Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (Ed.D.)

Combining thought and theory with real-world experiences, our Ed.D. program delivers the key, this-minute skills you need in a fast-changing world. You’ll be guided and inspired by some of the area’s most successful practitioners, along with distinguished guest lecturers.


When engaged minds come together, great things happen. That is what people are saying about Delaware Valley University for preparing accomplished, practicing school leaders to assume greater leadership positions with a Doctor of Education in educational leadership degree.

Developed by former Bucks County superintendent Robert Laws, the degree is composed of two areas of study – K-12 with the superintendent letter of eligibility or higher education leadership – and will prepare you to guide organizations in a rapidly changing world, through a practice-based approach. The program will offer rich intellectual and theoretical background combined with many applied experiences. You will be encouraged to identify their own interests and related job experiences to build a research agenda. A post-master's superintendent letter of eligibility certification program is available for students seeking the required coursework for eligibility without the doctoral degree.

This cohort-model program is designed to be completed with 60 credits in three years (two courses per each fall, spring and summer semester). Courses will be delivered in a hybrid model of onsite for 36 hours and online for 10 hours per course. Onsite sessions meet Fridays, 5:30-9:30 p.m. and Saturdays, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m., for a total of 46 hours per course.

You will be engaged in contemporary educational issues mentored by some of the area’s most successful practitioners as well as national and regional guest lecturers. Some courses will take advantage of a module format, permitting multiple professors to share responsibility for the course, giving you a wider range of understanding on a given topic.

Main Campus Facilities
The Life Sciences Building on DelVal’s campus in Doylestown boasts eight classrooms, four laboratories, a conference room and a 450-seat theater and is equipped with state-of-the-art technology. The doctoral program will hold all onsite sessions in this new building, located conveniently near the admission entrance to campus.

Lehigh Valley Facilities
Classes meet at Nazareth School District, bringing both the higher education and K-12 school administrator degree tracks, as well as the Superintendent Letter of Eligibility certification program to the educators in the Lehigh Valley area. The Superintendent Letter of Eligibility certification only program is also offered at the Luzerne Intermediate Unit #18.

Click here for Professional Licensure Disclosures for this program.

Is the Ed.D. program right for me?
DelVal Voices Video Series
A woman smiling in a classroom.
Executive Model Program

​​​​​​Hybrid online courses plus on-site Friday evening and Saturday courses allow you to complete the program while you work.

Ed.D. Program Course Sequence
School Administration Course Sequence

Year One

Fall

  • Educational Leadership and Change Theory
  • Using and Integrating Learning Technologies

Spring

  • Professional Development and Supervision
  • Introduction to Educational Research

Summer

  • Planning and Managing Financial Resources for K-12
  • School Community Partnerships and Public Relations

Year Two

Fall

  • Program Design, Evaluation and Assessment
  • Dissertation Preparation (topic development)

Spring

  • Leading Comprehensive Student Support Services
  • Research Methods

Summer

  • Negotiations and Conflict Resolution
  • Dissertation Design (chapter two)
  • Dissertation Design (chapters one and three)

Year Three

Fall

  • Superintendent Practicum and Field Experience I
  • Dissertation Data Analysis Seminar

Spring

  • Educational Policy, Politics and Current Issues
  • Superintendent Practicum and Field Experience II

Summer

  • Leadership, Diversity and Societal Change
  • Legal and Ethical Leadership
  • Superintendent Practicum and Field Experience III

 

Higher Education Course Sequence

Year One

Fall

  • Educational Leadership and Change Theory
  • Using and Integrating Learning Technologies

Spring

  • Economic Development of Higher Education Organizations
  • Introduction to Educational Research

Summer

  • Planning and Managing Financial Resources for Higher Education
  • Community Partnerships and Public Relations

Year Two
Fall

  • Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Higher Education
  • Dissertation Preparation (topic development)

Spring

  • Student Services and Co-Curricular Activities in Higher Education
  • Research Methods

Summer

  • Faculty and Academic Governance in Higher Education
  • Dissertation Design (chapters one and three)
  • Dissertation Design (chapter two)

Year Three

Fall

  • Higher Education Practicum and Field Experience I
  • Dissertation Data Analysis Seminar

Spring

  • Policy Development and Analysis in Higher Education
  • Higher Education Practicum and Field Experience II

Summer

  • Leadership, Diversity and Societal Change
  • Legal and Ethical Leadership
  • Contemporary Issues in Higher Education
Program Outline

Required Courses

  • Educational Leadership and Change Theory
  • Using and Integrating Learning Technologies
  • Planning and Managing Financial Resources
  • Superintendent Practicum and Field Experience I, II and III
  • Legal and Ethical Leadership
  • Leadership, Diversity and Societal Change
  • Negotiations and Conflict Resolution

Choose one from

  • Professional Development and Supervision
  • Leading Comprehensive Student Support Services
  • Educational Policy, Politics and Current Issues
Course Sequence:

Year One

Fall

  • Educational Leadership and Change Theory
  • Using and Integrating Learning Technologies

Spring

  • Educational Policy, Politics and Current Issues or
  • Professional Development and Supervision or
  • Leading Comprehensive Student Support Services\

Summer

  • Planning and Managing Financial Resources
  • Negotiations and Conflict Resolution

Year Two

Fall

  • Superintendent Practicum and Field Experience I
  • Legal and Ethical Leadership

Spring

  • Superintendent Practicum and Field Experience II

Summer

  • Leadership, Diversity and Societal Change
  • Superintendent Practicum and Field Experience III

Please note that the post-graduate superintendent letter of eligibility program is not qualified for federal student aid; however private loans are available. The full doctoral degree program is qualified for federal student aid. Interested students are welcome to contact the Office of Financial Aid at finaid@delval.edu for more information on private loans or visit their web page and read more about the options available to you.

Educational Leadership and Change Theory
This course focuses on organizational and leadership theories as they relate to K-12 and higher education institutions. The course will also reference the impact of diversity, culture and change on educational institutions. Through linking theory to practice, future leaders will be empowered to make decisions utilizing data, plan strategically and engage stakeholders in comprehensive strategic planning.

Using and Integrating Learning Technologies
This course is designed to ensure that future educational leaders will have strong knowledge and use of current and emerging technologies to assist with the teaching and learning process and to facilitate the management of complex organizations. Students will demonstrate strategies for using and implementing multimedia, hypermedia and electronic networking to implement in their own school settings.

Economic Development of Higher Ed Organizations
This course explores the application of economic principles to the study of policy and to the solution of economic problems in complex organizations. Included are discussions of major economic theories and their relationship to leadership decision making in the corporate, not-for-profit and public policy arenas. This course is designed to identify and analyze factors that contribute to the successful economic development of organizations. Topics will include risk assessment and management, leadership skills, sources of funding and successful economic policies. Case studies of both successful and unsuccessful economic development will be analyzed.

Introduction to Educational Research
This course focuses on major methods and techniques of educational research and provides students with the knowledge and skills for the critical evaluation of research. Students will become familiar with the dissertation format and begin the process to outline possible research topics and design methodologies.

Planning and Managing Financial Resources for Higher Education
This course is designed to prepare educational leaders to understand and prepare a system-wide budget plan that allocates resources aligned with the system’s needs. Topics include budget planning related to facilities management, curriculum and personnel, as well as school finance issues related to capital projects, borrowing and debt. Strategic planning approaches, building assessment, and energy and community development will also be explored.

Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Higher Education
This course will introduce students to the role that higher education institutions play in fostering innovative discoveries. A focus will be applied to financial, budgetary and entrepreneurial development practices as they pertain to institutions of higher education. Students will develop skills and knowledge to recognize effective leadership in a dynamic, ever-changing higher education environment.

Dissertation Preparation (topic development)
This seminar will provide doctoral students with information on the dissertation process and proposal format and enable them to develop and refine ideas for potential research. This course will assist students with topic development and offer consideration for qualitative/quantitative methodologies.

Student Services and Co-Curricular Activities in Higher Education
This course examines the comprehensive nature of student issues as a vital component in the evolving learner-centered environments of higher education. Theory and practice are used to guide the discussion, investigate the issues and generate solutions. Students investigate and seek potential solutions to authentic problems facing leaders in student affairs such as enrollment management, diversity, safety, student induction, advising and counseling, placement testing, career development, residential life, health services, student activities, etc.

Research Methods
This course focuses on the major methods and techniques of educational research and provides the skills for the critical evaluation of educational research. There is an emphasis on quantitative and qualitative research focusing on designs and methodologies, theoretical and interpretive frameworks, ethical considerations, standards of validation, and introductory data collection, analysis and reporting. Students will design a sample project incorporating quantitative or qualitative research methodologies.

Faculty and Academic Governance in Higher Education
The purpose of this course is to provide an intensive introduction to the organization and governance of colleges and universities. It is designed to familiarize students with the faculty, academic and administrative contexts, and organizational cultures within which they may be employed. Theoretical underpinnings of organizational behavior relating to individuals and groups and organizational theory relating to the organization itself will be studied.

Dissertation Design (chapter two)
This seminar will provide doctoral students with information and guidance on the dissertation process and proposal format in order to guide the development of chapter two of the dissertation.

Dissertation Design (chapters one and three)
This seminar will provide doctoral students with information and guidance on the dissertation process and proposal format in order to guide the development of chapters one and three of the dissertation.

Higher Education Practicum and Field Experience I, II and III
This course will prepare future school district leaders and leaders in higher education for complex situations and specialized functions that are performed as part of system-wide oversight in the administrative offices office. Students will explore the political forces that influence and shape decision-making processes, reform efforts and community relations. This course requires a student to complete an internship with a minimum of 360 hours as a superintendent/higher education intern supervised by a certified school superintendent or the equivalent in higher education. The student will complete and present a leadership portfolio that shows evidence of strategic planning, use of data to inform decision-making, and the potential for substantial improvement in teaching and learning. This course will span three semesters in order to give students a full perspective of the calendar year.

Legal and Ethical Leadership
This course focuses on the most current laws at both the state and federal levels and their impact on the operation of educational institutions for leaders. State and federal statutes will be examined with a focus on accurate analysis and interpretation of the law through case reviews. Law, legislation and court decisions that may impact the rights and responsibilities of faculty, students and parents will be studied and analyzed. The course is structured to assist educational leaders in acquiring the knowledge and skills necessary to ensure that the management of their educational institution through adherence to the law produces a safe, efficient and effective learning environment for all students, while consistently advocating for children and maintaining professional integrity.

Policy Development and Analysis in Higher Education
This course will examine current issues of higher education and analyze future trends. Various approaches to policy development and their applications are studied from institutional, state, federal, legislative and international perspectives. Students will refine their knowledge and skills needed to plan and execute sound and innovative approaches to advance the institution’s mission to key publics.

Leadership, Diversity and Societal Change
This course studies the impact of diversity, culture, ethnic origin and societal change on educational institutions and the emerging leadership styles resulting from these factors. Leaders will be prepared to meet the challenges of cultural diversity and rapid societal change in organizations. There is a focus on how language, gender, race, tradition, education, economic structure and global events interact with organizational philosophy to create behavioral norms at all levels. The influence of all of these factors on leaders' behavior will be studied.

Dissertation Data Analysis Seminar
This seminar will provide doctoral students with information and guidance required to analyze, interpret and format research data as part of the dissertation process.

Dissertation Maintenance Seminar
Students requiring additional time to complete the dissertation may register for billable three-credit seminars as necessary.

Independent Study (1-6 credits)
Students may enroll in certain courses through independent study or may design action research as a course substitution with permission of their advisor and the dean of the School of Graduate and Professional Studies.

Contact
Todd Fay, Director of Graduate Programs in Education