top of page

Mike being hooded by his chair Dr. Emily Virtue with Chancellor Kelli R. Brown watching.

Mike Langford's Doctoral Disquisition

We are thrilled to announce the recent completion of Mike Langford's doctoral degree in Educational Leadership from Western Carolina University (WCU). Mike's disquisition, titled "From Acceptance to Enrollment: An Approach to Enrolling Black/African-American Students at a Rural Predominantly White Institution (PWI)," stands as a testament to his dedication to advancing equity and inclusion in higher education.

Mike's journey exemplifies the commitment to scholarly practice and practical application fostered within WCU's Ed.D. Program in Educational Leadership. As a member of the Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate (CPED), WCU's program emphasizes continuous improvement, collaboration, and social justice in educational leadership. Mike's disquisition reflects these values, offering a practical approach to addressing the challenge of increasing Black student enrollment at PWIs.

The distinction between a disquisition and a dissertation lies in its practical orientation. Mike's disquisition serves as a formal, problem-based discourse rooted in Improvement Science methodology. It goes beyond theoretical exploration to directly engage with real-world challenges in educational leadership. By implementing an intervention within his local institution, Mike demonstrates the applied nature of the Ed.D. program at WCU and its focus on effecting tangible change in educational practice.

Mike's improvement initiative tackles a pressing issue in higher education: fostering diversity and belonging among students. Through rigorous research and analysis, Mike assesses the effectiveness of changes introduced at WCU to enhance Black student enrollment. His findings underscore the importance of students' sense of belonging in their decision to enroll, as well as the need for ongoing efforts to address systemic barriers in the admissions process.

Beyond his academic achievements, Mike's dedication to his role at WCU is evident. With eight years of service at WCU in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, Mike brings a wealth of experience and expertise to his work. His passion for higher education extends beyond the classroom, encompassing initiatives to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout the institution.

As Mike embarks on the next chapter of his journey, we extend our heartfelt congratulations on this remarkable achievement. We also extend our gratitude to his family for their unwavering support throughout his doctoral studies. We look forward to witnessing the continued impact of Mike's scholarship and leadership in the field of educational leadership.

In celebration of Mike's accomplishments, we invite the WCU community to join us in congratulating him on this significant milestone. Here's to the culmination of years of hard work, dedication, and a commitment to advancing equity and excellence in education.

The Langford family: Mike, Leigh, Angela, and Maya


bottom of page