Jul 24, 2024  
2019-20 Graduate Catalog 
2019-20 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Educational Leadership (K-12), Ed.D.

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Programs by College/School

About the Program

Graduates of the Ed. D. program will develop educational visions and skills in leading K-12 educational institutions of the 21stcentury. They will refine their understanding of and leadership skills in relation to diversity, inclusiveness, globalism in education, social responsiveness, and data-based decision making. They will become knowledgeable of the most recent developments in the field of education, personnel development, and leadership; will learn how to assess and alter their organization’s practices; and will have the capacity to initiate and implement research-based policies and best practice programs to benefit students, schools and communities.

Arcadia’s doctoral program in Educational Leadership offers a Doctor of Education degree earned by engaging in intensive study of research design and content knowledge, culminating in the development, implementation, and completion of an approved doctoral dissertation. The program is designed to increase the student’s level of professional expertise in the fields of school and district/regional leadership and to develop the skills necessary to initiate and implement sound educational policy and research-based programs through supervisory, curricular, and/or administrative roles.

The guiding philosophy of the Educational Leadership doctoral program is composed of several key components integrated into the program through expectations, coursework and mentorship. Students are challenged to work toward integrating the following into their academic performance and professional lives:

  • Openness to new ideas
  • Structured and strategic inquiry
  • Research-based practice
  • Intellectual and instructional leadership
  • Critical thinking
  • Systemic critique and reform
  • Social justice and ethical practice
  • Collaboration and teamwork
  • Critical self-reflection
  • Personal, program, system, and community interconnectivity
  • Embracing community inclusion and diversity
  • Ongoing professional development and life-long learning
The Cohort Model

The doctoral program provides support, facilitates collaboration, and optimizes student growth through the use of a modified cohort model. Students enter the program with a group of colleagues and progress through the program together. Flexibility with the cohort model is utilized, as appropriate and necessary based on individual needs and circumstances.

Degree Requirements and Program Structure

A minimum of 53 credit hours are required for the doctoral program. Each semester’s courses are designed and organized to provide students with continuous exposure to and practice in critical thinking and research methods, as they gain content area knowledge. The focus of all coursework is to teach students how to think critically and systematically about educational leadership at both the micro-level (i.e., the impact of various programs or interventions on students and classrooms) and the macro-level (i.e., school- or district-wide impact). The program stresses the cultural, social, and political ramifications of school leadership decision making, as well as research-based models and methods of initiating change in schools, districts and regions. From the first day of the program, students utilize real-life cases and analyze relevant materials as they examine research-to-practice models of successful and effective school leadership behaviors and initiatives evident in excellent schools, districts and regions.

The doctoral program utilizes a hybrid learning model, whereby face-to-face and online instruction are purposefully combined to enhance learning. Specific decisions about the instructional format used within each course are made by the doctoral faculty and program committee.

Courses are taken sequentially for three years. A few students opt to complete their dissertation during that three year period; however, most work on developing their dissertation proposal while taking courses and then implement their study during the fourth year, after their coursework is completed.

Students take two courses each semester— during the fall, spring, and first summer sessions (there are not any classes during July or August). Classes are held on Thursdays from 4:30 - 10 p.m.; the first course runs from 4:30 - 7:10 and the second from 7:20 - 10. Because some classes utilize a hybrid in-person/online format, there are some Thursdays when students do not need to be on campus for the full time block (such schedule details are provided at the beginning of each semester).

Administrative Certifications

The doctoral program, itself, does not result in administrative certification. However, many of the competencies required for a variety of administrative certificates are embedded in the doctoral courses, so earning certification is streamlined. Students interested in certification meet individually with the coordinator of the Master’s Program in Educational Leadership to discuss options and develop a plan of study that will be in compliance with Pennsylvania Department of Education requirements for a specific certification(s) of interest.

Admission Requirements

The following program-specific requirements must be met:

  1. An application, including personal statements, and data assessment essay, to be completed online at www.arcadia.edu/gradapp.
  2. A master’s degree in education from an accredited institution with a recommended GPA of 3.5 or better.
  3. One official transcript from each college, university or professional school attended. Transfer credits included on a transcript must include grades earned; if not, an official transcript from the original school must be submitted. Transcripts must be sent from the issuing school in a sealed envelope and contain the appropriate signatures and seals to be considered official.
  4. Successful completion of courses in the following four areas (at the master’s-level, unless otherwise approved by the program coordinator):
  • Curriculum Development and Design
  • Educational Research
  • Inclusive Education
  • Instructional Technology
  1. A minimum of three letters of recommendation from individuals in a position to evaluate the applicant’s qualifications for graduate study and/or field-related work experience, including at least one from a professor familiar with the student’s writing skills and level of critical thinking.
  2. Test scores from the Miller Analogies Test (MAT) or the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), taken within the last five years.
  3. A minimum of five years of experience working as an educational leader (e.g., school/district-level administrator, mentor teacher, educational organization leader).
  4. A current résumé.
  5. An interview with the Admissions Committee, if deemed necessary/beneficial by the Admissions Committee after initial review of the application.
  6. International applicants should visit www.arcadia.edu/international for detailed information on admissions requirements and application procedures. Official results from the TOEFL or IELTS are required for all students for whom English is a second language except for non-native speakers of English who hold degrees or diplomas from post-secondary institutions in English-speaking countries (e.g., the United States, Canada, England, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand.). A course-by-course evaluation of all transcripts by an independent evaluation service based in the United States also is required.

Application Deadline: Because of the doctoral program’s cohort model, all students who enter in a given year begin the program together in the fall semester. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis, until the cohort for that fall reaches capacity. The Priority Application Deadline is March 1st and the Priority Deposit Deadline is June 1st.

Deferred Admissions: An accepted student who wants to defer his or her admission for one year must submit a request to do so in writing to the Dean of Graduate Studies and the Program Coordinator. Deferments will be granted by the Department on an individual basis. Once a deferral is granted, the student must submit the required deposit to reserve his or her position in the cohort. This deposit will be credited toward tuition. A student who is granted a deferment must understand that he or she will be subject to the prevailing tuition at the time of matriculation to the program.


Tuition & Fees: Contact Enrollment Management for current rates.

Academic Policies and Procedures

Continuous Enrollment: Students must be enrolled continuously in the Ed. D. program. In case of a personal emergency, a student may petition the Dean of Graduate Studies for a leave of absence; however, this is not guaranteed.

Readmission: A student who has withdrawn from a graduate program for personal reasons, (that is, other than dismissal for academic or ethical reasons) may reapply within one year of that withdrawal by sending a letter requesting reinstatement to the Dean of Graduate Studies. The Dean forwards that request to the appropriate departmental admissions committee, which will communicate its decision to the student. In some cases, a student may be asked to submit materials updating the original application. If the withdrawal was granted contingent upon some action(s) on the part of the student, the student also will be required to demonstrate that the recommended steps have been taken. If more than one year has elapsed, a completely new application must be submitted to the Office of Enrollment Management.

Time Limits: All coursework must be completed within five years of admission to study. Dissertation must be completed within five years of successful defense of the dissertation proposal (i.e., admission to candidacy).

Program Continuation: Students who are not making appropriate progress will be counseled out of the program at the end of a given year of coursework. Students who engage in any other activity that would support a reason for dismissal (cheating, plagiarism) may be asked to leave immediately or at the end of the semester. Continuance in the program for those with under a 3.0 GPA will be conditional for the next semester provided their grade point average improves to at least that level during that time.


Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Programs by College/School