Document Type

Conference Proceeding


Higher education usually reserves talk of “general education” to the undergraduate experience. When entering graduate schools, graduate students have dissimilar and diverse undergraduate experiences in general education. Some graduate students have benefit of a solidly constructed undergraduate curriculum, while others have experienced broad distribution or no requirements whatsoever. Demography, language, and their disciplinary curriculum serve to divide them. Interdisciplinary programs have students usually study within the confines of two or more disciplines, and still they would be studying and researching within their disciplinary structures. Even bi-lingual and multi-lingual students still act within their linguistic structures. Stimpson (2002) created a term “General Education for Graduate Education” recommending that some form of general education be provided (course work in her case) in graduate education. At the highest level of education, the doctorate, we wanted to know the influence of the doctoral program’s cohort structure (as a Professional Learning Community) and its related environment on the enhancement of a student’s general education. We hypothesized that the students’ cohort structure and peer-to-peer (conversations) interactions in various settings increased the presence of general education indicators.



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