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Doctorate in Educational Leadership (EdD)
The field of education is facing increasingly complex challenges. It has never been more critical that these challenges be met by new research and new ideas, developed by a new generation of leaders. The William Woods University Doctorate in Educational Leadership is designed to provide you with the tools you need to become one of these people.
The Doctorate in Educational Leadership will provide you with advanced professional training and develop your abilities in the scholarly study of the issues that challenge education. You will study curricular and instructional issues and develop leadership and organizational skills that you can apply within your own educational setting. The doctorate program will also reinforce the research skills you need to reach a leadership position in the field.
One of things that makes this program a William Woods signature course is that training is only part of the program. It is also designed to challenge and motivate you to go out and find the solutions that education needs.
At William Woods, you’ll be participating in an Education graduate program known for its excellence and for providing a significant number of the leaders in Missouri’s state school system. As one of our students, you will have the opportunity to learn from active practitioners in the field and make the connections you need for leadership and career growth.
This Education doctorate degree is designed to fit the schedules of working pk-12 and collegiate teachers, staff and administrators, and can be completed in two years or less through evening courses taught in convenient locations around the state. You can expect rigorous coursework with real-world relevance, designed and taught by professionals who have proven their expertise. We structure the schedule so as to keep students together, allowing you to develop lasting relationships with peers focused on similar career goals. And, to make this an investment you can count on, your tuition will not go up as long as you stay continuously enrolled.
Your Doctorate in Educational Leadership degree at work
As a Doctoral graduate, you are prepared to be an educational leader. You will generate and apply research and theory in organizational and leadership development, and communicate ideas through writing and speaking with other professionals in the field. You may assume a position in the state department of education; or as a teacher educator, curriculum director, principal or superintendent. Or you may choose to remain in the classroom, serving as a leader and mentor for your colleagues. Through the connections formed in your program, and through your increased degree status, you will join our many graduates as they consistently rise to higher level leadership positions within school districts and at the collegiate level.
You will earn the degree by completing 9 courses leading to research and a doctoral dissertation.
Aspects of Leadership
As the world constantly changes, the expectations of leaders continue to increase. The effectiveness of a leader requires a high level of ability to work with others and respond to change. With the number of issues leaders continually face, the ability to create a vision of leadership and organize others into collective efforts to respond to the changing needs of society is a must.
This course assumes that each individual has leadership potential and that leadership qualities can be developed through a series of experiences and reflections. Class activities will create opportunities to evaluate and assess leadership roles and practices along with documenting leadership experiences. Success in this course requires demonstrated mastery of theoretical concepts, capacity for collaborative work and the thoughtful integration of theory and practice.
Quantitative Analysis II
This course will provide the doctoral candidate with the skills and training necessary to engage in the analysis of statistical data. The course is designed with the dissertation in mind, and it will provide students with the skills necessary to undertake a quantitatively oriented dissertation, if they so choose.
The course will briefly review basic statistical concepts, and it will also introduce students to more advanced techniques such as correlation, t-tests, and multiple regression. The emphasis of the course will be on a conceptual understanding of the various statistical techniques. Students will also gain experience in using SPSS® in order to conduct the various types of analysis.
Effective Educational Systems
This course is designed to assist educational leaders in assessing needs and planning and communicating the importance and content of the effective school improvement plan. Building curriculum, designing instructional activities, maintaining positive school climate and assessing organizational performance through improvement planning are primary responsibilities of school/district leadership.
This course will utilize an inquiry format into school effectiveness with students taking major responsibility for guiding the class discussion. The work will take a critical slant, interrogating traditional ideas about the means and ends of public education and proposing alternative solutions. This course is designed to encourage and assist students in deconstructing traditional ways of thinking about effectiveness and to critically examine traditional measures of effectiveness (i.e., assessment scores, dropout rates, etc.). The intent of the deconstruction and critical examination is not to diminish the importance of measuring school effectiveness, but rather to appreciate the inherent complexity of the issue and to understand and acknowledge relevant limitations in ways that can inform the work of scholarly practitioners.
Exploration of Qualitative Research
This course will introduce educational leaders to concepts and strategies in qualitative research in preparation for conducting independent research. Students will discuss future trends, issues, and problems in academic educational systems.
Students will critically understand and develop a qualitative research design as it applies to an educational issue. Course topics will include the framing of research questions, identifying data and data sources, and using theory in the design process.
Organizational Learning and System Change
This course focuses on systems thinking, personal and organizational behaviors, and leadership approaches to the change process. Students will demonstrate ethical thinking and action in organizational settings by re-conceptualizing leadership roles and organizational structures. Students will learn concepts and theories and be able to apply them to their educational organizations. The design is to use case studies, experiential exercises, dialogue and group activities to interact with the pedagogy and concepts learned during the course.
Program Evaluation and Strategic Planning
This course will examine concepts, methods and approaches in the field of evaluation research. Students will be exposed to the theoretical and methodological diversity inherent in current evaluation practices. This course will also incorporate strategic planning models, forecasting methods, trend analysis, and future planning. Students will learn how to manage growth, change, and organizational improvement through the evaluation of educational programming.
Dissertation Proposal Seminar
The goal of this course is to help students through the next stage of their dissertation writing process—the dissertation proposal (the first three chapters of their dissertation). Students will draft and revise their proposal and receive individualized feedback from peers and the instructor(s). By the end of the course, students will have a concept paper and an outline of a dissertation proposal. Students will also have the opportunity to improve as a reader, writer, and researcher and gain an awareness of what works best in their own reading, writing and researching processes. Students will also receive training in defending their dissertation proposal.
The goal of this course is to help the student through the next stage of their dissertation writing process – a draft dissertation proposal. The student will write and revise their draft proposal and receive individualized feedback from peers and the instructor(s). By the end of the course, the student will have a draft proposal. This proposal can serve as a detailed outline/idea to WWU Doctoral faculty members before embarking on to the actual proposal stage. The student will also have the opportunity to improve as a reader, writer, and researcher and gain an awareness of what works best in their own reading, writing and researching processes. WWU Doctoral faculty members will also be visiting students and provide background/input and share experience related to dissertation writing.
This course is designed to allow students time to continue in writing their dissertation. Students will enroll in the course every term until completion and defense of their dissertation.
- Education Specialist degree from a regionally accredited college or university
- Graduate GPA of 3.6 on a 4.0 scale
- Two years of experience working as an educator
- Research Methods/Design
- Research Statistics
The following must be submitted before consideration for admission:
- Completed application
- Official transcripts showing masters and specialist degrees. Only transcripts received in a sealed envelope directly from the sending school will be considered official. Students graduating from William Woods University masters and/or specialist programs do not need to submit new copies of transcripts already on file.
- Two academic letters of reference from professionals who can address the candidate’s academic ability, potential for success in strenuous scholarly work, and past performance as an educator in the field. One letter must be from a supervisor.
- Professional vita.
- Philosophy of leadership statement highlighting the applicant’s personal leadership characteristics and past professional leadership experiences, as well as the applicant’s purpose in pursuing the doctoral degree and expectation of the benefit of obtaining the doctorate. This statement must be at least 750 words.
Cohorts available across Missouri
William Woods advanced education programs bring evening classrooms to districts and educators where there is interest. Districts in Fulton, Columbia, Jefferson City, St. Louis, Kansas City, Moberly, Springfield, Ozark, Cape Girardeau, Rolla and many more are running cohorts currently or have in the past.
William Woods in the real world
Many of our graduates hold leadership positions in Missouri’s schools. All of them are great teachers.
James C. Head, Director of Administrative Field Experience
What separates William Woods University is the quality of our instructors. They're successful school leaders from around the state, actually out there doing what we're teaching others to do.
One more thing
A high percentage of our students have impressive day jobs. They’re building level administrators, central office administrators, superintendents, special education directors, curriculum directors, instructional coaches, and professional development coordinators. As a student in our program, you’ll have the opportunity to learn from practitioners like these and form connections that later may lead to job opportunities.