Lynn University

Name of CPED-Influenced Program: Ed.D. Educational Leadership

Key Contact Person:
Dr. Kathleen Weigel, Dean

Program Description: 
The Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) at Lynn University in the Ross College of Education is a 51 credit, three-year, cohort-based program that equips scholarly practitioners with the skills needed to lead high performing learning organizations, connecting research to practice. The program is geared toward working professionals with a Master’s degree and several years of experience in the field.  Approximately fifteen students will be admitted each year in the fall.

The program has a theory-to-practice focus bringing together research literature and practice with problems of practice faced in day-to-day educational settings.

All students enrolled in the program must complete curricular requirements (39 credits) and choose one area of specialization (Educational Leadership or Teacher Preparation) and corresponding number of electives (12 credits). Each class scaffolds on previous class learning:

1   Foundational Course      
4   Methods of Inquiry Courses
2   Problem Based Inquiry Research Seminars
3   Problem Based Inquiry Field Based Courses
3   Capstone Experiences
4   Specialization Courses             

Learning objectives are organized around four program themes:

  1. Leadership
  2. Equity & Diversity (E & D)
  3. Accountability
  4. Learning and Instruction (L & I)

About the program:

  • A three (3) year doctoral program
  • Two concentrations are offered that tailor to the following professional fields: Teacher Education and K-12 Leadership.
  • The core and specialization curriculums (Teacher Education and K-12 Leadership) have common syllabi, and students take courses in a specified sequence.
  • A learning community with a cohort of approximately twelve -fifteen students per year.
  • The cohort meets Saturday(s) (9:00am-5:00pm) throughout the fall and spring semesters, and attends a Summer Institute
  • Students complete the practitioner-doctorate degree with a capstone experience i.e. Dissertation in Practice.

The foundation for the EdD program is the scholarly practitioner model; blending instruction, theory, research knowledge and concepts, as well as applied analytic and communication skills. These are nested within an authentic clinical context, illustrating problems faced by practicing education professionals.

Problem Based Instruction (PBI)

Problems of practice and issues of the field will be the vehicle around which students examine the four overarching Themes that guide and are embedded as foundational skills and competencies in the program.



Equity & Diversity (E &D)

Learning & Instruction (L & I)

The themes serve as critical competencies throughout the program and are threaded into the core curriculum, seminars, case studies and research conducted.

Signature Pedagogy: 

Beginning in fall 2009, Lynn University offered practicing school administrators, and educational leaders involved with a variety of agencies a unique opportunity to obtain a scholarly practitioner doctorate degree in                       Educational Leadership or Teacher Education.

Lynn University’s journey towards a new and innovative Ed.D program has been conducted in conjunction with the Carnegie Foundation Project on the Education Doctorate. The help and support of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, and our critical friends in the project has been invaluable. The outcome being that we have a national focus on our program.

Lynn’s doctoral program’s signature pedagogy incorporates these assumptions as part of Problem Based Learning (PBL) through the use of field studies starting in the first year of the program aligned with foundational coursework in PBL, inquiry, gathering evidence and research methods of evidence. The PBL field study will also complement and align with the Capstone of the program implemented in the third year of the program.

Laboratories of Practice: 

The laboratory of practice will be the student’s workplace.Problem Based Learning (PBL) uses case studies and real situations; it allows faculty and students in the program to be introduced to real world problems or field studies throughout the program.

Bridges and Hallinger (1995) have presented a PBL model for leadership development which states that knowing and doing are important outcomes for learners. More importantly PBL activates prior knowledge and allows for the incorporation of new knowledge; learners are provided numerous opportunities to apply knowledge (laboratories of practice) and assimilate it in the context it will eventually be used


The Consultancy Model (CM)

Problems of practice articulated by field organizations will be topics for study. Students will work in groups on these problems of practice in a collaborative endeavor that requires them to understand the problem as posed, analyze the issue from a number of perspectives, and respond with policy and practice.

Clients request for assistance description of a project will include:

 (1) A context statement; (2) the problem to be addressed; (3) the expectations of the client; (4) the data sources that will be made available (5) the agreed timeline for data to be collected; (6) the expectations regarding communication and reports; and (7) the expectations for the final report.

The student/team will present a scope of work memo to the client and the mentoring Educational Leadership faculty that defines the scope of the project, including key questions; specifies the analytical focus and data collection strategies; develops a timeline and task completion schedule; and assigns team members. The final project will be a report of the analysis undertaken, including a description of the literature which informed the topic, a description of the data used, and the policy and practice recommendations. The project will be presented to both faculty reviewers and client reviewers. Using procedures outlined by critical friends in CPED institutions, implementing this type of capstone, structures will be in place to ensure individual accountability for work products.

The Dissertation in Practice begins in spring of the 1st year, and presented in the final semester of the program i.e. summer of the 3rd year

Description of each year of the Program: 

The EdD is a three year program consisting of two semesters-13 weeks plus Summer Institute (varied calendar to meet personalized needs of cohort).

Course #

Course Title

EDU:  701

Leadership, Policy  &  Context

EDU:  702

Methods of Inquiry  I

Policy and Program Evaluation

EDU:  703

Hartwick Seminar I

EDU:  726


Specialization Course #1

Educational Leadership K-12

Instructional & Curriculum Leadership

EDU:  730


Specialization Course #1

Teacher Preparation

Research on Teaching & Teacher Education 

EDU:  704 

Methods of Inquiry II

Quantitative/ Qualitative Analysis

EDU:  727


Specialization Course #2

Educational Leadership K-12

Public School Law

EDU:  731


Specialization Course #2

Teacher Knowledge, Culture, Content, and Pedagogy

EDU:  705

PBI: Field Based Class I

 Educational Reform in a Metropolitan Context

EDU:  728


Specialization Course #3

Educational Leadership K-12

Student Motivation & Cognition

EDU:  732


Specialization Course #3

Teacher Preparation

Adult Learning & Instruction

EDU:  706


Methods of Inquiry III

Analyzing the data

EDU:  729


Specialization Course #4

Educational Leadership K-12

Planning & Management in School Funding and Facilities

EDU:  733

Specialization Course #4

Teacher Preparation

Emerging Trends in Teacher Finance, Governance, Law, and Technology

EDU:  707

PBI Field Based Class II

Leadership in a Metropolitan Context

EDU:  708

Methods of Inquiry IV

Research Critique

EDU:  709

PBI Field Based Class III

Social, Psychological, & Philosophical Issues in Education

EDU:  801

Capstone Part I

The Problem/Profile 

EDU:  711

PBI Seminar II 

EDU:  802

Capstone Part II

The Gathering of Evidence

EDU:  803

Capstone Part III


Dissertation in Practice Presentation


Program Milestones: 

Student Assessment

Performance in the program will be assessed in several ways. Conventional individual course performance measures (grades & electronic professional portfolios-LiveText) are reviewed i.e. mastery, synthesis, and application of knowledge and skills gained during the Ed.D. program’s first two years are coupled with mid-semester and two annual reviews by program faculty who provide performance feedback.

A framework for the benchmarks to assess student performance is summarized below.          

  • Semester reviews
  • Annual reviews
  • Portfolio (LifeText) review
  • Complete capstone proposal

Educational Leadership faculty members will assess student progress and provide formative and summative feedback throughout the program. Faculty determination of unsatisfactory progress will result in a corrective action program (CAR) being implemented with additional faculty mentoring. Students will provide feedback to each other formally and informally. As reflective practitioners, students will assess their progress in the program based on their experiences, peer and faculty feedback received. Faculty members will also consider students’ peer evaluations completed in various classes when completing their evaluation rubric. The Scholarly Practitioner Portfolio (LiveText) assessment of learning will serve as a comprehensive exam. Student portfolio work will be judged rigorously in order for the student to move forward into the capstone experience. After successfully presenting their Scholarly Practitioner Portfolio the student will be admitted to doctoral candidacy.

Admission Requirements: 

The admission process consists of two phases:

Phase 1-General screening via published material

  • Official transcripts of all post-secondary work
  • Master’s degree in a related field
  • Two letters of support from current employment
  • Writing sample-

1. General application and introduction letter.

2.  Professional Practice Statement (1,000 words approx) should identify your professional goals and contain an explanation of how this program will help you attain them.

Phase 2- Interview & presentation by finalists who progress through stage 1.

  • Interview & presentation addressing an identified problem/issue from their school or school district, and an extemporaneous writing sample.

Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate (CPED)
Headquartered @ The University of Pittsburgh School of Education
4318 Posvar Hall - 230 S. Bouquet Street - Pittsburgh, PA 15260   +1 (412) 648-7428