Department of Educational Leadership

The Department of Educational Leadership offers an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership that prepares scholar-practitioners with the knowledge and skills to make a transformative impact on schools and districts and the lives of students in them.

The Department of Educational Leadership offers an EdD in Educational Leadership that prepares scholar-practitioners with the knowledge and skills to make a transformative impact on schools and districts and in the lives of students in them.


University graduate admission and program-specific requirements must be met before an application is complete (see Admission to the University). Program-specific application requirements are available online.

International students should contact Graduate and Professional Admissions for application procedures.

EDL 702, Proseminar in Educational Leadership, 1 Unit

As a required course for all incoming doctoral students in the Educational Leadership 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. The proseminar provides an early opportunity for students to prepare for the rigors of doctoral work and to become familiar with the culture and expectations of the Educational Leadership program. 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.

EDL 710, Developing the Leader Within, 2 Units

Leadership impact and influence - positive or negative - are greatly related to the skills, values, and principles of the leader. This course will focus on the mental, ethical, psychological, spiritual, and emotional aspects of leadership, both in the context of the literature, as well as through use of various assessments. These will include guided self-reflection and a 360-degree assessment by those within the leader's span of influence. Patterns of leadership failure will also be explored.

EDL 712, Leading Change in Education: Theory to Practice, 3 Units

This course examines leadership, organizational development, and change theories, with particular application to contemporary public K-12 environments - classroom, school, district, state, and national arenas. The emphasis is on the role of leader as change agent within systems and/or organizations, as well as on the impact of change on individuals and communities. Theoretical as well as practical perspectives relative to the nature of leadership are balanced in the context of discussion of the implications for practice. Leadership in the context of organizational culture, communication, motivation, integrity, and change is incorporated throughout the course.

EDL 713, Diversity and Equity in Education, 3 Units

Students examine diversity and equity issues impacting P-12 students, schools, and communities. Relevant theoretical perspectives are explored to help students deepen their knowledge, skills, and dispositions in order to perpetuate or to change cross cultural patterns in schools. The course raises issues related to justice, excellence, and other topics that call for reflection and the student's ability to intervene as needed.

EDL 716, Educational Policy: Analysis, Praxis, and Reform, 3 Units

The purpose of this course is to prepare students to critically analyze, formulate, and implement educational policies and practices that advance the achievement of P-12 students. Theory and praxis aligned to federal, state, local, and district policies will be examined. The impact of historical and current legislative trends, (such as school funding policies, accountability, and certification processes), will be appraised, interpreted, and critiqued. Implications for various student populations will be considered.

EDL 718, Group Dynamics and Conflict, 2 Units

This course is focused on group dynamics and conflict that arise in all work groups. The roles of all individuals within the group, with focus on leadership styles, healthy group conflict, resolving conflict, and techniques for improving group decision making are explored, and ethical and legal issues related to group interventions are discussed.

EDL 719, Special Topics in Educational Leadership, 3 Units

This course will serve as a "contemporary issues" course for the EdD in Educational Leadership, providing an opportunity to focus in depth on issue(s) in the ever-changing field of public K-12 education, incorporating a fieldwork component to enhance integrated learning, drawing from themes of earlier classes in the program. It will take one of two forms: 1) traditional classroom-based course, with a lead faculty and special speakers who provide "real-time" expertise to the particular specialty topic; 2) travel course to look at K-12 educational issues at a state, national, or international level.

EDL 722, Strategic Planning for Educational Systems, 3 Units

This course focuses on the theory and practice of strategic planning in education systems, introducing various approaches to designing and conducting strategic planning processes, including specific techniques for conducting environmental scans, SWOT analyses, strategic issue identification, and strategy formulation. This course includes an embedded fieldwork component.

Prerequisite: EDL 716

EDL 723, Legal Issues and Crisis Management in Schools, 3 Units

This course is designed to prepare students to function as school leaders in the areas of legal issues and crisis management. During this course, students will be introduced to a number of critical legal issues in schools, including suspension and expulsion, manifestation determination, student records, school safety, and privacy, including internet privacy. Students will also explore issues related to school crisis, including crisis planning, crisis teams, crisis response, and district-level and school-level issues. Each student will critique several districts' crisis plans, and will develop a crisis plan. This course includes an embedded fieldwork component.

EDL 724, Ethical Leadership in Education, 3 Units

Students examine ethical dilemmas of leadership within contemporary educational institutions and the context of the communities they serve. The role and function of integrity, justice, fairness, and courage in leadership are examined within public and nonpublic school settings. Ethical dilemmas encountered by students in their leadership roles are explored using case study research methodologies, and evaluated in terms of value claims, propositions, and beliefs of contemporary philosophies and a Christian perspective of truth and life. Personal ethics are studied in terms of integrity in pursuing one's own sense of destiny and "calling" in the leadership roles assumed.

EDL 760, Dissertation Milestone: Proposal A - Nature of Inquiry and Chapter 1, 2 Units

This course offers students an opportunity to begin exploring key aspects of the research process: question formulation, literature search and review, research design, data collection and analysis, drawing conclusions, and identifying implications. Students are given the opportunity to enhance their skills in locating and evaluating the literature of the field, exploring scholarly writing and identifying possible dissertation topics. Upon successful completion of the course, students have an initial draft of the introduction (Chapter 1) of the proposal.

EDL 761, Introduction to Educational Research, 2 Units

This course introduces quantitative and qualitative research designs. Students examine the role of theory and research, and their applications to practice in education. Statistical concepts, such as hypothesis testing, and basic descriptive and inferential statistics, are presented in relation to quantitative research designs. Students experience hands-on computer applications with SPSS software. Qualitative approaches to research are also explored, through reading and evaluating empirical research.

EDL 762, Quantitative Inquiry in Education, 3 Units

This course introduces students to quantitative inquiry methods and applications of statistical procedures to practical educational research problems. Emphasis is placed on inferential and univariate statistics and various multivariate analysis techniques such as multiple regression, factorial ANOVA, multivariate ANOVA, and repeated measures. Students develop an understanding of the relationship between statistics and research design and learn to choose and apply the most appropriate statistical procedures in correlational and experimental studies.

Prerequisite: EDL 761

EDL 767, Qualitative Inquiry in Education, 2 Units

This course introduces the perspectives, purposes, designs, analysis, interpretation, and reporting of qualitative research in the field of education through reading and discussion of exemplifying articles. Ethnography, phenomenology, narrative inquiry, case study, grounded theory, and qualitative evaluation studies are among the designs examined. The data collection methods of observation, interviewing, and document analysis are studied and practiced.

Prerequisite: EDL 761

EDL 768, Methods of Data Collection and Analysis, 2 Units

The course addresses methods of data collection and analysis procedures for quantitative and qualitative research. Probability and non-probability samplings and purposive sampling, instrument designs will be discussed. Data analysis methods will be practiced.

Prerequisite: EDL 762, EDL 767

EDL 769, Program Evaluation in Education: Assessment for Decision Making, 3 Units

This course introduces the skills and knowledge of the field of program evaluation, and their application to educational programs. In addition to understanding and identifying the issues and problems that threaten validity and reliability in program evaluations, students learn to be thoughtful consumers of evaluations and produce their own evaluation design. While theory guides the discussion of issues, emphasis is placed on application to good practice. Students produce a brief literature review, design and execute a program evaluation, and report the decision(s) based on the findings. This course includes an embedded fieldwork component.

Prerequisite: EDL 762, EDL 767

EDL 770, Dissertation Milestone: Proposal B, 1 Unit

This course helps students continue to formulate research concepts while conferring with their dissertation chairs to develop the initial chapters of the proposals.

Prerequisite: EDL 761

EDL 771, Dissertation Milestone: Proposal C, 2 Units

This course facilitates the completion of the literature review for students' dissertation topics, building on academic writing skills and higher-level critical thinking skills required for educational research, including analysis, synthesis, and evaluation of existing scholarly literature. Upon successful completion of this course, students have an initial draft of the dissertation literature review (Chapter Two).

Prerequisite: EDL 770

EDL 772, Dissertation Milestone: Finalizing the Proposal, 2 Units

This course serves as a checkpoint assessment of student readiness to complete the dissertation. Emphasis is on finalizing a well-designed dissertation proposal draft that establishes the conceptual and methodological basis for their research, with clear alignment between the research questions, scholarly literature, and methodology. A draft of the IRB application is also developed within this course.

Prerequisite: EDL 771

EDL 773, Dissertation Milestone: Data Collection, 1 Unit

The purpose of this course is to assist students in collecting research data with tests, self-report measures, questionnaires, interviews, observations, documents, or audio-visual materials. Emphasis is placed on enhancing the quality and credibility of the qualitative data and building the validity and reliability of the quantitative data. Upon successful completion, students will have collected the data that they proposed. This course can be repeated in the following semester if data collection is not completed.

Prerequisite: EDL 772

EDL 774, Dissertation Milestone: Data Analysis, 1 Unit

This course is designed to guide and enable students to engage in data analysis processes for their dissertation. During the course students will work with their dissertation committee and meaningfully analyze the qualitative and quantitative data collected. Upon completion, students will have prepared and analyzed the data they have collected using appropriate measures and techniques.

Prerequisite: EDL 773

EDL 776, Dissertation Milestone: Results, Discussion, and Conclusion, 2 Units

The purpose of this course is to guide students in providing an in-depth interpretation, analysis, and synthesis of the dissertation results. During this course students will work with their committee members to explore their dissertation findings in light of the study's research questions, literature review, and conceptual framework. Emphasis will be placed on providing students an opportunity to reflect thoroughly on the study's findings and the practical and theoretical implications. Upon completion, students will have developed their Findings (Chapter 4), Discussion of Findings and Conclusion (Chapter 5) toward completion of the dissertation.

Prerequisite: EDL 774

EDL 777, Dissertation, 2 Units

After completing all other program coursework requirements, Ed.D. students work with their dissertation committee in conducting a doctoral-level research project in educational leadership. Students enroll for two units of dissertation credit and must reenroll each semester until the dissertation is completed and successfully defended, APA edits are completed, and the dissertation is submitted for library review and publication.

Prerequisite: EDL 776


Chair, EdD in Educational Leadership

Stacy Kula, PhD


Ying Hong Jiang, PhD

Associate Professor

Stacy Kula, PhD

Assistant Professors and Superintendents-in-Residence

Kent Bechler, PhD

Maureen Latham, EdD

Greg Plutko, EdD

Robert Taylor, EdD