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Doctoral Programs: KAM and Mixed-Model

KAM and Mixed-Model Programs

What is a KAM-based Program?

A KAM-based program relies primarily on Knowledge Area Modules (KAMs) - large, scholarly papers demonstrating one’s academic mastery of a subject, but may also require a Foundations course and a Research sequence, in addition to Academic Residencies. Students in a KAM-based program may be able to substitute a set of courses for a KAM (contact a Student Success Advisor for more specific information on this topic), but if this happens, the student is still considered KAM-based.

What is a KAM?

A Knowledge Area Module, or KAM, is a scholarly paper that demonstrates your academic mastery of a subject you research with the guidance of a Mentor.  The average length of a KAM is 90-120 pages. Only students in a KAM-based or Mixed-Model program (part KAMs, part classes) are required to write  KAMs. Students in Course-based programs will not write a KAM and will, instead, take only the courses, practicums, residencies, etc., required of their program as outlined in the program of study or degree audit.

What is a Mixed-Model Program?

A mixed-model program relies on a mixture of KAMs and courses (in addition to the Foundations and Research courses) to complete the degree requirements.

Time to Degree Completion

If you are in a KAM-based or Mixed-Model program, complete at least one KAM per year.

Students in programs that utilize KAMs (or Knowledge Area Modules) can struggle with keeping on track toward degree completion, due to the independent nature of the KAM process as compared to traditional courses. Completing at least one KAM per year is a good start to staying on track.

How long will it take me to complete my degree?

Mixed-Model programs:

  • The core and foundational programs will take about 1.5 years to finish. Each KAM will take anywhere between two and three quarters to complete; although, the first KAM occasionally takes longer to complete. Each section of a KAM should typically take one quarter to complete. Mixed-Model students are also required to complete at least 5 quarters of EDUC 9002 to complete the dissertation.

PhD in Education

Is there an order in which I should be taking my courses? Can I make any changes to that order?

Students in the course-based program will take the core and foundational courses before starting their specialization courses. Students in the mixed-model program will take their core and foundational courses before writing their KAMs.

How many courses do I take each quarter?

Mixed Model Program

  • Students in the mixed-model programs should take two of their core/foundation courses in addition to their EDUC 8800: Research Forum course. Once mixed-model students complete their core and foundation courses, they will only be registered for EDUC 8800: Research Forum with their KAM Mentor.
  • Mixed-Model students will take EDUC 9002: Research Forum once all KAMs, advanced research courses, and core/foundation courses have been completed, and they are working solely on their dissertation.

Alongside which course should I finalize my dissertation committee nominations?

Mixed-model students will complete the process while working on their KAMs.

What is SBSF 7100 (Research Forum)?

The purpose of this forum is to assist students with making steady progress toward earning a Doctor of Philosophy degree. Students will prepare a plan of action, engage in regular scholarly discussion with a faculty mentor and fellow doctoral students, and submit a personal progress report. Students will submit drafts of Learning Agreements, Knowledge Area Modules (KAMs), and dissertations to the faculty mentor for feedback. Information and resources related to KAMs, dissertations, residencies, research and writing, and doctoral program expectations are provided for guidance.
The KAMs are not online courses and require no online registration. Each quarter, you will be automatically registered for EDUC 8800, which is the Research Forum (this will happen automatically, unless you have a hold on your account, withdraw, or are on a Leave of Absence). This serves as your registration for KAMs, regardless of which KAM you’re working on. Each quarter that you are actively working on a KAM, you’ll then be required to log into EDUC 8800 within the first seven days and submit your quarterly plan to the dropbox. If you are not yet working on your KAMs, yet you are in a program with KAMs, please log in to the class in the first week, but you do not need to complete any of the assignments. If you do not log in during the first seven days each quarter, you will be dropped for Failure to Attend.

Do I need to initiate registration for my courses?

Mixed-model students can register themselves for their core and foundational courses via the Degree Audit in their myWalden portal but will be automatically registered for EDUC 8800: Research Forum each quarter.