“I really hope I’m not the only one out there realizing I’m not using my full potential in life. If so, I really hope the rest of you realize that soon.” – one of my Facebook friends and former co-workers
I responded, stating that that was exactly the reason I had been perusing doctoral programs at that very moment. To be completely honest, I’ve questioned my decision to pursue the portfolio track in my Master’s program because I know I have the capability to do excellent research and make headway.
The real barrier to research is that I don’t currently possess any burning questions. I have very obvious interests in multicultural populations–namely Asian-American/Pacific Islander and mixed-identity students–as well as advising and international education. However, I would much rather explore first-hand by working in these environments where I can apply existing and new information in order to make a direct impact.
Luckily, what I am seeing is that there is a healthy supply of Ed.D. (Doctorate of Education) programs in Higher Education Administration, as well as Organizational Leadership. There are also plenty of relevant Ph.D. programs, and maybe after a sufficient time in the field, I will have narrowed down some research areas.
Regardless of the path I decided to go, whether it be Ed.D. or Ph.D., it’s exciting to take a look at these advanced programs. I may come across as goofy and aloof, but I function at a high-level academically. How wonderful it is to finally figure out that my “dream jobs” all lie within the scope of providing effective and excellent education.
What does excellent mean to me, anyway? It means utilizing as many communication channels as needed in order to reach the students to get the message across that administration is here to help, not hinder. It means not getting lazy about standards and pushing administration and faculty to think with innovation. It means to challenges others to think beyond oneself and be accountable to the whole. It doesn’t mean living vicariously through students, but maybe helping them think of all the possibilities just by leading by example.
Change comes from within, which is why I think that Organizational Leadership would be a good route for me. Maybe I need to become a strong leader from within an organization to plant seeds and generate new ways of administrating and working together across channels, whether those channels be other administrators, faculty, or the students.
Excellent is a loaded word.
But I hope to be nothing less.