Student Spotlight: James Doyle, EdD Student

by Pitt School of Education

Name: James Doyle
Job Title: Executive Director, Higher Achievement Pittsburgh
EdD Cohort/Year: 2017

I chose the Pitt EdD/OSL ARCO because: I have been working professionally in the out-of-school time field for over five years.  As the Executive Director of Higher Achievement Pittsburgh, a college-focused after-school and summer program for middle school students, the OSL EdD program helps me to frame our work in context of existing research around middle school youth development and academic success.  I also am better able to connect our work to the greater field of education. I am excited about the opportunity to apply a scholarly practitioner's approach to the wicked problems professionals like me face in this field.  I also am a big fan of The University of Pittsburgh!

Our work in the EdD program helps me in my professional life by: Providing me the skills and tools to approach leadership in education in a way that ensures all students can succeed and thrive.  Also, I have greatly enjoyed the partnership and fellowship with my cohort peers and am greatly benefitting from the collaboration and learning I also receive from this diverse set of professionals who are all committed to excellence in educational practice. 

I define out-of-school learning as: The recognition that learning happens in all settings in which youth navigate.  Out-of-school learning attempts to bring structure, quality, and equitable access to the less formalized learning spaces in which youth engage so to aid in their holistic development.

To me, the greatest opportunity for youth in out-of-school learning programs is: To allow for youth to participate in exciting, engaging, and enriching experiences to connect to their interests and passions in order to develop a life-long commitment to exploration and discovery.

Ways in which community members can support out-of-school learning programs or outreach: Continue to advocate for local, statewide, and national support for out-of-school time programs and opportunities as this can help ensure the long-term sustainability of the field.