Higher Education Leadership and Innovation

Doctor of Education


The Ed.D. in Higher Education Leadership and Innovation is designed for the professional development of higher education faculty, administrators, and other personnel who wish to advance their 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 capstone project. This program meets the needs of educators in a broad range of post-secondary settings.

The program format allows for completion of course work in just over three years, through weekly face-to-face courses or fully online courses. Face-to-face courses may also be offered in a hybrid format which involves both face-to-face and on-line instruction. Students are expected to enroll continuously in sequential seven-week courses for the duration of the program. Courses are taught by both full-time and adjunct faculty who are experts in their fields, providing insights into innovative, leading-edge theories and practices.

Program Competencies

Candidates for the Ed.D. in Higher Education Leadership and Innovation are expected to meet the following program competencies:

  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. Demonstrate an ability to use information and information technologies to enhance the effective utilization and practice of educational research.
  8. Generate ideas, processes and procedures that are innovative and challenge the status quo of a particular group or organization.
  9. Synthesize and apply Program Competencies through substantial, standards-based work in real settings, planned and guided cooperatively by the institution and college/university personnel.

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  two courses for  6 credit hours and 120 clinical hours in the field. 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 capstone project that serves as a culminating activity for all previously completed courses and the field components. Students  can be raised to candidacy before beginning the capstone project component of the program. However, no final oral presentation on the capstone findings and committee approval can be granted till candidacy requirements are satisfied. This doctoral capstone project totals nine credit hours. The project should demonstrate the student’s research design and analysis skills, as well as the student’s ability to write for a professional audience.

Program Requirements

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

Phase I: Admission (completing the application procedures)
Phase II: Course Completion (completing 36 credit hours)
Phase III: Field Component Completion (completing a minimum of 9 credit hours)
Phase IV: Degree Candidacy (completing degree candidacy review which includes completion of Phases II and III, a written content assessment, all field component requirements and candidacy meeting with faculty advisors)
Phase V: Capstone Project Completion (completing the Capstone Project and related public presentation - 9 credit hours)

Course Requirements

EDD 6102 E-Folio

EDD 7000 Experiential Learning: Leadership Issues

EDD 7101 Pluralistic Communities: Administrative Issues

EDD 7106 Disciplined Inquiry I

EDD 7107 Disciplined Inquiry II

EDD 7108 Curriculum Leadership in Higher Education

EDD 7200 Supervisory Behavior

EDD 7201 Managing Human and Material Resources

EDD 7202 Leadership Dynamics and Data-Driven Decision Making

EDD 7204 The Art of Leadership

EDD 7206 Leadership Issues in Higher Education

EDD 7208 Adult Development and Leadership

EDD 7303 Policy and Planning in Higher Education

EDD 7304 Planning, Budgeting & the Higher Education Finance Process

EDD 7402 Problem-Centered Research I

EDD 8102 Leadership Practicum

EDD 8104 Field Experience and Portfolio Assessment

EDD 9000 Dissertation Project

EDD 9001 Dissertation Project

EDD 9002 Dissertation Project

EDD 9004 Dissertation Project

EDD 9004: if needed – 0 credits, ½ tuition

The following core courses require a minimum final grade of B: EDD 7108, EDD 7206, EDD 7208, EDD 7303, and EDD 7304. Grades for core courses that are B- or lower must be repeated.

Courses = 57 credit hours

Dissertation/Capstone Project

The dissertation/capstone project will be supervised by a committee mutually agreed upon between the student and his or her advisor (9 credits). Students can choose from a variety of project formats  However, capstone 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 select the topic and format of the capstone, provided they have approval of the committee chair. 

Qualifications for Degree

To qualify for the Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) degree, a student must complete the prescribed 57-credit hour program with a minimum 3.0 grade point index. A culminating dissertation/capstone project is required. Course work and the dissertation/capstone project should be completed in just over three years. In addition, candidates are required to complete 120 internship hours over a three year period and a portfolio of activities that tie-in with the CAEP/ELCC standards. During the third year, students must pass a Content Assessment Test.  While the program can be completed in just over three years, it must be completed within seven years. If the program is not completed within a seven-year period, a petition for reinstatement is necessary. In instances of non-continuous enrollment, 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 the research courses to be reinstated if they have more than a two-year leave of absence.