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    Sep 28, 2023  
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog 
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Educational Leadership, Ed.D.

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Program Overview

The purpose of the Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in P-12 Educational Leadership is to prepare professional educators to become change agents in the field of education and in schools. The program is fully online with coursework which will lead students through visionary planning, strategic utilization of resources, effective management and leadership, and practical application of research. Cohorts will begin each summer and fall trimester with students taking two courses each trimester; however, one class will be taken the first five-week term and another class the second five-week term. These rigorous classes move quickly and as students progress through the program, courses will move to ten-week periods to accommodate the research process. The doctorate is 70 hours above a master’s degree (Thirty of those hours are already earned with the specialist degree and the remaining 40 hours will be needed for completing the doctorate.) 

Program Goals and Objectives

  1. Effective leaders develop and articulate reasonable personal and school goals.
  2. Effective leaders are instructional leaders and are knowledgeable about analyzing data, identifying, securing, and organizing appropriate resources for school reform (human, technological, etc.)
  3. Effective leaders create nurturing and caring educational environments.
  4. Effective leaders are knowledgeable about safe practices regarding ethical, legal, social, and political issues.
  5. Effective leaders skillfully communicate with internal and external publics.
  6. Effective leaders emphasize the importance of literacy.
  7. Effective leaders skillfully practice leadership theories in real world settings.

Admission Requirements

General Admission Requirements

Each applicant to graduate programs at William Carey University must:

  1. Hold a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university.
  2. Provide official transcript(s) of all college work completed to date. An official transcript is defined as one issued directly from the institution to William Carey University.

Requirements for All Candidates

  1. Complete and submit an online application to William Carey University graduate school admissions.
  2. Pay application fee.
  3. Hold a valid teaching license or waiver of licensure form completed.
  4. Hold a specialist degree in a related field from an institution fully accredited by a recognized accrediting agency.
  5. Have a G.P.A. of 3.25 in a related specialist program.
  6. Submit Graduate Record Exam score (competitive) taken within the last five years.
  7. Submit two reference forms from present or previous administrators who have supervised your work.
  8. Submit a current resume that includes your leadership experience and community service.

No student will be admitted on a provisional or probationary basis. Students may transfer six hours of approved coursework from an institution that is fully accredited by a recognized accrediting agency. Coursework used in a previous degree may not be used toward the doctorate.


To progress through the doctorate degree program, the student must:

  1. Maintain a G.P.A. of 3.0 for 40 program hours as outlined in the curriculum.
  2. Complete all required work within six years after enrolling in the program.
  3. File with the coordinator of the Ed.D. program a signed program of study prior to completing 9 hours.
  4. Only two grades lower than a B are allowed. Upon receiving a second grade lower than a B, a student is advised to repeat one of the first two grades lower than a B before continuing in the program. A student making a third grade lower than a B will be dismissed from the program.
  5. Pass a comprehensive examination, successfully defend a proposal, and obtain approval from the Institutional Review Board (IRB).
  6. Progress to the research process (beginning with EDL 811 ), where one will obtain a Pass (P) or a Fail (F) for the research courses (EDL 811 EDL 815   , and EDL 816  , if needed). Students must contact his/her chair and begin working with his/her committee after completing EDL 826  .
  7. A grade of “I” (incomplete) will be assigned only when unavoidable circumstances prevent completion of the work of the course on schedule and must be approved by the instructor and the academic dean. In order to be eligible for a grade of “I,” a student must be doing passing work, must have completed 80% of the required work for the class, and must provide appropriate documentation for requesting the incomplete. Requests are made using the Incomplete Grade Request Form obtained from the registrar’s office. When the work is completed satisfactorily, the “I” may be changed to any grade assigned by the instructor. If a grade of “I” is not changed to a passing grade by the end of the next trimester, it will automatically be changed to an “F.”
  8. Have 80% of the coursework completed in order to receive an “I” and enroll in EDL 816   to complete the coursework (EDL 816   will cost the same as a regular course.). Once a student completes the coursework in EDL 816  , then the student may enter the next course in the dissertation process. If the coursework is not completed in a timely matter with enough time during the trimester to complete the next course during the 10-week trimester, one will have to wait until the course is offered again. Courses in the dissertation process are offered twice a year.
  9. Successfully complete all dissertation requirements as per the dissertation guidelines, chair, and committee. This includes successfully defending the dissertation proposal and defense before the dissertation committee, having a GPA of 3.0 or higher, making revisions suggested by the graduate reader, and successfully submitting the dissertation to ProQuest.
  10. Maintain continuous enrollment until the dissertation has been successfully defended.


Graduation requires:

  • the student to submit a degree application.
  • successful completion of all degree requirements with a GPA of 3.0.
  • mandatory participation in graduation.

Course Requirements

Transfer Credit

Transfer credit cannot be received for EDL 811 EDL 812 EDL 813 EDL 814 EDL 815 and EDL 826 .

Advanced Leadership Courses (15 hours)

The Advanced Leadership core includes EDL 732, EDL 801, EDL 830, EDL 832, EDL 834.

Research Courses (6 hours)

The Research courses include RSH 740 and EDL 826. 

Research Process (15 hours)

The Research Process courses include EDL 811-815, and if necessary EDL 816.


The professional doctorate (Ed.D.) requires 70 credit hours post-master depending on the time required to complete the applied research. If a candidate has a specialist in educational leadership or a related field from another institution, the specialist degree may be accepted into the Ed.D. in its entirety; however, a prerequisite of two courses must be met:

Course Sequence

Course requirements for the Ed.D. in Educational Leadership are to be taken in the order given here:

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