Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Educational Leadership
For more information: (626) 815-5374
Azusa Pacific University’s Ed.D. in Educational Leadership is a practitioner-based program that places emphasis on applied research that results in direct, positive change in K-12 settings. The program prepares scholar-practitioners who are equipped with the knowledge and skills to make a transformative impact on schools and districts and the lives of students in them.
The Ed.D. in Educational Leadership program at APU, a Christ-centered university, enables culturally aware K-12 leaders to implement research-based practices as change agents.
Students must complete 51 units of coursework, and successfully complete the written dissertation, oral defense, and required corrections as well as a public dissertation presentation.
|EDUC 702||Proseminar in Educational Leadership||1|
|EDUC 710||Developing the Leader Within||2|
|EDUC 712||Leading Change in Education: Theory to Practice||3|
|EDUC 713||Diversity and Equity in Education||3|
|EDUC 716||Educational Policy: Analysis, Praxis, and Reform||3|
|EDUC 718||Group Dynamics and Conflict||2|
|EDUC 719||Special Topics in Educational Leadership||3|
|EDUC 722||Strategic Planning for Educational Systems||3|
|EDUC 723||Legal Issues and Crisis Management in Schools||3|
|EDUC 724||Ethical Leadership in Education||3|
|Research Methodology and Design|
|EDUC 760||The Nature of Inquiry in Education||2|
|EDUC 761||Introduction to Educational Research||2|
|EDUC 762||Quantitative Inquiry in Education||3|
|EDUC 767||Qualitative Inquiry in Education||2|
|EDUC 768||Methods of Data Collection and Analysis||2|
|EDUC 769||Program Evaluation in Education: Assessment for Decision Making||3|
|EDUC 770||Dissertation Milestone: Writing the Introduction||1|
|EDUC 771||Dissertation Milestone: Literature Review||2|
|EDUC 772||Dissertation Milestone: Dissertation Proposal||2|
|EDUC 773||Dissertation Milestone: Data Collection||1|
|EDUC 774||Dissertation Milestone: Data Analysis||1|
|EDUC 776||Dissertation Milestone: Results, Discussion, and Conclusion||2|
Grading and Grade Point Average
Throughout higher education, and particularly at the doctoral level, commitment to learning should outweigh the pursuit of grades. Nonetheless, grading and grade point average continue to play a crucial role in students’ studies. For doctoral students, the grade of B- is considered minimally acceptable. Courses graded lower than B- are not applied toward doctoral degree requirements and must be repeated.
A doctoral student must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 in 700-level courses and receive no grade lower than B- in 700-level courses. Courses graded lower than B- are not applied toward doctoral degree requirements and must be repeated. A cumulative GPA lower than 3.0 or the receipt of a grade lower than B- in 700-level courses will result in the student being placed on probation. A doctoral student who is on probation for more than a total of two terms throughout his or her doctoral study may be dismissed from the program. Probation and dismissal actions are posted on a student’s transcript.
A doctoral student whose grade point average falls in the range of 3.0-3.2 is required to meet with his/her advisor to identify academic skills that may need strengthening and to take appropriate action.
Other Degree Requirements
Advancement to Candidacy
Following approval of the dissertation proposal and recommendation by appropriate advisors, doctoral students are advanced to candidacy status.
Doctoral students are required to complete a dissertation, the standards and procedures for which are defined by program faculty in keeping with the APU Standards and Dissertation Handbook. To be approved for a dissertation defense date, students must complete all requisite coursework, including EDUC 776, and have the approval of their dissertation committee. Continuous enrollment in EDUC 777 is required until the dissertation is successfully defended and submitted to APU’s APA reader.
After candidates successfully defend their dissertation in a meeting with their faculty committee, they must complete required corrections and submit the approved changes to the APA reader. The final step of the dissertation requirement is to participate in a scheduled public presentation of the research to the department.
Doctoral students who have completed all program requirements, successfully defended their dissertation, and fulfilled all obligations of the university will have their doctoral degree posted and will be entitled to use the term “doctor.”
In addition to maintaining continuous enrollment in EDUC 777, doctoral candidates are expected to make continuous progress toward completion of the dissertation. Continuous progress of doctoral candidates is assessed each term on all of the following expectations:
- maintaining regular contact with the dissertation chair;
- conducting research as described in the dissertation proposal; and
- submitting high-quality drafts in a timely manner, consistent with the timeline established with the dissertation committee.
Candidates who receive NC for EDUC 777 will need to submit a report on their progress in candidacy and will enter into a probationary period for one term. Candidates who fail to maintain progress after a probationary period may be recommended for termination from the program.
Leaves of Absence
Students in good standing and making satisfactory progress toward their degrees who must interrupt their studies for a compelling reason (e.g., illness, study away, family conditions, or crises) may petition for a leave of absence for a stated period of time not to exceed two years. Requests for a leave must be in writing and state the reasons for the leave and the term in which the student will reenroll. Leaves of absence must be approved by the chair of the Department of Educational Leadership and the dean of the School of Education in advance of the term for which the leave is requested.
Students who fail to return to enrolled status at the end of an approved period of leave, or after two consecutive terms of nonenrollment, will be considered no longer in pursuit of an advanced degree and must reapply for admission. If readmitted at a later date, students must meet any new program requirements.
Degree Completion Time
Doctoral students are permitted six years from the date of initial enrollment to complete all requirements for the Ed.D. degree. Extensions beyond the six-year limit may be granted at the discretion of the department chair and the dean of the School of Education. Students needing an extension due to unusual circumstances must make their request in writing, stating the reason(s) for the extension, a timetable for completion of requirements, and the expected date of degree completion.
University graduate admission and program acceptance requirements must be met before an application is complete. (See Admission to the University.) Program-specific application requirements are available online.
International students have a separate application procedure. Contact the International Center at +1-626-812-3055 or online.
Completed applications with all supporting documentation must be received by one of the following deadlines:
- Priority deadline: May 1 (apply by this date to receive full consideration for scholarships)
- Regular deadline: June 1
Upon invitation, doctoral applicants interview with at least two members of the doctoral faculty. The purpose of the interview is to meet the applicant, discuss education and career goals, evaluate the match of the program to the applicant, and determine the applicant’s potential for success in the program.
Program applicants must meet department and university criteria for admission. Admission to the university is the first step in the process, but does not guarantee admission to the program.
The department reserves the right to offer provisional admission to students who do not meet all the admission criteria. In such cases, the requirements necessary for full admission and the time limit for completing them will be stated in writing. Failure to meet these requirements may result in dismissal from the program.
Students must own or have ready access to a computer during their tenure in the program. The SPSS statistical software package is required of students in their research courses throughout the program. The University Bookstore makes arrangements to enable students to purchase computers and software at economical rates on convenient terms. Often, the required purchase of the laptop and software can be budgeted into student loans. For more information, contact the Student Financial Services office at (626) 815-4570.
The three-year, dissertation-embedded Ed.D. program is a full-time commitment requiring continuous full-time enrollment. To maintain the appropriate course sequence, doctoral students must enroll in all courses designated for each academic term. Requests to enroll for fewer units than designated are approved only in specific circumstances. Any leave of absence will be in a one-year increment and will require stopping out until the following year, when the next course sequence is offered.
Doctoral students must meet a residency requirement by completing a minimum of 41 units toward the doctoral degree at APU.
Doctoral students may transfer up to 10 units of coursework with a grade of B or higher from another regionally accredited doctoral program. Official transcripts and syllabi must be submitted to the program director, who will determine the courses that successfully transfer.
The program requires a full-time, year-round commitment (fall, spring, and summer). Face-to-face classes are held six Saturdays per 16-week term in both fall and spring, and four Saturdays during the 8-week summer term, with additional instruction provided online. Check with the program office to determine meeting dates and times.
During the first semester of the doctoral program, students enroll in a 1-unit proseminar course that serves as an orientation and initial advising into the program. The proseminar has three primary goals: 1) to orient students to the intellectual life of doctoral study; 2) to provide opportunities for students to become familiar with steps and procedures required for successful completion of the doctoral program, including a plan and timeline for accomplishing major academic and professional milestones; and 3) to introduce students to the technology, tools, and academic resources needed for doctoral study, including use of the Azusa Pacific University library catalog and databases. All proseminar activities are designed to help students develop connections with each other and with the faculty to create a community of learners and scholars.
Upon successful completion of the first semester, and once a student begins dissertation work, the dissertation chair serves as the primary academic advisor for the remainder of the student’s time in the program.
Federal Stafford loans and personal bank loans are available to all eligible graduate students through the student financial services office in the Graduate and Professional Center. Students are advised to contact that office early in the admissions process.
Lillian B. Wehmeyer Scholarship Endowment
This scholarship is in memory of the late Lillian B. Wehmeyer, Ph.D., former faculty in the School of Education doctoral program, who lived with a passion for assisting doctoral students in successful research. This scholarship assists doctoral program students in the School of Education who demonstrate satisfactory academic progress, commitment to service, and financial need. Download the Lillian B. Wehmeyer Scholarship Application (PDF).
Ed.D. Program Scholarship
Azusa Pacific University offers competitive scholarship support to newly admitted doctoral students who demonstrate outstanding leadership qualities or leadership potential in K-12 education and who are committed to serving under-resourced schools and districts. Priority is given to current practitioners who are leading their schools and districts toward improved performance. Admitted applicants are considered for these awards based on an overall assessment of their admission application. No separate application required. This scholarship is renewable and may be received for a total of three years. Continuous enrollment, good academic standing (minimum 3.5 GPA), and employment in K-12 education are required for annual award renewal.
Program Learning OutcomesStudents who successfully complete this program shall be able to:
- Values-Driven Leader: Exemplify professional ethics and personal integrity, articulate core values for self and organization, and lead with Christian values and principles that honor the worth of all individuals.
- Change Agent: Set clear goals and direction, analyze current practices, and make sound decisions about what to change, and appropriately monitor change efforts.
- Effective Communication: Write accurately and coherently, following APA format, and present data in user-friendly format to various constituent groups.
- Problem Identification: Formulate a research question and identify significant questions and impact.
- Data Collection and Analysis: Conduct literature searches, evaluate research literature, and synthesize existing information; design research, select appropriate research tools, collect and analyze data, and communicate findings.
- Apply Research to Practice: Critically evaluate research and use research evidence to inform practice.