I am half-way though my first year in my doctoral program in Educational Leadership. When I started, I was just hoping for a fair experience-something that would not traumatize me too much. For my career, I needed to get a doctoral degree if I wanted to continue to advance, so I was hopeful that this would be a relatively painless way to reach that end. Here is what I have discovered: The curriculum is incredibly well-planned. I have found the readings to be extremely interesting and engaging, and each class builds upon the ideas you discuss on previous classes. The faculty are smart and student-centered. I've had excellent conversations with my professors and have received great recommendation for additional readings because they have taken the time to know me and my interests. There is a great balance between work and scholarship. SAS follows the Scholar / Leader / Practitioner model, and the result is our research maters. I've grown up in academia, and I know that we can retreat to our "ivory tower" at time. UoP fights that tendency by placing a strong emphasis on both rigorous research and application.