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Program Structure

Ed.D. Program of Study

Where possible, the course descriptions from SIS have been included. Click on a course title to expand the course information.

YearFall SemesterSpring SemesterSummer Semester
855.718 Disciplinary Approaches to Education
Educators use theories, concepts and approaches from sociology, economics, history, anthropology, and other disciplines to make sense of problems in their field. This course introduces the concepts central to these approaches. Students will learn about these theoretical perspectives through reading central texts related to these disciplines of educational theory and will develop a theoretical frame for their Problem of Practice project based on the perspectives examined in the class.
855.712 Multiple Perspectives on Learning and Teaching
This course will survey classical theoretical perspectives on learning and teaching including behaviorism, cognitive, constructivist, sociocultural, social cognitive, and situative perspectives. Students will examine the research literature to identify the strengths and limitations of these perspectives in relation to understanding issues within their organizations. They will create a conceptual framework to organize these research approaches and to inform the development of their Problem of Practice.

Total Credits: 6

855.716 Contemporary Approaches to Educational Problems
In Contemporary Approaches to Educational Problems, students critically investigate methods professionals use to theoretically and empirically examine contemporary issues in education. We introduce improvement sciences as a frame for understanding and intervening in educational problems. Students will investigate research within their area of specialization and build the knowledge and skills to critically analyze existing research literature. The final outcome of this course is a synthesis of literature relevant to factors associated with and underlying causes for their Problem of Practice. The course also includes a focus on academic writing.
883.718 Research Methods and Systematic Inquiry I
This is the first in a two-course series designed to teach students the skills necessary to design mixed methods research focused on problems of practice. The course is structured to introduce students to mixed methodology while focusing on quantitative methods including conceptualizing and identifying problems of practice. The course is based on the premise that research develops and evolves through an iterative process. This research process requires analysis, decisions, judgments, and careful consideration of alternatives. The goals for the class include a greater comfort in reading, reviewing and critiquing educational research, increased understanding of the various designs for research in educational and related fields especially mixed methods research design. Students will design a research project related to a problem-of-practice within the students’ organizational context as partial completion of Year 1 comprehensive assessments.

Total Credits: 6

855.708 Mind, Brain Science and Learning
Building on Multiple Perspectives on Learning and Teaching, this course will survey theoretical and empirical research in the study of cognitive development focusing on recent and ongoing studies of memory, attention, language, and social/emotional development. Participants will examine research literature from multiple fields in the brain sciences, including cognitive science, experimental psychology, and neuroscience. General topics include an overview of brain structure and function, imaging technology, normal brain development, and how differences in development may affect learning. They will explore recent findings on topics such as the effects of stress, sleep, and multi-tasking on brain development and learning. Students will consider how research findings inform practice and policies in education and related fields.
855.720 Leadership in Educational Organizations
Through this course, students will examine contemporary educational practices and their relationship to leadership theories, models, and strategies. This course will focus on new and historical perspectives related to leadership development, group dynamics, and effective individual and organizational behaviors, visioning, and transformation. This course navigates the complexities of human behavior and organizational outcomes from psychological and behavioral perspectives and includes empirical findings drawn from neuroscience focused on resilience and the emerging field of neuroleadership. Course participants will continue to frame and examine a contemporary problem of practice significant to their workplaces and develop innovative solutions to these issues.

Applied Research Project/Dissertation (3)

Total Credits: 9

Comprehensive Assessment

883.719 Research Methods and Systematic Inquiry II
This is the second in a two-course series focused on mixed methodology research. In this course, students continue deepening their understanding of mixed methods research through course readings, discussions, and assignments. Students will be encouraged to explore, critique, design, and conduct mixed methods research with a focus on qualitative research methodology. This course covers key strategies of qualitative inquiry, common qualitative methods (e.g., observational research techniques and interpretative methodology), and elements of effective qualitative research proposals. Students will design a research project related to a problem-of-practice within the students’ organizational context as partial completion of their Year 2 comprehensive assessments.

Specialization Area Course I  (3)

Total Credits: 6

883.721 Evaluation of Education Policies and Programs
This course is intended to provide an overview of key elements and topics related to program and policy evaluation and research. Students will become familiar with types of evaluation and their purposes including their role in research and development and program improvement. The course will also cover developing researchable questions and problem identification, logic models and program theory, threats to validity, experimental and quasi-experimental designs, qualitative and mixed methods designs, ethics, and cost-benefit analysis

Specialization Area Course II  (3)

Total Credits: 6

855.710 Multicultural Education
The rapid and explosive demographic shifts in this country among culturally and linguistically diverse students, the fact that these students are projected to comprise the majority of school age students by the year 2020, and the current educational trajectory of students from marginalized groups provide a compelling rationale for identifying strategies and interventions for facilitating transformative multicultural approaches to education. Using Pedersen’s tripartite model of multiculturalism, students will address the requisite awareness, knowledge, and skills for enhancing their multicultural competencies. Students will create a conceptual framework to organize research approaches related to this model and to inform the development of their applied project of practice.

 Applied Research Project/Dissertation (3)

Total Credits: 6

Comprehensive Assessment and Candidacy

893.708 Technologies and Creative Learning
Through the latest research in learning in the computer age, this course explores how technology can support creative learning. Henessey and Amabile (2010) state that creativity is essential to human progress. Through evidence-based research, learners will explore the computer culture and how it is shaping instruction. The age of machines is creating an identity crisis, the identity life-cycle will be explored as well as the field of human computer interaction and its effects on creative thinking. The concept of participatory culture and media education will be discussed and how they support developing digital communities of learners. We will also discuss computer- supported collaborative learning and how online communities can be catalysts for interactive media creation. We will also explore disruptive technologies, radical game design, and the new literacies in the digital age. Students will submit a final project related to design and how people create and learn with a particular technology. Part of the project is to write a theoretical or critical reflection on creative learning experiences.

Specialization Area Course III (3)

Total Credits: 6

855.714 Power, Politics, and Policy in Education
Government entities have increasingly molded public education. In the United States, federal laws and mandates have enormous influence on local schools; state governments have endorsed and implemented national Common Core curriculum standards; and funding is based on top-down distribution while mayors, school boards, parents, students, and other local stakeholders bid for local control of their schools. In this vein, other political groups press for reductions or the elimination of federal involvement in schooling. These transactions involve power relations and concepts of democracy and freedom. Through this course, students will examine various theories, concepts, principles, and dynamics of power, politics, and policy and how these ideas apply to education, organizations, and leadership.

Specialization Area Course IV (3)

Total Credits: 6

Applied Research Project/Dissertation (3)

Total Credits: 3

Final Dissertation Defense


Contact Us

Faculty Contact
Dr. Stephen Pape 

Academic Program Coordinator
Cathy Cao

Christine King

“I like the interdisciplinary nature of the EdD program. As someone who has worked with high-risk youth, children are having more socioemotional issues at an earlier age. I’m attempting to draw parallels between health and education to demonstrate there is a need in schools to educate the whole child.”

Christine King
EdD, Doctoral Student