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Doctorate of Education (EdD) in Higher Education Leadership

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Gain the skills to enhance your impact in education


Our EdD in Higher Education Leadership consists of 17 courses, totaling 51 credit hours, and can be completed in as few as 36 months. Courses are focused on a mix of theory, research, and dissertation.


Note: This program is designed to be completed in three years. Students who do not complete the program in three years must take ED 999 EdD DiP and Capstone Continuation Course for each additional semester past the three-year timeframe.

ED 801 Authentic Leadership

This course will examine higher education leadership and ethical issues that colleges and universities face in the twenty-first century. Students will explore theory in order to objectively assess current leadership practices, systems theory, culture, diversity and change processes as they relate to individuals and higher education institutions.

Note: ED 801 includes an optional Global Learning Exchange trip to Dublin, Ireland.


ED 802 Research I

In this introductory research course, students will acquire to become consumers of educational research through reading, understanding, and critically thinking about educational issues. This course provides students with an introduction to qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches to research as well as the opportunity to identify and discuss a problem within higher education around which they will design a research proposal.


ED 803 Organizational Theory

In this course, students will explore organizational theory, as well as strategies to lead change in higher education. Areas of focus will include organizational structure and management, group dynamics, strategic planning, current issues in leadership, executive board relations and understanding of oneself as a leader. Through problem-based learning, students will engage in a semester long consulting project in which they will conduct a comprehensive educational program evaluation and propose innovative solutions.


ED 804 Research II

This research course provides an overview of research design and analysis in social and behavioral research. Emphasis is placed on understanding the process of social and educational research in field settings, developing data collection tools, producing high-quality quantitative and qualitative data, and descriptive analysis. The course content and assignments build upon readings and themes addressed in ED 802.


ED 805 Higher Education: Past, Present, and Future Context

In this course students will examine the history, accreditation, current issues and trends, and the future of higher education. Through examining the consistently changing landscape of higher education, students will explore issues such as access, retention, inclusion, engagement, and success.


ED 806 Research III

This course will precede the writing of chapter three in ED 902. Focusing on quantitative skills from applied statistical analysis, emphasis is placed on inferential methods acknowledging, understanding, and applying the role of uncertainty in data analysis used for testing hypotheses the researcher formulates.


ED 807 Ed Talks: Dissertation to Publication and Post-Doctoral Success

This course is a continuation of ED 801. Students will know and apply theory in order to objectively assess current leadership practices, systems theory, culture, diversity and change processes as they relate to individuals and higher education institutions. Students will leave this thought-provoking course thinking about what leadership in higher education should look like, feel like, and sound like.


ED 808 Dissertation in Practice II: Literature Review

This course is the development of Chapter 2 (Literature Review) of the DiP and will focus on the analysis of literature as the basis for research to make seminal contributions in the context of applied research.


ED 809 Dissertation in Practice I: Proposal

This course is the development of Chapter 1 (Proposal and Introduction) of the DiP which is a student centered, independent research proposal that requires the comprehensive working-knowledge of all research courses in this culminating and integrative experience. In this first DiP course, students will identify and discuss a problem in higher education leadership, conduct a literature review, and plan a research design. Students will present their research proposal for their capstone project at the end of the course and, with committee approval, will submit materials to the Institutional Review Board (IRB).


ED 811 Advanced Scholarly Writing

This course is designed to familiarize doctoral students with the demands of scholarly writing, including composition and organizational skills necessary for completion of a dissertation and submission of articles for publication. Discussion of differing parameters of writing assignments, common writing errors, and structural and editing strategies will be discussed. This intensive analysis of the principles of excellent academic writing will prepare students for a range of projects including research papers, conference proposals, book chapters, technical reports, and dissertations.


ED 827 Higher Education Law and Policy

In this course students will explore legal issues and their impact on post-secondary institutions. Topics include but are not limited to student legal issues, faculty governance, employment law, tort liability, and copyright law. Students will engage in a variety of problem-based learning activities, including case studies and will conclude the course addressing law and policy in higher education.


ED 829 Co-Curricular Engagement

This course focuses on the evolving learning-centered co-curricular experiences within higher education. Students will research student development theories to utilize a problem-based learning approach that examines the theory and application of experiential learning, including service learning, internalization, and career development. Students will explore student development theories inherent in cocurricular learning.


ED 830 Psychology of Learning for Higher Education Leadership

This course will prepare students to identify, develop, and lead innovative strategies in teaching and learning in higher education. Areas of focus include the relationship among curriculum, instruction, and assessment as related to new research in the neurology of learning. Students learn to analyze key issues and challenges impacting teaching and learning in higher education and will develop strategies for effective professional and personal development.


ED 835 The Business of Higher Education

This course focuses on the knowledge and skills required to effectively respond to the financial changes and trends for institutions of higher education, including fiscal planning and management, enrollment management, alumni management, grant writing, and institutional advancement/comprehensive campaigning. Students will analyze and evaluate issues from multiple perspectives, including administrative, consumer, and societal.


ED 901 Dissertation in Practice III: Methodology

This course is the development of Chapter 3 (Methodology) of the DiP, focusing on the research design and data collection. Students will also gather the necessary data to answer the research question(s).


ED 902 Dissertation in Practice IV: Findings

This course is the development of Chapter 4 (Findings) of the DiP. Students will analyze, interpret, report, and discuss the results of the data analysis.


ED 903A Dissertation in Practice V: Conclusion and Recommendations (2 credit hours)

This course is the development of Chapter 5 (Conclusion and Recommendations) of the Dissertation in Practice. Students will make recommendations for future research and education practice based on the findings in their study.


ED 903B Dissertation in Practice V: Capstone (1 credit hour)

This course is the development of the Capstone project. The project is to be based off the student's individual research and findings, and is to contribute to the field of higher education.

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