Are you considering earning an online doctorate?

What’s it like to earn an online doctorate?

Concordia University Wisconsin’s online doctorate program is proud to be innovative. This cross-disciplinary doctorate program aims to create and develop innovators who make a lasting impact wherever they serve and work. What does this even look like, though?

Current student Todd Kraiss is finished with all of his coursework and is working on his dissertation. He recently shared what his experience has been like in Concordia’s Doctorate of Education in Leadership in Innovation and Continuous Improvement (LICI) program. Keep reading to hear about his experience in this online doctorate program.

Recent grad Todd Kraiss’ self-described “best pose”

Tell us a little about yourself.

I live in Port Washington, WI, with my wife and two (boy and a girl) of my five children. There is 1 boy in college and the other 2 boys have graduated college and are adulting at the moment.

My wife and I love to camp and hike and hammock by a lake.  The hammocks are always in our vehicles so we can spontaneously hammock anywhere…by a lake, in a park, in a shopping mall, over a cliff…anywhere!  I am the Blackboard Administrator for Concordia University Wisconsin/Ann Arbor and I also teach Psychology 101 online in our Pre-College program.

What made you choose Concordia University’s EdD LICI program?

I chose the EdD LICI program for a number of reasons. First of all, I took it to get my doctorate degree because with a doctorate more doors can open up for my future. You are never guaranteed a new job or a promotion with a doctorate however, more opportunities can present itself with this degree.

Second, I chose this program because having a concentration in leadership with an emphasis on innovation and continuous improvement is very important. You can utilize this degree for a number of opportunities and I believe it benefits me personally as it has shown me my leadership attributes as well as attributes I still need to work on.

Finally, I took this program because I would like to teach online as an adjunct professor well into retirement. Yes, I am only 51 so retirement seems far away, however, I love teaching online courses as I teach Psychology 101 right now at Concordia.  It will afford my wife and me to still make income in retirement as well as us being able to travel and hike and see the world while still being able to teach online.

What course did you enjoy the most in the program?

This is a tough choice as I enjoyed a lot of the courses. What makes this choice tough is the fact the professors are so personable and great to learn from online. Choosing a course based on the content I would have to say the courses were: Spiritual and Ethical Leadership, Business and Sustainability, Social Entrepreneurship, and Innovation and Design Thinking. All of the courses were interesting and I loved learning the content. These three stood out because they really had some topics and learning objectives that I gravitated towards.

I should also add I was on the business track of the program and I didn’t get to take any courses on the other tracks but I knew a lot of the professors teaching those courses and would not hesitate recommending them.

What were your professors like?

All of them were personable and gave great feedback.  I never had to wait long for a return email or an answer to a question I might have on anything in the course.  All of the professors have the experience in the topic they are teaching and really help you to understand what they are teaching. However, be prepared to work hard and head into the program knowing there will be some late nights but, in the end, it will be all worth it.

How has the program helped you reach your goals?

All I have left is my dissertation in the program. So, my goal of becoming a Doctor of Education is inching closer to reality. From there I would like to teach more online courses as an adjunct and get a good foundation of courses I teach online.

Personally, I would like to become a better leader at home and professionally.  I have already seen improvement and I believe there is more to be done.  I should be the perfect leader by the year 2100, which might be too late as I would probably be dead at the age of 131.  This can only benefit me more moving forward.

Would you recommend this program?

I would highly recommend this program to anyone looking for a doctorate that is well rounded and can be used in all aspects of one’s life.  I realize I also work for the university and some may think I am saying these things based upon my employment.  It can’t be further from the truth.  I can’t say that every week doing homework and working through the topics was all rainbows and unicorns. There were some weeks while working through homework where I actually got balder pulling my hair out and I am already bald, so think about that one.

However, even though there were times of difficulties and frustrations, in the end, I am very thankful I worked through it and persevered.  I believe anyone that is ready to work hard and has a never quit attitude can do great things with this degree.

Want more information on our online doctorate?

If you’re thinking about earning your doctorate online, Concordia University could be the right fit for you. You can check out our program page to learn more about your options. No matter where you are in your journey, we’re here for you as you figure out your next steps.

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