Introducing: New CPED Facilitation Services

Debby and Jill facilitating a workshop

Introducing: New CPED Facilitation Services

From Dr. Jill A. Perry - CPED Executive Director

What’s CPED Facilitation all about anyway?

In the last 12 years, the understanding of the EdD has shifted. The field of Education now, by and large, views the degree as a professional practice doctorate. CPED members have utilized our Framework to create programs that meet local contexts and professional practice needs. But as CPED grows, we still see new faculty and new programs struggle with understanding how to design EdD programs that look different than how they were trained or how programs have been modeled for nearly a century.

CPED Facilitation Services from CPED Initiative on Vimeo.


CPED can help with this struggle. We have worked with members to bring their faculty together in understanding the distinctions of the EdD as a professional practice degree and in designing programs that support practitioner needs. Often the concepts are clear, but the “how to” is not. After all, no one taught us in our doctoral training how to design programs. Thinking about program design is generally based on what we know, which is likely PhD training.  Even more often, it takes an outsider’s view to spark fresh ideas to ignite change and shift traditional ways of thinking. CPED facilitators can do that.

Faculty are Key!

Despite having never been taught to design programs, faculty are the people who create the degree programs our institutions offer. Their understanding, buy in, expertise, and creativity are central to creating programs that they will implement. This can be a daunting task. That’s where CPED Facilitators come in. We too are faculty and have struggled with changing mindsets, program goals, and institutional regulations. But working with CPED over many years, we have learned and we get how to do it. We can support other faculty in the change process.

What is Facilitation?

Facilitators travel to member or non-member institutions to work with faculty on local program design issues, to help faculty understand distinctions, to support innovative design development, and more. It depends what the institution needs. I, for example, have worked with several institutions that want to design programs modeled after ivy league programs but have yet to truly understand what their faculty are capable of doing. In these instances, I’ve challenged faculty to take a close look at their own skills, knowledge, and expertise and to understand how those come together across several faculty to develop a program that reflects their institutional advantage. I’ve also had faculty sort out what program elements from the CPED Framework best fit their advantage and supported them in using those elements in create both their programs and their assessments.

Do I have to do what CPED says?

CPED program design is not based on a one-sized fits all model. Rather, early on our members pushed back on that idea. After all, how can you prepare a superintendent in Los Angeles the same way you would prepare a rural community college leader in western North Carolina? What CPED has is a flexible Framework that can be tailored to the local context –both institutional needs and student needs. Furthermore, Facilitators don’t tell anyone what to do. We facilitate conversations within the local context to push thinking and designs that will support the development of professional practice doctoral programs based on the skills, knowledge and expertise of the institutional faculty. That is, we are the guides on the side.

What happens after?

We’ve come to learn that having a facilitator visit gives faculty who might not have been able to attend a CPED convening the opportunity to learn about CPED and the professional doctorate in a personal way. Groups of faculty members have been given the chance to work together (a rare thing) to think about what their program could be, who it could serve and what innovative ideas they could bring to the designs. In short, most faculty members I’ve worked with walk away excited about the possibility of building something that isn’t traditional. They express gratitude for the deep conversations that have unleashed creativity and quelled concerns. This new energy is supported by a set of next steps that provides a vision for design and clear action steps.

How can my institution get help from a CPED Facilitator?

On the CPED website, you can learn more about what we do and request more information. We work with the local faculty to first learn about their current work and institutional history with the EdD. We then develop a day-long facilitation that will serve the needs of the institution. We end with a set of next steps to keep the program design going.

To learn more: Click here.

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