University of Hawaii

Name of CPED-Influenced Program: Doctorate in Professional Educational Practice (EdD)


Program Description: 

The EdD is a three-year cohort program. Instruction is mainly conducted during the summer and at weekends. During the fall and spring semesters students engage in field-based projects. The first is a group consultancy project; the second is a practioner research project (Dissertation in Practice). The EdD is designed as a professional practice doctorate—an advanced degree directed to the education of practitioners in three distinct groups: (1) school leaders (principals, superintendents, and curriculum specialists), (2) teacher leaders (community college and four-year college faculty, school based teachers, and clinical teacher educators), and (3) leaders in educational organizations (professional staff at organizations and agencies, and community college leadership).

Stage in Redesign Process: Implementation
Signature Pedagogy: 

Practitioner research projects in which students are engaged in formulating and solving problems of practice in their own educational settings.


We do not have a "capstone" as such. We have two major projects, each of equal weight.


Group Consultancy Projects

Four faculty advisors per Cohort who work with two consultancy groups over three semesters.Six field mentors who are assigned to one consultancy group over three semesters.

Practitioner Research Project (The Dissertation in Practice)

Six faculty advisors who work with 4 or 5 students over the three semester period.Eight field mentors assigned to 3 students over three semester period.

Description of each year of the Program: 

Year One

Summer—3 courses (9 credits)

Fall—Group Consultancy project (6)

Spring—Group Consultancy project (6)

Year Two

Summer—3 courses (9 credits)

Fall—Group Consultancy Project (6)

Spring— Individual Practitioner Reseach Project (6)

Year Three

Summer—3 courses (9 credits)

Fall— Individual Practitioner Reseach Project (6)

Spring—Individual Practitioner Reseach Project (6)

Summer—Concluding Conference with Project Presentations (1)

Core Courses:


ETEC 641 Educational Technology   (3 cr)

EDEF 678 Action Research (3 cr)

EDCS 732 Qualitative Research Methods (3 cr)

EDCS 769 Curriculum and Program Evaluation (3 cr)

ED** *** Data-Based Decision Making (3 cr)

Other Courses:

EDEF 667c Leadership and Governance   (3 cr)

EDEF 762 Social and Cultural Contexts of Education (3 cr)

EDUC 740 Field Studies/Dissertation writing  (3 cr)

EDEF 675 Policy Studies (3 cr)


Program Milestones: 

Year One—Group Consultancy Project

Year Two—Practitioner research project proposal

Year Three—Practitioner research project completion + presentation.

Admission Requirements: 

Applicants should hold a master’s degree from an accredited university with a minimum GPA of 3.0.   Applicants should also have a minimum of three years of experience in the field, either as teachers or as administrators, or in other relevant education roles.

Three professional letters of reference are required in addition to Graduate Division application, transcripts, resumé, and statement of objectives.

No GRE required at this time.

General Information:
  • Program Delivery: On Campus
  • Average number of students admitted into the EdD program each year: Aim is to admit a cohort every three years.
  • Types of employment students hold upon entering the program: All students in Cohort I are educators in either the Hawaii public schools (10), independent schools (14), or UH system (4).Eleven are teachers and the other seventeen hold administrative appointments of various sorts.
  • Student : Faculty Ratio (Courses): 1 to 28
  • Student : Faculty Ratio (Advising): 1 to 5
  • Typical bachelors degrees held by students upon entering the program: Various.
  • Typical masters degrees held by students upon entering the program: Most hold a master of education degree, and some have other types of degrees.
  • Number of credits in the program (beyond the Masters): 64
  • Professional qualifications required of prospective students: Three years of experience in education
  • Length of Program: Less than 4 years
  • Are most students part time or full time?: part time
  • Admissions Cycle: Every three years. As one Cohort completes their work a new Cohort is admitted.
  • Financial aid available to students: None at this time
  • Average number of students enrolled in each cohort: 25
  • Total number of faculty: 6
  • Other (please explain): The EdD at UHM has two major projects each of which has equal weight.  Each project is assigned a faculty advisor and field mentor who both work in close partnership to guide the work of the students.
Unique Pedagogies:
  1. There are two projects in the program—The group Consiultancy Project and The Individual Practitioner Research Project. Each project has equal weight. The first project takes place over the first half of the three year program; the second in the final half.
  2. The program is conceived of as a partner program that combines the research expertise of faculty advisors with the educational expertise of experienced field mentors. The latter group consist of people with considerable administrative experience in public and independent schools. They include public school principals, district superintendents, and heads of independent schools.  
  3. We expect that some of our graduates will want to serve in a mentoring capacity in future cohorts.
  4. The program concludes with an official Program Conference at which the students present the results of the individual projects. This conference will be widely publicised to attract a wide audience of educators.
  5. We have a striong representation of indigenous educators in the program and this has providedd a strong incentive for some of the students to pursue indigenous research methods and pedagogies in their practitioner research projects.
Design Process:
Did practitioners advise on the program design process? How so?: Yes. The program planning committee consisted of university faculty (4) and private and independent school practitioners (4).The implementation committee had around the same number.

Practitioners also play an important role in the operation of the program and serve as mentors to the students.

Their role is to

  • Mentor four or five students over four semester period.
  • Attend Saturday full-cohort meetings.
  • Help to facilitate access for purpose of data gathering, application of project in field setting, and other matters regarding working in a field setting.
  • Provide assistance in formulating an action research project.
  • Collaborate with faculty advisor in facilitation of consultancy group meetings.
  • Ensure good ethical practice in the conduct of the consultancy project.
  • Provide input on student performance with regard to quality of the project.
What strategies were used to develop your program design?: 

We consulted with David Imig early in the program planning. We conceived of the program as a partner program between the university, the public schools and private schools. The Cohorts have students representing all three institutions working on similar projects and we find this mixture to be greatly advantageous to the professional growth of the students in the program.

How long was the design process?: Three years

Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate (CPED)
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