SEU’s First Doctoral Student to Graduate

Southeastern University’s first doctoral student will graduate this December during the fall commencement ceremony, which will take place on December 16, at 6:30 p.m. at Victory Church in Lakeland. Candi Ring will be the first student to graduate from the doctor of education program, which was launched in the fall of 2014. The doctoral program at Southeastern University currently has 140 students.

“The doctoral program has been a labor of love from the faculty in the College of Education for years, and to see a student navigate the program successfully shows the faculty that her hard work has been worthwhile,” said Dr. Amy Bratten, dean of the college of education. “It’s a tangible feeling of satisfaction and excitement. We are proud of Dr. Candi Ring’s accomplishment, and we know she will represent Southeastern well as she positively impacts the field of education.”

Ring successfully defended her dissertation on November 9, 2016. Her dissertation was on administrator perception of classroom and behavior management, comparing traditionally and alternatively certified teachers.

“I am the third in my family to graduate high school and the only to go to college,” said Ring. “As a child, I was homeless, and my parents struggled to make ends meet. Education wasn’t something that was emphasized, but I had a passion for learning. I hope to be an example to others.”

While completing her doctorate, Ring juggled the responsibility of a family, as well as two jobs. For the last ten years, Ring has served as a teacher in Polk County. Ring also serves as an adjunct professor in the English department at Southeastern. She hopes to one day be able to use her doctoral degree to teach full time at the collegiate level.


“The most rewarding part of this experience has been the knowledge I have gained that I have been able to apply in the classroom. The relationships I have developed with the faculty at SEU, as well as members of my cohort, have proved invaluable. The doctoral degree will enhance my role an educator, as I will be more adequately prepared to meet the needs of my students,” said Ring.