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Why Evangel?  Ed.D. Student Experience

Dr. Stephanie Long

When I decided to pursue my doctorate degree, Evangel offered several of the essentials I was looking for.  I had successful experiences at a public university while pursuing my previous degrees, but being able to attend a faith-based institution intrigued me and I was excited about the possibility of being led by professors who practiced these principles during our learning experiences.  I also knew several of the professors of the program and had previously been able to witness many of their contributions to education at the K-12 level. 

Evangel honored all of my credits and degrees I had completed in education, making the choice to attend there both a viable financial option and one that would shorten the length of time it would take me to complete my degree.  I was able to save even more money through a partnership they had created with my school district that allowed me to take personalized coursework towards my degree at a substantial discount.  In the end, I saved thousands of dollars, compared to other universities, by completing my degree through Evangel.  Throughout my experience at Evangel each professor made my learning needs a priority.  They created learning opportunities that were relevant and meaningful and there were many times that I was able to use this learning to strengthen the professional learning I was facilitating for staff in my school district.  

As an educational technology specialist, I chose to devote my dissertation research to studying the factors and barriers that were impacting effective technology integration in K-12 schools. I wanted to focus on a topic that would help me continue to support teachers, administrators, and students in my current role.  My dissertation chairperson and committee were extremely helpful in providing insight to the process and were always available to offer feedback, which helped me to complete my study on time.  As a result of my research, I have been able to share my findings with district administrators and teachers and have adjusted a number of our blended learning systems. Our district team has redesigned several of the professional learning opportunities we provide to teachers as we continue to strive for more effective ways of integrating technology in our district classrooms.

Because of this positive experience at Evangel, I chose to return to the university to complete the additional master’s level coursework needed to obtain my building-level administrative certificate.  I was able to complete those hours online and was allowed to do my internship with my own building administrator, making this experience relevant to my current job. Today, I am able to use this certification to fill in for building administrators when they need to be away or need extra support with some of their duties.  In addition, I am now an adjunct professor teaching pre-service teachers and hope to continue as an education professor in the future.  I am thankful for my Evangel experience and am excited about the possibilities that might arise as a result of obtaining my doctorate degree.

Dr. Stephanie Long completed her Ed.D. at Evangel in 2020.  She currently serves as an Educational Technology Specialist in the Republic School District in southwest Missouri.