Educational Leadership, EdD


This is an unofficial description for this program. For official information check the Academic Catalog.

Program Rationale:

The doctorate of practice in Educational Leadership (Ed.D.) is designed for delivery to a cohort of full-time educational and administrative professionals in diverse formats, including: weekday evenings, summer and winter sessions, some weekends, and online. The Ed.D. is based on the premise that learning takes place through an integration of course work and experiences that stem from a clear conception of leadership, the knowledge base of the field, and a structure that allows doctoral students and faculty to collaborate on shared work improving educational organizations at all levels. The Ed.D. includes two strands that support the learning needs of two different groups of professionals. Students in the two strands take some courses together (e.g. research methods) and separate to take other courses related to their strand specialization. Both strands require 48-63 credit hours for completion. 

The P12 strand serves teachers and administrators in early childhood through high school educational settings who want to prepare for a variety of leadership positions: principals, teacher leaders, department heads, curriculum and assessment specialists, assistant superintendents, and superintendents. Some graduates also eventually move into careers as college or university faculty; however, the program is not formally designed as a preparatory experience to enter faculty roles in higher education.

The Higher Education strand serves professionals employed in higher education institutions who aspire to a wide range of administrative and leadership positions in academic or student affairs at a broad range of institutional types. This strand is not designed as preparatory experience for faculty roles in other content areas or disciplines. 

Program Learning Outcomes:

Prior to defending their dissertation proposals all doctoral students must document mastery of program learning outcomes and show their ability to:

  1. demonstrate an ethical and moral commitment to collaborative work that promotes positive learning for all members of the organization;
  2. demonstrate the ability to foster best practices with the understanding that teaching and learning are at the heart of the organization's mission;
  3. connect the immediate work of organizational improvement to the larger philosophical, political and historical context, and to the organization's mission;
  4. establish a commitment to social justice through their work and act in ways that promote social justice in their organizations;
  5. utilize evolving technologies to improve organizations, enhance learning, and build institutional identity;
  6. foster continuous organizational improvement grounded in the collection, analysis, interpretation, and application of data;
  7. locate, interpret, and assess relevant educational research and apply it to both practice and the design and conduct of research.

Admissions Requirements:

To be considered for admission to the Ed.D. in Educational Leadership, applicants must have earned a master's degree in an appropriate discipline or professional field and have career aspirations that are consistent to the goals and standards of the program.

Applications to the P12 strand are accepted each fall, with cohort courses beginning the following summer. Applications to the Higher Education strand are accepted in the fall of odd numbered years (e.g. 2021, 2023), with cohort courses beginning the following summer. The deadline for submission of applications is November 1.

The following minimum criteria have been established for admission into either strand of the Ed.D. program:

  1. Master's degree from a regionally accredited institution of higher education in a discipline or professional field that is relevant to the Ed.D. Program.
  2. Minimum GPA 3.00 on all graduate coursework.
  3. Two letters of reference from leaders in education familiar with the applicant's work.
  4. Submission of a resume that illustrates work-related experiences.
  5. A personal statement covering three important topics:
    1. Career goals
    2. Reasons for pursuing the Ed. D. in Educational Leadership at CCSU
    3. Ability and commitment to devote the required time for courses and dissertation research to complete the program in a timely manner
  6. If selected as a finalist, a satisfactory interview with an admission panel.
  7. PreK-12 strand only: An additional requirement is completion of EDL 590 Leaders as Learners or an equivalent graduate-level introductory course. Applicants holding the 092 or 093 administrative certificate, or that have completed a Sixth Year certificate program in educational leadership, are considered to have met this requirement.
  8. Instructions for uploading the references, resume, and personal statement will be found within the online graduate application.

Application information and links for each Ed.D. strand are available through the Ed.D. program website. Admission decisions are made by a faculty admissions committee. University administrators may also participate on the admissions committee for the Higher Education Strand. Admission is competitive and there may be occasions when minimally qualified candidates are not able to be admitted due to cohort size limitations. Applications are due by November 1.

Program of Study:

The total credits required for the program range from 48-63. Up to 15 credits of eligible post-master’s graduate coursework may be applied to the required credits for the specialization.

Candidate Assessment:

The curriculum of the Ed.D. program is aligned with applicable professional and accreditation standards and with the program learning outcomes. Throughout the first two years of the program, each Ed.D. candidate completes a comprehensive leadership portfolio which uses a variety of evidence (artifacts, evaluations, projects, and reflections) to document mastery of program learning outcomes. This portfolio must be successfully defended before a faculty committee before commencing dissertation work.  Candidates then also complete and defend a dissertation prior to being awarded the Ed.D. degree.

P12 Strand Course and Capstone Requirements:

Foundational Core (18 credits)

EDL 705 is taken for 6 credits in the P12 strand. Students take 3 credits in the first summer, 1.5 in the first fall, and 1.5 in the first spring. EDL 735 is taken for 1.5 credits in the second fall and 1.5 credits in the second spring.

Curriculum and Literacy (Specialization option 2)

This specialization is for students who plan leadership careers in P12 settings such as reading and curriculum specialists. It includes courses in literacy, curriculum, and instructional leadership. Students may take up to 15 credits selected from among the following 3 credit courses:

Higher Education Strand Course and Capstone Reqirements:

Organizational Learning and Innovation (Specialization option 1)

This specialization is appropriate for students most interested in a career in administration, academic affairs, and support of program development. Courses develop skills in using a systems lens for designing innovative solutions to problems of practice. Candidates create project and design-based products to meet organizational needs. Students 15 credits of graduate level coursework in advisor-approved directed electives within the Department of Educational Leadership, Policy and Instructional Technology.  

Student Affairs (Specialization option 2)

This is an appropriate specialization for students without a background in the area, but who are planning a career in student affairs. Students take 15 credits of graduate level coursework in advisor-approved electives in content related to supporting student development in institutions of higher education.   

Total Credit Hours: 63

Admissions Contact

Graduate Recruitment & Admissions

Academic Contact

Sheldon Watson
Associate Professor
Educational Leadership & Instructional Technology