May 19, 2024  
National University Vol 2 Addendum D (formerly NCU) 
    
National University Vol 2 Addendum D (formerly NCU) [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Education, Educational Leadership, PK-12 Specialization, EdD


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Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership


Description of Program


The Doctor of Education (EdD) degree in Educational Leadership (EdL) is a practitioner-researcher degree designed to prepare educational leaders who desire to improve educational practice across private and public sectors of PK-12, higher education, military, and corporate learning organizations. You will acquire skills to ethically address the complex problems within educational practice using data-driven decision-making and other conceptual frames linking systematic inquiry with innovative solutions. The degree culminates in the completion of empirical research with direct implications for educational practice.

Please be advised that this program is NOT accredited in Kentucky by the Education Professional Standards Board and is NOT recognized for initial, additional, or renewal of certification or salary enhancement (rank change) for P-12 educators in Kentucky. For more information, please visit the Education Professional Standards Board’s website at http://www.epsb.ky.gov/mod/page/view.php?id=12.

Click here for potential career opportunities within the EdD-EdL.

Learning Outcomes


  • Illustrate effective educational leadership vision and integrity through strategic planning involving data-driven decision-making and evidence-based practice
  • Determine the aspects of professional capacity and resource needs for a quality professional learning community within a sector-specific learning organization
  • Develop effective leadership traits to improve educational practice across diverse learning organizations within public and private sectors
  • Devise informed evidence-based solutions to address a complex problem from educational practice
  • Conduct empirical research to address a complex problem within educational practice

Basis for Admissions


Admission requires a conferred post-baccalaureate master’s degree and/or doctoral degree from a regionally or nationally accredited academic institution or an international institution determined to be equivalent through an approved evaluation service.

Degree Requirements


The Doctor of Education (EdD) in Educational Leadership (EdL) requires 54 credit hours for degree completion. Coursework includes foundations, educational leadership, research methods, the pre-candidacy prospectus, and the dissertation. Additional credit hours may be allowed as needed to complete dissertation research in alignment with the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) and Academic Maximum Time Frame policies. Students who do not complete their program within these requirements may be dismissed.

The EdD-EdL degree program has the following graduation requirements:

  • A minimum of 42 credit hours of graduate instruction must be completed through the University
  • Official transcripts on file for all transfer credits accepted by the University
  • Grade Point Average of 3.0 (letter grade of “B”) or higher
  • University Approval of Dissertation Manuscript and Oral Presentation completed
  • Submission of the approved final dissertation manuscript to the University Registrar, including the original unbound dissertation manuscript and an electronic copy
  • Official documents on file for basis of admission: a conferred master’s degree from an accredited academic institution
  • Official transcripts on file for all transfer credit hours accepted by the University
  • All financial obligations must be met before the student will be issued their complimentary diploma

The University may accept up to 12 semester credit hours earned with a grade of “B” or better for graduate coursework completed at an accredited college or university and evaluated to be substantially equivalent in content with the required course work for the EdD-EdL program.

Note: Students who complete the University’s EdS program may be eligible to apply up to 30 credits from the EdS program to the Sanford College of Education’s Doctoral programs. School Dean (or their designee) approval is required to determine number of applicable credit hours from EdS to the selected doctoral program.

Dissertation Completion Pathway


The University’s mission is dedicated to assisting students in achieving their academic aspirations and helping them become valuable contributors to their community and profession. To support our mission, the University now offers a dissertation completion pathway for students who have successfully completed their doctoral coursework and achieved doctoral candidacy at a previous institution but were unable to complete their dissertation. The University’s Dissertation Completion Pathway (DCP) offers a unique opportunity for students to complete their doctorate in one of the doctoral programs offered at the University (excluding the PhD in MFT, DMFT, DNP, and DHA). Students successfully meeting the entrance and application requirements will complete a minimum of 23 credit hours to earn their doctorate.

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Time to Completion


The University allows 7 years to complete all doctoral programs of 60 credits or less.

The median time to completion for this program is 41 months.

Time to completion varies depending upon the pace in which a student completes courses and the number of transfer credits accepted. As most students are working adults, balancing educational, professional, and personal commitments, our academic and finance advisors will work with you to develop a program schedule that works best for your needs.

Students following the preferred schedule designed by the Dean for this program, and applying no transfer credits, can expect to finish in as little as 35 months.

Certification and Licensing


The Sanford College of Education serves educational leaders by providing online graduate studies in education to reach worldwide populations. The EdD-EdL program is designed to reach national and international markets and does not purport to provide licensure or certification in any particular state or country.

Dissertation Process


Faculty assists each Doctoral student to reach this high goal through a systematic process leading to a high-quality completed dissertation. This process requires care in choosing a topic, documenting its importance, planning the methodology, and conducting the research. These activities lead smoothly into the writing and oral presentation of the dissertation.

A doctoral candidate must be continuously enrolled throughout the series of dissertation courses. Dissertation courses are automatically scheduled and accepted without a break in scheduling to ensure that students remain in continuous enrollment throughout the dissertation course sequence. If additional time is required to complete any of the dissertation courses, students must re-enroll and pay the tuition for that course. Continuous enrollment will only be permitted when students demonstrate progress toward completing dissertation requirements. The Dissertation Committee determines progress.

Course Sequence


This program can be completed with a minimum of 54 credit hours, but may require additional credit hours, depending on the time required to complete the dissertation research. If needed, additional courses will be added to the student degree program in alignment with the SAP and Academic Maximum Time to Completion policies. Students who do not complete their program in accordance with these policies may be dismissed.

The EdD-EDL has two specializations (PK-12 and Higher Education). All EdD-EDL students will take the first two introductory courses and will then take their remaining specialization courses (four required and two electives courses) within the PK-12 specialization, and EdD-EDL students in Higher Education will then take their remaining specialization courses (four required and two electives courses) within the Higher Education specialization. 

All EdD-EDL students, regardless of specialization, will then take a series of research courses, a comprehensive examination course, and a series of dissertation courses.

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