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Jessica Early, Director
The PhD in English (English Education) prepares students to become national leaders in the field of English education as tenure-track faculty at research universities and teaching colleges, as well as secondary English language arts curriculum specialists for school districts, state and federal departments of education, and private education agencies. This concentration emphasizes the relationship between pedagogy and research methodologies used to study the teaching of secondary English (grades 6-12) and prepares students to examine the writing and reading practices of secondary students as well as the instructional practices of secondary English language arts teachers. Possible areas for research focus within this program include young adult literature, secondary reading and writing practices, new literacies, English language learning, and secondary English language arts curriculum and instruction development.
*Note: This degree is not TESOL, ESL, or EFL related. If interested in these fields, check out our PhD Linguistics and Applied Linguistics program.
The PhD consists of 84 hours of graduate work. A student with a master’s degree must complete a minimum of 54 semester hours of approved graduate work, which includes 12 hours of dissertation. Students will complete all courses on their Program of Study (POS) with a grade of B or better and maintain a GPA of 3.2 or higher. Required coursework for PhD (English Education) must include the following:
The Graduate College requires a grade point average of “B” (3.0) or better in the last two years of work leading to the bachelor’s degree. The Admissions Committee will consider applicants with master’s degrees in English education and related fields such as English literature, applied linguistics, education, and rhetoric and composition. A minimum of three years full-time teaching or volunteer work in secondary English language arts classrooms or in literate-rich settings (i.e. Peace Corps, community organizations, and libraries) is preferred. Students seeking advice should consult with the graduate program manager and/or the program director.
The application deadline is January 15 for the following fall semester. Candidates must submit the following:
Online application: graduate.asu.edu/admissions.
An application fee is required. Official transcripts and test scores must be sent to the ASU Graduate Admissions Office. Institution code for test scores is 4007.
International students must have an official Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or IELTS score report sent to the Graduate College. Please refer to this webpage for the Department's English proficiency requirements.
The English department supports students by awarding them teaching assistantships, mostly teaching one or two sections of freshman composition. Applications to the English department need to be received by Feb. 1. A major benefit is that tuition fees are waived for students holding half-time teaching assistantships. Some of our students are able to obtain assistantships from ASU units that do not have their own graduate students to support. Others obtain faculty associate positions at community colleges or in the English departments of one of the ASU campuses. Additional funding is available, and we will work with you to construct the best package available.
The purpose of this requirement is to allow you to become fully immersed in an academic environment, much as you will be if you take a faculty position. You are allowed to include on-campus teaching (up to six hours), but trying to take a full-time load of graduate classes while also keeping a full-time teaching position in a local high school is not advised. While technically such an arrangement might fill “the letter of the law,” it goes against its spirit.
Ideally, it makes sense to immerse oneself fully into the program during the first year because this kind of immersion prepares students to make the kinds of decisions that will help them through the rest of the program. However, for many students this is impractical because they begin the program while teaching in a local school district. Some of these districts will give teachers financial support in their seventh year (a sabbatical). In these situations, the students try to begin their course work through evening classes and summer sessions, and then commit themselves to full-time status during their final year of course work and their advancement to candidacy.
No. The idea is to get you thinking about publication and working toward that goal, but because of time lags in publication and the many variables involved, your supervisory committee will act as reviewers for your articles and will perhaps ask for revisions and improvements in hopes of helping you to place them in respected publications.
Not necessarily. The policy of having a faculty member serve as a "sponsor" for incoming students was established so that students would not spend two or three years of work and then be unable to find a dissertation chair. However, we expect there to be changes because professors sometimes retire or transfer to other schools. Also, over the course of your study, you may develop new lines of interest that will fit better with a different faculty member. What usually happens in these cases is that your original mentor remains on your committee, but you ask someone else to be your chair. Your chair must be one of the people listed below as approved dissertation chairs.
As you take classes, you should be thinking about which of your professors you would like to have serve on your three to five-member doctoral committee. Your chair must be one of the people listed below as possible dissertation chairs.
ASU has a long history of scholarship in adolescent literature. Students have written about specific authors (Karen Hesse), topics (characters' religious development) and genres (the archetypal journey in winners of the Coretta Scott King Award). When Professor Ken Donelson retired in May of 2002, he donated an 800-book collection of historical adolescent literature to Hayden Library. These books, housed in Special Collections, could be a resource for students working in the history of books read by teenagers. The ASU Library also holds a nationally acclaimed collection of materials dealing with the history of children's theater. Qualitative studies have been conducted in relation to questions on gender and literacy (both that of children and of well established women English teachers). A doctoral student from another university came to ASU and wrote her dissertation on the program that Professor Lynn Nelson has developed to work with Native American students, while one of our students followed selected participants for the year after they participated in the Greater Phoenix Area Writing Project. We have had limited success with experimental studies in which a student goes into a classroom and tries out a new model of teaching and expects to find significant differences in before-and-after tests. While such studies may be viable under appropriate circumstances, we have found that neither doctoral candidates nor schools have the time that is needed to bring about measurable changes, and so we now discourage students from attempting these kinds of studies. The most successful dissertations are written on topics that are of interest to students and to their mentor teacher. For ideas, see the interests listed by the names of the faculty mentors listed below.
Typically, our students find rewarding jobs in the geographic region of their choice: State University of New York-Potsdam; Metro State University, Denver; California State University, Fullerton; Minnesota State Department of Education. University of Connecticut; Northern Colorado State University; Kennesaw State University, Georgia (four of our grads are professors at (KSU); Mesa Community College; Chandler Gilbert Community College; Grand Canyon University; Northern Arizona University; Southern Connecticut State University; Vanderbilt University; Louisiana State University at Monroe.
English Education faculty members are active researchers with extensive community involvement and professional leadership experience. Research interests cover a wide range of theoretical orientations and applications. The following faculty members currently serve as teachers and mentors in the PhD program. Those with asterisks are qualified to direct dissertations.
*Dr. Jessica Singer Early, Program Director (Ph.D. University of California Santa Barbara): Specialization is in language, literacy, and composition with an expertise in teacher preparation and curriculum design for ethnically and linguistically diverse secondary schools.Jessica.Early@asu.edu
*Dr. Maureen Daly Goggin (Ph.D. Carnegie Mellon University): History of rhetoric and composition; history of rhetoric; rhetorical theory, research methods; visual rhetoric; material rhetoric. Maureen.Goggin@asu.edu
*Dr. Christina Saidy (Ph.D. Purdue University): Teacher preparation focused on the teaching of writing; secondary writing for public and professional participation; adolescent literature; civic rhetorical education; and the rhetoric of educational policy. Christina.Saidy@asu.edu
Dr. Jean Boreen (Ph.D. University of Iowa): Mentoring, Young Adult Literature, Methods of Teaching English. Northern Arizona University. Jean.Boreen@nau.edu
Dr. Beverly Ann Chin (Ph.D. University of Oregon): Teacher Education; Composition, English language arts. Univeristy of Montana.Beverly.Chin@montana.edu