The Center for Online and Distance Education interviewed Mrs. Ashley Williams, a student in the online Ed.D. in Educational Administration program.

Briefly share a little information about yourself.

My name is Ashley Williams, and I am enrolled in the online Doctorate in Educational Administration program at South Carolina State University. I am an assistant principal at a middle school in the Upstate of South Carolina. I am married to my wonderful husband, Dustin, and we have a 2-year-old daughter together. I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Secondary Education from Clemson University and a Master of Science in Education in Educational Theory and Practice from Arkansas State University. I also have an Education Specialist degree in Educational Leadership from Arkansas State University. I volunteer at my church and love spending time with my friends and family.

How did you find out about the online Ed.D. in Educational Administration program at SC State?

I was researching a number of online doctoral programs in the area, and one of the central office personnel in my district recommended that I look into South Carolina State’s program. I started taking classes in May of 2021 and hope to graduate in December of 2022.

There are other universities that offer a doctorate in Educational Administration online. What influenced your decision to select the program offered by SC State?

Multiple components affected my decision to enroll at South Carolina State. For example, I needed a program that was completely online because of my work schedule and family life. I also loved that South Carolina State accepted hours from my Ed.S. to go toward my doctorate; this saved me time and money. Thirdly, I enjoyed how personal the SC State program felt. The director of the program gave me his cellphone number when I was asking him questions about the program; not only was this convenient, but this extra gesture showed me that he truly cared about my succes

How will this program help you in terms of achieving your career goals

I have taken seven courses already and am finishing my coursework next semester. This program has taught me a great deal about the role of the central office, policymaking, and leadership. I have learned a great deal from my professors, who are experts in the field of education, and have had the opportunity to glean from guest speakers that they have brought in. I will take all of this knowledge with me as I continue to accomplish my career goals, which include serving as a school building principal and serving at the central office one day. 

How has the online availability of the program helped you in terms of your personal life?

I could not have made a better decision when I chose South Carolina State to earn my doctorate. Classes employ both asynchronous and synchronous learning through Zoom and Blackboard, which allow me to get to know my classmates and learn from them while doing the majority of the coursework on my own schedule. It has been an honor of a lifetime to get to know the other educators in my program; we all support each other and have fun while we are doing it! I have been able to make professional connections that will benefit me in the future. The professors respect that everyone in the program has a career and are flexible when there is an overlap.  South Carolina State’s online program was the perfect match for where I am at in my personal life and career.

What advice would you offer to others who are considering enrolling in the program
Reach out to Dr. Percy Mack, the program director. He is a wealth of knowledge and can explain how the program functions. If you have your Ed.S., ask about transferring some of your hours towards your doctorate. Reach out to students who are in the program to get a better understanding of the demands of the program. Do your research and then take a leap of faith and join the South Carolina State family. You won’t find a stronger program with the support, flexibility and price that South Carolina State offers. 

For more information about the online doctorate in Educational Administration program at SC State University, visit: .