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Concentration: Educational Equity

Degree: Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Program: Teacher Education and Learning Sciences
Delivery Method: On Campus

Apply by Dec.

Educational Equity

Educational Equity is a concentration of the Ph.D. in Teacher Education and Learning Sciences. Our program learning outcomes are:

  • Deep content knowledge and research expertise.
  • Understanding of policy and its implications for education.
  • Broad perspectives and effective responses to diversity as they relate to educational and societal inequalities.
  • Ability to engage in and use cutting-edge technology as a tool for innovation andchange in an increasingly globalized world.
  • Multimodal communication practices that enable graduates to engage in and translate research to different partners and stakeholders.
  • Knowledge and capacity to engage global educational change initiatives

Concentration Details

The primary aim of the Educational Equity concentration is to provide graduate-level training to persons interested in being leaders who will transform educational institutions and their communities by addressing and reducing inequity.

This concentration addresses:

  • Educational equity and access in fields of teacher education, multicultural education, multilingualism, literacy, educational psychology, special education, and/or STEM 
  • Advancing educational equity through community and public engagement
  • Fostering diversity and equity in schools and communities as well as addressing ethical and moral dimensions of school leadership

Education and training in the Educational Equity concentration are rooted in the assumption that equal opportunity is not available to all because of prejudice, discrimination, and systematic injustice. Research and analyses show that public policies, programs, and institutional practices generate inequitable outcomes in schools and that educational organizations have the responsibility and potential to focus on strategies and solutions for an equitable future. The goal of education, training and professional development in the Educational Equity concentration is to celebrate and advance diversity and inclusion while naming, interrogating, and challenging oppression, exploitation, and marginalization within education at the local, state, national, and international levels. The program courses, research, and other activities will focus on issues of privilege and power relating to social identity groups (e.g., race/ethnicity, language, gender, sexuality, class, religion, ability, political viewpoints, etc.) in a range of educational contexts including universities, K-12 schools, business and industry, and community agencies/institutions. Furthermore, students will learn analysis, evaluation, and implementation of policies, programs, and practices to promote educational equity.

Faculty research interests in the concentration are broad and include equity and diversity across the disciplines (e.g. literacy, stem, history); race/ethnicity; gender & sexuality; disability; diversity & leadership; community engagement; immigration; and language learning and acquisition.

  • Completed application to the NC State Graduate School
  • Unofficial transcripts from undergraduate and any graduate programs
  • Resume or curriculum vitae
  • Personal statement
    • You are applying to a Ph.D. concentration in Educational Equity. A centerpiece of this program is that you will identify and develop a research focus and engage in the production of new knowledge in the form of publications and professional presentations. An important purpose of this statement is to match your research interests with faculty expertise. Few students enter with fully-formed research agendas, and many discover their research interests through conversations with faculty. We strongly encourage you to visit faculty websites and reach out to faculty you may be interested in working with.
    • In a well-organized 500-1000 word personal statement, please address the following questions: 1) What areas of educational equity are of particular interest to you? 2) What professional and educational experiences have prepared you to pursue a doctorate in educational equity? 3) What do you currently envision as your research focus in educational equity? 4) In what ways might your research focus align with faculty expertise/scholarship in the educational equity Ph.D. concentration?
  • Academic writing sample (e.g., master’s thesis, class paper, manuscript, research report, or white paper)
  • Three letters of recommendation
    • At least one should be from a professor or someone who can comment on research experience/preparation for a PhD
  • GRE scores are NOT required.
    • Please do not send or upload your scores onto the application portal.

Concentration Handbook 

TELS core (6 hours)

  • ECI 735 Seminar on Teaching and Teaching Education
  • ECI 736 Learning Sciences

EE Core Courses (12 hours)

  • ECI 507 Social Justice Education
  • ECI 740 Education for a Radical Imagination: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives
  • ECI 730 Critical Theory and Public Engagement
  • ECI 850 Internship in Curriculum & Instruction

EE Electives (12 hours)

  • Determined in consultation with your advisor. The EE degree can be completed on a full-time or part-time basis. The purpose of the core courses is to give students a common foundation in educational equity while the elective courses enable students to specialize within a particular equity and/or subject area.

Funding Opportunities

Review the Estimated Cost of Attendance for information on tuition and fees set by the university. Students are funded through a variety of opportunities, some of which cover tuition and fees. Stipend and length of appointment vary based on funding source. 

  • Graduate Research Assistantships: Research assistantships are awarded to students working with a faculty member on an externally-funded research grant. Individual faculty select students for these awards.
  • Teaching Assistantships: Teaching assistantships are rewarded to students with applicable experience to teach undergraduate courses or supervise teacher interns. Students are selected based on department needs.
  • College Fellowships: Offices in the College of Education regularly offer assistantships for research and teaching positions. These are announced each spring.
  • University Fellowships: The Graduate School offers several fellowships for new students, including the University Graduate Fellowship and the Provost’s Fellowship. The Director of Graduate Programs nominates applicants for these awards.
  • External Fellowships: Applicants are encouraged to apply for fellowships from the National Science Foundation and other national programs.

Eligible students may receive coverage of their tuition and health insurance through the Graduate Student Support Plan (GSSP). Opportunities are available on a limited basis, and vary in: stipend amount; length of appointment; research/teaching area that is your focus; technical, research, and teaching skill required; and where you are in your program timeline to completion. Therefore, funding is not guaranteed.

All applicants are automatically considered for funding opportunities that require department nomination. To express interest in being considered for other departmental funding, please complete the TELS Funding Interest Form.

Review the Estimated Cost of Attendance associated with this doctoral degree for the upcoming semester’s tuition and fees. Note that tuition and fees are subject to change.

Funding is available through hourly work, assistantships, and fellowships. Please see Financing Graduate Education for more information.

Christy Byrd
Associate Professor

Maria Coady
Goodnight Distinguished Professor in Educational Equity 

DeLeon Gray

Micha Jeffries
Assistant Teaching Professor

Joanna Koch
Assistant Teaching Professor

Crystal Chen Lee, Concentration Coordinator
Associate Professor

Patricia Marshall

Samantha Marshall
Assistant Professor

Amato Nocera
Assistant Professor

Jamie Pearson
Associate Professor

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