Meet Lashonda Taylor, Ed.D. Graduate at Kent State University

Lashonda Taylor EdD

Meet Lashonda Taylor, Ed.D.

Lashonda puts her family first while pursuing the high reaches of education and career.

Before obtaining her online Doctor of Education in Interprofessional Leadership at Kent State University, Lashonda, currently associate chief of staff for Kent State University’s President’s Office, graduated from high school in 1997 and set out on the road to a college education.

But Taylor’s college journey was filled with detours that took her off course. A major life event immediately thrust her into the job market, and it was not until 2010 that she enrolled at Kent State to earn her bachelor’s degree.

“Career-wise, I knew I wanted to go to college, but I had my oldest son young. I was 19 when I had Pyrce and that put a wrench in my plans for college because I needed to work full time,” Taylor said. “I got good jobs making a decent salary. But I knew that if I had a degree, I could do more and I could make more. Seeing the people around me, I thought ‘I could be a supervisor if I had a degree. So how do I get this degree?’”

In 2009, Taylor began to work at Kent State as a special assistant to the communications and events director. She knew that Kent State had a tuition waiver program that would pay for her college education.

Taylor fulfilled her dream when she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies in 2013, and a Master of Science in Hospitality and Tourism Management in 2018. But the pursuit of higher education did not stop there.

She reached the pinnacle of her educational journey in 2023 when she earned a Doctor of Education in Interprofessional Leadership. Taylor was determined to be among the first cohort to complete the program.

It was a challenging journey, but well worth it, she said.

Read more from Lashonda on how important it is for young women to pursue their degrees expeditiously after high school graduation.

What is Interprofessional Leadership at Kent State University?

The 100% online Doctor of Education degree in Interprofessional Leadership at Kent State University allows for the study of leadership from an interprofessional perspective that is framed around questions of equity, ethics, and social justice to bring about solutions to complex problems of practice.

The program prepares leaders who can construct and apply knowledge to make a positive difference in the lives of individuals, families, organizations, and communities. Field-based opportunities are provided to analyze problems of practice and use multiple frames to develop meaningful solutions.

Watch the video below to learn more.

What is the difference between an Ed.D and a Ph.D.?

A Doctor of Education (Ed.D) degree is a professional degree designed for practitioners pursuing educational leadership roles. The Ed.D. focuses not only on research but also on the application of that research to real-world practices and complex problems.

However, a Ph.D. in education is designed to prepare graduates for research and teaching roles, with a focus on research only. This degree is applicable primarily to higher education.

Learn more in the video below.

Kent State University’s Online Doctor of Education in Interprofessional Leadership

The online Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Interprofessional Leadership program is cohort-based, starting in the summer term, with students taking three to five years to complete the degree. Students select a cognate area for specialized study.

Cognates offered include:

Athletic Training
The Athletic Training cognate area provides graduate students the opportunity to prepare for the rigors of academic positions in a college or university by blending discipline-specific theory and practice strategies related to athletic training education. This degree program will provide the student an opportunity to gain extensive knowledge in higher education as a whole while developing the critical skills necessary to establish a strong foundation in athletic training educational leadership. A comprehensive project directly related to athletic training education will allow the student to address a contemporary issue in the profession through purposeful research strategies to generate educational change within the discipline.

Cultural Foundations
The Cultural Foundations cognate area prepares students for leadership roles in educational settings seeking to address problems of practice that reflect broad societal problems and thus defy simple solutions. Immersion in the literature of the field of social foundations of education will expose students to historical, sociological, anthropological, and philosophical understandings that will enable them to contextualize problems of practice within and beyond their particular institutional setting. Students will develop facilities with conceptual, critical, and normative modes of analysis needed to unpack contemporary problems of practice and propose approaches to addressing them in ways that do justice to their complexity. This terminal degree program will appeal to students who are already grappling with these problems in institutional settings and to those who wish to prepare themselves for such roles.

Curriculum and Instruction
The Curriculum and Instruction cognate area prepares students to be curriculum leaders in their classrooms, schools, and communities. Students will attain the knowledge and skills necessary to identify, conceptualize, and research important problems related to the practice of curriculum development, curriculum leadership, and curriculum evaluation. Additionally, students will learn to develop, implement, and evaluate solutions that are informed by currently available theory and research in curriculum and instruction. The Curriculum and Instruction cognate provides doctoral-level training to anyone seeking to lead positive curricular change in classrooms, schools, and communities.

Educational Technology
The Educational Technology cognate area aims to prepare leaders who are conversant in critical research, theories, and methods in educational technology to facilitate positive change in their professional settings. It is designed to help you advance your knowledge in educational technology research to implement educational technology initiatives in educational and business environments using research-informed and data-driven decisions.

Leadership in Educational Contexts
The Leadership in Educational Contexts concentration provides education in multidisciplinary perspectives on leadership throughout a range of educational contexts. The concentration prepares students to lead positive change through their work as ethical and social justice-oriented scholarly practitioners. Concentration coursework focuses on advanced leadership theories, skills, and sociocultural contexts of education organizations and systems. This concentration is appropriate for leaders and emerging leaders in higher education, PK-12 schooling, and other organizations in which non-formal, informal, and formal education takes place.

Special Education
The Special Education cognate area prepares students for leadership roles in improving the practice of special education (birth to adulthood). Students will attain the knowledge and skills necessary to identify and conceptualize important problems related to the practice of special education and to develop, implement, and evaluate solutions that are informed by the best available research and theory in special education and related disciplines. The Special Education cognate provides doctoral-level training to anyone seeking to lead positive change in how special education and related services are provided to learners with disabilities.

The Ed.D. degree in Interprofessional Leadership will prepare graduates to:

  • Frame questions of organizational leadership, educational change, and social justice to bring about solutions to complex problems of practice
  • Develop and demonstrate a professional knowledge base that integrates both practical and research knowledge, and that links theory with systemic and systematic inquiry
  • Construct and apply knowledge interprofessionally to make a positive difference in the lives of individuals, families, organizations, and communities
  • Develop and demonstrate interprofessional collaboration and communication skills to work with diverse communities and to build partnerships
  • Analyze problems of practice and use multiple interprofessional frames to develop meaningful solutions
  • Generate, transform and use professional knowledge in practice
  • Integrate technology as a tool for teaching, learning, assessment, management, planning, and communication

For more information on Kent State’s online Doctor of Education in Interprofessional Leadership degree, visit https://onlinedegrees.kent.edu/degrees/doctor-of-education-interprofessional-leadership.

100% Online Degrees through the College of Education, Health, and Human Services

Kent State University’s College of Education, Health and Human Services (EHHS) offers a portfolio of 100% online graduate degrees. With the working professional in mind, the college is dedicated to providing quality education on an online platform.

Degrees include:

Learn more about all of the 100% online EHHS degrees.

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He is an Associate Professor in the Evaluation and Measurement program within the College of Education, Health and Human Services at Kent State University. He is also the program coordinator for the online Master of Education degree in Research, Measurement, and Statistics.
Dr. Astrid N. Sambolín Morales is an Assistant Professor in Kent State Online’s 100% Online Master of Education degree in Cultural Foundations. She received her PhD in Educational Equity and Cultural Diversity from the University of Colorado Boulder and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania. Her research provides a more nuanced picture of the agency, resistance, and empowerment enacted by displaced Puerto Rican m(others) in the U.S., and her work was funded by several grants, including the University of Colorado Natural Hazards Center, the BUENO Center for Multicultural Education, the URBAN Research Network, and the NAEd Spencer Foundation.