Study in Leadership at Shenandoah University offers learners the opportunity to think deeply about, examine, understand and challenge problems facing educational and other public organizations.
The programs are organized around a core of leadership and inquiry courses, complemented by courses in the learner’s concentration and emphasize the application of theory to real world problems and lived experiences.
The Master of Science in Organizational Leadership (MSOL) is a graduate degree for those interested in leadership and management positions in the nonprofit, public or governmental organizations, as well as those seeking entry-level administrative positions in higher education.
The Doctor of Professional Studies (DProf) degree is appropriate to professionals with substantive experience in their respective professional fields, experiences which will inform and leverage learning, positioning learners to assume significant leadership roles in their professions.
The DProf in Organizational Leadership is a 66-credit program. It is a degree designed to appeal to those with substantial experience in a non-profit, public sector or service profession, who wish to reflect upon and leverage that experience in the context of an academic program designed to enhance leadership and research skills. Outcomes may include developing skill sets that enhance advancement opportunities within the learner’s field, or prepare the learner for a new role in non-profit, public sector or service organizations or in higher education (teaching or administration). The DProf dissertation is more theory-driven and is expected to contribute more broadly to the profession (in theory and in practice). Special attention is paid to methodological concerns that relate to a theoretically-grounded design. While PhD dissertations typically make an original contribution to knowledge, the DProf is more concerned with making a significant contribution to high-level practical action, resulting, for example, in significant change or development in an organization or community of practice. The DProf dissertation generally is not a purely academic study, but it needs to reflect the application of theory that is equivalent to that required in a traditional PhD program.
Education Administration Leadership
The Professional Studies Certificate (PSC) for Licensure in Administration and Supervision serves students who already hold a master’s degree and want to obtain Virginia licensure in School Administration and Supervision.
Advanced study in the Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership program at Shenandoah University is designed to serve learners with career goals related to PK-12 educational administration.
The EdD in Educational Leadership is a 60-credit program. It is primarily associated with those whose field of practice falls into traditionally-defined “education” professions. This degree appeals to education administrators as well as those seeking advanced preparation in teacher-leadership, curriculum and instruction, or in specific teaching disciplines. It may also apply, in certain circumstances, to those with interests in higher education. The EdD is for the professional education practitioner interested in becoming a professor, administrator, or applied researcher. The EdD is usually the preferred qualification for mid-career education professionals, many of whom will already have Master’s degrees but wish to pursue studies at the doctoral level. EdD degrees are based on research in addition to its application in professional practice. The EdD dissertation may take any form ranging from an applied, disciplined inquiry into a problem encountered in the workplace (action research) to the more traditional thesis-like research report.
What is the Difference Between the Doctor of Education (EDD) and the Doctor of Professional Studies (DPROF)?
Both the EdD and the DProf are what some call “professional doctorates”. A professional doctorate (which is distinct from a “clinical doctorate” or a “first professional degree”) is a course of advanced study and research which both satisfies the criteria for a doctorate and meets the specific needs of a professional group. These are also known as “practitioner’s doctorates” due to their applied focus, and target group of advanced practitioners of various professions. While the PhD can be seen as the degree of a professional scholar/researcher, the EdD and the DProf are viewed as the degrees of a scholarly or researching professional. Those seeking professional doctorates tend to value:
- learning with a cohort of like-minded professionals
- developing professional practice skills or professional qualifications
- develop and adopt a research stance/perspective (develop research capacity)
- develop advanced skills to carry out a research projects based on professional practice
- a desire to shift from action to reflection