The Doctoral Program In Educational Leadership

The Doctoral Program 

The Ed.D. is designed for future and practicing educational leaders who with to develop and refine their leadership capabilities in educational organizations.

Goals of the Program

  • Introduce students to the methodologies of critical analysis of educational theories and practices
  • Engage students in disciplined inquiry in the field of education
  • Prepare students for making contributions to educational theory and practice
  • Prepare students to become leaders and change agents in diverse educational settings

Program Characteristics

  • Access to faculty in varying disciplines
  • Applied practice in community research via an internship
  • Research assistantship opportunities
  • Cohort structure

Cohort Structure

The cohort model of education is central to the Doctoral Program. Students acquire skills in using research to understand organizational and social issues, with a growing capacity for leading adaptive, sustainable, and just change. Through a selective admissions process, cohort members are chosen from a diverse cross-section of educational leadership settings. The cohort structure allows for the integration of educational scholarship and practice in a supportive, collegial environment. Cohorts are located both on and off of Appalachian’s main campus. Off campus cohorts are offered on alternate odd years in Catawba County and Forsyth County. Online cohorts begin in 2019.  

Program Concentrations

*The Dual Ed.S./Ed.D. degree track is only offered with Educational Administration or Higher Education Administration.

Curriculum Overview

The doctoral degree has a minimum 60 credit hour requirement. The core curriculum is 33 credit hours. Additionally, the program requires 15-18 elective credit hours, 3-6 internship credit hours, and 6-9 dissertation credit hours. 48 hours of coursework must be at the 6000 or 7000 level.

For students entering the program with an Ed.S., up to 30 credit hours may be waived toward the doctoral required 60 credit courses hours. For students entering with a Master’s degree, the full 60 credit hours are required. More information regarding the Ed.S can be found in the Program Concentrations sections. 

Delivery Platforms

To accommodate working students, the 33 core curriculum credit hours are offered one afternoon and evening per week for two academic years -- including summer sessions for our on campus cohorts. For our off-campus cohorts, we offer a hybrid platform. Classes meet face to face for one afternoon and one evening on the same day every other week. On the weeks where students do not meet face to face, they meet online. An online cohort is beginning in fall 2019 that will include both synchronous and asynchronous classes. The online program will require two and a half days of summer residency for a mandatory orientation and 1 and a half days of winter residency for a mandatory networking summit.