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PhD Human Development

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 PhD Human Development
Kathy Kaya

"Being in a community of other learners which includes students, alumni, and faculty, who care deeply about the world and think critically about how they can make a difference in the world was incredibly enriching and nourishing for me."

-Kathy Kaya, PhD, Alumna
The Kaya Group
Human Development (HD) is focused on individual adult growth in personal, organizational, and cultural settings. Tools from coaching, mentoring, leadership, creative longevity, and wisdom inform doctoral work in the program. Students seek to understand how to optimize personal relationships and empower others to invest and engage in their chosen causes while valuing social and ecological justice.
Although recent studies show a growth in global demand for doctorates in management and leadership, for many professionals a residency PhD program is not an option. As a doctoral program in a distance learning environment, our PhD in HD provides you with the freedom to remain in your community while learning.
Customize your program to optimize your goals and obtain skills to lead change in today’s complex local, national, and global organizations. You can choose to study popular topics including, management and leadership, global studies, organization studies, and public policy.

Program Highlights

Remain in your local community through a variety of individual and collaborative group learning opportunities. Pursue your degree in ways that best fit with your career, family responsibilities, and study preferences.

Explore your passions with self-directed studies and optional concentrations in: Aging, Culture and Society (ACS), Information Society and Knowledge Organizations (ISAKO), or Transformative Learning for Social Justice (TLSJ). You and a faculty mentor will co-design a plan of study that is personally meaningful to you and will put you on track to achieving your individual goals. Faculty members offer experiential and academic expertise in many areas including adult development systems, culture, social and ecological justice, diversity, learning and motivation, and psychology.

Participate in a collegial and engaged distance learning community of scholars, practitioners, and leaders. Many of our HD students serve in professions such as organizational consulting, human resources, executive coaching, and teaching. As a student, your professional experience and personal knowledge informs your research, study, and practice within the HD program to address the challenges of today’s individuals, communities, organizations, and society. You build collegial partnerships with students and faculty that embrace diversity and value social and ecological justice.

Network with professionally recognized alumni who are university teachers, writers, speakers, and individual coaches.

Goals & Objectives

Students in the Human Development PhD program are expected to graduate with the following skills and abilities:

  • Achieve a broad understanding of the scholarly literature in the fields of human development
  • Develop logical and coherent scholarly arguments, critique theory, and research
  • Synthesize ideas and integrate theory and practice
  • Reflect on your own practice skills in light of the theory and research you have read
  • Integrate your intellectual, personal,
    and professional learning
    and demonstrate appropriate use of personal voice in your writing
  • Understand diverse cultural world views and epistemologies and the social justice implications of knowledge, theory, and practice
  • Demonstrate graduate-level writing skills including the appropriate use of primary and secondary resources, scholarly language, and the logical flow and sequencing of ideas
  • Distinguish different research methods and demonstrate depth of knowledge in the method you choose for your dissertation
  • Indicate the strengths and weaknesses of various research strategies and be able to connect various research methods to different research objectives and questions
  • Connect the results of your own research to other research and theory in your field

What Do Our Students Study?

View a partial list of student dissertations, written on the path toward earning their PhD.
  • Sustainability as Organizational Culture: Uncovering Values, Practices, and Processes
  • Our Stories, our Voices: How PhD Students of Color View Mentoring in Science and Engineering Graduate Programs
  • Strong Black Woman: A Collaborative Study on Understanding, Experiences, and Relationship to Health and Wellness
  • Executive Coaching and Self-Efficacy: A Study of Goal-Setting and Leadership Capacity
  • Contextual Mentoring of Student Veterans: A Communication Perspective
  • Coaching, Clients, and Competencies: How Coaches Experience the Flow State Narratives as Navigation Tools in Support of Executive Global Leadership Development
  • Cognitive Diversity and Innovation: Does Cognitive Diversity in Multinational Corporations Influence Workgroup Innovation?
  • Addressing Race: The Experiences of White Women and Men to Promote Diversity and Inclusion in their Communities
  • Social Networks and Organizational Change: The Important Role of a Trusted Advisor
  • The Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans' Families Program: Transformative Learning for Discontinuous Life Transition
  • Dissonance and Resonance in a Community of Practice
  • Understanding the Influence of the Board of Directors on Corporate Social Responsibility in U.S. Public Companies that are Recognized as CSR Leaders
  • A Case Study Investigating The Development, Implementation, And Perceptions Of Transformational Leadership Practices Of The Clinical Nurse Leader
  • The Integrative Entrepreneur, A Lifeworld Study of Women Sustainability Entrepreneurs
  • External Interim Executives: A Model for Nonprofit Leadership Succession
  • Emotions and Innovative Leadership: An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis
  • Living Essence: Exploring Aesthetic Factors in Leadership Development Experiences
  • Women on Corporate Boards and Shared Leadership: An Exploratory Study of Board Process
  • An Exploration of Racial Identity, Self-Esteem, and School-Level Diversity for African and African American Adolescents in Seattle, Washington

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 A PhD in Human Development


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   Alumni Achievements in Human and Organizational Development
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