Training Scholar-Practitioners: Doctoral Education for the Professional Sphere

The Conference Board of Canada, 32 pages, June 15, 2017
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Doctoral education in Canada is evolving. The doctor of social sciences program at Royal Roads University is demonstrating the potential of new degrees to train advanced scholar-practitioners who are developing high-quality, action-oriented research.

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In response to shifting labour market realities and the demands of a more diverse student population, doctoral education in Canada is evolving. One emerging alternative is the professional doctorate—a research degree that is equivalent to the PhD, but has an applied focus.

The doctor of social sciences (DSocSci) program at Royal Roads University offers a blended delivery format that makes doctoral education more accessible to mid-career professionals, who are ideally positioned to disseminate research findings, facilitate knowledge mobilization, and spearhead positive change.

The future of professional doctorates in Canada is unclear, but the DSocSci is demonstrating the potential of these degrees to train advanced scholar-practitioners who are developing high-quality, action-oriented research. Elements of the DSocSci, such as its alternative delivery and knowledge-sharing formats, could serve as a model for designers of traditional and professional doctorate programs.

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