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Hello, everyone!

I teach Speech & Debate and Mock Trial at the middle and high school level. In the last few years, our program has risen to national prominence; we have over 100 members, a thriving parent group, and significant name recognition (it’s a major reason that we get new students to attend our fledgling school). I have mid-level leadership positions in several public speaking education-related nonprofits, like our state’s High School Speech Association and National Speech and Debate Association.

I love my job and position, but want to eventually transition to 1) create/lead competitive education-focused companies and 2) teach other teachers/school systems how to develop strong programs of their own. I think an EdD gives me increased professional credibility in this space.

I just completed my online Masters in Organizational Leadership/Learning. It was a very positive experience; I’m better at running teams now, have been offered professional development leadership opportunities at my school, and feel much more confident in my ability to juggle work and school.

I want your advice/counsel. Do you think it’s smarter for me professionally to get an online EdD from a well-known university or leave what I’ve built here to get an in-person EdD at a Penn or Harvard in a little while? Does the benefit of an in-person program grossly outweigh the online one in terms of professional credibility and recognition? I’m considering USC, Johns Hopkins, and Vanderbilt in terms of online EdDs—what do you all think fits my profile best?

UG GPA: 3.3 from UCLA.
Grad GPA: 4.0 from GWU (Online).
Work experience: Four years of classroom teaching, team-coaching, community leadership, and nonprofit development.
GRE: Haven’t taken yet. Will take both HBX CORe and GRE courses this Spring.
I am very confident in my LORs and personal statements.

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