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Curriculum for EdD, PhD in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

Curriculum Image
The doctoral program consists of 82 credits, 40 of which are a common core of courses and colloquia designed to introduce students to the fundamentals concerning educational leadership and policy as agents of change, delve into critical issues of policy and management, and develop their knowledge of research designs, tools and methodologies (Years 1 and 2). The remaining 42 credits are devoted to advanced doctoral coursework, colloquia, and dissertation seminars to support and guide the production of the final dissertation and defense (Years 3 and 4).

Outline


Common Courses - Year 1

In Year One students start by exploring educational leadership and public policy theoretical environments, addressing concepts, principles, and practices associated with effective leadership and sound management of individuals, groups, teams, and organizations. Students are introduced to educational leadership and management as a transformative practice as well as to relationships between education and schooling from various social, institutional, economic, and cultural perspectives. They gain a historical and philosophical understanding of change in American Education.  This leads them to study with a more clinical eye how our educational system has been designed, implemented and the various ways in which it has been, is, and could be evaluated.

A set of two colloquia is provided in order to engage the faculty and students in conversations with invited scholars and practitioners from well-known or emerging fields. While colloquia topics change from semester to semester, responding in real time to real problems and emerging trends in education, their focus is on the intersection of politics and education and on critical issues (what is new, what is controversial) concerning teaching and learning. The colloquia is open to other faculty and practitioners in the region so that these can serve as professional or academic forums. The colloquia also engages the faculty and students in the program in an active dialogue and build community.  Expert faculty, researchers and practitioners are be invited to present papers or to be keynote speakers from time to time and encouraged to dissert with the faculty and students afterwards. The colloquia is a hallmark of this program.

Course Sequence

Summer

  • ELP 551 - Introduction to Educational Leadership and Public Policy
  • ELP 552 - Organizational Behavior in Educational Settings

Fall

  • ELP 554 - Social, Historical and Philosophical Foundations of American Education
  • ELP 571 - Research Methods I:  Methods and Design
  • ELP 581 - Colloquium I – Politics and Education

Spring

  • ELP 553 - Transformative Educational Leadership
  • ELP 555 - Design and Evaluation of Educational Systems
  • ELP 582 - Colloquium II – Critical Issues in Teaching and Learning

Year 2

The curriculum in Year Two starts with the study of the relationship between educational policy, practice and the law. They survey the rights and obligations of students, parents, teachers and administrators as well as explore systemic issues related to the equal protection of the law, equity and adequacy.  They also explore ways to improve organizational effectiveness, develop analysis and research expertise, and master the demands of change. This is followed by an examination of various complex issues and problems confronting school leaders today related to public financing education and shaping the future of public education. During this year students learn about statistical analysis and will then spend another semester developing an independent policy research project and submit in writing a cogent research report under the supervision of a professor. A second set of two colloquia, the first one focused on innovations in instructional design and educational technology and the second focused on issues and strategies to promote parental and civic engagement in schools, further expans their knowledge base and socialization as scholars/practitioners. At the end of Year Two, students take a written comprehensive examination. An oral examination is also held in which students defend arguments and positions expressed in their written exams. Results from this examination, along with students’ research reports and e-portfolios, help the Graduate Program Committee determine who will be admitted to the next stage of the doctoral program and which degree track will be chosen.

Course Sequence

Summer

  • ELP 561 - Law and Education
  • ELP 562 - Human Resources and Change Management in Education

Fall

  • ELP 563 - Public Finance in Education
  • ELP 572 - Research Methods II: Statistical Analysis
  • ELP 583 - Colloquium III  - Innovations in Instructional Design & Technology

Spring

  • ELP 573 - Research Methods III: Applied Research
  • ELP 600 - Integrative Seminar 
  • ELP 584 - Colloquium IV – Promoting Parental and Civic Engagement in Schools

Years 3 and 4

In Years Three and Four, the doctoral tracks differ in content and focus. In essence, the EdD track is directed more towards educational practice and the application of theory and research, and the PhD track is more research-theory policy oriented. In both cases, students enroll in at least four dissertation seminars and are assigned specialized advisors to help them conceptualize, organize, write and finish their dissertations.

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The EdD Track:

In years three and four, students in the EdD program analyze how to select and use data to impact school improvement. They have the opportunity to critically reflect on ethical issues inherent to the practice of educational leadership; to examine special topics that may be of top interest to students or to the region (such as regionalization of services for example); to study the law of school choice as well as the minority achievement gap and its importance in contemporary educational reform initiatives. They may opt instead to examine the relationship between educational trade associations, accreditation agencies, and unions vis a vis collective bargaining and educational reforms. Students may choose to deepen their understanding around issues of diversity and identity as well as the role educational leaders may be able to play in addressing issues of class, race, gender, or of disability and equity. By doing so, students in the EdD track will be encouraged to explore, experience, interact with and interpret authentic school-based problems ( in some cases the problems emerging from within their own schools) as well as contrasting their schools with others throughout the region and state. Appropriately contextualized and integrated with the earlier research methods courses, Ed. D. students expand their research knowledge through coursework focused on performance measurement and evaluation. Two additional colloquia provide an opportunity to debate key aspects of leadership and school reform initiatives, particularly those regarding limits, opportunities and challenges of leadership practices at the school and district levels.

Course Sequence (Year 3)

Summer

  • ELP 641 - Internship or Advanced Seminar Elective
  • ELP 691 - Dissertation Seminar I

Fall

  • ELP 651 - Internship or Using or Analyzing Educational Assessment Data for School Improvement 
  • ELP 652 - Performance Measurement
  • ELP 661 - Colloquium V - Leadership and Change at the School Level                                             

Spring

  • Advanced Seminar Elective
  • ELP 692 - Dissertation Seminar II
  • ELP 662 - Colloquium VI - Leadership and Change at the District Level

Course Sequence (Year 4)

Summer

  • Advanced Seminar Elective
  • ELP 663 - Colloquium VII - School Improvement Plans

Fall

  • ELP 693 - Dissertation Seminar III
  • ELP 700 - Thesis I

Spring

  • ELP 694 - Dissertation Seminar IV
  • ELP 710 - Thesis II

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The PhD Track:

Students start by studying the political economy of American Urban Education as well as exploring the relationship between educational policy and the law and its impact on disenfranchised groups and subaltern communities. Students also study change and innovation in contemporary policy and reform in American Education, as well as the interplay between globalization, democracy and education. They have the opportunity to learn about critical curriculum theory and inquiry, consider the ideological foundations of national educational systems, and explore the foundations of citizenship education, work and emancipation in American Education.  Following their research methods pathway, PhD track students focus on program evaluation and alternative ways of thinking about research processes (e.g. Indigenous Knowledges and Research Methodologies).  A set of colloquia create additional opportunities for students to debate contemporary educational policy within a global context and critically examine language planning (typically a key governmental function) in the United States, using examples and cases from other countries such as Canada, Australia, Eastern Europe, and Asia, among others.

Course Sequence (Year 3)

Summer

  • Advanced Summer Seminar Elective
  • ELP 691 - Dissertation Seminar I

Fall

  • ELP 653 - Political Economy of Urban Education
  • ELP 654 - Research Methods IV: Program Evaluation
  • ELP 664 - Colloquium V – Global Contexts in Education Policy

Spring

  • Advanced Seminar Elective
  • ELP 692 - Dissertation Seminar II
  • ELP 665 - Colloquium VI - Global Challenges, Local Demands and Solutions

Course Sequence (Year 4)

Summer

  • Advanced Seminar Elective
  • ELP 666 - Colloquium VII - Language Planning and Education

Fall

  • ELP 693 - Dissertation Seminar III
  • ELP 711 - Thesis I

Spring

  • ELP 694 - Dissertation Seminar IV
  • ELP 712 - Thesis II

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