Leading Change in Education

Appalachian State University’s Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership is designed for educational leaders in public schools, community colleges, universities, and community settings. Housed in the Reich College of Education, our objective is to equip leaders with the knowledge, skills, and confidence to act as agents of positive change in their organizations and communities. We encourage critical thinking, analytic rigor, and creative collaboration to address the complex and interlocking challenges of our time.


Academic Advisor and Dissertation Coach


years is the average time of degree completion


waivers available to students who qualify


concentrations supported by the college's departments

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Program Overview

The Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership attracts professionals intent on making a difference. Students learn to apply theory to practice through core leadership and research courses to make educational systems more effective, equitable, and sustainable. Through professionally-oriented concentrations, students gain advanced knowledge in their disciplinary specialization and prepare themselves to assume higher levels of organizational leadership.

"The doctoral program at Appalachian has provided me with perspectives I never knew existed. These perspectives came from my professors, my classmates, and the subject matter opening up a new approach to my thinking, learning, and engaging. As a result of the program, I have also gained friends, research partners, and academic and practical colleagues. I have felt nurtured and supported, as well as challenged. I'm honored to have been a part of such a great program. "

Dr. Audra H. Vaz, '22

"This program not only helped me center my values as a leader, but, as a first generation college graduate, allows me to be a mirror for other Latinx educational leaders. The doctoral program at Appalachian State does not create leaders, but rather gives them time and space to cultivate their leadership from within and refine their work through rigorous reading and writing. The program allowed me to make meaningful professional relationships that built and sustained community, which was particularly helpful during a global pandemic."

Dr. Kimberly Nava Eggett, '22