Values, Ethics & DEI
Approximately fifty percent of individuals who begin a doctoral degree do not complete it. The result is frustration, disappointment, sometimes anger, and a feeling of incompleteness. While for many getting a doctoral degree alone is a personal goal in life, for others, it is a step to greater professional competence. For some, if not most, it is both.
Individuals may pursue a doctoral degree for many reasons. Some want to assume traditional roles associated with a Ph.D., including research and teaching. Others wish to gain considerable subject matter knowledge and expertise in a field. Still, others want to obtain their doctorate to become better practitioners.
These include such degrees as the doctor of business administration (DBA), which is rapidly replacing the MBA as a professional credential, a doctor of social work (DSW), Doctor of Education (EdD), and other professions such as Fine Arts (DFA). Many disciplines may offer both a Doctor of Philosophy, a PhD., and a practitioner degree. Both generally go through the same process, with the difference being an emphasis on research/teaching versus practice.
"To provide individuals with the opportunity to complete their doctoral degrees in an efficient, effective, meaningful, and economical manner."
The Washington Center Doctoral Achievement Program is designed to enable you to complete your doctoral degree. We have structured this in a curated, competency-based, formulaic program.
Curated: a unique application that appeals to you if you began a doctoral program and could not complete it.
Competency-Based: a system of delivery, assessment, grading, and academic accomplishment based on your demonstration of learning, knowledge, and competency. It affords you the ability to progress at the pace you set as you master the competencies required.
Formulaic: a process that follows a set of procedures adhering to set norms or conventions. The program uses a step-by-step dissertation template and rubric that allows you to proceed consistent with your ability to show the required competencies. The formula includes assigning you an experienced mentor and committee who are experts in their field.
Honesty and Integrity: The bedrock of human value is, to be honest with ourselves and hence to be able to be honest with others. Honesty means adhering to facts and being evidence-based. Honesty sharpens our perception and allows us to observe everything around us with clarity. Honesty is the foundation upon which integrity rests. Integrity provides us and others in society with an understanding that we can depend on what another person says to be truthful.
Scholarship: This is a doctoral program, and hence scholarship, academic study, and achievement is a continuing theme. We want you to be proficient in your skills and contribute to the collective body of knowledge. Scholarship means the ability to study what others have studied and to derive new meaning through your critical thinking and analysis.
Character with Compassion: Character is often an elusive term, but for us, character means the essence of true self – someone who says what they mean and means what they say. Drake University (2021) notes there are six pillars of character: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, and citizenship. We believe character requires compassion for one another; otherwise, character does not exist.
Authentic Leadership: In our program, we emphasize an authentic leadership style. We wish to manifest authentic and genuine leadership skills based on our solid awareness of our shared core values regarding your educational journey. As authentic leaders and educators, we share with you a vision of an empowered, nourishing and transparent process conducted in a supportive and open environment. This process will challenge you to be creative, self-aware, ethical, and productive in your work. We want you to feel an ever-growing sense of trust and hope - in us and in yourself. Use that spark to make your dissertation tasks authentic and meaningful, then fire up your energy and work hard to complete your degree.
Service and Advocacy: We believe that we all have a duty to give back. There are no limits to the ways we can give back to our family, community, and profession. We believe we have a collective responsibility to advocate for one another.
Academic Rigor: Aligned with the value of scholarship above is the concept of academic rigor. We expect that you will studiously apply yourself and that what you write will add evidence-based research to improve knowledge and practice in your field.
Ethics is at the heart of your doctoral degree because your doctoral degree will rely upon research using others as participants. We adhere to the principles of ethics in research as stipulated by the United States government and contained in the Belmont Report. Ethics is multifaceted and includes not only your professional ethics but also your personal ethics. We expect you to comport yourself ethically. Any variance from the published standards is generally not allowed and requires discussion with your mentor. (Read the Belmont Report.)
Diversity, Equity, Inclusion
We are a diverse academic body and we flourish within that diversity. We believe that diversity provides us with extended strength to engage with others in an inclusive way. By so doing, we increase everyone's success.
We endorse and promote the definitions of equity and inclusion provided by author Yaneth Vrentas of the Meridian School in Seattle, Washington (used with permission):
“We believe that the challenges of our world require culturally-competent, well-rounded, critically thinking individuals who are prepared to be responsible and active global citizens; that diversity brings perspectives and authentic experiences central to an education that balances the intellectual, emotional, and social growth of children; and, that a school community and learning environment that is inclusive and more diverse will promote a deeper understanding of varying points of view, and will fuel innovation, creativity, and progressive change.” - Yaneth Vrentas
Respect for Self & Others:
Respect for self and others begins with self. Only as we respect ourselves are we able to respect one another. We acknowledge there may have been strains on your self-respect as a derivative of your previous doctoral program challenges. Our intent is to reburnish and strengthen your self-respect to the highest degree.