Lead Your Educational Organization in the 21st Century!
Shenandoah’s EdD in Educational Leadership offers innovative, research-based preparation to meet the current realities and future needs of leaders in PreK-12 schools, higher education, and related institutions. EdD learners work closely with faculty and peers to think deeply, examine critically, and understand theoretically the opportunities and challenges facing educational organizations.
We prepare scholarly professionals committed to equitable, ethical, and reflective practice. We are:
- Learner-Centered: 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 leadership in educational organizations.
- Inquiry-Driven: We emphasize question-asking and synthesis rather than knowledge acquisition and the accumulation of facts. The learner’s topic of interest is explored systematically, thoughtfully, and deeply under the guidance of faculty members who share a vision of graduate education.
- Problem-Oriented: Learners examine problems of practice encountered in their educational organizations. Learners critically and intensively study these problems from interdisciplinary and diverse perspectives with the goal of deeper insight and capacity to positively impact outcomes in their organization.
The faculty’s dedication towards educational leadership and the doctoral program at Shenandoah University is the best. I appreciate how the doctoral program faculty challenged my thinking, built my capacity as a writer and researcher, and did it all with the Shenandoah University spirit. I always felt like I was part of a special family at Shenandoah. I thank the leadership faculty from the bottom of my heart for their dedication and commitment to building the next generation of educational leaders.– Manuel de Jésus Gómez Portillo ’21, Ed.D.
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We prepare scholarly professionals within a collaborative, learner-centered, inquiry-driven environment that values diverse cultures, experiences, and perspectives.
Cohort Learning. The cohort is a defining feature of our program. Cohorts are comprised of mid- and senior-career professionals enrolled in the EdD and DProf programs. Cohort members move through a sequence of required program core and research courses together. This provides ongoing opportunities to learn from and with colleagues who bring diverse professional experiences and perspectives. The cohort provides a source of support for learners juggling work, school, family, and other obligations. Through the cohort, learners also grow their network of leader colleagues across schools, school systems, higher education institutions, and other organizations of public trust.
Work-Friendly Class Schedules. EdD learners are typically full-time working professionals. Classes are scheduled to accommodate these busy schedules. The majority of required program core and research courses are held 5-8 pm during the week. (Note: Periodically, we offer weekend cohorts. These weekend cohorts meet multiple times over the semester for Friday evening and all day Saturday sessions.)
Face-to-Face Instruction. The majority of required program core and research courses are offered via face-to-face instruction at our main campus in Winchester or at Scholar Plaza-Leesburg.
Global Learning. Educational leaders are preparing students for work and life in a global society. Shenandoah offers multiple international study opportunities for EdD learners on campus and abroad. Regularly we offer an elective global experiential learning course that includes short study abroad trips to study educational organizations. In recent years, EdD learners have visited and studied education organizations in Finland and Ireland.
Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate (CPED) Member. This organization of over 100 colleges and schools of education is dedicated to high quality and relevant doctoral preparation for educators in the U.S. and Canada. Shenandoah faculty and EdD learners have access to this professional network that offers resources and opportunities to participate in national dialogues about doctoral preparation and the education profession.
Our graduates continue in their current role with enhanced skills and knowledge, advance within their organization, or secure new positions.
EdD alumni serve in a variety of leadership roles in educational organizations. A sampling include school principals, assistant principals, and deans; school division superintendents and other district administrators; higher education faculty; and higher education administrators in student life, student support services, and other non-academic departments.
- Develop an understanding of the historical and theoretical underpinnings that inform the field of organizational leadership;
- Build skills to critically examine and apply theory and research to the real world;
- Deepen awareness of diverse perspectives, values and beliefs, and build capacity for ethical practice;
- Recognize the historical, social and political context in which educational organizations are situated and operate;
- Synthesize and connect theory and research to personal experience
Our cohort program consists of core courses in the field of organizational leadership, applied research design, a concentration, and the dissertation.
|LST 710||Leadership: Theory and Application||3|
|LST 720||Societal Factors: Influence on Policy, Programs and Practice||3|
|LST 735||Organizational Theory and Behavior||3|
|LST 740||Governance and Public Policy||3|
|LST 750||Contemporary Issues in Leadership||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||12-15 Credits total (individualized)||12-15|
|RST 799||Dissertation (offered in 1, 3 or 5 credit sections||15|
Learners complete one of these concentrations:
Leadership in Education. This 12-credit individualized concentration allows learners to study in a subfield of educational leadership that is aligned with the learners’ professional goals. In consultation with an advisor, learners select graduate-level electives from a wide menu of offerings from the School of Education and Leadership as well as other academic departments across the university.
Initial Administrative Licensure.This 15-credit concentration in conjunction with the required EdD program core and research courses provides the coursework of a Virginia-approved program for licensure in PreK-12 Administration and Supervision. (Note: To qualify for a permanent five-year endorsement through the Virginia Department of Education, graduates must also successfully complete a beginning administration and supervision assessment as prescribed by the Virginia Board of Education, have three years teaching experience, and hold a valid teaching license.)
|ADM 623||School Law||3|
|ADM 624||School Finance Theory and Practice||3|
|ADM 640||Curriculum Development and Evaluation||3|
|ADM 641||Supervision and Evaluation of Instruction||3|
|ADM 626||Practicum in Educational Leadership||3|
The dissertation is the program capstone in which learners develop, conduct, and report results of an independent research study. The dissertation can range from an applied, disciplined inquiry into a problem encountered in the workplace to the more traditional thesis-like research report. Through the dissertation, learners delve deeply into a specific area of interest, develop expertise in that area, and contribute new knowledge for their organization and the field of educational leadership.
As a learner-centered program, we prioritize teaching, advising, and mentoring. We offer low faculty-learner ratios. Our experienced doctoral faculty works closely and collaboratively with learners to create an environment that is both challenging and supportive throughout the coursework and dissertation phases of the program.
Catherine Dunn Shiffman
Professor and Department Chair of Leadership Studies; EdD Program CoordinatorFull Biography
Associate Professor of Quantitative MethodsFull Biography
John R. Goss, III
Professor, Research Organizational & Leadership StudiesFull Biography
Director, School of Education & LeadershipFull 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.