Breathe New Life into Your Career with an Advanced Degree in Organizational Leadership
If you’re eager to learn and grow as a professional, practitioner and scholar; advance in your field, learn from leadership experts; and transform into an ethically-grounded leader, our Doctor of Professional Studies: Organizational Leadership is made for you.
Most of our students come from human services and public sector organizations, higher education, public safety/security, and nontraditional developmental programs and organizations.
As a doctoral student you’ll
- Study within a cohort of working professionals like you who come from a wide variety of backgrounds and career fields and who communicate and learn in diverse ways
- Draw on the cohort’s rich well of experience when it meets once a week at a time of the group’s choosing
- Learn how to make a real difference in the communities and organizations you serve
- Delve into the issues closest to you and apply theory and practical learning to create and implement innovative, inspiring solutions
- Craft purposeful, professional inquiry that significantly contributes to your career field
This link between work and study makes our program both practical and meaningful. What you learn as you develop as a scholar-leader will change the way you see and think about the world. In our program, you’ll enhance your skill set through the greater understanding of the theory and practice of organizing in order to make better decisions, learn more about what motivates others, explore theories systematically, thoughtfully and deeply, and apply what you’ve discovered in your daily work life.
We use an active learning model with our student-centered, inquiry-driven, problem-oriented approach, emphasizing a “servant-leadership model” for institutions of public trust.
Learners bring to the program a general area of interest in which to ground their studies. We work with individuals to shape and examine a particular interest as it relates to organizational leadership in one’s life.
Learners are expected to use a learning model that emphasizes question-asking and synthesis rather than knowledge acquisition and the mere accumulation of facts. The topic of interest brought to the program is explored systematically, thoughtfully, and deeply under the guidance of faculty members who share a vision of graduate education.
Topics are typically grounded in the lived experiences of real people in a real place. We do not ask the learner to apply theory to cases alone, but to the lived experience as well. Success in this approach to learning is established early with the idea that problems are opportunities where learning can occur. In this sense, a problem is the difference between what is and what should be.
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Our program will advance your professional practice by building on a foundation of critical thinking, social analysis, evidence-based practices, professional and social ethics, and organizational and leadership theory. We encourage you to create original knowledge for the profession through research and projects undertaken during the program.
We seek to create an intentional learning community. The cohort functions as an intellectual collaborative where diversity and divergence of perspective are critical to developing the ability to think clearly and deeply. We use a learner-centered environment research has identified to be successful.
If you’re a professional working in a health-care field, you can earn a Shenandoah University professional certificate in either health care management or public health which would serve as your concentration in this program. If you already hold a graduate certificate from an accredited college or university, or wish to earn a graduate certificate from Shenandoah University, it may be possible to apply that credential to the program. You would earn two credentials in the same time period.
The design flexibility in your concentration courses allows for optimal learning in your specific area of interest, leveraging your professional expertise to encourage linkages to theory and reflective practice.
Outcomes may include projects that have a direct impact on identifying emerging issues in the profession, issues of policy and programming, and the skills to develop change initiatives, find solutions to workplace problems and the needs to shift organizational strategy.
Alumni of our program have assumed leadership positions in higher education (faculty and administration), NGOs, local, state and federal government, and as consultants and organizational developers.
The cohort is a defining feature of our program. You move through a sequence of required courses with other students, enabling the development of close relationships with leaders across institutions of public trust. You benefit from Shenandoah University’s low faculty-student ratios. Our doctoral faculty works closely and collaboratively with you to create an environment that is both challenging and supportive.
|LST 710||Leadership: Theory and Application||3|
|LST 735||Organizational Theory and Behavior||3|
|LST 720||Societal Factors: Influence on Policy, Programs and Practice||3|
|LST 740||Governance and Public Policy||3|
|LST 750||Contemporary Issues in Leadership||3|
|LST 693/LST 694||LST 693 Directed Study I/LST 694 Directed Study II||3/3|
|RST 684||Introduction to Research Literacy||3|
|RST 775||Quantitative Research Design and Data Analysis||3|
|RST 776||Advanced Quantitative Research Design and Data Analysis||3|
|RST 784||Qualitative Methods for Doctoral Research||3|
|RST 771/RST 772||Quantitative Research-Proposal/ Quantitative Research-Pilot||1.5/1.5|
|RST 773/RST 774||Qualitative Research-Proposal/ Qualitative Research- Pilot||1.5/1.5|
|Concentration||12 credits total (individualized)||12|
|RST 799||Dissertation (offered in 1, 3 or 5 credit sections)||15|
Our ability to draw from a range of courses within the School of Education and Leadership and across the university allows you to design a concentration that is inter- and trans-disciplinary.
The dissertation is theory-driven and is expected to contribute broadly and significantly to your profession both in theory and practice.
If you’re a professional working in any of the fields listed here, you could use one of SU’s professional certificate programs to serve as your concentration in the Master’s program, thereby earning two credentials at the same time. (If you already have one, that credential may be transferred into the program.)
- Applied Behavior Analysis
- Artist Diploma
- Business Essentials
- Church Music
- Digital Marketing
- Esports Management
- Healthcare Management
- Music Therapy
- Nurse Midwifery
- Nurse Midwifery Initiative
- Nursing Family Nurse Practitioner
- Nursing Psychiatric Mental-Health Nurse Practitioner
- Nursing Psychiatric Mental-Health Nurse Practitioner Initiative
- Performing Arts Health & Fitness
- Performing Arts Medicine
- Population Health
- Public Health
Our accomplished and caring faculty serve as mentors beyond the classroom. They prepare you to serve as a compassionate educator, critical thinker and ethical leader. You’ll benefit from small class sizes that enable faculty members to provide individualized attention and nurture your academic and professional development.
John R. Goss, III
Professor, Research, Organizational & Leadership StudiesFull Biography
Associate Professor of Quantitative MethodsFull Biography
Director, School of Education & LeadershipFull Biography
Catherine Dunn Shiffman
Professor and Department Chair of Leadership Studies; EdD Program CoordinatorFull Biography
Assistant Professor; Program Coordinator for Education AdministrationFull Biography
Adjunct, Assistant ProfessorFull Biography
Paula J. Malachias
Adjunct, Assistant ProfessorFull Biography
Shenandoah University’s Division of Education & Leadership provides student-centered, inquiry-driven, problem-oriented opportunities to explore issues related to public, education and nonprofit organizations.
View application deadlines and submit your Shenandoah Application.