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The Ed.D. in Educational Leadership Dissertation

Transformational Leadership Development

The Ed.D. in Educational Leadership Dissertation fosters each candidate's leadership growth and development in four inter-related areas:

  1. Awareness of Self

    Socially, culturally, and politically in relation to others, particularly traditionally marginalized students and families. This critical consciousness mindset helps candidates challenge educational practice, policies, and systems that serve some, but not all students well.

  2. Community Engagement (Awareness of Others)

    The knowledge, skills, and heart to work with and in community and democratically engage those closest to the issues upon which the candidate is focusing.

  3. Change v. Improvement 

    The ability to distinguish between change and improvement leads to improvement in the candidate's organization.

  4. Social Justice Leadership 

    The fusion of the mind, heart and spirit in the moment of action. With a sense of self; the skills, courage and heart to engage others; and the capacity to lead improvement, candidates will be ready and willing to take action on behalf of all educators, students and families, particularly those traditionally marginalized by current systems. Social justice leaders take action for educational equity.

Candidates may choose from three types of dissertations in order to align their research with their own unique, strategic leadership initiative:

  1. Improvement Research 

    A disciplined process of inquiry conducted by and for those taking the action. The primary reason for engaging in action research is to assist the practitioner to improve and/or refine practice.

  2. Policy Analysis

    The process of identifying a policy and the problem it was intended to solve, analyzing the history and context of the problem and policy, assessing the impact of current policy and/or the alternatives to the policy, and making recommendations. Candidates may choose an analysis of an existing policy or may choose to advocate for the creation of a new policy.

  3. Program Evaluation

    The systematic collection, analysis, and use of data to inquire into the effectiveness of an educational program.