Johnson & Wales University

Name of CPED-Influenced Program: Educational Leadership Program
Key Contact Person:
Thomas P. DiPaola, PhD, Director

Nancy Bagley, Academic Administrative Coordinator

Program Description: 

The Educational Leadership Program (ELP) at Johnson & Wales University (JWU) is designed for experienced educators who are currently working in elementary/secondary or higher education and who are seeking a doctorate in educational leadership (Ed.D.).

Drawing upon available institutional and community resources, the ELP produces graduates who are current in educational practice, possess the ability to conduct and evaluate educational research, and represent a leadership ethos of academic integrity and high ethical standards. The mission of the Educational Leadership Program is to prepare educational leaders who are inspired to professional success and lifelong personal and intellectual growth.

The program is designed with distinct specializations in higher education and elementary-secondary education.
Program LinkJohnson & Wales University Academics Educational Leadership EdD


Doctoral Dissertation. Working within the ELP framework, students are expected to produce a body of research that will improve practice while broadening and deepening the base of knowledge in education.

Students are required to submit a dissertation that demonstrates they have acquired the technical and professional competencies associated with educational leadership and the ability to conduct research.

In keeping with the mission and conceptual framework of the Educational Leadership Program, students are strongly encouraged to develop dissertations on topics dealing with educational leadership in K-16 and lifelong learning settings.

In order to expedite the process of completing the dissertation, students receive close, ongoing faculty supervision and defend the dissertation within three years of approval of the topic.

Description of each year of the Program: 

The cohort model for the ELP requires a uniform sequence of courses that students must complete in years 1 and 2 before beginning the dissertation preparation process in year 3.

Instruction is scheduled in a sequence of six-credit courses addressing significant areas of educational leadership. Students take two courses per semester for four semesters and complete the course work in two years. 

Program Milestones: 

At the end of year two in the program, students participate in a comprehensive assessment to determine if they have mastered course objectives and are ready to move on to the development of the dissertation.

The dissertation development process and dissertation defense serve as the culminating assessment required as a condition for completing the Ed.D. degree.

Course Sequence:

Elementary-Secondary Education  

Year 1


Research I: Educational Research for Elementary-Secondary Education Leaders


Strategy & Change


Organizational Theory, Behavior, and Development in Elementary-Secondary Education


Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment

Year 2


Research II: Research Methods for Elementary-Secondary Education Leaders


Resource Planning and Management in Elementary-Secondary Education


Family and Community Engagement


Leadership in Elementary-Secondary Education

Comprehensive Assessment

Year 3


The Field Research Project


Doctoral Dissertation


Higher Education

Year 1


Research I: Educational Research for Higher Education Leaders


Nature of Higher Education


Teaching and Learning Higher Education


Organizational Theory and Behavior in Higher Education

Year 2


Research II: Research Methods for Higher Education Leaders


Resource Planning and Management in Higher Education


Student Development in Higher Education


Leadership in Higher Education Capstone

  Comprehensive Assessment

Year 3


The Field Research Project


Doctoral Dissertation


Admission Requirements:


To gain admission to the doctoral program, a student must possess a master's degree in an appropriate field from an accredited institution. The student must have a 3.25 cumulative grade point average for all post-baccalaureate study. To apply, students must


  1. Submit a completed application form.
  2. Have official transcripts sent directly from institutions attended.
  3. Submit three letters of recommendation, two of which should be from professional educators.
  4. Submit a written personal statement clearly indicating the reasons for pursuing the degree, the applicant's scholarship abilities, professional experience, career goals, learning style preferences, and                       potential contributions to the program.
  5. Complete the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) or a comparable exam and submit official test scores.
  6. Complete a personal interview with a faculty panel.


General Information:
  • Average number of students admitted into the EdD program each year: 16 to 20
  • Types of employoment students hold upon entering the program: Elementary/Secondary Cohort:  Middle School Teacher, Social Service Organization Director, Elementary Principal, Director of Curriculum, Assistant Superintendent,  Elementary Teacher, Assistant Principal, High School Teacher.  Higher Education Cohort:  Faculty Member, Vice President, Director of Academic Services, Faculty Member, Dean of Student Development
  • Student:Faculty Ratio (Courses): 8 or 10:1
  • Student:Faculty Ratio (Advising): 4:1
  • Number of credits in the program (beyond the Masters): 60 credits
  • Length of Program: Less than 4 years
  • Percentage of students that graduate on time: 85%
  • Average number of students enrolled in each cohort: 16-20
  • Total number of faculty: Full time = 6; Adjunct = 6
  • Graduation Rate: 85%
  • Current PK-20 Practitioner: 4
  • Former PK-20 Practitioner, Current University Faculty: 8