Date of Paper/Work


Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Leadership (Ed.D.)

Type of Paper/Work



Thomas L. Fish, Ed.D.; Kathleen M. Boyle, Ph.D.; Sarah J. Noonan, Ed.D.


The purpose of this case study was to explore with a sample of doctoral graduates their perceptions of the impact of the University of St. Thomas Doctorate in Leadership Program on their lives. Major research questions were: 1) How did the program affect the graduates’ views of self? 2) How did the program affect the graduates’ roles in the world? 3) How did features of the program affect the graduates? 4) How were the graduates able to stay motivated and complete their degrees? Qualitative information was gathered from in-depth interviews of 21 graduates selected for a balance of gender, year graduated, and occupation. Themes emerged and added meaning to the collective graduate experiences. The program changed the graduates’ sense of self, specifically increasing self-confidence, improving self-understanding, enhancing critical thinking abilities and research skills, and opening participants to multiple perspectives and diversity. Graduates reported an increased focus on relationships and ability to collaborate with others, enhancing their ability to offer leadership to others. The program’s non-traditional format and schedule fit the needs of the adult learner. The faculty performed facilitation and support roles, the cohort was a comfortable and secure forum, and experiences of cohort members were powerful sources of learning. The result was transformational learning among study participants.


self-confidence, self-Understanding, critical thinking abilities, research skills, multiple perspectives and diversity

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

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