Educational Leadership and Policy Studies Doctoral Programs

Doctoral Programs

Doctoral programs in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies are designed to prepare personnel for administrative, service and faculty positions in colleges and universities, public schools and other education and training agencies in government and the private sector. It is possible to study for the doctorate in adult and higher education, educational administration, curriculum and supervision, and educational foundations.

The doctoral degrees awarded in the Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education are the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) and the Doctor of Education (Ed.D.). Ph.D. programs in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies focus on scholarly inquiry in several discrete areas and are intended to serve individuals who are research oriented and have promise of developing new knowledge in their fields of study. In addition to the Ph.D., EACS also offers a Doctor of Education, also known as the Executive Ed.D. The Executive Ed.D. program is directed at terminal degree preparation of practitioners in education who can be expected to serve with distinction in demanding professional positions.

Admission to doctoral study in education requires a minimum 3.25 grade point average on all graduate work attempted and additional requirements as determined by program areas within the department. The Graduate Record Examination is required of all applicants to a doctoral program. Upon acceptance by the area faculty and in consideration of recommendations made by the faculty, the department chairperson and/or the graduate studies committee and the doctoral student, the graduate dean will appoint an advisory committee. The advisory committee consists of a chairperson from the student’s major field, at least one representative from outside the department, and other faculty totaling at least five members. An advisory conference will determine the program of study that must be completed to qualify for the degree.

Upon completion of the required course work (exclusive of the dissertation), students must complete the General Examination. Prior to attempting the General Examination, a student must demonstrate proficiency in research methods prescribed in both quantitative and qualitative research for Doctor of Philosophy candidates. These standards are set forth in the department’s Graduate Studies Handbook. The student must also meet all relevant requirements of the Graduate College, as well as those of the student’s individual program area. The candidate is expected to complete all degree requirements within four years after the General Examination. Failure to accomplish this may require another writing of the General Examination and/or the revalidation of coursework.

Prospective students are encouraged to contact the appropriate program area for information about program availability, and college and departmental requirements. In addition, the section of the Graduate Bulletin, which describes the procedures and requirements for graduate study at the University, should be reviewed and kept as a reference.

Adult and Higher Education Doctoral Program

The doctoral program in Adult and Higher Education is designed to prepare individuals for teaching and research positions in Adult and Higher Education, and for individuals interested in administrative and service positions in colleges and universities, professional organizations, and other educational and training agencies in government and the private sector. The degree awarded in adult and higher education is the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.). This degree is directed toward the development of scholars and scholar/practitioners in Adult and Higher Education and is intended to serve individuals who have promise of making scholarly contributions to their area of expertise. Doctoral emphases within the Adult and Higher Education program include:

  • Adult and Continuing Education
  • Continuing Professional and Higher Education
  • Higher Education Administration, Institutional Research, Student Personnel Services, Community College Administration, and Intercollegiate Athletics Administration
  • Distance Learning and Education
  • Workforce Learning and Development

Students selecting an Adult and Continuing Education emphasis will develop knowledge and research skills to meet the learning needs of adults in formal or informal settings. The Continuing Professional and Higher Education emphasis provides students with the knowledge, competencies, and research skills appropriate to the role of administrator, professor, and researcher within the continuing professional and higher education frameworks. The Higher Education emphasis provides students with an in-depth understanding of administrative and research issues related to higher education as a unique organization, institutional research, student personnel services, and intercollegiate athletics administration. The Distance Education emphasis prepares students for work in the field of distance education as administrators, planners, instructors, and telecommunications specialists in a variety of education-related organizations. In the Training and Development emphasis, students will develop an in-depth understanding of the human resource potential in governmental, business and industrial organizations.

Educational Administration, Curriculum and Supervision Doctoral Programs

The doctoral programs (Ph.D. and Ed.D.) in EACS are designed to prepare individuals for careers in the education profession, including those found in higher education institutions and public schools. The Ph.D. is intended for those who wish to pursue careers in the research-oriented professions such as a faculty member in a research institution or as a professional staff member in a research center. The degree requires a high level of commitment to research and an understanding of leadership functions. The Executive Ed.D. degree is intended for those aspiring to central office or other practitioner fields in education. It is offered in a cohort format and is intended especially for those who are committed to a career in school administration. The Ph.D. program is individually tailored to support the needs, interests, and career aspirations of each student. Basic coursework in administrative and organizational theory, community, educational renewal and human relations, curriculum, supervision, finance, law, policy, politics, leadership, and evaluation is available. Doctoral study may be interdisciplinary so coursework and experiences from other departments and colleges are encouraged.

Educational Studies (EDS)

The Ph.D. program in educational studies prepares experienced educators for teaching and research positions in higher education or leadership roles in community and higher education. The program engages students in interpretive, normative, and critical research on children’s and adults’ education in diverse historical and cultural contexts, via the arts, humanities, or social sciences. Such research requires a broad, complex, and transformative view of teaching, learning, curriculum, and their myriad contexts, including gender, age, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic status. This interdisciplinary field brings together historical, philosophical, sociological, economic, legal, anthropological, and human relations approaches to understanding and evaluating the means and ends of education, past and present, actual and potential, especially for social justice. The program requires students to work closely with faculty to design their programs of study and residency plans so that they are tailored to each individual’s own professional purposes and social justice concerns.