What are Problems of Practice Teams?

What are Problems of Practice Teams?


And how does the Sage Colleges Doctorate Program use them?

One of the most interesting features of the Sage Colleges’ Doctorate Program  that is co-sponsored by the Council of Supervisors and Administrators (CSA) and administratively supported by CITE, is the team approach to dissertation topics.  Traditionally, every doctoral student picked their own dissertation topic and was pretty much left to their own devices with occasional support from their advisor on a sporadic and highly flexible time frame. 

That’s not how Sage does it. 

The program forms “Problems of Practice” (POP) teams under the supervision of a faculty member.  The team members all work on different aspects of the same problem.  Some use more qualitative approaches and some use more quantitative approaches, but they all work on some aspect of the same problem.  This allows for much greater cohesion and a feeling of community as members pull each other along.  

How does this affect completion?

Sage had 15 of 17 possible candidates earn their doctorate within a 3 year timeframe.  Those results compare with less than 50% in longer periods at schools that still use traditional approaches.

What Topics have been used?

Here were the topics of five teams.

  • “Equity, Educational Achievement Gap, and System Leadership.”
  • “System Leadership as it Relates to College and Career Readiness of Students.”
  • “System Leadership as it Relates to Change Initiatives/Process.”
  • “Professional Development for Leaders Including but not Limited to Coaching.”
  • “Technology as it Affects Student Learning and System Leadership”

This program is structured for success, as shown by the 85% completion rate. The Problems of Practice groups are one way we make this work. 

How can one apply?

Please contact Jennifer Tully, Jennifer@citeprograms.com for more information.  

CITE is the Center for Integrated Training and Education . For over 25 years, CITE has and continues to train TEACHERS (Early Childhood, Professional Certification, Special Ed, Grad Courses, DASA); COUNSELORS (School, Mental Health Masters, Advanced Certificate); and ADMINISTRATORS (SBL, SDL, Public Admin, Doctorate) in all five boroughs of NYC, Yonkers, and Long Island.

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