With the challenges of doing business becoming increasingly complex, Indiana Tech offers a unique program to prepare leaders for an evolving global landscape. The school’s doctoral program in Global Leadership offers not only a comprehensive, research-based curriculum designed to equip students with international leadership competencies, but also a delivery method that mirrors the current trajectory of doing business. That is, online coursework, coupled with personal interaction, results in a rigorous and impactful curriculum.
“When the Ph.D. program was developed, Indiana Tech was committed to creating an online program for accessibility but built it in such a way that incorporated top standards of instruction and mentorship,” says Dr. Angie Fincannon, director of the program. “Our graduates are making impact in influential leadership roles both nationally and internationally.
Now celebrating its tenth year, Indiana Tech’s Ph.D. in Global Leadership is rooted in research, personal interaction, global experience and flexibility. Each successful Ph.D. candidate must complete a minimum of 60 hours of coursework, including six credit hours of global experience, while maintaining a cumulative GPA of 3.5. Students must also participate in a minimum of three residency weekends on campus. Of course, each successful candidate must also research, write and defend a dissertation, with a specialized emphasis on a topic with a global element.
“This program provides outstanding professionals an opportunity to gain valuable knowledge that will impact their professional influence,” says Fincannon. “The online foundation of our program allows us to attract outstanding faculty – both published researchers and practitioners –who mentor our students and make the difference.”
Current doctoral student David Tsetse, head of water, sanitation and hygiene in Eritrea for UNICEF, already holds a Ph.D. in Development and Environment, but felt the need to further develop his global leadership skills. His search for the right program to accomplish that led him to Indiana Tech. Tsetse chose the program for its specialized yet flexible nature, world-class faculty, its focus specifically on leadership research skills, and the international relationships it is allowing him to build. “Having completed my first semester,” says Tsetse, “I am very sure I made the right decision to enroll in the Indiana Tech Ph.D. program.”
The program offers two specialized concentrations: Organizational Management and Academic Administration. The former prepares students for leadership roles within corporations as well as nonprofit organizations, while the latter prepares students for leadership in higher education. While the coursework provides a critical knowledge base, its method of delivery is often pivotal to students’ success. Because most Indiana Tech Ph.D. students pursue their doctorate while working, the ability to complete coursework online has been a deciding factor for many in the program.
“My internal checklist for removing the antiquated classroom, limited equality, cultural awareness and not being able to travel [to campus] was a high priority for me in choosing a program,” says Shawndra Harmond Young, a K-12 educator in Texas and current Ph.D. student.
Kim Morgan, director of business development for the United States Track and Field Association, chose the Indiana Tech program “because I wanted to be able to use my current career experiences as a platform to launch the next phase of my professional trajectory.”
Though the online component is essential to the nature of Indiana Tech’s program, Fincannon notes that a program differentiator is the balance of an online program with a meaningful support system of faculty and students.
“A challenge for any student in a Ph.D. program is that they feel isolated regardless of online or even in a more traditional program,” says Fincannon. “Our residency weekends are designed so that our students have not only dynamic learning sessions, but hands-on opportunities to work closely with our faculty and build collegiality with other students.”
Dr. Brian Ellis, associate dean for Drexel’s College of Business and a 2019 graduate of the program, echoes Fincannon’s comments. “When I embarked upon this journey, I thought I was doing so in a silo. The network and support structure have exceeded my expectations.” He adds, “Going through the program with other students and faculty that share the same level of intellectual curiosity was a huge benefit.”
Indiana Tech believes the Ph.D. program is preparing students to serve organizations in tremendously impactful ways, and they work to evaluate the program to keep it dynamic and relevant.
“We’re nimble and flexible,” says Fincannon, “and we can grow as our needs grow. This program may be stationed in Fort Wayne, but it’s making worldwide impact.”
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