Doctorate in Educational Leadership

doctorate in educational leadership students

Doctorate of Education

in Educational Leadership (25 hours)

Enrolling Now for October and January:

  • Imperial, MO
  • Camdenton, MO
  • Blue Springs, MO
  • Columbia, MO

Check with us to learn more!

Program Overview

The Doctorate in Educational Leadership is designed to provide students with advanced professional training and to further develop their abilities in the scholarly study of professional problems. The program is further developed to challenge professionals and independent scholars to find solutions for contemporary and future complex problems facing education. Students will study curricular and instructional issues along with leadership development and organizational learning to apply within their own particular educational setting.

Program Advantages

William Woods University graduate programs are designed for working individuals. The cohort model allows students to develop lasting relationships with peers focused on pursing similar career goals. Cohorts are situated in convenient locations around Missouri and once accepted into the program you are registered for all courses listed on your cohort calendar. Tuition is maintained at the same rate, providing there is no interruption in enrollment.

Who is this program designed for?

The Doctorate in Educational Leadership Program is designed for teachers, instructional coaches, curriculum directors, principals, superintendents, and collegiate instructors with an interest in developing leadership and organizational learning skills. The program is also designed to reinforce research skills necessary for leadership positions.

What will this program do for me?

Doctoral graduates are prepared to be educational leaders. Many assume positions as teacher educators, curriculum directors, principals, superintendents, state department of education personnel, or leaders in other educational settings. A few doctoral graduates choose to remain in their classrooms serving as leaders and mentors for their colleagues. Doctoral-level graduates generate and utilize research, apply research and theory in organizational and leadership development, and communicate ideas through writing and speaking with other professionals in the field.

Doctorate in Educational Leadership Pogram Alumni:

William Woods University doctorate in education leadership alumni are employed in schools across the State of Missouri in leading positions including superintendents, principals, and administrators.

EDD Graduate Employers Include:

  • Independence School District, Independence, MO
  • Jefferson City Public Schools, Jefferson City, MO
  • Thornfield School District, Thornfield, MO
  • Braymer, MO
  • Bowling Green, MO

Education Accreditations

  • Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC) (The School District Administration Program—EdS degree programs)

Admission Requirements

  • Master’s and specialist degree from a regionally accredited college or university
  • Graduate grade point average of 3.6 on a 4.0 scale
  • Three years’ experience working as an educator
  • Prerequisite coursework: Research Methods/Design and Basic Statistics

Admissions Procedures

NO CANDIDATE WILL BE CONSIDERED FOR ADMISSION until the following are submitted and assessment is complete.

  • Graduate Application
  • Official transcripts showing master’s degree. Only transcripts received in a sealed envelope or emailed directly from the issuing institution will be considered official. Students graduating from William Woods University’s master’s program 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. Applicants waive the right to disclosure of letters.
  • 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.
  • Qualifying Assessment to be administered on the Fulton campus or other WWU site. Applicants will be notified of the assessment date after all other required materials are received.

Tuition & Fees

Tuition & Fees


Graduation Fee


Independent Study Fee (per credit hour)


Transcript Fee (per transcript)


Returned Check Fee (per check)


Tuition (per credit hour)



EDU710 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. 3 Credits

EDU720 Quantitative Analysis II

This course provides the educational practitioner with the support and further training to utilize the quantitative skills needed for scientific research and data analysis. The course includes a review of basic statistical concepts, as well as an introduction to the following statistical methodologies: Correlation, Regression, t-Test, ANOVA, Repeated Measures, Non-parametric test, Factor Analysis, and Categorical Data (Chi-Square). A series of practice problems, discussion, and weekly assessments from the textbook will take students one step further on various experimental design and statistical test and data analysis. This course is designed with the dissertation in mind to provide a foundation of knowledge and skill if a student chooses to do a quantitative analysis for their final dissertation. 3 Credits

EDU730 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 utilizes 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. 3 Credits

EDU740 Exploration of Qualitative Research

This course introduces 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 include the framing of research questions, identifying data and data sources, and using theory in the design process. 3 Credits

EDU780 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. 3 Credits

EDU750 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. 3 Credits

EDU760 Program Evaluation and Strategic Planning

This course examines 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 also incorporates 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. 3 Credits

EDU781 Dissertation Seminar

The goal of this course is to help students through the final stages of their dissertation writing process, Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval, logistics of collecting data, developing the findings, and creating the conclusions to the study (chapters four and five of their dissertation). Students will develop the survey instrument or their method of data collection, collect the data, and begin assimilating the findings and conclusions. By the end of the course, the student will have collected the data and started the development of a rough draft for chapters four and five. Prerequisite: EDU780 with passing scores on written comps. 3 Credits

EDU790 Research Seminar

This course is designed to allow students time to continue writing their dissertation. Students will enroll in the course every term until completion and defense of their dissertation. Prerequisites: EDU781. 1 Credit

Dissertation Requirements

Each student will be expected to write an individual dissertation on a topic approved by the dissertation chair. Topics may include any variety of educational issues. Commencement of the study will be dependent upon Institutional Review Board approval. Studies may be quantitative, qualitative, or mixed design research.

Next Steps

Making Education Accessible for Working Professionals

WWU programs can be brought to any community within Missouri and select communities in Arkansas. We would appreciate the opportunity to bring a degree program to your hometown. If there is interest in your area, call 1.800.995.3199 or email today!

How do I get started?

Visit us at to inquire about or apply to one of our evening programs. After you submit your information, you will be contacted by an enrollment representative to discuss the opportunities in your area.

How do I apply?

Visit us at to complete the FREE online application.

Is there a program starting near me?

To view an orientation schedule, visit us at or contact us directly at 1.800.995.3199 or

How do I register for classes?

After you have been accepted into your program of study, you will be registered for all courses listed on your cohort calendar. Your academic adviser will answer any questions about potential schedule changes once you have started the program.

Is financial aid available?

Financial aid is available to most students. To start this quick and easy process, simply complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid at, and enter the WWU school code 002525.

Contact Dr. Doug Ebersold with additional questions -  573.592.4339