Alumni, People

EdD graduate recognized for thesis in leadership and ethics

September 04, 2019

Grase Kim has won the Paul T. Begley award from the Consortium for the Study of Leadership and Ethics in Education (CSLEE).

The Doctor of Education (EdD) graduate has been recognized for her dissertation, ‘An Exploratory Case Study of a Quality Assurance Process at an Ontario University.’

Grase KIm

Grase Kim

“I was thrilled,” said Kim. “It was a lot of work, a lot of time and a personal journey so it’s a nice way to end my doctoral research.”

Kim analyzed the definition of ‘quality’ as it relates to quality assurance in higher education. She found there appeared to be a disconnect between the current approach to quality assurance and the transformational nature of education that cannot be captured by simple statistics. What’s more, she concluded the university runs the risk of being preoccupied with compliance to quality assurance without engaging in a thoughtful reflective process. This meant university faculty administrators and staff gathered program data without asking the questions, ‘What is quality?’, and ‘What are our goals in higher education?’

In 2010 the Council of Ontario Universities approved a new quality assurance framework and mandated that all universities conduct institutional quality assurance for each academic program. This is intended for universities to demonstrate accountability and encourage program improvement.

There are many perspectives that define academic quality, said Kim. She believes universities need to include broader perspectives, such as how social justice and equity issues are addressed in higher education and the contributions students make to society after they graduate.

“I have a richer appreciation and I understand the work that’s being required of universities,” said Kim. “My thesis gives me hope that quality assurance could be something more than what is currently being done right now,” she said.

Kim, an Assistant Dean of Academic Programs at the Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing at the University of Toronto, conducts quality assurance as part of her duties.

The Paul T. Begley Award is given annually to a student who has recently-completed a master’s or doctoral theses in the field of values and leadership in education, including Kindergarten to Grade 12 and higher education.

Kim will receive the award at the CSLEE Values and Ethics conference in New Orleans this November.

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