Doctor of Education (DEd) in Educational Leadership

The goal of Educational Methodology, Policy, and Leadership is to develop effective, highly-regarded, and influential leaders in educational practice, policy, and scholarship. The Doctorate of Education (DEd) program focuses on the processes by which educational outcomes and systems change are measured and how Pre-K-12 educational improvement can be diagnosed, prescribed, and managed.

The purpose of the Doctorate of Education (DEd) degree in Educational Leadership (EDLD) offered by the department of Educational Methodology, Policy, and Leadership (EMPL) is to provide practicing educational professionals with an advanced graduate degree that emphasizes leadership development, oral and written communication, and understanding of educational assessment and research. The DEd is the highest degree offered to those interested in developing practice-oriented expertise. The program’s curriculum content, sequence, and proficiency requirements are tailored to develop advanced leadership capabilities that enable individuals to lead school districts and buildings in making decisions and implementing programs grounded in evidenced-based practices. The program’s mission is to develop translational and transformational education leaders who are equipped to apply data-driven evidence to promote equitable outcomes and address opportunity gaps for students, schools, and education systems by working to:

  • Raise the most pressing problems of practice in the service of ensuring equitable outcomes and eliminating disparities for students
  • Identify, analyze, and synthesize all relevant sources of evidence in making decisions that serve the best interests of students and school.
  • Communicate and integrate the best available research evidence with knowledge and expertise of professional educators in the field aligned with specific community needs and assets
  • Take targeted, evidence-based actions that change systems to better meet the needs of all students

Attainment of these goals allows leaders to address contemporary educational and societal challenges effectively and efficiently by learning both content and analytical skills. EMPL endorses a systems-level organizational theory of education and implementation of objective research and evaluation methods to both understand and affect that system. The DEd provides value-added skills and perspectives for educational leaders (principals and superintendents) as well as researchers and consultants working with local and state educational agencies. Finally, the DEd is designed to consider the consequential validity of translating findings into practice while concurrently considering policy, leadership, and equity.

The DEd program is designed to address the growing need of education professionals to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to lead school systems in today’s data-driven, change-oriented environment. The DEd program follows current recommendations from the University Council for Educational Administration, the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, and the Education Schools Project to craft a degree that is distinctly different from the PhD in how educational research is used and studied, and also in specific degree requirements. The orientation of this degree program is toward problems of practice. The degree is designed for working professionals who can initiate reforms in current educational settings. This degree can be aligned with an administrative license program, anchoring its content to case-based problems in the field.

Our DEd program blends real-time interaction with faculty and students with online content that enable faculty and students to present and collaborate virtually using the Zoom application for classroom instruction, and our Canvas application for course assignments and interactions.

This approach allows faculty and students to have e-meetings, share documents and other media-rich content, hold running polls, and establish virtual break-out groups.

Educational Leadership DEd Progam Manual


Doctor of Education Program Requirements

The program requires 81 credits completed over three years, with the first two years consisting of a prescribed sequence of coursework:

  • Year 1: Students understand better the contextual factors that relate to a variety of outcomes for students, teachers, families, classrooms, schools, districts, and the state.
  • Year 2: Students develop skills to improve schools and school systems through the application of data.

The combined emphasis in the first two years on methodology, writing, and content (policy, leadership, and equity) provides the broad basis for conducting a dissertation study in year 3 of the program that addresses a problem of practice in the field.

TitleCREDITS
Core Methods21
Seminars and Institutes6
Writing and Communication15
Content, policy, leadership, equity21
Dissertation18

Three-Year Degree Plan

First Year — Total Credits: 31

Summer Term — Total Credits: 4

TitleCREDITS
EDUC 611 Survey of Educational Research Methodology3
EDLD 647 Professional Issues in Education I1

Fall Term — Total Credits: 9

TitleCREDITS
EDLD 663 Measurement in Research3
EDLD 696 Professional Writing I: Foundations in Professional Writing3
EDLD 632 Education Policy Analysis
Competency: Policy Brief
3

Winter Term — Total Credits: 9

TitleCREDITS
EDUC 614 Educational Statistics3
EDLD 697 Professional Writing II: Organization3
EDLD 624 – Leading for Equity
Competency: Equity Stance
3

Spring Term — Total Credits: 9

TitleCREDITS
EDUC 640 Applied Statistical Design & Analysis3
EDLD 698 Professional Writing III: Literature Review
Competency: Literature Synthesis
3
EDLD 608 Workshop: Special Topics on Leadership3

Second Year — Total Credits: 29

Summer Term — Total Credits: 2

TitleCREDITS
EDLD 648 Professional Issues in Education II
2–3 Day Course: Dissertation Process, Pre-Proposal Expectations
Competency: Conference Proposal
2

Fall Term — Total Credits: 9

TitleCREDITS
EDLD 625 Survey and Questionnaire Design3
EDLD 643 Evidence-based Decision Making3
EDLD 638 Advanced School Law3

Winter Term — Total Credits: 9

TitleCREDITS
EDLD 610 Program Evaluation3
EDLD 692 Res Writing: Methods
Competency: Study Design
3
EDLD 644 Learning Organizations3

Spring Term — Total Credits: 9

TitleCREDITS
EDLD 609 Practicum: Program Evaluation3
EDLD 699 Dissertation Apprenticeship
Competency: Dissertation Proposal
3
EDLD 631 Ed Policy for Multilingual Students3

Third Year — Total Credits: 21

Fall Term — Total Credits: 9

TitleCREDITS
EDLD 694 Dissertation Proposal Preparation3
EDLD 603 Dissertation6

Winter Term — Total Credits: 6

TitleCREDITS
EDLD 603 Dissertation6

Spring Term — Total Credits: 6

TitleCREDITS
EDLD 603 Dissertation6