Augusta University

CPED-Influenced EdD Program:  EdD in Educational Innovation

Key Contacts:
Dr. Wayne Lord, Associate Dean, College of Education
Dr. Molly Quinn, Associate Professor
Dr. Megan Buning, Assistant Professor
Dr. Drew Kemp, Associate Professor



Program Description:

The Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Educational Innovation prepares scholarly practitioners to respond to evolving educational systems, to advocate for solutions to problems, and to foster innovation. The 55-hour program of study includes 19 hours of core coursework, 9 hours in a concentration, 12 hours in research, and 15 hours of Dissertation in Practice. Some of the key features of the program include: • Enrollment in cohorts as a Learning Community • Face to face classes meeting six/seven weekends a month (Friday and Saturday) • Two concentration areas: Curriculum and Instruction and Educational Leadership (neither of these lead to certification) The Ed.D. in Educational Innovation at Augusta University is a professional degree designed for practitioners who work in varied educational settings. Innovation in education requires strong participatory leadership and the creation of collaborative organizations that practice continuous learning. When education professionals integrate theory and practice in a supportive environment, fresh perspectives and high impact responses to educational challenges may be realized. This resonates with principles from the Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate, a national initiative to improve the strength and caliber of the doctorate of education. Augusta University is a member of the Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate (CPED).


Stage in Redesign Process: Implementation

Description of each year of the Program: 


Year One
EDEI 8000 - Introduction to Scholarly Practitioner Learning Communities (1 hr)
EDEI 8640 - Leadership and Interpersonal Dynamics (3 hrs)
EDEI 8160 - Curriculum Theory (3 hrs)
EDEI 8020 - Design and Analysis in Educational Research (3 hrs)
EDEI 8001 - Equity and Social Justice (3 hrs)
EDEI 8162 - Advanced Principles of Pedagogy and Learning Theory (3 hrs)
EDEI 8021 - Advanced Practice in Applied Quantitative Research (3 hrs)

Year Two
EDEI 8163 - Seminar in Place-based Education (3 hrs)
EDEI 8167 - Educational Technology to Transform Curriculum and Instruction (3 hrs) or
EDEI 8430 - Philanthropic Development and Administration for Educational Leaders (3 hrs)
EDEI 8022 - Advanced Practice in Applied Qualitative Research (3 hrs)
EDEI 8165 - Curriculum Inquiry (3 hrs) or
EDEI 8420 - Economics of Public Education (3 hrs)
EDEI 8461 - Educational Change (3 hrs)
EDEI 8166 - Alternative Curriculum Models (3 hrs) or
EDEI 8450 - Leading Innovations in Teaching and Learning (3 hrs)

Year Three
EDEI 8998 - Ed.D. Dissertation Proposal Preparation (3 hrs)
EDEI 8025 - Advanced Quantitative Data Analysis in Education (3 hrs) or
EDEI 8026 - Advanced Qualitative Data Analysis in Education (3 hrs)
EDEI 8999 - Ed.D. Dissertation in Practice (6 hrs)
EDEI 8999 - Ed.D. Dissertation in Practice (6 hrs)

Core Courses:


The core courses address educational change theory (EDEI 8461), curriculum theory (EDEI 8160), instruction (EDEI 8162), place-based education (EDEI 8163), equity and social justice (EDEI 8001), leadership (EDEI 8460), and learning communities (EDEI 8000). The program ensures that students will not only learn specifically about innovation in education, but students will also develop deep knowledge in the areas of curriculum, leadership, and applied research.

Research Courses:


The research courses include four required courses: Design and Analysis in Educational Research (EDEI 8020), Advanced Practice in Applied Quantitative Research (EDEI 8021), and Advanced Practice in Applied Qualitative Research. Students may select either Advanced Quantitative Data Analysis (EDEI 8025) or Advanced Qualitative Data Analysis (EDEI 8026) as an elective. Students with limited research coursework or experience should discuss the need for prerequisite research classes.



Capstone:  Each Doctor of Education (EdD) student will complete a Dissertation in Practice during the third year of the program. Unlike in a traditional dissertation, a key component is the ability to collaborate with colleagues in response to a problem of practice. Dissertations in Practice involve collaborative problem-solving while allowing for individual assessment of doctoral students. Dissertation in Practice Teams vary in size and are led by co-chairs. Each member of a Dissertation in Practice Team has an assigned Chair. Dissertations in Practice have scholarly written documents that will be disseminated.

Thus, the goal of the Dissertation in Practice (DIP) is twofold. The DIP allows the student to utilize and apply the concepts and skills learned throughout the Ed.D. program in an innovative manner. The larger goal is to respond to a persistent problem of practice through the systematic, collaborative application of existing research/evidence to educational practice.

A Dissertation in Practice must focus on an authentic, meaningful practice/policy that motivates, facilitates, and contributes to the solution of a substantial problem of practice. The DIP serves the interest of a professional colleague, an educational entity, or an organizational consumer and makes a contribution to the site or setting as well as the research more broadly.

In consultation with Ed.D. faculty and educational practitioners, students will identify a problem or need within their practice specialty area and develop an in-depth understanding of the issue through a targeted review and synthesis of the relevant research literature. Students will examine the social justice, ethical, political, economic, and cultural aspects inherent in the problem.

Successful, sustainable projects are not developed in isolation, but in partnership with the targeted system or community. Therefore, students must also take into consideration and involve the system and stakeholders that will be impacted by the change in every phase of the project process.

After a problem of practice has been identified and confirmed, the student will design a detailed plan for addressing the problem. The design will evolve based on rigorous evaluation and synthesis of existing research and thorough assessment of the community, target population and setting for implementation. The research design includes the collection of data, a framework for the analysis of these data, an analysis of data collected, a presentation of findings and conclusions, a discussion of the implications of findings for policy, practice, and research, and a discussion of the lessons learned.

Related Courses

Students will complete courses that provide content, structure and resources to help facilitate all aspects of the Dissertation in Practice. The required Dissertation in Practice courses are provided below; for more in-depth description, refer to specific course syllabi.

• EDEI 8998 Ed.D. Dissertation Proposal Preparation (3 hrs.)
• EDEI 8025 Advanced Quantitative Data Analysis in Education (3 hrs.) OR EDEI 8026 Advanced Qualitative Data Analysis in Education (3 hrs.)
• EDEI 8999 Ed.D. Dissertation in Practice (6 hrs.)
• EDEI 8999 Ed.D. Dissertation in Practice (6 hrs.)

Content in other courses contribute to helping students understand the larger context and concepts they will apply to the project.

Dissertation in Practice Teams vary in size and have Co-Advisors. Students will also be working closely with a Dissertation in Practice Committee. The student collaborates closely with the Committee Co-Chairs during all phases of the project process. The committee is responsible for guiding and evaluating the student throughout the progression of the project.

Dissertations in Practice have scholarly written documents that will be disseminated.

Initial preparation for the Dissertation in Practice occurs during Year Two (Fall Semester) when teams are established and problems of practice are identified. In Year Two (Spring Semester) a problem of practice (framed in equity, ethics, or social justice) is identified and a literature review is completed. The literature review serves as the comprehensive exam. In Year Three (Summer Semester) a DIP Proposal is written and approved. During Year Three (Fall and Spring Semesters) the proposal is executed and agreed upon products are produced by the team and individual members.

Dissertation in Practice Co-Advisors:  For the dissertation, the cohort will be assigned two advisors to assist you in the process of developing, planning, writing, and defending the dissertation. One of these advisors will serve as Chair of your Doctoral Advisory Committee.

The Doctoral Advisory Committee (four members) will be composed of:
• Co-chairs (professors of record for the dissertation classes)
• University faculty member
• Ex-officio member (optional) familiar with context of problem

General Information:

  • When did this CPED-influenced EdD program begin?:   May 2015
  • Program Delivery:   On Campus
  • Average number of students admitted each year: 12
  • Types of employment students hold upon entering the program:   P-12 Educators (Classroom Teachers, Administrators), Higher Education (Department Chair, Instructor)
  • Student:Faculty Ratio (Courses):   12:1
  • Student:Faculty Ratio (Advising):    2:1
  • Number of credits in the program (beyond the Masters):   55
  • Length of Program:   Less than 4 years
  • Percentage of students that graduate on time:    No completers until May 2018
  • Are most students part time or full time?:   part time

Online applications are due no later than November 2 of each year.  These are reviewed by the Admissions Committee and competitive applicants are invited to campus in late January. In January the invited applicants participate in a writing exercise and a group interview. The Admissions Committee meets in February to identify applicants who will be recommended to The Graduate School for admission.

Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate (CPED)
Headquartered @ The University of Pittsburgh School of Education
5522 Posvar Hall - 230 S. Bouquet Street - Pittsburgh, PA 15260   +1 (412) 648-7428