The program has been designed for a cohort of full-time pre-kindergarten through grade 12 educators studying during summers, evenings, and weekends. Specifically, the program is for teachers and administrators in preK-12 schools who want to prepare for a variety of leadership positions:
But it is also intended to serve the needs of people who are already leading in their current positions, and want to increase their knowledge and skills for leading teaching and learning.
If candidates are able to keep up with their cohort and do their dissertation in the planned one-year period of time, the program can be completed in three years, plus an additional summer (a minimum of 39 months). Most students take 3 to 12 months longer.
The program has been developed around a set of research-based beliefs and best practices about how to teach and work with adult students. These translate into the programmatic features described below:
The Ed.D. Program in Educational Leadership has been designed for and is committed to a cohort approach. In this approach, a new group of no more than 25 students will be admitted every other year. This group will proceed through the program together, taking the same required courses and having the same experiences. Program faculty will help each cohort develop into an effective learning community that provides peer support. A cohort approach fosters a spirit of community, keeps doctoral candidates focused on the doctoral program, and leads to a much higher completion rate as compared to other approaches to doctoral studies.
Doctoral candidates possess extensive knowledge about the educational enterprise. To the extent possible, program instruction will build upon and integrate this knowledge into the inquiry process. The use of case studies, problem-based learning, simulations, and inquiry into existing organizations will be extensive. The dissertation will be connected to the candidate’s research interest and will break new ground by providing a bridge between what we know from research and what we need to do in practice.
At time of admission, all candidates will commit to summer study. This will consist of four weeks of full time (8-5) study during the first and second summers and several additional days during summer three or four. The summer study schedule will vary from year-to-year, but classes will normally begin during the last week in June and end in July. A commitment to participate fully during the summer term is required; no exceptions will be made. In addition, candidates will also be required to attend a Friday evening and Saturday orientation session held after the cohort has been selected, normally in the last week of April or the first week of May.
The work context of candidates will be valued and integrated into the scheduling of courses, as well as the content of classes and assignments. Candidates will engage in authentic inquiry into the elements of actual learning communities and then design interventions aimed at improving these environments.
Alternative assessment methods will be employed. Candidates will engage in yearlong projects that will be included in their professional portfolio. This portfolio will constitute a portion of the candidate’s comprehensive examination. During class, and throughout the program, candidates will be expected to actively participate in self-assessment, peer-assessment, and learning assessment tasks.
Candidates in the CCSU Ed.D. program focus on the translation of theory to practice. Therefore, the faculty have strived to design the dissertation and the processes used to complete and evaluate it to meet the unique needs of students in the program. The Ed.D. dissertation maintains many of the features of the more traditional dissertation, particularly those that demand quality, rigor and originality. However, candidates may, with approval, work collaboratively with others who are interested in the same problem and they may submit dissertations that vary from the more traditional format if a different style would be more appropriate.
Candidates will be expected to “give back to their community” by designing and implementing a post-dissertation dissemination plan that shares the results with both the community of practice and with the community of scholarship. Graduates have presented at American Educational Research Association and the International Reading Association, among other national conferences, and have also published their findings.
The program requires 63 semester hours beyond the master’s degree. The educational core (18 semester hours), the inquiry seminars (18 semester hours), and the dissertation (12 semester hours) are required of all students. Courses and experiences associated with these components of the program are taught to the cohort, and candidates will not be allowed to substitute other courses or experiences. Students will also pursue a specialty area consisting of 15 semester hours of studies in administrative leadership or curriculum and literacy. Students who have completed coursework for the 092, 093, or 097 certification at CCSU and other universities may apply for a waiver of the specialty requirement.
Graduate transfer credits may be applied to the specialization area if appropriate, approved by the advisor, and consistent with the requirements and policies of the Office of Graduate Studies.
Seven propositions provide the overall conceptual framework for the Ed.D. Program.
Effective educational leaders are skillful in creating a sense of a collaborative learning community for all those with whom they work. These leaders are sensitive to their ethical and moral obligation to design and implement programs that promote positive learning for all. Further, these leaders have the organizational and conceptual skills to advance the work of institutions, communities, and organizations.
Effective educational leaders know that teaching and learning is at the heart of everything they do. They are familiar with current curricular, instructional, and assessment practices and know how to help others improve their skills in these areas. They know how to create and sustain a powerful vision of the importance of teaching and learning and have skills in program evaluation and assessment to monitor efforts to improve classroom and organizational growth. Further, they know how to provide the professional development, coaching, and mentoring services that are fundamental to organizational growth and renewal.
Effective educational leaders are able to connect the immediate work of organizational improvement to the larger philosophical and historical contexts that support educational change. They know how to effectively engage others in the change process and to generate and allocate resources for innovation.
Effective educational leaders recognize diversity as a strength and know how to develop systems, programs, and services that are responsive to the needs of learners, faculties, and communities. These leaders work to create a culture of success for all learners and know how to effectively partner with community and national groups and networks to enhance the educational environment for their learners. Further, these leaders are skillful in developing a variety of community avenues to inform others in the wider community.
Effective educational leaders know how to use technology to support and advance the learning environment. These leaders demonstrate skills in using a variety of media for communication purposes as well as effectively using building-wide and system-wide information processing systems.
Effective leaders are committed to the processes of continuous quality improvement and know how to collect, research, analyze, and interpret salient data to inform the change process. These leaders know how to communicate this information to a variety of audiences to help enlist their support for improvement.
Effective educational leaders value and apply research in determining best practice. These leaders know how to evaluate and bring critical judgment to bear on educational research and they can communicate research to teachers, parents, and members of the community. They have the skills to conduct and provide leadership for action research aimed at improving teaching and learning.
The program is divided into four major components:
These components and the semester hours required in each component are summarized in below, and described in more detail in sections that follow.
|Component I:||Core in Educational Leadership||18 SH|
|Component II:||Specialty area in one of the following (unless waived because of previous post-master’s courses and 092/093/097 certification:Administrative Leadership OR Curriculum and Literacy||15 SH|
|Component III:||Inquiry Seminars||18 SH|
|Component IV:||Capstone: Dissertation||12 SH|
Component I establishes the foundational core of the program with particular emphasis in education leadership and teaching and learning. Five core courses are required of all candidates. Courses include: The Purposes of Education in America; Leadership for Technology in Schools; Leadership to Promote Effective Teaching and Learning; Leading Organizational Change I: Theory, and Leading Organizational Change II, Program Development and Evaluation. Two of the core courses will be taken during the initial summer of study; two will be completed during the second summer; and one will be taken across both the first and second summer.
Component II includes a specialty area of the student’s choice. At the present time, two specializations are available:
With the permission of the advisor and program director, up the specialty requirement may be waived for students presenting appropriate post-master’s coursework and holding the 092, 093, and/or 097 certificates. For other students, appropriate post-master’s courses may be transferred from accredited colleges and universities toward meeting the specialty requirements, provided that the courses comply with all Graduate School requirements.
Component III of the program includes research courses, field-based inquiry projects, and a series of seminars designed to help students understand the processes of inquiry. Component III leads into and facilitates Component IV, the completion of the dissertation, and also addresses dissemination of the results of the students’ study to appropriate audiences. More information about the dissertation is available in the Assessment and Dissertation Handbook.
Courses and learning experiences will be sequenced over a minimum of four consecutive summers and three academic years. Courses in the foundational core are taken during the first and second summers, and the first academic year of study. Study in the specialty areas will be tailored to particular students and will normally take place during the first two academic years and the third summer. Course work in research and ongoing inquiry projects (Component III) begins in the first summer of the program and continues until degree completion, culminating with the completion of the student’s dissertation and the post-dissertation requirement for dissemination of the findings to practitioner and academic communities.
Table 2 presents the sequence of courses and activities of the doctoral program in educational leadership.
|Foundational Core||Specialty Study||Inquiry Seminars and Dissertation|
|First Summer |
|First Academic Year |
||6 SH |
(as needed to complete specialty requirements)
|Second Summer |
|Second Academic Year |
|Prepare Doctoral Leadership Portfolio Essays (Fall and Spring)||6 SH |
(as needed to complete specialty requirements)
|Third Summer |
|Doctoral Leadership Portfolio and Defense (Comprehensive Examination)|
Dissertation Proposal Defense
|3 or more|
(as needed to complete specialty requirements)
|Third Academic Year |
|Fourth Summer |
|Fourth Summer, Academic Year, and beyond||Students who have not completed their dissertations must enroll in EDL 719 (1 credit) in order to continue work with their advisors; EDL 720 is taken when dissertation is substantially complete.|
|48-63 SH||18 Semester Hours||15+ Semester Hours||30 Semester Hours|
The Ed.D. Program offers a special feature aimed at helping to maintain a high retention rate and helping candidates to complete a quality dissertation that can be applied to their work and their career aspirations. Called “Inquiry Seminars”, this feature is woven throughout the program. The Inquiry Seminars include study of inquiry and research methods. They also serve as a source of emotional and intellectual support for candidates throughout the program. In addition, the seminars help the student engage with a dissertation topic and prepare artifacts for the Leadership Portfolio. Inquiry seminars also use of web-based instruction during the dissertation phase as a way to maintain connections among cohort members and the faculty.
Table 3 summarizes the content of each of the inquiry seminars.
|Inquiry Seminar I: EDL 710|| Summer I |
|Study of Human & Organizational Learning||This seminar will be used to build a learning community. Students will be helped to develop a proposal for a field-based research project which will be completed during the academic year. Students will also be introduced to web-based instruction during this seminar, and will learn advanced techniques for searching the literature, critiquing published research, and developing a review of the literature.|
|Inquiry Seminar II: EDL 711||AcademicYear Fall (3 SH)||Quantitative and Qualitative I ||Introduction to quantitative and qualitative methods. Development of a proposal for the field study. Preparations for the field study will be used to demonstrate progress in writing literature reviews, and to gain practice in the design of research study.|
|Inquiry Seminar III: EDL 712||Academic Year Spring (3 SH)|| Quantitative and Qualitative II||More on quantitative and qualitative methods including statistical and other forms of analysis. Preparation of the research report for the field study and presentation to university community during a poster session. Data from the field study will be used to practice various methods of quantitative and qualitative research.|
|Inquiry Seminar IV EDL 713|| Summer II |
|Study of Organizational Change||During the second summer, students will focus their attention on the evaluation of professional and organizational development using and extending the data collection and analysis strategies their learned during the previous semesters.|
|Inquiry Seminar V EDL 714||Academic Year Fall (3 SH)||Advanced Research Design||Topics for the fall semester include advanced preparation in research design, conceptual frameworks, statistical techniques, interaction analysis, and critique and evaluation of research. Students will identify appropriate dissertation topics and begin working with their dissertation advisor.|
|Inquiry Seminar VI EDL 715||Academic Year Spring (3 SH)||Dissertation Proposal||During the Spring semester students will continue their study of research design and begin the process of developing a proposal for the dissertation.|
|Inquiry Seminar VII EDL 716|| Summer III |
|Dissertation/ Portfolio||This seminar will facilitate final completion of the dissertation proposal and preparation for the defense of the portfolio/comprehensive examination. Much of the work is one-on-one with the advisor.|
| Inquiry Seminar VIII/IX EDL 717, 718||Academic Year (10 SH)||Dissertation Support||Throughout academic year, this seminar will provide intellectual and emotional support to students as they work to complete their dissertation.|
|Inquiry Seminar X ED: 720||Summer IV |
|Dissertation Dissemination||Students will prepare a dissemination plan and then work to execute the plan. It is an expectation of the program that findings be shared with both the community of practice and the academic community prior to graduation.|
During the second year of the program, each Ed.D. candidate will complete a summative portfolio. This portfolio will consist of evidence (artifacts, evaluations, projects and reflections) gathered from the beginning of the program. Some of the portfolio entries will be products (papers, projects, evaluations) that have resulted from assignments in coursework or the inquiry seminars. Other entries will be artifacts that the candidates choose themselves such as products they have produced as a result of their everyday work or products associated with the internships. All entries will be tied to the program’s conceptual framework and to the program’s advanced leadership standards. Candidates will present their portfolios to a group of faculty and colleagues, and will defend their work to a committee as part of the comprehensive examination process. Further information about the portfolio, including the evaluation rubric, is found in the Assessment and Dissertation Handbook.
Some aspect of the candidate’s work will be assessed through specially designed assessment exercises. Following procedures already in use in the Department of Educational Leadership, and similar to those developed by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) and the National Association of Secondary School Principals, candidates will be asked to react to a series of “situations” aimed at assessing conceptual understanding of particular issues and illustrating the candidate’s problem solving, decision making, data analysis, and interpersonal communication skills. Students who are candidates for administration licensure (092, 093) will complete assessment tasks that reflect NCATE-ELCC standards. Further information about the assessment plan for the doctoral program, including the assessment of licensure candidates, is found in the Assessment and Dissertation Handbook.
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