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ABD Option

The All But Dissertation (ABD) option is for students who have completed all requirements for a doctoral degree with the exception of the dissertation at an accredited institution of higher learning. To earn the EdD in Higher Education Leadership & Organizational Studies 30 credits will be required to complete the degree. (The Immersive Weekend experience is optional.)


ABD Option: Visual Course Map

Curriculum & Schedules

Code Course Name Credit Hours
HLO700 The Reflective & Visionary Leader: Theory and Practice 3

This course considers leadership from theoretical, practical, and personal perspectives and models. It provides a comprehensive examination of how to mobilize people and guide innovation grounded in scholarly resources and practical evidence. Students will connect leadership theories to their own practices and actions in an organizational context.
Prerequisite: EXT 099

HLO705 Organizational Development, Change and Transformation in Higher Education 3

This course explores the organizational dynamics and behavior that facilitates or hinders change and institutional viability. Traditional and contemporary organizational theories are examined along with theories of organizational change and implications for leaders. Students will gain an understanding of organizational perspectives influencing the college campus and higher education, along with ways to adopt effective practice when confronting ongoing and shifting organizational tensions, contexts, and challenges.

HLO710 Leading Transformation and Change in Higher Education 3

This course examines the role, responsibility, and accountability of innovative higher education leaders who must manage institutional responses to external and internal forces. Students will consider how to apply evidence-based practices and approaches to navigate, initiate, and sustain effective organization change with a focus on the higher education context. Through an examination of leadership and management strategies and approaches, students will develop a toolbox for creative problem solving and adaptive change leadership.

HLO715 Entrepreneurial Thinking & Innovative Practice in Higher Education 3

This course examines theory and research surrounding innovation in the higher education context, the nature of disruption, and the role of entrepreneurial leadership in innovation. Through case studies, scenario planning, and other learning activities students will examine new models and practices for the 21st century and analyze factors and conditions that support and constrain entrepreneurial thinking and practice.

HLO720 Capacity Building for High Performing Academic Organizations 3

This course delves into organizational capacity including strategic management, structure, governance, technology, academic planning, financial resources, analytics, human resources, and campus master planning. Students will consider how these elements interact and affect institutional viability and will acquire tools for understanding, assessing, and strengthening organizational capacity to accomplish institutional mission and realize aspirations.

HLO750 Introduction to Foundations of Action Research 3

This course examines action research in an organizational setting. Students will explore action research as a process of deep inquiry into one’s practice in service of setting and achieving goals that align with values. Action research involves taking action or attempting change and collecting data to analyze and understand the action from the perspective of others and in relationship to intended outcomes. It is cyclic as the researcher moves through structured periods of thoughtful planning, taking action, and then collecting and analyzing evidence to identify outcomes produced by the action. The final step--critical reflection on what was learned--is used to create conceptual tools for planning of new action.

HLO760 Introduction to the Action Research Dissertation 3

This course focuses on the development of the doctoral dissertation proposal. Emphasis is placed on understanding and defining the logical relationship between elements in the proposal including the problem statement, conceptual/theoretical framework, literature review, research design, and methodology.

HLO761 Dissertation Seminar II 3

In this course, students prepare for their action research study by planning the process and obtaining necessary approvals and permissions to conduct research. A major purpose of planning activities is to establish a positive climate that engages all stakeholders. After designing a meaningful action research proposal, students identify stakeholder groups, identify key people, establish their role as the action researcher, set the agenda by informing people of their purpose, and ensure participants come to no harm as a result of their role in the study. After the Institutional Research Board’s (IRB) permission is granted, students will begin data collection.
Prerequisite: HLO 760

HLO762 Dissertation Seminar III 3

This course focuses on the continuation of data collection, analyzing the data, developing a plan for action, implementing the plan, reflecting upon the plan, sharing the findings, and evaluating the quality of the action research study.
Prerequisite: HLO 761

HLO763 Dissertation Seminar IV 3

This course focuses on the final chapters of the action research doctoral dissertation with a presentation of the results/outcomes or findings and conclusions. Students will further develop and demonstrate the higher levels of understanding and skill needed to analyze and interpret data collected, draw meaningful conclusions in answer to the research questions, and propose solutions appropriate to the action research approach including implications for future policy and practice.
Prerequisite: HLO 762

HLO765 Dissertation Advisement 0

Non-credit but carries a fee for ongoing advisement until dissertation is complete.