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Organizational Leadership - Learning and Innovation

Doctor of Education


Admission Requirements

Please refer to “The Graduate Admissions Process” section for general graduate admission information. For admission to the Doctor of Education program, applicants must satisfactorily complete credential screening and a committee interview, including a team exercise, and written component. All applicants must also submit the following:

1. Completed graduate (Ed.D.) application accompanied by a non-refundable application fee. Incomplete files will not be reviewed.

2. Official transcripts from a regionally accredited college or university verifying completion of a bachelor’s and master’s degree. Send official transcript(s) directly to Wilmington University Graduate Admissions Office from the identified college or university.  Cumulative grade point average of 3.0 is required for consideration.

3. Three letters of recommendation including at least one (1) letter of recommendation from a current/recent supervisor that can attest to the applicant’s leadership experience in organizational learning, one from a professional colleagues or academic professors and written within the last calendar year. Letters must address your capacity for doctoral level work at Wilmington University.

4. Résumé that demonstrates 3-5 years leadership/managerial experience in adult learning in an organizational context.

5. Written statement of intent that specifies professional and academic interests.  It must:

  • Be completely original and in your own words.
  • Be clear, concise, and avoid educational jargon (not less than 2 pages but no more than 4, 1.5” spacing).
  • Include an explanation of why you are interested in earning a doctoral degree at Wilmington University.
  • Describe your views on organizational learning and innovation and the role leadership plays in generating an organizational culture that supports learning and innovation.
  • Use the OLI program’s leadership standards to assess your strengths and areas for growth. Include your aspirations for leadership development and how your program will help you meet those goals. Complete information on the OLI standards can be found through university graduate admissions web page. 

Describe your research and/or scholarly interests.

  • All of the above documents should be sent directly to the Graduate Admissions Office.


Purpose

Learning is key to continually improving performance, motivating stakeholders and igniting innovation in organizations. 

The Organizational Leadership-Learning and Innovation program (OLI) aims to develop leaders who are equipped to face the dual challenge of managing operational excellence through continuous improvement and change, while at the same time inspiring stakeholders to help create the organization’s future through innovation.  The OLI program facilitates the leadership development of those interested in inspiring proactive stakeholder responses to the changing socio-economic, political and technological environment in all types of organizations including business, nonprofit and the government. Positions held by past graduates include, but are not limited to, presidents of organizations, chief learning officers, corporate trainers, principles of consulting firms and HR executives.

The program is grounded in experiential learning and prepares today’s leaders by combining theory, practice, and research. The OLI program features a cohort model in which students engage with one another and faculty in course work, consulting experiences, building professional portfolios, summer institutes and applied dissertation research projects. A unique feature of the program is its three concentrations, which provide doctoral students the flexibility of choice in creating a doctoral learning experience to meet their unique needs. The three tracks are: (1) Strategic Leadership, (2) Workplace Learning and Talent Development and (3) a Student Designed Learning Pathway.

The OLI program is offered in both face-to-face and online formats that allow for completion of program requirements in as little as three years.  Both formats take advantage of technology to facilitate instruction and collaboration, with those choosing the face-to-face option having the opportunity to meet one weeknight in most classes. Many of the online courses also offer opportunities for synchronous meetings. Courses are taught by full-time and adjunct faculty members who are subject-matter experts with extensive experience in applying creative, leading-edge practices to help organizations learn, innovate and be more effective.

Program Competencies

Graduates of the Ed.D. Organizational Leadership-Learning and Innovation program are expected to demonstrate program competencies through attainment of specific course objectives aligned with the following program standards:

1.  Personal Mastery—Engages in thoughtful reflection, assessment, and on-going personal and professional development.

2.  Leadership--Vision, Mission and Strategic Direction for Organizational Learning and Knowledge Management—Envisions, initiates, develops, communicates, and implements a shared vision of organizational learning that aligns with the strategic direction of the organization.

3.  Learning Organization Culture, Structures and Processes—Creates, sustains and changes organizational culture, structures, and processes that support learning, change and innovation.

4.  Talent Engagement, Development and Management—Fosters learning and growth among organizational members and engages them in high performance behaviors that create value for themselves and the organization.

5.  Organizational Performance Improvement and Innovation—Generates and supports continual improvement in current organizational performance, while at the same time promoting the innovation that with will enable the organization to flourish in the future. 

6.  Stakeholder Communication, Consultation and Collaboration—Proactively communicates with all organizational stakeholders in a manner that appreciates and values different perspectives and fosters information/ knowledge sharing and collaboration in achieving results that benefit all organizational stakeholders.

7.  Ethics, Citizenship, and Social Responsibility—Promotes organizational citizenship and social responsibility in an ethical manner that embraces integrity and accountability in all workplace practices.

8.  Assessment, Evaluation, and Research—Accesses, generates, interprets and manages the data necessary to assess and evaluate the effectiveness of organizational learning, the quality of organizational performance, and the need for innovation to meet changing client/customer needs or challenges in the competitive environment.

9.  Contextual and organizational Acumen-Monitors and understands the social, political, economic, legal and technological forces that may impact organizational purpose and results. Uses that information to generate new strategies for learning that support the strategic plans of the organization.

Program Design

The Organizational Leadership-Learning and Innovation (OLI) program combines theory, real-world practice, and inquiry to enhance students’ skills in leading learning and innovation at the individual, team and organizational levels. Four program components are integrated in a manner that allows program completion in three years.

The coursework component includes core courses and three concentrations. The core includes 27 credit hours spread across 9 courses and is designed to lay a strong theoretical and research foundation. The concentrations include: (1) Strategic Leadership; (2) Workplace Learning and Talent Development; and (3) a Student Designed Learning Pathway.  The Strategic Leadership concentration is for experienced students seeking to enhance the strategic value of learning in improving organizational performance and creating an organization’s future through innovation. The Workplace Learning and Talent Development concentration will appeal to students more interested in the nuts and bolts of designing, providing, and evaluating workplace learning opportunities for organizational employees.  The Student Designed Learning Pathway is for students who have clearly identified learning goals and are willing to take an active role in designing their own learning experiences. Students are encouraged to take advantage of the flexibility in coursework offerings to create a learning experience best suited to their individual needs.

The second program component is the consulting field experience project consisting of two courses for six credit hours. This project links coursework to a mentor guided project that can be individual or collaborative but must addresses a practice-based problem related to learning, change, leadership or innovation. Students are expected to initiate a consulting project, contract with the cooperating organization and complete this project over course of the program with the guidance of a field mentor. The consulting field experience results in a written and oral report presented to the cooperating organization. The consulting project report is included in the students’ portfolio along with a detailed reflection on this learning experience.

The applied dissertation research project is the third program component and serves as the culminating learning activity for students. A total of six credits are earned in the dissertation research project which should demonstrate the student’s research and analytical skills as well as the student’s ability to write for publication and to orally present for a professional audience

The creation of a professional portfolio and participation in the weekend Summer Institutes is the final component of the program. In addition to leadership development plans and reflections for each of the three years in the program, students are expected to demonstrate their competence across the program standards through exemplars from their coursework, consulting experience and applied research project. Weekend Summer Institutes will take place each year to provide opportunities for F-2-F and Distance Learners across active cohorts to engage with one another, OLI faculty, and guest speakers. The focus of the institute varies with cohort year and will include learning activities, collaboration and research project guidance.


Program Requirements

Students are expected to successfully complete the six following program phases:

Phase I:

Admission (completion of the application process)

Phase II:

Course Completion including Concentrations (completing a minimum of 42 credits hours with a B or better average)

Phase III:

Consulting Field Experience (approved project for a minimum of 6 credit hours)

Phase IV:

Degree Candidacy (completion of Phases II & III, portfolio presentation and candidacy meeting with faculty advisors)

Phase V:

Applied Dissertation Research Project (Written and Oral Presentation – 6 credit hours)

Phase VI:

Summer Institutes

Year 1 - Orientation

Year 2 - Decisions about course work for second half of program

Year 3 - Celebration—Consulting Project & Dissertation Reporting


Core Courses (15 credits)

OLI 7100 Personal Mastery and Communities of Practice

OLI 7102 Organizational Learning Theory, Culture and Practice

OLI 7103 Teams, Teaming and Knowledge Management

OLI 7104 Talent Development and Workplace Learning

OLI 7105 Technology and Organizational Learning


Strategic Leadership Concentration (15 Credits)

OLI 7301 Leading Organizational Improvement and Innovation

OLI 7302 Leadership Communication

OLI 7303 The Strategic Role of Employee Engagement & Workplace Satisfaction

OLI 7304 Business Acumen and Strategic Leadership of Learning, Improvement and Innovation

OLI 7305 Ethics, Organizational Citizenship and Social Responsibility

Workplace Learning & Talent Development Concentration (15 Credits)

OLI 7401 Universal Design for Learning

OLI 7402 Facilitating Adult Learning

OLI 7403 Workforce Trends and Leading Talent Development

OLI 7404 Addressing Diversity in Workplace Learning

OLI 7405 Motivating Employee Engagement in Workplace Learning and Professional Development

Field Experience Consulting Project (6 credits)

OLI 8001 Internal and External Organizational Consulting

OLI 8002 Consulting Project Execution and Reporting

Applied Dissertation Research Project (6 credits)

OLI 9000 Applied Research Dissertation Project I

OLI 9001 Applied Research Dissertation Project II

EDD 9004: Applied Dissertation Research Sustaining (if needed – 0 credits, ½ tuition).  Must maintain continuous enrollment until Dissertation research is completed.

Research Core Courses (12 credits)

OLI 7101 Disciplined Inquiry and Writing

OLI 7201 Problem Centered Research in Organizational Learning

OLI 7202 Problem Centered Research in Organizational Learning-II

OLI 7106 Assessment and Evaluation Methods

Student Designed Learning Pathway (15 Credits)

A combination of 15 credits selected by student from either OLI concentration, courses in other WU doctoral programs, student or faculty suggested courses.

OLI 7500 Special Topics Courses

OLI 7501 Special Topics Courses

OLI 7502 Special Topics Courses

OLI 7503 Special Topics Courses

OLI 7504 Special Topics Courses

OR

OLI 7600 Guided Study Courses

OLI 7601 Guided Study Courses

OLI 7602 Guided Study Courses

OLI 7603 Guided Study Courses

OLI 7604 Guided Study Courses


Applied Dissertation Research Project

The dissertation research project is supervised by a committee mutually agreed upon by the student and his or her advisor (6 credits). Students can choose from a variety of project formats. However, projects are expected to focus on "applied" research, i.e., a solution to a "problem of practice" in the workplace. Students do have the liberty to choose other options provided they have approval from their committee chair.

Qualifications for Degree

To qualify for the Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) degree, a student must complete the prescribed 54-credit hour program with a minimum 3.0 grade point average. A culminating applied dissertation research project presented for written publication and orally to the dissertation committee is required. In addition, candidates are required to complete a consulting project and a reflective portfolio of development activities that demonstrates competency across the OLI program standards. Successful presentation of the portfolio advances the student to candidacy. While students can complete the program in just three years, the entire program must be completed within seven years. If the program is not completed within a seven-year period, a petition for reinstatement is necessary. Students will need to formally reapply to the program if they have a leave of absence of more than a year. Students may need to re-take two of the research courses to be reinstated if they have more than a two-year leave of absence.


This information applies to students who enter this degree program during the 2018-2019 Academic Year. If you entered this degree program before the Fall 2018 semester, please refer to the academic catalog for the year you began your degree program.