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 means the world to me...it gave me the redemptive chance, many years later, to complete the highest degree possible on my 'home' campus, among first rate cohort colleagues and teaching professors.”

Dr. Adrian Rice, '23

"I have learned lessons through my dissertation journey in ways that I did not think were possible. I have honed my skills as a researcher and academic writer through this process. I have also learned what perseverance means from a fresh perspective. I have grown professionally and personally in a manner that I could not envision at the outset of this journey, but I am happy and proud of the new version of myself. I will forever cherish my experiences during this journey because I am grateful for the relationships that have been forged, and I am grateful for the discerning person I have become."

Dr. Jon Fleisher, '23