The curriculum for the Doctorate of Education in Educational Leadership (EdD) is divided into four components:
The Signature Core: Leading Change Seminars. A series of five cohort-based signature seminars that focus on building the capacity for leadership, innovative thinking, and change management in the organizational context. Each taken over 8 weeks for 3 credits during the first two years of the program. Total: 5 classes, 15 credits.
The Doctoral Studies Seminars: Students are required to attend three, three-day, on-campus experiences annually (the Immersive Weekend), providing leadership development and coaching, advising, ePortfolio review, mentoring, community of practice (CoP) group meetings, preview of action-research methodology, and introduction to the knowledge and skills necessary for successful completion of the doctoral program. The overall focus of these seminars is the leadership development component through self-assessment work, reflection, and coaching. Students meet online throughout the year in small mentoring groups and following the campus seminar in order to provide an ongoing opportunity for reflection and processing of new learning. Total: 3 classes, 6 credits.
Research Design and Execution: A series of three sequential research courses on the fundamentals of qualitative and quantitative design and action research. These courses prepare students for the action-focused dissertation. Total: 3 classes, 9 credits.
Action-Focused Dissertation: A series of four sequential dissertation courses engaging students in action research. Action research requires the researcher to begin with an educational problem to analyze, to develop a plan of critically informed action to improve on what is happening, to act to implement the plan, to observe the effects of the action, and then to reflect on these effects as basis for further planning. Most importantly, action research is “inquiry that is done by or with insiders to an organization or community, but never to or on them. It is a reflective process, but is different from isolated, spontaneous reflection in that it is deliberately and systematically undertaken." (Herr & Anderson, 2005, p. 3). Total: 4 classes, 12 credits.