About the Program
Graduates of the Ed. D. program will develop educational visions and skills in leading educational institutions of the 21st century. 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 educational organizations and communities.
Our Doctor of Education degree is 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 support scholar practitioners in developing increased professional expertise in educational leadership, and the skills necessary to initiate and implement sound educational policy and research-based programming through program, supervisory, curricular, and/or administrative roles, among others.
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:
- Structured and strategic inquiry
- Research-based practice
- Intellectual and instructional leadership
- Systemic critique and reform
- Social justice and ethical practice
- Critical self-reflection
- Personal, program, system, and community interconnectivity
- Embracing community inclusion and diversity
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 51 credit hours are required for the doctoral program.
Courses are typically taken sequentially for three years.
Students take two courses each semester— during the fall, spring, and first summer sessions. 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. Some classes utilize a hybrid in-person/online format.
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/Certification 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.