Educational Leadership and Innovation

Doctor of Education

About This Program

This degree program is nationally recognized by the ELCC (Educational Leaders Constituent Council) and is accredited by CAEP (Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation) under NCATE standards (National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education).


The doctoral program facilitates the professional development of teachers, specialists, administrators, and other personnel committed to the concept that those responsible for the nation’s educational agenda must be innovative leaders. The program prepares students to translate research into effective systems of instruction, supervision, and leadership. It features a core of studies, a field component and a dissertation/capstone project. This program of study meets the needs of public, private, and post-secondary. 

The program format allows for completion of course work in just over three years, even though students attend classes only once a week. Some of the courses may be taught in a “hybrid” format that includes both face to face and on-line instruction, Courses are taught by both full-time and adjunct faculty who are experts in their fields, providing an insight into innovative, leading-edge theories and practices.

Program Competencies

The Ed.D. in Educational Leadership and Innovation is designed to produce educational leaders who have the knowledge and ability to promote the success of all students by:

  1. Facilitating the development, articulation, implementation, and stewardship of a school or district vision of learning supported by the school community.
  2. Promoting a positive school culture, providing an effective instructional program, applying best practice to student learning, and designing comprehensive professional growth plans for staff.
  3. Managing the organization, operations, and resources in a way that promotes a safe, efficient, and effective learning environment.
  4. Collaborating with families and other community members, responding to diverse community interests and needs, and mobilizing community resources.
  5. Acting with integrity, fairness, and in an ethical manner
  6. Understanding, responding to, and influencing the larger political, social, economic, legal and cultural context.
  7. Providing significant opportunities for candidates to synthesize and apply the knowledge, and practice and develop the skills in Competencies 1-6 through substantial, standards-based work in real settings, planned and guided cooperatively by the institution and school district personnel.
  8. Demonstrating an ability to use information and information technologies to enhance the effective utilization and practice of educational research.
  9. Generating ideas, processes and procedures that are innovative and challenge the status quo of a particular group or organization.

Program Design

The Ed.D. in Educational Leadership and Innovation is designed to combine theory, practice, and inquiry to enhance students’ innovation and leadership skills. The program has three major features. One is a core program of 27 credit hours emphasizing Curriculum/Instruction and Supervision/Administration.

A second feature consists of field components with a maximum total of 12 credit hours. The field components provide students the opportunity to engage in problem-based experiences outside the college setting that complement their program coursework. The field component aspect of the program provides the opportunity for the student to apply the knowledge and theory learned in the core courses to the solution of specific problems in a school district. Students in the Educational Leadership and Innovation program are required to take EDD 8102, EDD 8103, and EDD 8104 as part of the field component.

The third feature of the program is an applied research component consisting of 9 credit hours and the dissertation/capstone project that serves as a culminating activity for all previously completed courses and the field components. Students must be raised to candidacy before beginning the dissertation/capstone component of the program. This doctoral dissertation/capstone project itself totals 9 credit hours.

This information applies to students who enter this degree program during the 2015-2016 Academic Year. If you entered this degree program before the Fall 2015 semester, please refer to the academic catalog for the year you began your degree program.