California State University - Fresno

Name of CPED-Influenced Program: Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership at Fresno State (DPELFS)
Key Contact Person:
Dr. Kenneth Magdaleno, EdD Coordinator
Program Description: 

The Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership at Fresno State is designed to enhance the talents and skills of individuals who plan to devote their lives to the implementation of educational practices informed by research. The Doctorate in Education (Ed.D.) at California State University, Fresno is offered to prepare both PreK-12 education administrators and Post-secondary education administrators (particularly community college leaders) as an applied program that focuses on preparing educational leaders in the knowledge, skills, and best practices that these educators need to be effective education leaders.

The Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership at Fresno State is a 60- unit degree: 27 units of Core courses, 21 units of Specialization courses, and 12 Dissertation units. Fieldwork components are embedded in the following courses: EDL 203 - Educational Policy Environments; EDL 204 - Advanced Applied Quantitative Methods; EDL 207 - Applied Qualitative Research Methods; EDL 208 - Theories of Cross-cultural Education; EDL 209 - Advanced Applied Research and Measurement in Education; and EDL 211 - Educational Evaluation, Assessment and Planning.

The program is offered in a cohort format in a three-year time frame. The schedule of courses is included in Attachment 4. A complete description of the program can be found at The program is geared towards working professionals who have potential or have already demonstrated leadership in the field of education. The program is offered in the evenings and on the weekends. In most semesters students take 2 courses, however, there are several semesters where there are 9 units of coursework required in order to meet the 3-year time line for graduation. The program does not have a residency requirement.

Laboratories of Practice: 

Embedded Fieldwork, case studies and doctoral students working with the Central Valley Educational Leadership Institute in projects and programs. These experiences are provided during the program to give students hands on practice with what is being learned through the curriculum.

Signature Pedagogy:
The faculty has established embedded fieldwork as the program’s Signature Pedagogy. DPELFS Statement of Signature Pedagogy: “DPELFS’ courses will contain curriculum-based embedded fieldwork that provides engagement with and service to the local community.”

Dissertation is the capstone. Students begin working on the dissertation at the end of year two. Mandatory dissertation seminars are held during the second spring semester and second summer semester. Students are encouraged to do action or applied research for their dissertations. View our Dissertation Guidelines.

Description of each year of the Program: 
Fall Spring Summer
6 units total 6 units total 6 units total
EDL 201 - Organizational Theory in Complex Organizations EDL 204 - Advanced Applied Quantitative Methods EDL 202 - Educational Reform
EDL 209 - Advanced Applied Research and Measurement in Education EDL 206 - Conceptual Curriculum Perspectives for Educational Leadership EDL 208 - Theories of Cross-cultural Education
Fall Spring Summer
9 units total 6 units total 9 units total
EDL 203 - Educational Policy Environments EDL 280T - Specialization Course EDL 280T - Specialization Course
EDL 207 - Applied Qualitative Research Methods EDL 280T - Specialization Course EDL 280T - Specialization Course
EDL 211 - Educational Evaluation, Assessment, and Planning Dissertation Lab (Mandatory, zero units) EDL 299 (3) - Dissertation (includes 2nd mandatory dissertation lab)
Fall Spring  
9 units total 9 units total  
EDL 280T - Specialization Course EDL 280T - Specialization Course  
EDL 280T - Specialization Course EDL 299 (6) - Dissertation  
EDL 299 (3) - Dissertation    
Program Milestones: 

Qualifying Examination (End of Core Courses)

The QE are three case-based problems of practice that come from any of the 9 core courses. Students are given the questions and respond to them with no external resources in one 4-hour sitting.

Dissertation – Preliminary and Final Defense

Students prepare and defend the first three chapters of their dissertation to their committee. Students defend their final dissertation at a defense open to the public.

Program Handbook: DoclStudentGuidelinesAug09.pdf
Admission Requirements: 

The Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership at Fresno State requires the following of all applicants for admission to the doctoral program:

  1. An earned baccalaureate degree and master’s degree from an accredited institution of post-secondary education with a grade point average in upper division and graduate studies of 3.0 or above;
  2. Sufficient preparation and graduate training and experience pertinent to educational leadership to benefit from the Program;
  3. Submission of Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores taken within the past five years;
  4. Demonstrated educational leadership potential and skills including successful experience in school, postsecondary, community, and/or policy leadership;
  5. Demonstrated academic excellence, problem-solving ability, and an interest in critically assessing and bringing about improvements within current educational policies and practices;
  6. Three letters of recommendation attesting to the leadership, ability, and scholarship of the candidate;
  7. A written statement of purpose reflecting an understanding of the challenges facing the public schools or community colleges/institutions of post-secondary education in California; and
  8. A personal interview.

Other university graduate admissions standards for graduate students also apply to all Ed.D. candidates. These requirements are used to determine students’ ability to successfully complete the program. While the GRE is a requirement, more weight is placed on experience, previous success, leadership potential and letters of recommendation.

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