Higher Education Leadership and Innovation

Doctor of Education

About This Program


The Ed.D. in Higher Education Leadership and Innovation is designed for the professional development of higher education faculty and administrators, and other personnel who desire to pursue careers in higher education. The program prepares students to translate research into effective systems of supervision and leadership. It features a core of studies, a field component, and a dissertation capstone project. This program of studies meets the needs of educators in all post-secondary settings.

The program format allows for completion of course work in just over three years, even though students attend classes only once a week. Some courses will also be offered in a hybrid format which involves both face-to-face and on-line instruction. An online option is also offered to students. 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

Graduates from the Higher Education Leadership and Innovation program are expected to meet the following program competencies through attainment of the competencies detailed in specific course objectives:

  1. Articulate and model core beliefs relative to higher education organizations and effectively demonstrate how to take action to achieve the organization's vision, mission, and goals.
  2. Promote a positive culture of learning and design comprehensive professional growth plans for staff consistent with a higher education organization.
  3. Manage the organization, operations, and resources of a higher education organization in a way that promotes a safe, efficient, and effective learning environment.
  4. Collaborate with employees and other learning organization members, respond to diverse community interests and needs, and mobilize community resources.
  5. Act with integrity, fairness, and in an ethical manner.
  6. Understand, respond to, and influence the larger political, social, economic, legal, and cultural context.
  7. Provide 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 college/universities personnel.
  8. Demonstrate an ability to use information and information technologies to enhance the effective utilization and practice of educational research.
  9. Generate ideas, processes and procedures that are innovative and challenge the status quo of a particular group or organization.

Program Design

The Doctor of Education program in Higher Education 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 course work that includes research courses as well as courses specifically designed for the higher education professional.

A second feature consists of a field component consisting of three courses for 9 credit hours. The field component provides students the opportunity to engage in problem-based experiences outside the classroom setting that complement their program coursework. The field component aspect 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 higher education setting. Candidates are expected to complete a minimum of 120 internship hours to satisfy 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 project component of the program. This doctoral dissertation/capstone project totals nine credit hours. The research should demonstrate the student’s design and analysis skills, as well as the student’s ability to write for a professional audience.

This information applies to students who enter this degree program during the 2016-2017 Academic Year. If you entered this degree program before the Fall 2016 semester, please refer to the academic catalog for the year you began your degree program.