Western Education'sPhD | Field of Critical Policy, Equity, and Leadership Studies

Drive change in education. The PhD in the Field of Critical Policy, Equity and Leadership Studies (CPELS) prepares students to critically analyze key issues and debates in education, and to robustly investigate topics of relevance to research, policy, and practice in local, domestic, global, and transnational contexts.

Students in the PhD program in the field of CPELS can focus in one or more of the following specialization areas:

  1. Aboriginal Education
  2. Critical Policy in Education
  3. Race, Gender and Queer studies
  4. Educational Leadership
  5. Globalization and International Education.

CPELS faculty have expertise in at least one of following specialization areas: Aboriginal Education; Anti-Racism Education; Critical Policy in Education; Educational Leadership; Equity and Social Justice Education; Feminist Studies; Global and International Education; Queer and Transgender Studies.

Identify power and privilege

Identify power and privilege

Recognize ethical implications of research

Recognize ethical implications of research

Understand contemporary educational practices

Understand contemporary educational practices

Discover local, national and international connections

Discover local, national and international connections

Khalid Mohamad

What I like about my PhD program is the opportunity to be mentored by amazing, experienced supervisors and the guidance provided by faculty to pursue resarch in an area of my interest. 

My PhD degree helped me become a more research aware/informed practitioner (in the classroom as a teacher). 

- Khalid Mohamad, Graduates 2021

Beyond the program details

Admissions

Required:

  • Research based Master's degree in Education or equivalent from an accredited university
  • Normally an "A" standing (80%) or equivalent in previous graduate work
  • Evidence of previous scholarly research, such as a Master's Thesis, Masters Research Project, or Qualifying Research Paper acceptable to the Doctoral Admissions Committee and the Associate Dean of Graduate Programs
  • Clear statement of plans for future study and research

Recommended:

  • Professional qualifications and work in an educational setting (teaching experience or other)

Notes & Exceptions:

  • Students with Master's degrees and an excellent academic record in a related field, who have experience in education and teaching in universities, colleges, or organizations other than public schools, and who may not have professional teaching credentials or qualifications, will also be considered for admission.
  • Students may be required to make up for any deficiencies in their specific backgrounds by taking appropriate additional course work.

Tuition

Tuition amounts are set each year by Senate and then published on the Office of the Registrar's Fees Schedules web page. Fees are assessed once each term (Fall, Winter, Summer).

Current students can access fee information by logging into the Student Centre (use your Western email log in and password). Students are notified each term once fee amounts have been posted in the Student Centre; it is each student's responsibility to log into the Student Centre and pay fees by the due date indicated. Failure to do so may result in a late payment fee or deregistration.

For questions about fees, including how to pay fees and the methods of payment that are accepted, students should go to the Student Financial Services pages of the Office of the Registrar's web site or contact Student Financial Services (Office of the Registrar) at 519-661-2100.

Funding

PhD students receive a funding package that includes the cost of annual tuition plus an additional $13,000. A portion of the funding package involves either an Assistantship Role requiring 10 hours of work per week for 28 weeks (September to April) in the Faculty of Education. Details of the assignments are determined in consultation with students after they have formally accepted the offer of admission from the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. Taking on an assistantship role provides students with crucial experience for their academic career after completion of the Ph.D.

The maximum term for funding is 4 (four) years or 12 (twelve) terms. Please note that those who win major financial awards (OGS, Tri-Council or other awards valued at $15,000 or more) will be responsible for their own tuition and ancillary fees.

Also, the following funding scholarships are available at the Faculty of Education (The process for each is described in the link below.):

  • Students living with disabilities
  • Indigenous students
  • Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS)
  • Canadian Graduate Scholarship – Doctoral (CGS-D)

For further details about funding opportunities available through the Faculty of Education, please visit this link.

Technology

Instructors of onsite courses use the Sakai OWL platform, although it is not required.  Access to a course in Sakai OWL is typically opened the first business day of each term. Please note that although your own access may be granted prior to the first business day, course content may not be posted until closer to the scheduled term start. Your Western University login and password is required to access the course (your Western email without the @uwo.ca and its accompanying password). Access to Sakai OWL is found here: https://owl.uwo.ca/portal.

For online courses, students are required to have access to the following:

  • High speed Internet access
  • Access to a computer that enables connection to outside websites (flexible firewall restrictions)
  • Multimedia playback capabilities (video/audio)
  • WebCam
  • Computer capable of running a recent version of Internet Explorer, Safari, or Firefox; and/or Cisco MOVI client for PC or Mac
  • Audio headset and microphone for computer

Program information

Description

The PhD in the Field of Critical Policy, Equity and Leadership Studies (CPELS) prepares students to critically analyze key issues and debates in education, and to robustly investigate topics of relevance to research, policy, and practice in local, domestic, global, and transnational contexts. 

Our PhD program enables students to develop a solid grounding in the foundational knowledge, theoretical and methodological approaches, multiple perspectives, key issues and current debates within a specialization. The program provides a critical understanding of the intersections between the specialization areas, as well as the interconnections between local, national and global contexts of each specialization area. 

Students in the PhD program in the field of CPELS can focus in one or more of the following specialization areas: 1) Aboriginal Education; 2) Critical Policy in Education; 3) Race, Gender and Queer studies; or 4) Educational Leadership; or 5) Globalization and International Education. 

Milestones

Qualifying Exam

As soon as you’ve completed your coursework, you will start your Qualifying Exam process and it must be completed in one term.

Students who started the program in Fall 2012 or later are required to satisfactorily complete one qualifying paper, which contains both the Methodology and Theoretical portion of the paper. The purpose of the paper is to allow students the opportunity to situate their chosen area of research in broad educational context.

Thesis Proposal and Presentation

Following successful completion of the qualifying examination and when you’re ready to begin work on the thesis, the Supervisor, at your request and after consulting with the faculty members concerned, will formally appoint a Thesis Advisory Committee. The committee will consist of the Supervisor and at least one additional faculty member.

Thesis

When the thesis has been completed and approved by the Supervisor and the Thesis Advisory Committee, you may submit the thesis for examination.

Timing/delivery

Year 1 - Fall                     

ED 9715 Ph.D. Seminar and two electives

Year 1 - Winter

ED 9715 Ph.D. Seminar(continued from Fall)
1 of:

  • ED 9705 Quantitative Research Methods
  • ED 9711 Qualitative Research in Education
1 Elective

Year 1 - Summer

ED 9789 Ph.D. Qualifying Examination (1-2 terms to complete)

Year 2 - Fall

ED 9789 Ph.D. Qualifying Examination (1-2 terms to complete)

Year 2 - Winter

ED 9790 Ph.D. Thesis
Thesis Proposal Presentation; submit Proposal and ethics, if applicable for approval

Year 2 - Summer

ED 9790 Ph.D. Thesis
Thesis Proposal Presentation; submit Proposal and ethics, if applicable for approval

Year 3 - Fall

ED 9790 Ph.D. Thesis

Year 3 - Winter

ED 9790 Ph.D. Thesis

Year 3 - Summer

ED 9790 Ph.D. Thesis

Year 4 - Fall

ED 9790 Ph.D. Thesis

Year 4 - Winter

ED 9790 Ph.D. Thesis

Year 4 - Summer

ED 9790 Ph.D. Thesis

Courses

Students may focus in one or more of the following:

  1. Aboriginal Education;
  2. Critical Policy in Education;
  3. Equity, Gender and Queer studies; or
  4. Educational Leadership; or
  5. Globalization and International Education.

Below is the typical program of study for a full-time student:

    • 6 half courses
      • 3 half courses
        • 9715 PhD Seminar (counts as two half courses)
        • 1 advanced research methods course (most students will take 9711 Qualitative Research in Education)
      • 3 additional core Policy courses include:
        • 9200 Social Context of Education
        • 9201 Introduction to Educational Research
        • 9202 Critical Policy Studies in Education
        • 9629 Equity and Social Justice in Education
        • 9507 Graduate Seminar in Leadership
        • 9203 Special Topics: Globalization and Education
        • 9204 Special Topics: Indigeneity and (De)colonizing Research
    • Qualifying Examination

  • Dissertation

Potential Supervisor

Critical Policy, Equity, and Leadership Studies (CPELS) faculty have expertise in at least one of following specialization areas:

  1. Aboriginal Education
  2. Critical Policy in Education
  3. Equity, Gender and Queer studies
  4. Educational Leadership
  5. Globalization and International Education

Faculty in this cluster are interested in:

  • Contemporary educational practices, processes and policies, as well as issues of power and privilege
  • Foundational knowledge, theoretical and methodological approaches, multiple perspectives, key issues and current debates within their specialization area.
  • Ethical assumptions and implications of educational research in general, and of their own methodological and theoretical choices in designing and carrying out research in their specialization area.
  • Their own positionality and its effects in relation to their research.
  • Intersections between the specializations areas in our field.
  • Interconnections between local, national and global contexts.
  • Implications of applying knowledge in order to make informed critical judgements on the debates and issues in the scholarly literature and educational practices.

 

Members

Pam Bishop 

Brent Debassige

Brenton Faubert

Rita Gardiner

Jun Li

Wayne Martino 

Erica Neeganagwedgin 

Katina Pollock 

Goli Rezai-Rashti 

Augusto Riveros 

Prachi Srivastava

Paul Tarc

Melody Viczko 

We are always happy to help!

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