School Leaders Program

Doctor of Philosophy: School Leaders Program - Program Information

Overview

The Department of Educational Leadership’s mission is to prepare and support leaders in public and private educational institutions at all levels and in the educational units of other organizations. The School Leaders Doctoral program seeks to provide broad experiences that allow leaders to bring many different perspectives to bear on the organizational problems and opportunities which confront them in practice. The program assumes that educational leaders will be more effective when they are able to (1) apply information and concepts to practice; (2) see the organization as a whole and understand how various parts of the organization relate to and effect each other; (3) discern meaning in, and establish relationships between events and bits of information that appear to be discrete and unrelated; and, (4) learn through a community of practitioners model where participants engage real problems and opportunities in a collegial learning team approach.

Doctoral students must meet the leadership core pre-requisites and engage in courses specifically designed for the doctoral level. The doctorate is not seen as a certification program, but students can add courses to receive Level I certification.

Admissions

Program requirements can be found at this Graduate College link.

Conceptual Framework

The College of Education’s conceptual framework reads: Informed reflective decision-makers have mastered the subject matter needed for the profession and understand the need for lifelong learning to remain a viable professional. Ethical reflective decision-makers understand why they are given discretion in their roles and use that ability only for the student’s or client’s benefit. Capable reflective decision-makers have the means to teach students or service clients effectively and understand the responsibilities involved in the role. Graduates of programs in the College of Education at Florida Atlantic University are informed, ethical, and capable reflective decision-makers.

The Department of Educational Leadership believes that:

  • Foundational knowledge of leadership will develop Informed Practitioners
  • Professional knowledge of leadership will develop Ethical Decision-Makers
  • Experiential knowledge in leadership will lead to Reflective, Capable Professionals

Informed, reflective decision-makers have mastered the subject matter needed for the profession and understand the need to engage in lifelong learning to maintain effectiveness in a changing environment. For the Department of Educational Leadership, informed reflective decision-makers require foundational knowledge, which is provided through the core courses offered by the department.

Ethical reflective decision-makers understand why they are given discretion in their roles and use that ability only for the student’s or client’s benefit. For the Department of Educational Leadership, ethical reflective decision-makers require professional knowledge, which is provided through the professional knowledge courses. The knowledge base for the School Leader’s Program is organized around three domains: Teaching and Learning, Management, and Schools in Context.

Teaching and Learning - The core functions of schools and other educational settings are teaching and learning. The faculty encourages educational leaders to keep their focus on learners and learning and to become instructional leaders. In addition to knowing about the physical, psycho-social, and cognitive development of K-12 students, participants in our program study adult learning because an important part of their job is to work effectively with teachers, staff, parents, community members, and other stakeholders.

Management - Educational leaders must be prepared to manage school operations and resources. They should possess the technical knowledge to perform basic operational tasks such as planning, organizing, allocating, and monitoring. Educational leaders learn about organizational structures, organizational behavior, and responsibilities regarding (a) school finance and budget, (b) administrative applications of technology, (c) educational law, and (d) personnel [interviewing, selection, evaluation, and grievance administration].

Schools in Context - Educational leaders must understand the context in which they function. Since schools do not exist in isolation, leaders must possess tools to analyze and understand the social, political, technological, and economic contexts that surround and interpenetrate their management structures and planned curricula. They must have a grasp of community values and unique demographic features of their community, the school culture, and their implications for student learning.

Capable reflective decision-makers have the means to teach students or service clients effectively and understand the responsibilities involved in the role. For the Department of Educational Leadership, capable reflective decision-makers require experiential knowledge, which is provided through the experiential courses. Experiential Learning implies the concept that elements of a professional’s education will be gained from a practical approach in a real-world situation. It is based on the belief that insights gained through a job, internship, volunteer work, or course field work will enhance academic studies and the professional’s critical reflection skills in thinking and acting upon his/her talents, aspirations, and the needs of the work setting. Experiential learning also helps the professional in setting academic, career and personal goals.

K-12 School Leadership Doctor of Philosophy Program Design
Knowledge Domain Course Number and Title Credit Hours
Leadership Foundations Lead 1, 2, and 3 (prerequisites)*
Lead 5 EDA 7106 Reframing Organizations 3
Lead 6 EDA 7931 Seminar in Leadership 3
Research & Technology Foundations STA 7114 Advanced Statistics 3
EDA 6415 Introduction to Qualitative Inquiry 3
EDA 7912 Advanced Research – Literature Review 3
EDF 7482 Advanced Research – Proposal 3
EDA 7416 Advanced Qualitative Inquiry 3
Professional Knowledge
Required Courses
EDA 5061: Context of Educational Administration
EDA 6062: School Improvement
EDA 7069: Ethics and Policy
9
Concentrations (9 hours within ONE concentration) courses selected with Advisor
  • Curriculum and Instruction
  • International school leadership
  • Social Justice & Cultural relevance
  • Educational Policy
  • Organizational Leadership
  • Or Individualized concentration
9
Electives 3 specialty courses taken outside the Department or College. Pre-requisites and/or certification classes may be used in place of electives with advisor approval. 9
Experiential Learning
Required
EDA 7925 – Leadership Externship - Action Learning
6
Electives
EDA 6905 -- Directed Independent Study (DIS)
EDA 7905 – Directed Independent Study (DIS) (Travel Conference)
EDA 7943 – Field Project 1
EDA 7944 – Field Project 2
6
Dissertation EDA 7980 - Dissertation 20
Grand Total Required – Minimum of 80 Credits
* Students are required to meet the Master’s level prerequisites

Experimental Component

All doctoral students must take 12 hours of experiential education. A student may elect a three or six hour internship at the doctoral level. The three hour internship requires 75 contact hours and 25 non-contact hours. The six hour internship requires 150 contact hours and 50 non-contact hours.