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Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership -
Higher Education Concentration

Through rigorous scholarship and leadership preparation, the Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership, Higher Education Administration Concentration aims to build the capacity of experienced leaders at community colleges, liberal arts institutions, research universities, and other academic organizations to effectively address contemporary and emerging challenges in postsecondary education and serve the public good.. This degree does not lead to licensure. Individuals interested in licensure for public schools should investigate the public school administration K-12 program.

Attend an Information Session

Periodically, The College of Education offers informational sessions to give you an opportunity to learn more about programs and have your questions asked and answered. Keep an eye on our Upcoming Events for the next such session. We understand that it can be difficult to make it to these sessions, so the video below is a recording of a recent session. We encourage you to take some time to watch the video and then contact Dr. Jim McDowelle if you have questions that perhaps weren't answered either in the video or on this page.

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Dr. Tom Williams
252-328-6444


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Course Components

A 60-semester hour Program of Study beyond the master's degree is the minimum requirement. A student has six years in which to complete all requirements for the degree. Most students will be expected to complete the program in less than that time.

Course work is distributed as follows:

  • Educational Leadership - 24 semester hours of required and elective courses 
  • Higher Education Concentration - 12 semester hours
  • Research - 12 semester hours including quantitative and qualitative research design
  • Internship - 6 semester hours of field-based action research over two semesters
  • Dissertation - 6 semester hours minimally, successful completion of a research-based dissertation under the supervision of a faculty committee

Examinations

  • Annual Review. Students are reviewed for successful progress towards degree annually.
  • Comprehensive Examination. To proceed to doctoral candidacy, students must successfully complete an essay based comprehensive examination at the conclusion of coursework. The examination measures student content knowledge, research aptitude, and readiness for dissertation study.
  • Dissertation Proposal and Final Defense. The program culminates in a research based dissertation. Students must successfully defend both their dissertation proposal and their final research product for degree conferral.

Please see our Policies and Procedures (below) and Doctoral Candidacy and the Dissertation for more information on examinations.

Graduate School Admission Applications for admission to the Graduate School are available online. All applicants for admissions pay a nondeductible, nonrefundable fee of $70. The application form and all supporting documents should be received by the Graduate School, Ragsdale Building, (252) 328-6012.

Applicants are required to provide official transcripts from each institution attended since high school, test scores from the MAT or GRE, and at least three letters of recommendation. Completed applications are forwarded to the higher education program coordinator. Applicants meeting minimal admissions requirements will be contacted between March 15 and May 15 to complete the writing sample and interview. Final notifications of admissions will begin on or about June 1. Enrollment begins each fall term, unless otherwise specified.

General Admission Requirements
  1. Academic Achievement– Applicant's must hold a master's degree and have a minimum undergraduate G.P.A. of 2.7 and graduate G.P.A. of 3.0.
  2. Standardized Test- Either the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) or the Miller Analogies Test (MAT) is required. The GRE and the MAT are administered on the ECU campus through the Testing Center (252) 328-6811. A minimal score at or above the 30th percentile is required for program entry, although actual cut off scores may be higher due to the competitiveness of the applicant pool.
  3. Leadership– Preferred applicants should have a minimum three years' experience in a position of leadership in the higher education field. Candidates must demonstrate intent to pursue a career in higher education leadership.
  4. Curriculum vitae/ resume– Applicants should describe their academic and professional achievements.
  5. Writing Sample- All applicants to the Higher Education Leadership program will be required to provide a short writing sample completed under conditions provided by the Program Coordinator.
  6. Letters of Recommendation- Applicants will be asked to present three letters of reference that can address their ability to perform graduate level academic work as well as their interest and experience in higher education leadership. 
  7. Statement of Intent- All applicants to the program will be required to include a Statement of Intent with application materials. This statement should highlight applicants' reasons for applying to the Higher Education Leadership program.
  8. Interview/Review- Candidates are interviewed and reviewed by higher education faculty as part of their admission and continued progression through the program.

The EdD program requires completion of a research-based dissertation. Students are admitted initially to advanced graduate status, not to doctoral candidacy. Admission to doctoral candidacy, if awarded, will be a determined by successful completion of all course work (exclusive of dissertation credits) examinations, and an approved proposal for the dissertation research study. To be approved for graduation and receipt of the EdD degree, the student must successfully complete and defend the dissertation.

Non-degree Admission

Students who wish to take resident course work for purposes other than a doctoral degree may be admitted by presenting an application supported by a transcript showing the awarding of a master's degree. Subsequent enrollment is conditional upon successful completion coursework and by program coordinator permission. The total number of hours students will be allowed on a non-degree basis is 9. Graduate courses taken under this admission may not necessarily be used to fulfill requirements for any graduate program. Students taking coursework on a non-degree basis must submit a full application to the graduate school and meet all of the above requirements in order to be considered for the formal  EdD program of study. There are no prerequisite courses for graduate work in higher education leadership.

Transfer Credits
Graduate credit to be applied to advanced graduate degree programs may be transferred from another institution within limits stated in the East Carolina University Graduate Catalog (www.ecu.edu/gradschool). A graduate student may transfer a maximum of 12 semester hours into the EdD program. Acceptance of transferred hours is subject to approval by the faculty within the Department of Higher, Adult, and Counselor Education and the Graduate School.

The doctor of education in educational leadership (EdD) degree is designed to develop skills and abilities for individuals to resolve educational issues and problems. Program studies center around building student capabilities to evaluate , assess, and direct progress in higher education environments and include leadership theory, human resource development, organizational theory, policy development and analysis, law ethics, evaluation and assessment. The concentration in higher education prepares senior level administrators for leadership positions in public and private, two and four year institutions. A minimum of 60-semester hours beyond a master's degree is required. Requirements include a research-based dissertation completed under the direction of an appropriate faculty member, as well as a supervised internship experience. This degree does not lead to licensure. Individuals interested in licensure for public schools should investigate the Public School Leadership K-12 program offered by the Department of Educational Leadership

The degree requires 60 s.h. of credit as follows

Education Leadership Core (18 s.h.)

  • LDHE 8010 – Organizational Theory & Culture
  • LDHE 8015 – Seminar in Human Resource Development
  • LDHE 8035 – Educational Leadership
  • LDHE 8040 – Policy Development and Analysis
  • LDHE 8050 – Ethics in Educational Leadership
  • LDHE 8060- Program Evaluation & Assessment

Higher Education Concentration (12 s.h.)

  • LDHE 8027 – Seminar in Higher Education La
  • LDHE 8047 – Student Development in Higher Education
  • LDHE 8070 – History and Philosophy of Higher Education
  • LDHE 8080 – Finance in Higher Education

Electives

  • (6 s.h.) – chosen in consultation with advisor

Research(12 s.h.)

  • LDHE 8410 – Advanced Research in Educational Leadership
  • LDHE 8420 – Quantitative Research in Educational Leadership
  • LDHE 8430 – Qualitative Research in Educational Leadership
  • LDHE 8440 – Applied Research Design in Educational Leadership

Internship(6 s.h.)

  • LDHE 8991 – Supervised Field Internship
  • LDHE 8992 – Research Internship

Dissertation (6 s.h. minimum)

Examinations

  • Annual Review. Students are reviewed for successful progress towards degree annually.
  • Comprehensive Examination. To proceed to doctoral candidacy, students must successfully complete an essay based comprehensive examination at the conclusion of coursework.
  • Dissertation Proposal and Final Defense. The program culminates in a research based dissertation. Students must successfully defend both their dissertation proposal and their final research product for degree conferral.

Please see our Policies and Procedures and Doctoral Candidacy and the Dissertation for more information on examinations.

For a full listing of all of the names and descriptions of the courses within this program, please visit the Adult Education section of the Graduate Catalog

Typical Course of Study, EdD in Higher Education Leadership

EdDHE_Program_Overview

This section is an overview of only some of the rules, regulations, policies, and procedures frequently encountered by students during their course of study. For a full consideration of the policies and procedures pertinent to doctoral study, see the Graduate Catalog available at The Graduate School.

  • The Cohort Model. According to the most compelling work on adult learning, most adults learn best in environments that are collaborative and supportive. For this reason we admit students in cohorts, typically ranging 12 to 20 students in number. Meeting schedules and locations are developed collaboratively.
  • Registering for Classes. Students are registered for courses through the Department of Educational Leadership. If you have a question regarding registration, contact the department's administrative support, Mrs. Gwen Joyner at 252-328-6135 or joynerg@ecu.edu. For all other questions contact the program coordinator, advisor, or dissertation chair.
  • Academic Eligibility. Continuing academic eligibility standards are governed by graduate school policy. To meet the requirements for graduation or awarding of a graduate certificate and to remain in good academic standing, a student must demonstrate acceptable performance in course work after being admitted to a graduate or certificate program. This requires a cumulative GPA of 3.00. In addition to expectations of successful course work performance, good academic standing requires satisfactory progress towards degree as measured through the Annual Review of Student Progress (ARSP). The program coordinator, in consultation with a student's advisor and/ or program level committee, may render judgments as to whether a student's progress towards degree is satisfactory. Students not making adequate progress to degree will be required to work with an advisor to improve importance. Two years of inadequate progress is grounds for program dismissal.  Failure to meet programmatic, departmental, or graduate school standards may result in program termination.
  • Continuous Enrollment. Continuous enrollment is maintained by consecutive registration every fall and spring semester, including dissertation hours. When continuous enrollment is not maintained, graduate students must complete a formal application for readmission. In most cases, completion of the readmission form is sufficient to re-enroll. However, if several years have lapsed without registration or a change of status was requested, the readmission will have to be reviewed and approved by faculty in the Department of Educational Leadership, with the strong likelihood of additional coursework or other requirements.
  • Annual Review of Student Progress. The overarching objective of the Annual Review of Student Progress is to facilitate student academic and professional growth by identifying areas of strength/weakness and opportunities for development under the direction of faculty mentors. Students not making adequate progress for a single year will be referred to their advisor to create a developmental plan for improvement. Failure to make adequate progress for two years may result in program termination.
  • Comprehensive Examination. To proceed to doctoral candidacy, students must successfully complete an essay based comprehensive examination at the conclusion of coursework. The examination measures student content knowledge, research aptitude, and readiness for dissertation study. Students will be given the opportunity to retake any section of the examination within one year, should the student not meet the first examination with success. Failure to successfully complete upon a second opportunity will result student termination from the program.
  • Time Limitations. All 60 hours of academic credits (including dissertation hours, excluding master's coursework and transfer credits) must be earned within 6 year. . The age of courses is calculated by the East Carolina University Graduate School from academic semester to academic semester. For example, a course taken in Fall 2010 expires in Fall 2016 and will require a replacement in Spring 2017. An extension to the 6 year requirement may be granted with the approval of the Department of Educational Leadership and the Graduate Council Executive Board. To request an extension, a student must provide the following to the program coordinator:
    1. A letter requesting an extension, explaining the rationale for an extension.
    2. A detailed timeline for program completion. The program coordinator in consultation with program faculty will consider an official request with a plan of action for submission to the Graduate School.
  • Accommodations. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 mandate that the faculty provide reasonable accommodations to students with disabilities. "Individuals requesting accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) should contact the Department for Disability Support Services at least 48 hours prior to the event at (252) 328-6799 (252) 328-6799 FREE voice/ (252) 328-0899 FREE TTY."
  • Academic Integrity. The Department of Higher, Adult, and Counselor Education strictly adheres to the East Carolina University Honor Code and Student Code of Conduct. As current and future education professionals, it is expected that you behave and conduct yourself in a professional manner, adhering to professionalism in all matters of academic and professional integrity. Violations of either the honor or conduct code can result not only in a failing assignment or grade in a course, but also in dismissal from the program and/ or Graduate School.

Research Resources

Appendix

Bolker, J. (1998). Writing your dissertation in fifteen minutes a day: A guide to starting, writing, and revising your doctoral thesis. New York: Henry Holt & Co.

Galvan, J. (2004). Writing literature reviews: A guide for students of the social and behavioral sciences.(2nd ed.). Los Angeles, CA: Pyrczak Publishing.

Glatthorn, A. A., & Joyner, R. L. (2012). Writing the winning thesis or dissertation—A step-by-step guide, third edition. Thousand, Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

Madsen, D. (1992). Successful dissertations and theses: A guide to graduate student research from proposal to completion. San Francisco: Jossey Bass.

Meloy, J. M. (1994). The qualitative dissertation: Understanding by doing. Hillburn, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Rudestam, K. E. & Newton, R. R. (2001). Surviving your dissertation: A comprehensive guide to content and process. Newbury Park, CA: Sage Press.

Sternberg, D. (1981). How to complete and survive a doctoral dissertation. New York: St. Marin's Press.

Thomas, R. M., & Brubaker, D. L. (2000). Theses and dissertations: A guide to planning, research, and writing. Westport, CT: Greenwood Publishing.

Anderson, T., & Kanuka, H. (2003). E-research: Methods, strategies, and issues. Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon.

Babbie, E. (2004). The practice of social research. (10th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth/Thomson.

Coleman, M. & Briggs, A. (2002). Research methods in educational leadership and management. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.

Creswell, J. W. (2005). Educational research: Planning conducting, and evaluating quantitative and qualitative research (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall

Franenkel, J. R. & Wallen, N. E. (2003). How to design and evaluate research in education (5th ed.). Boston: McGraw Hill.

Gall, Joyce P., Gall, M.D., & Borg, Walter R. (2005). Applying educational research: A practical guide (5th ed.). Boston: Pearson Education.

Gay, L. R. & Airasian, P. (2000). Educational research: Competencies for analysis and application (6th ed.). Upper Saddle, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Schloss, P. J. & Smith, M. A. (1999). Conducting research. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Schutt, R. K. (2006). Investigating the social world: The process and practice of research (5th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publishers.

Stanfield, II , J. H. & Dennis, R. M., eds. (1993). Race and ethnicity in research methods. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publishers.

Vierra, A., Pollock, J, & Golez, F. (1998). Reading education research (3rd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.

Field, A. (2013). Discovering statistics using IBM SPSS Statistics (4th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.

Frankfort-Nachmias, C. & Leon-Guerrero. (2006). Statistics for a diverse society (4th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publishers.

Huck, S. W. (2004). Reading Statistics and Research. (4th ed.). New York: Pearson Education.

Phillips, J. L. (2000). How to think about statistics. (6th ed.). New York: Owl Books.

Rowntree, D. (1981).Statistics without tears: A primer for non-mathematicians. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons.

Online Resources

General

Andrews, F. M., Klem, L., Davidson, T. N., O'Malley, P. M., & Rodgers, W. L. (1981). A guide for selecting statistical techniques for analyzing social science data (2nd ed.). Ann Arbor, MI: The Institute for Social Research, The University of Michigan.

Sommer, B. & Sommer, R. (1997). A practical guide to behavioral research: Tools and techniques (4th ed.). New York: Oxford University Press.

Suter, W. N. (2006). Introduction to educational research: a critical thinking approach. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Applied Research

Hedrick, T. E., Bickman, L., & Rog, D. J. (1993). Applied research design: A practical guide. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publishers.

Survey

Fowler, Jr., F. J. (1993). Survey research methods (2nd ed.).Thousand Oaks: Sage Publishers.

Nardi, P. M. (2003). Doing survey research: A guide to quantitative methods. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.

Rea, L. M. & Parker, R. A. (1997). Designing and conducting survey research: A comprehensive guide (2nd ed.). San Francisco: Jossey Bass.

ANOVA/ ANCOVA

Turner, J. R. & Thayer, J. F. (2001). Introduction to analysis of variance: design, analysis, & interpretation. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Lomax, R. G. (1998). Statistical concepts: A second course for education and the behavioral sciences. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum & Associates.

Online Resources

Regression Analysis

Lomax, R. G. (1998). Statistical concepts: A second course for education and the behavioral sciences. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum & Associates.

Pedhazur, E. J. (1997). Multiple regression in behavioral research: Explanation and prediction (3rd ed.). Fort Worth, TX: Harcourt Brace College Publishers.

Online Resource

Logistic Regression Analysis

Demaris, A. (1992). Logit modeling: Practical applications. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publishers.

O'Connell, A. A. (2006). Logistic regression models for ordinal response variables. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publishers.

Pampel, F.C. (2000). Logistic regression: A primer. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publishers.

Online Resource

Multilevel Analysis

Kreft, I. & de Leeuw, J. (2006). Introducing multilevel modeling. Thousand Oaks, CA : Sage Publishers.

Luke, D. A. (2004). Multilevel modeling. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications.

Snijders, T. A. B. & Bokser, R. J. (1999). Multilevel analysis: An introduction to basic and advanced multilevel modeling. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications.

Experimental Design

Christensen, L. B. (2001). Experimental methodology (8th ed.). Boston: Allyn & Bacon.

Cook, T. D. (1999). Considering the major arguments against random assignment: An analysis of the intellectual culture surrounding evaluation in American schools of education. IPR Working Paper No.WP-99-02. Retrieved from http://www.northwestern.edu/ipr/publications/workingpapers/wpabstracts99/wp9902.html.

SPSS

Field, A. (2013). Discovering statistics using IBM SPSS Statistics (4th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.

Green, S. B., & Salkind, N. J. (2005). Using SPSS for windows and Macintosh: analyzing and understanding data (4th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.

Pallant, J. (2001). SPSS survival manual. Buckingham, UK: Open University Press.

Shannon, D. M., & Davenport, M. A. (2001). Using SPSS to solve statistical problems—A self-instruction guide. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill, Prentice-Hall.

Voelkl, K. E., & Gerber, S. B. (1999). Using SPSS for windows: Data analysis and graphics. Renesselaer, NY: Springer.

SAS

Delwiche, L. D. & Slaughter, S.J. (1996). The little SAS book: A primer (2nd ed.). Cary, NC: The SAS Institute.

Elliott, R.J. (2000). Learning SAS in the computer lab (2nd ed.). Pacific Grove, CA: Duxbury Press.

General

Bogdan, R. C. & Biklen, S. K. (1992). Qualitative research for education: An introduction to theory and methods (2nd ed.). Boston: Allyn & Bacon.

Creswell, J.W. (1998). Qualitative inquiry and research design: Choosing among five traditions. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Denzin, N.K. & Lincoln, Y.S.(2003). The landscape of qualitative research: Theories and issues. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Denzin, N.K. & Lincoln, Y.S.(2000). The Sage handbook of qualitative research (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Glesne, C. (2006). Becoming qualitative researchers: An introduction (3rd ed.). Boston: Pearson.

Patton, M. Q. (2002). Qualitative research and evaluation methods (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Silverman, D. (2005). Doing qualitative research (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publishers.

Slife, B. D. & Williams, R. N. (1995). What's behind the research? Discovering hidden assumptions in the behavioral sciences. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publishers.

Phenomenology

Giorgi, A. (ed.). (1985). Phenomenology and psychological research. Pittsburgh: Dusquene University Press.

Moustskas, C. (1994). Phenomenological research methods. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publishers.

Polkinghorne, D. E. (1989). Phenomenological research methods. In R. S. Valle & S. Halling (Eds.), Existential-phenomenological perspectives in psychology (pp. 41-60). New York, Plenum.

Ethnography

Fetterman, D. M. (1989). Ethnography: Step by step. Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publishers.

Hammersley, M. &Atkinson, P. (1995). Ethnography: Principles in practice (2nd ed.). New York: Routledge Press.

Van Maanen, J.(1988). Tales of the field: On writing ethnography.Chicago:University of Chicago Press

Narrative/ Biography

Denzin, N. K. (1989). Interpretative biography. Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publishers.

Lomask, M. (1986). The biographer's craft. New York: Harper & Row.

Plummer, K. (1983). Documents of life: An introduction to the problems and literature of a humanistic method. London: George Allen & Unwin.

Grounded Theory

Strauss, A. & Corbin, J. (1990). Basics of qualitative research: Grounded theory procedures & techniques. Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publishers.

Case Study

Merriam, S. B. (1998). Qualitative research and case study applications in education. San Francisco, CA: John Wiley & Sons.

Merriam, S. B. (1998). Case study research in education: A qualitative approach. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Stake, R. (1995). The art of case study research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publishers.

Yin, R. (2003). Case study research: Design and methods (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publishers.