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Online Doctor of Education program ranked in top 10 nationally for affordability

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Erika Gravett is a student in the Doctor of Education program at UNG, which ranks in the top 10 nationally for affordability.

The University of North Georgia's (UNG) Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) with a major in higher education leadership and practice (HELP) recently ranked No. 10 nationally in affordability among online Ed.D. programs. UNG launched the program in fall 2017, becoming UNG's first dissertation-based doctoral program, and cohorts average between 15 and 20 students.

EdDPrograms.org highlighted that UNG's cohort-based Ed.D. can be completed in as few as three years and offers dissertation preparation from the start. The cost per credit is $453, including tuition and fees.

Dr. Katherine Adams, assistant professor and coordinator of the Ed.D. program, said having the same tuition rates for all attracts students from places such as New York, Michigan and Florida. She and Dr. Michael Lanford, assistant professor of higher education, aim to use free textbook resources as much as possible to limit students' financial burden. Students traditionally only have to purchase two textbooks throughout the three-year program.

To increase traditional opportunities within the fully online program, students also have the chance to gain teaching experience by helping lead a module in a course they have completed. As well, students in the program learn from UNG's Grants and Contracts Administration office how to write grants to secure funding for their dissertation research through the creation of the HELP Grant Writing Program, which provides training and direct application, which can result in being awarded the HELP Excellence in Doctoral Research Scholarship.

Students receive instruction from some of UNG's administrators as part of their coursework to help further connect theory to practice: Dr. Mac McConnell, senior vice president for business and finance; Dr. James Conneely, vice president of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management; and Jenna Colvin, general counsel.

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