Changing the world is no small feat, but Walden University doctoral graduates and students proudly say they are making a tangible impact in their communities and professions because of their education, as shown in Walden’s new“Change Your World” campaign. Doctoral students and graduates featured in the online campaign share the educational journeys that have led them to make a difference—as practitioners and scholars. “I am not the person I was three years ago when I started the Ph.D. program at Walden. It has changed my world by leaps and bounds. Now, I am a more confident and a more competent person,” says Mark Maxwell, a Ph.D. in Public Policy and Administration graduate featured in the campaign. “Walden is centered on social change. If you are a person who has a mission, whether it’s a mission to start a small program in your community or do something on a global scale, Walden is where you want to study. My obligation as a Walden graduate is to use every skill that I’ve developed to effect change.” Walden students who pursue a doctoral degree say they are looking for career advancement and professional and personal growth. Whether they wish to teach at the university level, apply their newfound knowledge to their current profession or fulfill the lifelong dream of earning a doctorate, students explain that they choose to earn a doctoral degree at Walden for a number of reasons.
In particular, the university’s student-centered approach attracts doctoral students from all over the world. Walden students are able to dedicate themselves to research, practice or clinical topics that fulfill their own interests and passions. They are able to take advantage of the wide variety of support services customized to serve online students, allowing them to hone their research and writing skills and produce research that impacts their areas of interest. These services include a writing center; doctoral workshops; library assistance; and a research center complete with access to methods tutorials, data sets and a participant pool. Unlike traditional doctoral programs where research topics are dependent on a faculty member’s expertise or research interests, Walden faculty members are invested in their students’ success and connect with them at the students’ points of interest, not their own. In addition, each student’s dissertation focuses on a topic that will lead to positive social change in his or her field of study, thereby reflecting the university’s mission of transforming a diverse community of career professionals into scholar-practitioners who can effectpositive social change. “Walden provided the framework and the tools in public health for me to understand how to be able to develop, implement and evaluate effective interventions that were grounded in theory and best practices,” says Dr. Melissa Thomas, a Master in Public Health (MPH) andPh.D. in Public Health graduate. “Not only could my work be evaluated, but I could disseminate those findings and replicate them. My education didn’t just benefit me and the communities I was serving; it helped me benefit communities all over the world.”