Program Requirements

The Adult and Lifelong Learning Doctor of Education degree (ADLL Ed.D.) is designed to prepare scholar/practitioners for instructional and leadership roles. Coursework focuses on the assessment, design, and implementation of educational programs for adult learners at all stages of development. Adult and Lifelong Learning scholar/practitioners work with specialized groups of adults including those with less than a secondary (high school equivalent) education, adult learners in postsecondary education, participants in educational programs offered by community and nonprofit agencies, and participants in professional education programs.

1. Advisor

The student will be assigned an advisor upon admission to the ADLL Ed.D. program. It will be the role of the advisor to assist the student in establishing the advisory committee (see section two) prior to completion of the first 12 credit hours in the program. Advisors will be permanent members of the ADLL Faculty who hold Graduate Faculty Status Level I.

Changing advisors does not require consent of the current advisor; however, it does require consent of the new advisor. Students may change advisors at any time. Students wishing to change advisors will submit a written request naming the current and new advisor to Department staff who will process the change through the Graduate School. Department staff will notify the student once the change has been processed.

Students are expected to meet with their advisor each semester to discuss progress toward the degree, course selections for the forthcoming semester(s), and issues related to their standing in the ADLL Ed.D. program. Advisors will notify doctoral students annually of their standing in the ADLL Ed.D. program per the Annual Academic Review policy established by the Graduate School.

2. Advisory Committee

The Doctoral Advisory Committee will be formed prior to the completion of the first 12 semester credit hours. The student's advisor will serve as chair of the committee and will assist the student in selecting other members. The Doctoral Advisory Committee must consist of a minimum of three faculty members whose academic credentials and experience qualify them to develop and examine the academic preparation of students in the program area. Composition of the committee must include at least two members from the ADLL Faculty.

The Doctoral Advisory Committee will serve as a program advisory committee until all coursework is completed and the candidacy examination has been successfully completed by the student. The Doctoral Advisory Committee will approve the Program of Study, develop and evaluate the written component of the candidacy examination, and conduct the oral component of the candidacy examination. Students are admitted to candidacy upon successful completion of both the oral and written candidacy examination.

The Doctoral Advisory Committee should meet informally to discuss students' standing in the program. Faculty should communicate concerns regarding a student's standing to the student Doctoral Advisory Committee chair (advisor). It is the responsibility of the Doctoral Advisory Committee chair (advisor) to notify other committee members if a student fails to maintain good standing in the ADLL Ed.D. program as outlined in sections four and eight.

3. Program of Study

The student, in cooperation with the Doctoral Advisory Committee chair (advisor) will develop the Program of Study within completion of the first 12 credit hours after being admitted to the ADLL Ed.D. program. The Program of Study will include a minimum of 96 hours. Students may apply a maximum of 39 graduate hours toward the 96 hours required for the degree with approval of their advisor. The Program of Study must include a minimum of 18 hours of dissertation and 36 hours of coursework earned after admission to the ADLL Ed.D. program. The student, Doctoral Advisory Committee chair, and all Doctoral Advisory Committee members must sign and approve the Program of Study. One copy of the signed Program of Study must be filed with the Department.

Students who fail to file a Program of Study within completion of the first 12 credit hours after being admitted to the ADLL Ed.D. program will forfeit credit toward the program's continuous enrollment requirement (see section eight). Substitutions to the original Program of Study must be approved by the Doctoral Advisory Committee chair (advisor) prior to enrollment in any courses not included on the approved Program of Study.

The Program of Study should include coursework in the areas of Research Methods/Evaluation, Adult and Lifelong Learning Core, Electives, and Dissertation Research, as established by the ADLL Faculty. The number of hours and courses applicable to each area are indicated below.

ADLL 6403 - Quantitative Reasoning 1 for Adult Educators

ADLL 6413 - Quantitative Reasoning in Adult and Lifelong Learning*

ADLL 6423 - Qualitative Reasoning in Adult and Lifelong Learning*

ADLL 6433 - Program Evaluation*

ADLL 6443 - Adult and Lifelong Learning Dissertation Seminar*

* This course meets in-person three to five times during the semester. Class dates are announced to ADLL students the preceding semester. Classes are held on campus on Saturdays from 9AM to 5PM. Participation is mandatory.

ADLL 6113 - Advanced Adult Learning Theory

ADLL 6123 - Leadership and Ethics in Adult and Lifelong Learning

ADLL 6133 - Analysis of International Adult and Lifelong Programs

ADLL 6143 - Instructional Adaptation and Innovation in Adult and Lifelong Learning

ADLL 6153 - Policy and Public Governance of Adult and Lifelong Learning Programs

ADLL 6163 - Adult Development and Psychology

ADLL 6173 - Current Issues

ADLL 6313 - Independent Study

*Students who do not hold a master's degree in adult education may select electives from coursework applicable to the ‎M.Ed. in Adult and Lifelong Learning or may take courses from related areas of study with consent of their advisor. A maximum of 42 hours of coursework can be applied to the elective section of the Program of Study.

ADLL 700V - Doctoral Dissertation

4. Satisfactory Grades

No credit will be awarded toward the ADLL Ed.D. for grades of "D" or "F" per the University of Arkansas Graduate School Guidelines. The only exception is if a student wishes to seek adult education licensure. Only grades of "A" and "B" may be used to meet licensure requirements.

Doctoral students must maintain a 3.25 cumulative GPA throughout their enrollment in the ADLL Ed.D. program. It is the shared responsibility of the student and the advisor to monitor grades in the program. Should a student's cumulative GPA fall below a 3.25 at any time during enrollment, they will be required to petition the ADLL Faculty for approval to continue in the program. ADLL Faculty may vote to dismiss the student for failure to maintain a 3.25 cumulative GPA.

5. Candidacy Examinations

The candidacy examination assesses students' comprehension and synthesis of critical concepts and practices that mirror ADLL coursework and the oral skills that are necessary to be a successful Ed.D. graduate. The candidacy examination should be taken in the last six hours of coursework or during the last semester of enrollment. The examination will consist of both written and oral components, and will address topics such as adult learning theory, program development and leadership, current and relevant trends and issues, and research and evaluation techniques.

The dates for the written examination are determined for all ADLL Ed.D. students by the ADLL program coordinator in cooperation with the ADLL Faculty. It is the student's responsibility to file the Candidacy Exam Application to take the candidacy examination by the specified deadline for each semester. A signed copy of the University of Arkansas Academic Honor Code must accompany the application to take the exam. The advisor must approve the student's request to take the candidacy examination.

The advisor will contact each Doctoral Advisory Committee member to notify them that the student has requested to take the exam. Members will submit questions to the advisor with specified instructions for the written candidacy examination. The advisor will combine the questions into one exam and forward to the designated Department staff member for dissemination to the student.

The written candidacy examination will be emailed to the student and the student will have one week (seven full days) to complete the exam. The student will return the completed exam to the Department staff member who will forward it to the advisor. It will be the responsibility of the advisor to forward the completed exam to all Doctoral Advisory Committee members. Members will be responsible for grading the questions they provide for the student.

The oral comprehensive examination should be scheduled within four weeks after completion of the written exam. Students will be responsible for contacting Doctoral Advisory Committee members to schedule the oral exam. All Doctoral Advisory Committee members and the student must be present in person, and the exam is closed to the public and only the student and his/her committee may be in attendance.

The entire committee will vote upon completion of the oral candidacy examination to determine a grade of "Pass" or "Fail." A two-thirds vote is required for students to pass the exam. The student will be notified of the results of the committee vote by the entire committee at the conclusion of the exam. Students will be admitted to doctoral candidacy upon successful completion of the oral candidacy examination.

Students who fail the oral candidacy examination with less than a two-thirds vote will be required to retake the entire exam. Students that need to retake the entire exam must wait until the next semester. The student's Doctoral Advisory Committee may require successful completion of additional coursework prior to allowing the student to retake the candidacy examination. Students may attempt to retake the entire exam twice before being dismissed from the ADLL Ed.D. program.

6. Dissertation Chair and Committee

The Doctoral Dissertation Committee will be formed after the student's admission to doctoral candidacy. The Dissertation Committee shall be composed of no less than three members. The Chair of the Dissertation Committee must be an ADLL Faculty member with Graduate Status Level I. Chairs from outside the ADLL Faculty may be approved by a simple majority vote of the whole ADLL Faculty. The other two committee members must hold Graduate Status Level II. All members of the committee must hold a doctoral degree. Students should select committee members in consultation with their Doctoral Dissertation Committee chair.

It is the responsibility of the student to submit the (1) Doctoral Dissertation Committee and (2) Doctoral Dissertation Title forms to the Coordinator of Graduate Studies. The Coordinator of Graduate Studies will process the forms with the Graduate School.

Students wishing to make changes to their Doctoral Dissertation Committee should discuss the reason for the changes with the Dissertation Committee chair or ADLL program coordinator if necessary. Students must submit the Doctoral Dissertation Committee form to the Coordinator of Graduate Studies for processing. Changes to the Doctoral Dissertation Committee require the signature of each affected member in order for members to acknowledge the change. Procedures are detailed on the Graduate School website.

Each candidate must complete a doctoral dissertation on some topic relative to the field of Adult and Lifelong Learning. The completed dissertation must be a definite, scholarly contribution to the field. This contribution may be in the form of new knowledge of fundamental importance, or of modification, amplification and interpretation of existing significant knowledge.

The student should not take more than three dissertation hours before holding the dissertation study proposal. The student may not propose until after candidacy exams have been passed.

The Dissertation Proposal must be approved during a formal meeting that includes the student and all members of the dissertation committee. Candidates should submit full copies of the proposal to their committee members at least two weeks in advance of the proposal meeting. A majority affirmative vote of two-thirds is required to approve the Dissertation Proposal and assenting committee members should sign a modified cover page indicating that they approve of the Dissertation Proposal. It is the responsibility of the student to address and correct any issues or concerns raised by committee members that are discussed in the proposal meeting. These issues must be addressed before the student commences with the research process including the submission of research compliance (e.g. IRB) applications.

Candidates must submit an IRB application to the University Human Subjects Review Committee and receive approval prior to collecting any data for the dissertation. The Dissertation Committee Chair must sign the IRB application per University policy.

The Final Defense (Dissertation Defense) will be oral and in person. The candidate and all members of the Doctoral Dissertation Committee must be present. The Doctoral Dissertation Committee chair will notify the Graduate School of the date, time, and location of the defense along with the final title of the dissertation. Final Defenses are open to the public; however, the examining committee shall consist of the student's Doctoral Dissertation Committee. Guests may ask questions at the discretion of the Doctoral Dissertation Committee chair.

The entire Doctoral Dissertation Committee will vote upon completion of the Final Defense if the student passed or failed. A two-thirds vote is required for students to pass. The candidate will be notified of the vote of the committee at the Final Defense. It is the responsibility of the candidate to work with their Doctoral Dissertation Committee chair to address revisions requested by committee members. The candidate must also collect all necessary signatures upon final approval of the dissertation by the committee and submit the completed document per the Graduate School guidelines.

7. Other Policies

Students admitted to the ADLL Ed.D. program must be members of the cohort until coursework is completed. All courses will be offered in a blended format and attendance in face-to-face class sessions is required. Face-to-face courses will be offered in "executive format" on weekends. The dates of class meetings will be announced by faculty prior to the beginning of the semester.
Students are expected to maintain continuous enrollment in the ADLL Ed.D. program. Continuous enrollment includes at a minimum (1) enrollment in at least six hours for the first four consecutive semesters after being admitted to the ADLL Ed.D. program and (2) enrollment in at least three hours thereafter until coursework is completed. Continuous enrollment requirements apply to fall, spring, and summer semesters. Students failing to meet this requirement will be required to meet with the ADLL Ed.D. Graduate Faculty to petition for approval to continue in the ADLL Ed.D. program. Doctoral candidates must be enrolled in at least one hour of dissertation research until successful completion of the Final Defense.