Advance your career with a doctoral degree in Educational Leadership and Administration.
Are you a current or aspiring educational leader in a K-12 school, college or university, or industry? Do you want to improve your skills in effective leadership, collaborative practice, and organizational improvement? If so, East Stroudsburg University’s Doctorate of Education (Ed.D) in Leadership and Administration may be the career booster that you are looking for.
Grounded in a belief that effective leaders play a key role in advancing their institutions, the Ed.D. program centers on developing leaders’ ability to both envision innovative improvement strategies and build collaborative professional relationships with the goal of improved student and organizational outcomes. Both research-based and clinically oriented, ESU’s executive cohort model provides the scheduling flexibility and collegial support required by working education professionals.
The ESU doctoral program prepares leaders for innovation and improvement. Action Research is the paradigm that supports being a leader of change, and so, our doctoral program will focus on the action research paradigm and methods throughout course progression to facilitate the dissertation process.
Coursework focuses on the application of leadership theory to practice as well as the development of effective research and academic writing skills.
ESU professors have real-world educational leadership experience as school superintendents, assistant superintendents, principals, and curriculum supervisors, and most administrative roles. Learn from the best!
In a variety of settings, graduates of ESU’s doctoral program in Educational Leadership and Administration provide transformational leadership in their school districts, colleges and universities, and corporate educational settings, improving the knowledge and skills of countless students and colleagues.
- The cohort approach provides a built-in network of professional colleagues that support each other throughout the doctoral program and beyond.
- Cohort retreats and workshops supplement the coursework by building collegial professional relationships, fostering collaboration among cohort members, and enhancing problem-solving skills.
Perhaps more importantly, ESU doctoral graduates take pride in their own growth and self-improvement.
Dissertation research culminates with students’ scholarly work by systematically investigating an original research problem, potential findings, and defending their thesis before an expert panel. When the students investigate a problem or question, they analyze past works that could contribute to the understanding of the problem, and study potential answers. The student becomes the expert on the topic through rigorous study, implementation, defense, and finally, publication. There are multiple methods that could be used including qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods research designs that align with the problem being studied. To prepare for dissertation studies, coursework embeds opportunities to practice various methodologies in a real-world setting, including an action research project related to the student's dissertation topic.
Applications to the Ed.D. program are accepted in the year before a new cohort begins. We are currently accepting applications for the Fall 2023 cohort. The application process for this program is divided into two phases.
- Application Phase:
The Graduate College coordinates the application process for the Ed.D. in Educational Leadership and Administration. All doctoral candidates must complete a Graduate School Application Packet including the following items:
- On-line Application
- Official Undergraduate Transcript(s)
- Official Graduate Transcript(s) – must include a minimum of a completed master’s degree
- Two (2) Letters of Recommendation
- Professional Resume
- Professional Goals Statement
- Acceptance Phase:
The acceptance phase of the application process is competitive. As such, the Professional and Secondary Education Department (PSED) faculty will review each application and select candidates to participate in two additional screening activities:
- Interview at the ESU Lehigh Valley Campus in Bethlehem or through the Zoom videoconferencing software.
- Writing prompt submitted to the PSED department for their review by the date specified.
Upon completion of the application and acceptance phases, the Graduate Office will notify successful candidates of their admittance to the program. Doctoral students accepting the offer of admission will attend an orientation session in Summer 2023 prior to the start of coursework in Fall 2023.
The executive cohort model is designed to accommodate the needs of working professionals. Students enroll in two courses each term for all three terms, thereby completing the required coursework in three years. Each course meets five times during the term, with additional assignments completed between class sessions. All face-to-face sessions meet at the ESU Lehigh Valley Campus in Bethlehem on Friday night and Saturday (one course each day).
The courses are designed to both increase student knowledge and application of leadership and change management theories and develop the skills required for successful completion of the dissertation. The course sequence below is a sample.
- Three Year Sequence
Year Fall Term Spring Term Summer Term 1
- Leadership Theories
- School and Community
- Curriculum Analysis
- Doctoral Seminar in Advanced Research Methods
- Analysis of Qualitative Data in Leadership Studies
- Advanced Topics in Human Development
- Critical Analysis of Issues in Education
- Leadership Case Study
- Research Instrument Design for Leadership
- School Law and Negotiations
- School Finance
- Conflict Resolution
- Leadership Applied Practice
- Analysis of Effective Instruction and Supervisory Techniques
- Special Topics in Education
In addition to the courses listed above, all doctoral students will complete 9 credits of Dissertation. Students enroll in dissertation credits each term following their last internship course until they successfully defend their dissertation.