CIRT) creates a culture of critical reflection to encourage innovation in teaching, learning, and research. This community provides mentoring for students and facilitates the Scholarly Engagement and Research Grant program, which offers research grants to support teaching, professional engagement and research conducted by learners and faculty.

DBA: At GCU, a variety of doctorate programs are available to learners. The Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) program equips learners to become visionary leaders in the business world. Designed for ambitious leaders with the vision to innovate, the program educates learners about the economy, education, and health care industries. This program prepares learners to keep up with the demands of a global economy so that they can successfully develop and run a business.

DC Network: The Doctoral Community (DC) Network provides a dynamic online learning community for doctoral learners, allowing them to create and share content related to their field with other learners and GCU faculty. Individuals with similar academic interests connect and collaborate through interactive communication. In addition, learners have access to indexed search functionality and are notified when new content is available.

Dissertation: Doctoral learners at GCU do not go through the dissertation process alone. They are surrounded by a dynamic learning community of other learners, dissertation chairs and committee members. Doctoral learners are given feedback all along the way so they can put their best work forward when receiving approval from the dissertation committee.

  • An Integrated Approach: From the beginning of their doctoral journey, learners are on an accelerated path. Unlike other programs where learners complete a set of specializations before beginning their dissertation, the dissertation process at GCU is incorporated into the coursework. This way, learners can work efficiently toward graduation and taking the next step in their career.
  • Office of Dissertations: A department within the College of Doctoral Studies, The Office of Research and Dissertations works with academic colleges to ensure quality in doctoral programs. This is done through implementing procedures for conducting graduate research, ensuring academic integrity and quality of GCU dissertations, creating materials to support doctoral faculty training and much more.

EdD: GCU’s Doctor of Education (EdD) in Organizational Leadership prepares learners to build and sustain organizations. This program analyzes previous leadership practices and combines them with current research to determine the best practices to implement moving forward. These practices are applied within education, management, psychology or ministry.

IRB: GCU’s Institutional Review Board (IRB) is registered with the Department of Health and Human Services and Office of Human Research Protections. In addition, it has gained the status of Federalwide Assurance, ensuring that the research community at GCU abides by the Code of Federal Regulations. The IRB requires that all research conducted at GCU protects human participants, develops and sustains an ethical research environment, assures that the researchers are qualified and adds value to the academic community and society.

Literature Review: An important component of a dissertation, the literature review provides a comprehensive and coherent overview of significant literature on the chosen topic. It includes a review of scholarly and peer-reviewed articles, books, abstracts, websites, and other resources to create a critical analysis of the information. In doing this, researchers identify the gap in previous research, which their research will address.

PhD: Learners in GCU’s Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in General Psychology program gain advanced knowledge of humans’ mental and emotional responses. They then apply this knowledge through teaching, leading and training others. There are many different possibilities for graduates of this program, as learners will be equipped to teach or conduct psychological research in a variety of settings.

Post-Master Certificate: For learners who already have a master’s degree but want to further their education in a specialized area, GCU offers post-master certificates. For example, GCU’s Post-Master of Science in Counseling: Trauma Certificate provides professionals with the opportunity to advance their education in counseling or other behavioral health areas.

Research Journals: GCU doctoral learners have access to three research journals in order to review other research and learn about the publication process.

  • Canyon Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies: Coordinated by CIRT, this annual online publication highlights research conducted by GCU students and faculty.
  • Journal of Instructional Research: This journal helps learners grow in their understanding and application of the best practices in college teaching. They can also attain certification to engage in scholarly research, apply for grants and learn how to submit their own research.
  • Journal of Non-Significant Differences: This peer-reviewed journal, led by learners in GCU’s doctoral degree programs, highlights the value of non-significant research findings. In addition, it provides learners with an understanding of the research cycle and process of publication.

Residencies: Residencies provide learners with an opportunity to learn skills through collaborating with GCU faculty and other doctoral learners in a week-long program. Conferences, professional exchange forums and elective sessions are all available to learners to take advantage of during their residency

Grand Canyon University offers a wide variety of doctorate degrees for learners with unique interests and goals. To learn more about the doctoral programs offered by GCU’s College of Doctoral Studies, contact us today!

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.