San Jose State University

Name of CPED-Influenced EdD Program: EdD in Educational Leadership
Key Contact Person:
Arnold Danzig, PhD Director
Program Description:
The EdD in Educational Leadership at San José State University emphasizes a systems approach to human centered education leadership. The philosophy of the San José State University Ed.D. program is based on the belief that educational leaders serve in learner-centered systems in which inquiry, learning, and human care are central values. The role for educational leaders entails developing a learning community, one that promotes collaboration and shared decision- making. This enlarged role of leadership also implies a movement towards more distributed models of leadership and creating a public will that is networked and dispersed and charged with successfully educating all students. The program focuses on PK-12 leadership.  
Stage in Redesign Process: Implementation
Signature Pedagogy: 

The pedagogy of the EdD program is based on adult learning principles, which recognize that learning is social, that people revise deeply held principles by examining the own assumptions with new knowledge and information drawn from research and experience.  To fulfill the goals and objectives of the SJSU Ed.D program, candidates will engage in a variety of leadership activities that inform and support their professional learning.  Through the use of discussion, assigned readings, case studies, structured exercises, reflective journaling, digital media, and faculty coaching and mentoring, students will participate in numerous activities designed to gain an appreciation of the complexity and ever-changing role of the leader.  Candidates will:

·         Participate in classroom and site-based inquiry activities pertaining to student achievement, program assessment, policy and program evaluation, and other measures of educational success.

·         Work collaboratively in classroom and field-based activities utilizing applied research, instructional technology, and problem analysis to gain clarity and develop professional action plans designed to address social and political issues such as diversity, equity, justice, and change.

·         Participate in problem-based learning experiences directed by activities in core courses and as part of the program’s field experience and/or internships.

·         Utilize communication, organizational, and leadership theories in the development of leadership and management strategies designed to address effective leadership, decision-making, leader-team relations, leader-community relations, conflict resolution, and implementation of organizational transformation.

·         Employ various forms of digital media in the assembly of program artifacts, a reflection and synthesis of personal learning and its relationship to their professional work.

Laboratories of Practice: 
This curricular framework emphasizes the EdDas a professional practice degree and draws on use-inspired research; this framework comes from research findings and from expertise on educational leadership housed institutionally in the University Council for Educational Administration (UCEA), Division A (Administration) of the American Educational Research Association, and Special Interest Group on Teaching and Learning in Educational Leadership (LTEL), administrative practitioner organizations including the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP), the American Association of School Administrators (AASA), and the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA). 

The philosophy, curricular design, and pedagogy for the Ed.D. in educational leadership are also embedded in the leadership and administrative standards for practitioners presented in Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium (ISSLC, 2008) standards, as well as standards for the preparation of school administrators taken from the Educational Leadership Constituent Council (ELCC) and the California Professional Standards for Educational Leaders (CPSEL).  These guidelines advocate for educational leaders who will have the ability and capacity to 1) provide optimal leadership for the education of all stakeholders in diverse organizational settings, 2) examine current educational practices and policies from a variety of relevant leadership and organizational theoretical perspectives, 3) demonstrate effective communication skills, 4) engage in scholarly research and use a variety of data to inform decision making and planning for instructional improvement, 5) identify and solve complex problems in education, and 6) lead and facilitate the professional development of self and others in the educational organization.  

Courses and pedagogy in the EdD program are based on a “scholar-practitioner model,” which makes theory meaningful at the level of use and practical action (Foster, 1986).  Mullen (2005) describes a scholar-practitioner as someone who redefines what an “intellectual is and does,” and one who gravitates toward inquiry to "guide their practical knowing and see the possibilities and limitation of theory in practice” (p. 47).  The scholar-practitioner model challenges university professors to engage in a dialogue with their candidates considering real-world issues that affect educators (Starratt, 2004). 

After completing the preliminary oral defense, the student carries out the research plan described in the approved proposal, collects and analyzes data, and continues writing the dissertation.  The student's Dissertation Committee serves to guide the student to ensure the dissertation is a scholarly work resulting from a vigorous research study that contributes to the improvement of education. The student shall work with the committee chair to develop a system for reviewing drafts and for sharing drafts with other committee members at appropriate times.  The student shall submit drafts of the dissertation to committee members in appropriately word-processed form.  The completed final draft also includes the abstract, copyright page, title page, acknowledgments, table of contents, list of tables and figures, references, and appendices.  The student shall submit the manuscript to committee members for a final reading and approval.  The final dissertation may take a variety of forms depending upon the type of research undertaken.  The conventional five-chapter dissertation, consisting of an introduction, literature review, methodology, results/analysis, and conclusion/recommendations may be altered to reflect a specific design and purpose.    

The program recognizes that it is important for students in a professional doctoral program to participate in coursework that is intellectually rigorous and relevant to the experiences and interests of practitioners.   Doctoral students will complete readings, activities, projects in the four core curriculum areas:  1) Educational Leadership, 2) Organizational Behavior and Adult Learning, 3) Contexts for Educational Leadership and Schooling, and 4) Research Methodology.  Courses in the doctoral program will be taught by full-time tenure and tenure-track faculty members with deep knowledge as well as experience in areas being taught.  Students will also complete three research seminar courses to build applied research skills, intended to 1) orient students to doctoral study in educational leadership, 2) apply quantitative and qualitative research methods in ways that promote inquiry-oriented research into practice and learn field-based analytic projects that are consistent with the objectives of the particular course, 3) promote a culture of research and writing on a practice-based research topic for the dissertation.  Faculty will assist students in developing dissertation research aimed at understanding educational environments at the ground level, and fully describe the implementation and impact of educational changes.  Doctoral courses and professional seminars in which students and faculty work on the development of research questions and the applications of research methodologies induct students into the doctoral-level culture.  Assessments judging the students’ applied research skills will focus on:

a)      Quality of research questions and applications to practice.

b)      Importance of research for effective educational leadership for improvement of learning.

c)      Research as an original contribution to understanding educational practice.

d)     Questions that can be investigated empirically.

e)      Integrative learning, scholarly analyses, synthesis, and critical/creative thought.

f)       Appropriate use and application of various research methodologies.

g)      Use of analytical, descriptive, and statistical tools.

h)      Knowledge of psychological, sociological, and historical contexts research related to research

i)       Incorporation of diversity elements (e.g., linguistic, cultural, ethnic, gender, socioeconomic) in research designs.

j)       Writing proficiency/research reporting for various audiences (research reports, publishable articles, presentations to boards of education).

Description of each year of the Program: 


Summer  (Year 1)

Fall  (Year 1)

Spring (Year 1)


·         Educational Leadership: Theory and Practice


·         Organizational Behavior and Change in Education


·         Leadership for Learner-Centered Organizations


·         Politics of Education and Financing of Schooling


·         Quantitative Analysis in Educational Research


·         Qualitative Methods in Educational Research 


·         Professional Seminar I Doctoral Studies




Summer  (Year 2)

Fall  (Year 2)

Spring (Year 2)


·         Education and Leadership in Global Contexts



·        Education Policy, Resource Allocation, and School Reform


·         Leadership, Diversity, and Culture: Family, School, Community Connections




·         Global Context: Field Experience



·         Communication for Educational Leadership


·      Assessment, Testing and  Evaluation


·         Professional Seminar II

Doctoral Studies 







Optional internship/field work + course on superintendency  




Summer  (Year 3)

Fall  (Year 3)

Spring (Year 3)


·         Leadership, Complexity, and Systems Thinking


·         Professional Seminar III

Doctoral Studies


·         Dissertation (6 credits)


·      Dissertation (6 credits)

Program Milestones: 

Tentative Milestones for Students in the SJSU Ed.D. Program in Educational Leadership


Program Director & Staff


     Year 1

Program Director/Staff


Required Coursework

Student Registers for all Classes

      Years 1, 2, 3

Student Registration

Preliminary Literature Review

Work to be accomplished in the EDD 591B – Proseminar II.

Year 2/ 2nd Summer in the Program

Work accomplished with faculty member teaching Proseminar II

Selection of  Dissertation Committee Chair & Members


Work with Advisor on Selecting Dissertation Chair & Committee Members

Year 2/ Fall & Spring

Student’s Dissertation

Chair & Committee names submitted  to the

Program Director, Graduate Studies Research Office

Approval  of Pre-Proposal /Comp Exam


Student signs and gets required signatures from Chair & Committee

Year 3/Summer

Student submits Form

to Ed.D Program Office

Defense of



Committee approves and signs off on

Dissertation Proposal


Year 3/End of Summer or Beginning of Fall Semester

Signed Form to

Graduate Studies

Submit Petition for Advancement to Candidacy Form

Student signs and gets required signature from Chair

September of 3rd Year in Program

Ed.D. Program Office will get Director’s signature and forward to Graduate Admissions

IRB Approval

Students complete IRB forms and required approval

Year 3/End of Summer or Beginning of Fall Semester

Student emails approval

form to chair and all committee members

Students Begin Research – Consults with chair

and committee members on chapters

Year 3

Fall & Spring


Students submits Petition for Graduation Form

the semester they intend to graduate

Year 3 - Spring


Schedule Oral Defense of the Dissertation

Dissertation draft  prepared two weeks prior to defense;  After oral defense & required changes, dissertation revised and signed off by Chair Committee Chair & Committee to

Year 3 –Spring, no later than Graduate Studies deadline for graduate in given year.

Student submits required forms to EdD Program Office and

Graduate Studies  



Year 3 – Spring



Admission Requirements: 

The EdD program is designed to admit candidates who meet the academic requirements for rigorous doctoral study and who possess personal qualities and professional experiences that suggest a strong potential for success both as doctoral students and as educational leaders. Meeting the minimum requirements qualifies an individual for consideration but does not guarantee admission to the program. Additional candidate qualifications proposed by SJSU district partners include strong oral and written communication skills, organizational aptitude, and excellent problem-solving ability. Admission will be granted on a competitive basis.

The Ed.D. program requires the following of all applicants for admission to the doctoral program:

- The applicant holds an acceptable baccalaureate degree and master's degree earned at a regionally accredited institution of higher education, or the applicant has completed equivalent academic preparation as determined by the Office of Graduate Studies & Research. The applicant has attained a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 in upper division and graduate study combined.
- The applicant was in good standing at the last attended institution of higher education. The applicant has demonstrated sufficient preparation for, experiences in, and potential for educational leadership, including successful experience in school, postsecondary, community, and/or policy leadership; academic excellence, problem-solving ability, and technology proficiency; and interest in critically assessing and improving current educational policies and practices.
- The applicant, if born and educated in a country in which the native language is not English, has demonstrated English-language proficiency by achieving a SJSU-published minimum score on one of the three accepted English-proficiency exams.
General Information:
  • Program Delivery: On Campus
  • Average number of students admitted into the EdD program each year: 15-16
  • Types of employoment students hold upon entering the program: Practicing education leaders including assistant principals, principals, deans, coaches, mentors, directors, department chairs, teacher leaders, assistant superintendents, and superintendents.
  • Student : Faculty Ratio (Courses): 16:1
  • Student : Faculty Ratio (Advising): 4:1
  • Typical bachelors degrees held by students upon entering the program: Varies.  Most applicants certified as teachers and/or administrators.
  • Typical masters degrees held by students upon entering the program: Varies.  Most applicants have Master's degrees in an education-related field.  Many have Master's in Educational Leadership or Counselor Education.  
  • Number of credits in the program (beyond the Masters): 60
  • Professional qualifications required of prospective students: Administrative certification given priority.  Teacher licensure also given priority.
  • Length of Program: Less than 4 years
  • Percentage of students that graduate on time: Program is just beginning 2nd year in operation.
  • Are most students part time or full time?: full time
  • Admissions Cycle: Admissions cycle opens in October/November and closes on March 1st of given year.
    No GRE required.  Students must complete two writing samples  
  • Financial aid available to students: FAFSA available to eligible students.  10% of tuition returned to eligible students by SJSU.  Additional scholarship monies for 1st and 2nd cohorts of approximately $12,000/cohort.
Core Courses:
Educational Leadership and Education Policy (4 courses - 12 unit)
  • EDD 510: Educational leadership
  • EDD 512: Leadership, complexity, and systems thinking
  • EDD 515:  Leadership, diversity, and culture
  • EDD 535:  Education policy, equity, and school reform
Research Courses:

Research Methodology:  Tools for the Scholar-Practitioner (5 courses - 15 units)

EDD 591A: Proseminar I: Doctoral studies and research in educatioN
EDD 501: Quantitative analysis in educational research
EDD 502: Qualitative methods in educational research
EDD 591B: Proseminar II: Doctoral studies and research in education
EDD 591C: Proseminar III: Doctoral studies and research in education

Other Courses:

Organizational Behavior and Adult Learning (3 courses - 9 unit)

EDD 511: Organizational theory, complexity, and sustainability
EDD 520: Leadership for learner-centered organizations
EDD 522: Communication for educational leadership

Contexts for Educational Leadership (4 courses - 12 units)

EDD 530: Assessment, testing and evaluation: Contexts and implications for change
EDD 536: Politics of education and financing of schooling
EDD 540: Education and leadership in global context
EDD585: Field studies in global context

Did practitioners advise on the program design process? How so?: 

Yes.  Met with local area school administrators to develop program.  Consultant also hired with expert knowledge in school administration.

How long was the design process?: 
One year in final push, with five years prior effort to develop program.
Was there anything unique about your program design process?: 

Global context for doctoral studies, including field experience outside of the United States is a required part of the doctoral program.

Last Updated: September 1, 2016 - 1:50pm

Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate (CPED)
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