Leadership and Innovation (EdD)

Plan of Study

The Plan of Study is the required curriculum to complete the program. View Plan of Study

The EdD in leadership and innovation is designed for practicing educator-leaders who work in a range of settings and want to transform their practice and create better learning opportunities for students of all ages.

Students in the program begin as accomplished teachers, teacher leaders, principals, superintendents, higher education professionals or leaders in other educational contexts. Through course work, students deepen their abilities to lead change and implement innovation in their local educational organizations. The program is not designed to prepare students for academic research-oriented tenure-track positions.

The program is offered in two formats, face-to-face and online, with both offerings sharing similar course work and structure.

The cohort-based program focuses on research in action and includes required course work and several options for advanced professional studies with a research core that deepens students' abilities to reflectively and critically think about problems of practice in one of the following contexts:

  • prekindergarten-Grade 12 change leadership
  • higher education change leadership
  • systems, professional and reimagined change leadership

Differentiation among these contexts and students' interests occurs within the required course work.

Students conduct multiple cycles of inquiry throughout the program and learn research within their own workplace. Students share their research at the end of each academic-year semester through roundtables, posters and symposia in a public doctoral research forum. The culminating requirement is an action-research dissertation.

Leader-scholar communities, formed at the end of the first year and consisting of five to seven students and one faculty member, meet regularly for the second and third years of the program to supply academic and personal support. Through LSCs, students support each other, under faculty guidance, in the conceptualization, implementation and study of change initiatives. Students register for required research and dissertation hours as part of the LSC requirement. Each student's LSC leader serves as the dissertation chair, along with two additional committee members who ultimately make up the dissertation committee.

Successful graduates make a commitment to continuing systematic study of their professional practice and sustaining innovation and leadership by making a positive difference in their local settings. The program aims to enable more thoughtful, intentional and informed leaders who are willing and able to implement and study continuous improvement.

The program will make a difference in the way a student thinks and works as a leader in education, for the immediate and local benefit of school children, adult learners, schools or organizations and local communities.


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