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Karen Bryant

  • Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Lifelong Education, Administration, and Policy (Educational Administration and Policy Programs)

Portrait of Karen Bryant

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Affiliated Units

Areas of Expertise

  • School and District Leadership
  • School District/University Partnerships
  • The Action Research Dissertation Model

Research Interests

  • Collaborative Partnerships Between School Districts and Educator Preparation Programs
  • Action Research as a Tool to Prepare Scholar-Practitioner Leaders
  • The Role of Clinical Faculty in Research Universities

Programs of Study

Research Summary

Dr. Bryant is currently participating in research with LEAP colleagues as well as colleagues from other research universities in the state and nation. With Dr. Karen Watkins, she is examining the cohort phenomenon in doctoral education through an IRB approved study entitled "The Cohort Phenomenon in the Professional Doctorate". The purpose of the mixed-methods study is to explore the perceptions of three groups of doctoral students as they participate in a cohort model of the professional doctorate program. A research study with Dr. Sheneka Williams and Dr. April Peters-Hawkins follows a similar line of inquiry. "The Action Research EdD: An Approach to Developing Effective Scholar-Practitioners", explores the experiences of three cohorts of EdD students through the lens of action research in their schools and districts. Preliminary findings were presented at the American Educational Research Association Conference in Washington, D.C. in April 2016. Dr. Bryant is engaged in the initial stages of a qualitative research project entitled, "Clinical Scholarship: Navigating the Structures of the Clinical Line within the Academy to Improve Leadership Preparation Programs", with Dr. Jami Berry at UGA and Dr. Sheryl-Cowart Moss from Georgia State University. The initial literature review and plan for the study were presented at the UCEA Convention in November 2016 through a Clinical Conversation and Networking Session for clinical faculty members from UCEA institutions.


Karen Bryant is a clinical assistant professor in the Educational Administration and Policy Program (EDAP) at the University of Georgia. Prior to joining the EDAP faculty, Dr. Bryant worked for 30 years in K-12 education; serving as a classroom teacher, assistant principal, principal, district director of curriculum, district director of federal programs, and district leadership development mentor. Dr. Bryant serves as the Educational Leadership Certification Program Coordinator in the College of Education. She teaches current and aspiring leaders in courses that lead to educational leadership certification in Georgia and chairs doctoral committees for candidates who are working toward the EdD in Educational Leadership. Her research interests include collaborative partnerships between school districts and educator preparation programs and action research as a tool to prepare effective scholar-practitioner leaders. She has served as a consultant working with school districts in Georgia, Texas and Pennsylvania on strategic planning and school improvement. Dr. Bryant received her Ed.D. from the University of Georgia. The respect for Dr. Bryant's expertise in educational leadership and policy is demonstrated by numerous invitations to contribute professional insight through local, state and national service activities. In November 2016, she served on a national panel for the plenary session at the University Council for Educational Administration Conference in Detroit, Michigan. Since joining the faculty in 2014, Dr. Bryant has presented 13 times for national, state and local organizations. In addition to making presentations, she has served on numerous invited and appointed task force groups and committees including for the Georgia Professional Standards Commission, the Georgia Department of Education and the Gwinnett and DeKalb County School Districts. . Dr. Bryant is the immediate Past-President of the Georgia Educational Leadership Faculty Association (GELFA) and currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Georgia Association of Educational Leaders (GAEL). Under her leadership, GELFA launched a collaborative effort with the Georgia Professional Standards Commission (GaPSC). The mission of the GELFA/GaPSC Virtual Learning Community is to advance communication and collaboration among educational leadership providers and partners, building capacity for educative policy implementation and effective practice.

Her service to the Lifelong Education, Administration and Policy Department at the University of Georgia includes active membership on Program and College of Education committees. She serves as the lead recruiter for Educational Administration and Policy degree programs and attends numerous recruitment events in school districts and on campus each year. She also serves as a liaison with leadership development personnel in K-12 school districts.


Degree Concentration Institution Year
Ed.D. Educational Leadership University of Georgia 2004
Ed.S. Educational Administration University of Georgia 1993
M.Ed. Early Childhood Education Mercer University 1983
B.S.Ed. Elementary Education University of Georgia 1974