Program Overview

Students in the doctoral program must successfully complete three program milestones
to be awarded the educational doctorate.

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Year 1 in Brief

In year 1 you will be introduced to the big issues in education and educational leadership, sociocultural theories in education, and research methods. Students attend classes every other weekend for a full day Saturday and half day Sunday. At the end of the second semester, students submit the first program milestone - the Qualifying Exam (QE), which is a 12-page preliminary research prospectus.

Students must pass their QE in order to advance into the second year of the program and have two chances to do so.

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Year 2 in Brief

Students begin the second year in the summer, attending four full-day weekend sessions on alternate weekends.  Summer courses may be hybrid--containing face-to-face and virtual components. During year 2, students study education policy, budgeting and administration, program evaluation, theories of learning and instructional leadership, and advanced leadership strategies. Students, with their dissertation chair and/or faculty adviser, focus on and develop a research proposal. Students work closely with dissertation chair to select the remaining two members of their dissertation committee. By the end of the second year (April - August), students should have passed the second program milestone - the Dissertation Proposal Defense. Only when student proposals have been approved by the dissertation committee and the CE 998 has been approved by the Graduate Studies Division, will students be allowed to advance as doctoral candidates and begin their research.

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Year 3 in Brief

Year 3 of the program is designed to provide continued support and guidance in the conduct of dissertation research and the writing of the dissertation. Students attend class one half day on alternate weekends, meeting with faculty and their cohort to work through issues of data collection, analysis, and writing. Working closely with their chair, students complete their dissertation work which culminates in the third program milestone - the Dissertation Defense. This meeting with the student's dissertation committee is an opportunity to present and defend the research and findings. Once the committee is satisfied with the quality of the dissertation, students will have satisfied the requirements for graduation with the Doctorate of Education in Educational Leadership. The student cohort participates in the program's Recognition Ceremony in May and may also participate in the university commencement.

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