Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Higher Education Leadership

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The Doctor of Education in Higher Education Leadership is a 51-unit degree program, inclusive of dissertation. It develops professional educators and leaders who are able to apply their knowledge in order to improve educational practice primarily at the institutional level. The dissertation for the Ed.D. is a culminating research project utilizing a three-year cycle model of action research beginning in the first year.

Program Outcomes

Graduates of the program are expected to be able to:

  1. Conduct and disseminate research that answers meaningful questions and makes a difference to campus practice or to the field of higher education.
  2. Lead effectively, collaboratively, and with vision.
  3. Competently effect change at the campus level through creative interventions and program design.
  4. Articulate and evaluate a strengths-based approach to teaching, learning, and leadership development.
  5. Articulate and evaluate a Christian perspective on effective leadership in higher education.
  6. Relate effectively to diverse populations, communicate competently in a global and multicultural context, and appropriately confront personal and institutional injustice and marginalization in higher education settings.
  7. Demonstrate a commitment to and ability to foster student learning within individuals and institutions.

Schedule

Students begin each academic year with a one-week intensive at APU in June, and also visit campus one weekend (9 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday and Saturday) a month, with the exception of May and August. Students take two courses a term, and three terms per academic year, for a total of six courses (17 units) per academic year. In between campus visits, students work online to complete course assignments and communicate with faculty and fellow students. Students travel internationally during May of their second year. The coursework for that session will be the focus of the trip. All in-country costs of the trip are included in the program tuition, but students are responsible for their international airfare.

Dissertation Courses

The dissertation proposal process is embedded in the Ed.D. program, as students take Guided Inquiry Project I in their first year and Guided Inquiry Project II in their second year. Each course in the program supports the development of the dissertation proposal and the final dissertation study. The dissertation proposal course begins in the third year. If students do not successfully defend their dissertation proposal in HED 790, they must continue to enroll in HED 790 each term until the proposal is successfully defended. Once students successfully defend their dissertation proposal, they enroll in HED 794 for one semester (2 units) and then in HED 795 (2 units) for each semester thereafter until the dissertation has been successfully defended. Enrollment in these courses entitles a student access to faculty and university resources, including library databases and the services of the doctoral research librarian. Continuous enrollment in dissertation courses is required until the dissertation is successfully defended. Students are considered enrolled full time from the proposal (HED 790) through the completion of the dissertation (HED 795). Students are expected to continue to come to campus each term during the dissertation phase. Credit for dissertation courses is given for completion of the stated course objectives as outlined in the syllabus. Students who do not meet the designated course outcomes will not receive credit for the course and will be required to retake the course.

Sequence of Courses

Year 1
June
HED 702The Nature of Inquiry4
HED 748Guided Inquiry Project I1
September
HED 703Critical Issues in Higher Education4
HED 714Introduction to Action Research2
January
HED 701Strengths-Oriented Leadership4
HED 715Applied Action Research2
Year 2
June
HED 733The Changing Worlds of Higher Education4
HED 749Guided Inquiry Project II1
September
HED 705Student Access, Equity, and Success in College4
HED 720Campus Ecology and Creating Spaces for Thriving2
January
HED 721Diversity and Social Justice in Higher Education4
HED 729The Spirituality of Leadership2
Year 3
June
HED 725Administration in Higher Education4
HED 790Doctoral Seminar in Research Studies1
September
HED 732Leading Change in Higher Education4
HED 794Dissertation Research I2
January
HED 723Higher Education Law and Policy4
HED 795Dissertation Research II2
Total Units51

Program of Study

The program requires 51 units beyond the master’s degree, inclusive of dissertation; most courses are 4 units, with some 2- and 1-unit courses. Read the complete course descriptions for more information.

Required Courses
HED 701Strengths-Oriented Leadership4
HED 702The Nature of Inquiry4
HED 703Critical Issues in Higher Education4
HED 705Student Access, Equity, and Success in College4
HED 714Introduction to Action Research2
HED 715Applied Action Research2
HED 720Campus Ecology and Creating Spaces for Thriving2
HED 721Diversity and Social Justice in Higher Education4
HED 723Higher Education Law and Policy4
HED 725Administration in Higher Education4
HED 729The Spirituality of Leadership 2
HED 732Leading Change in Higher Education4
HED 733The Changing Worlds of Higher Education4
HED 748Guided Inquiry Project I1
HED 749Guided Inquiry Project II1
HED 790Doctoral Seminar in Research Studies1
HED 794Dissertation Research I2
HED 795Dissertation Research II2
Total Units51