Since 1997, the University of Missouri Statewide Cooperative EdD Program in Educational Leadership has served over 700 educational leaders in Missouri (and surrounding areas). The program offers a professional doctorate in educational leadership to enhance the knowledge and competencies of leaders in PK-12 and postsecondary educational organizations. We work with four partner institutions to deliver the program at locations throughout the state of Missouri: Missouri State University, Northwest Missouri State University, Southeast Missouri State University, and the University of Central Missouri. This regional delivery system is designed to provide flexibility to pursue a doctoral degree while working full-time anywhere in Missouri or in bordering areas. The faculty members across all five institutions are experienced, supportive of graduate education, and knowledgeable regarding the foundational and current theories and perspectives related to educational leadership.
Reflective, inquiring, situated, and case-based pedagogy that incorporates simulated and authentic leadership experiences into the curriculum and student learning.
Laboratories of Practice:
Embedded throughout the program with students’ application of what they have learned in their own leadership practice.
Individual dissertation-in-practice research, often conducted locally, to improve practice, support organizational change, and/or influence policy decisions.
Description of each year of the Program:
First Summer Semester
Organizational Analysis for Educational Leadership – 4 Hrs
Educational Leadership Inquiry I: Change, Diversity, and Ethics– 2 Hrs
Team Building and Group Dynamics – 1 Hr
First Fall Semester
Leadership Theory and Practice – 3 Hrs
Leadership Theory and Practice Application: Leaders and Data – 1 Hr
Professional Seminar I: Research Design – 1 Hr
First Spring Semester
Qualitative Tools for Research in Educational Leadership – 3 Hrs
Educational Leadership Inquiry II: Research Ethics and IRB – 1 Hr
Professional Seminar I: Research Design – 1 Hr
Second Summer Semester
QuantitativeTools for Research in Educational Leadership – 3 Hrs
Policy Analysis for Educational Leadership – 4 Hrs
Second Fall Semester
Educational Planning and Evaluation – 3 Hrs
Educational Leadership Inquiry III: Data Reporting – 1 Hr
Professional Seminar II: Literature Reviews – 1 Hr
Second Spring Semester
Content and Context for Learning – 3 Hrs
Educational Leadership Inquiry IV: Prospectus Development– 1 Hr
Professional Seminar II: Data-Driven Decision Making – 1 Hr
Third Summer and Fall Semesters
Comprehensive Examinations – 2 Hrs
Research in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis – 10 Hrs (Dissertation)
Total 46 Hrs
The emphasis of the EdD Program is on developing effective, thoughtful, and reflective practitioners who are competent in identifying and solving complex problems of practice in educational settings. As a program dedicated to the development of these scholarly practitioners, graduates will:
- Know foundational and current theories and perspectives in leadership theory and practice, organizational analysis, educational policy, and content and context of learning.
- Know the importance of being responsive to issues of social justice including power, privilege, and difference.
- Know how to identify and analyze problems of practice.
- Know the value of reflective practice.
- Know theories and research behind teams and group dynamics.
In addition to developing knowledge that is informed by theory and empirical research, content themes are integrated with practice emphasizing real-time application in the work setting so that graduates will:
- Be able to provide effective leadership to their respective organizations.
- Be able to work collaboratively to achieve organizational goals with a diverse set of stakeholders.
- Be able to address problems of practice through the use of data, both pre-existing and by utilizing data collection methods of their own.
- Be able to engage in reflective practice in order to implement change in their professional practice and within their organizations.
- Be able to respond to issues of social justice within their organizations and communities.
Two Years of Coursework
Written and Oral Comps at the End of Coursework
Dissertation-in-Practice Proposal Defense
Final Dissertation-in-Practice Defense
- Application to MU Office of Research and Graduate Studies
- EdD Program Application
- Three Recommendations, two from faculty who have taught or advised applicant
- Current Resume
- Unofficial Transcripts (if accepted into the program, students must then request all official transcripts)
- Minimum requirements:
- GPA of 3.0 (4.0 scale) in the last 60 hrs of undergraduate education
- GPA of 3.5 (4.0 scale) in Graduate School (Master's Degree)
- A competitive Graduate Record Examination (GRE) score
- Evidence of consistency between candidate’s and the program's goals
- Relevant organizational or educational leadership experience
Application deadline – December 1st of even-numbered years. Candidates who are selected during the initial paper screening process are then required to participate in on-campus interviews, writing exercises, and problem-solving activities.
- Program Delivery: Hybrid
Average number of students admitted into the EdD program each year: A cohort of 90 students is admitted every 2 years
Types of employment students hold upon entering the program: Full-time positions as educational leaders
Number of credits in the program (beyond the Masters): 46
Professional qualifications required of prospective students: Relevant organizational or educational leadership experience
Length of Program: 4-5 years
Are most students part time or full time?: part time
- Admissions Cycle: A cohort of 90 students is admitted every 2 years. Applications for the next cohort are due by December 1st of even years.
Cohorts progress through 2 years of set coursework together.
Preparation throughout the coursework will facilitate students' ability to:
- Critically read and evaluate research in scholarly publications;
- Utilize authentic data from their professional settings, from which they can make data-based decisions and advocate for change;
- Write results of professional inquiry processes in forms that include policy briefs, research summaries for publication, presentations to stakeholders, and evaluation reports;
- Use qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods to capture data that answers authentic research questions; and,
- Interpret results from qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods of inquiry.
Several skill areas drive cohort discussions pertinent to the development of scholarly practitioners in educational leadership settings, including:
- Identifying “problems of practice” in educational settinngs
- Identifying existing sources of quantitative data
- Identifying existing sources of qualitative data
- Designing authentic inquiry using quantitative data
- Designing authentic inquiry using qualitative data
- Communicating findings with stakeholders and scholars
- Making data-based decisions and advocating for change
There are several distinctive features related to teaching and learning in the EdD Program, including:
- A PK-20 cohort model which allows students to gain a broader understanding of educational systems across the lifespan.
- Instructional teams comprised of faculty from each of the five partner institutions work together each semester to ensure content themes are integrated across the coursework and that course assignments are problem-based, reflective, and aligned with the learning objectives of the program.
- Our students are employed full-time as educational leaders while working on applying the knowledge and skills from their courses in real-time in their laboratories of practice.
- As a program delivered across the state, some form of distance technology has been utilized by all five partner institutions since the beginning of the program. As technology has advanced, so have the instructional efforts of the faculty around the state. However, even with the use of these distance technologies, students still gather at their main instructional sites at certain points in the semester (and all at MU during the summers) as we continue to recognize the importance of facilitating in-person relationships for the students in each cohort.
- Given the cohort model, the students are introduced to the theory and research behind teams and group dynamics during the first summer.
- As a professional practice degree program, the EdD Program works to incorporate instructors that have expertise and experience in the content/practice areas being explored within a semester. This often means utilizing adjunct instructors throughout the state, some of whom are graduates of the program themselves and see this as an opportunity to give back to the program.