Touro’s First Ed.D. Graduates Use Their Education to Become Better Teachers

The first graduates from Touro’s Doctorate of Education (Ed.D.) program may have been students for the last three years, but now they are using their own educational experience to become better educators for their students.

“A deeper dive into educational theory helped me become more reflective of my own teaching practices,” said Dr. Andrew Mills, Associate Professor in the School of Physical Therapy and one of the first three graduates from the Ed.D. program. “I know I am not a perfect teacher, but I am always trying to improve.”

Drs. Danielle and Andrew Mills

Dr. Mills, his wife, Dr. Danielle Mills, and Dr. Danielle Jennings were the Ed.D. program’s first cohort of graduates to be honored during Spring Commencement. The three-year curriculum, while challenging, allowed them to analyze the roles they served within their respective professions and helped them improve for the future.

“The time management and grit that earning a doctorate takes is something that translates into understanding and empathy in my everyday teaching,” said Dr. Jennings, a History and Russian Language teacher at Veterans Tribute Career and Technical Academy in Las Vegas.

Jennings completed her capstone on teacher job satisfaction in Southern Nevada. With high mobility rates at her school, she wanted to learn more about why teachers leave schools and, more importantly, why they stay.

Dr. Danielle Jennings

Dr. Mills’ dissertation focused on utilizing simulation to assess physical therapy student preparedness for their clinical rotations. As a faculty member, Dr. Mills said it is his responsibility to ensure his students are fully prepared for their clinical rotations.

“Being exposed to different educational theories and learning what works best in certain situations has empowered me to make changes and tweaks to my current teaching methods to make them more effective,” he said. “The Ed.D. has also made me a more organized, transparent, and inclusive educator. I am honored that I was able to be a part of the inaugural cohort that included very smart and talented people.”