Texas Tech University: Educational Leadership

Name of CPED-Influenced Program: Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership


Key Contact Person: 
Erin Atwood     
(806) 834-7475

Program Description: 

In 2011 the Texas Tech University Education Leadership program joined more than 50 other colleges and universities across the United States as a partner in the Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate (CPED).  The purpose of this initiative is to redesign the Ed.D. and ensure that it is ”the highest quality degree for the advanced preparation of school practitioners and clinical faculty, academic leaders, and professional staff for the nation’s schools and colleges.”  [Perry, 2012]  Since becoming a CPED partner, much work has been devoted to discerning a new “executive” focus with corresponding student-oriented goals, creating new courses and assessments, and restructuring the program as a whole so that graduates will be superbly prepared to meet the challenges of 21st Century school leadership.  Succinctly stated, the program’s overarching objective is to graduate disruptive change agents who know how to identify problems and implement research solutions in K-12 environments.

In a nutshell, the EdD in Educational Leadership at Texas Tech centers on five skill areas:  (1) identifying complex issues in research and practice; (2) implementing appropriate research designs; (3) analyzing and utilizing data; (4) employing appropriate interventions; and (5) analyzing impact.  Grounded on an underlying desire to improve K-12 student achievement via the practical application of research-based findings, the end product will be a “problem of practice” dissertation premised on the collection and analysis of primary data linked to an essential K-12 issue wherein the researcher applies intervention(s) and tests for results.

Philosophy and Mission:

The purpose of the Educational Leadership Doctorate in Education is to prepare scholarly educational leaders with a broad array of skills, practices, and knowledge that enable them to lead schools and districts where all children, especially those historically marginalized, attain and succeed with an education often provided to only children of privilege. They engage in critical analyses of the instructional needs of the students in their schools, proactively allocate the personnel and resources to provide the necessary content and pedagogy, and establish culturally responsive educational environments where all learners can thrive and achieve.  These CPED EdD graduates are knowledgeable of the interrelationship of theory and practice as well as equipped with the intellectual tools needed to select and implement appropriate practices and policies.  These scholarly practitioners also critically reflect on the success of those efforts, celebrate accomplishments, and adjust as needed to ensure continual improvement.

Laboratories of Practice: 

Collaborative K-12 partner schools provide a laboratory setting where authentic problems of practice are identified, data is examined, interventions are developed and implemented, and results are evaluated in the local context.  Study findings and results will be publicly disseminated with emphasis on practical, well-grounded implications for improving K-12 student achievement.


The capstone experience for the Ed.D. in Educational Leadership at Texas Tech University will be the successful completion and defense of a Dissertation in Practice.  The dissertation will demonstrate the doctoral graduate’s ability “to solve problems of practice while exhibiting the ability to think, perform and act with integrity” (Shulman, 2005).

Description of each year of the Program: 

Qualified doctoral applicants to the 60-SCH EdD program may be admitted throughout the year but will begin coursework as part of an organized cohort every Spring Semester.  Those who are accepted to the program may transfer in no more than six (6) hours of graduate course work from an accredited institution.  Students will be expected to enroll in 6 SCH of course work every Fall, Spring and Summer term.  By maintaining this rigorous part-time schedule, students are expected to complete the 14 separate 3-credit courses (42 SCH total; 10 EDLD courses and 4 EPSY courses) over the span of slightly more than two years, following which they will engage in a minimum of 12-SCH of dissertation-related research culminating in the successful defense of a “dissertation in practice.”

The following outlines the anticipated course schedule for the new doctoral cohort that will begin in Spring 2014:


Courses and Titles

Related Features

Spring 2014

EDLD 5380 – The School Superintendent and School Governance                          

EDLD 6001 – Advanced Study of Special Topics in Educ. Leadership

Completion of Ed.D. degree plan

Summer 2014

EDLD 6385 – Research in Educational Leadership

EPSY 5380 -- Introduction to Educational Statistics


Fall 2014

EDLD 6300 – Organizational Theory in Education                                                                    

EPSY  5385 – Foundations of Educational Research

Completion of Phase 1 Milestone/Benchmark Assessment

Spring 2015

EDLD 6310 – Educational Leadership Ethics

EPSY 5382 – Qualitative Research in Education


Summer 2015

EDLD 6321 –Educational Finance

EPSY Elective


Fall 2015

EDLD 6370 – Leadership for Social Justice

EDLD 6340 – Educational Policy and the Law


Spring 2016

EDLD 6001 Advanced Study of Special Topics in Educ. Leadership                          

EDLD 8000 – Doctor’s Dissertation

Completion of Phase 2 Milestone/Benchmark Assessment

Summer 2016

EDLD 6392 – Doc. Internship in Educational Leadership

EDLD 8000 – Doctor’s Dissertation

Completion of Phase 3 Milestone/Benchmark Assessment; complete qualifying examinations and gain admission to doctoral candidacy; dissertation committees will be configured and chairs will be selected

Summer 2016

EDLD 8000 – Doctor’s Dissertation

Dissertation proposal defended; IRB approval secured

Fall 2016

EDLD 8000 – Dissertation Research

Dissertation completed and defended.

Inquiry Courses:

In keeping with our CPED Mission and Vision, selected courses in Educational Leadership combine with research tools courses taken in Educational Psychology to comprise a comprehensive foundation for cohort participants developing  the inquiry skills that are necessary for meeting the instructional needs of the students in their schools.   Students will engage in the critical analysis of their students’ needs, learn how to proactively allocate the personnel and resources to provide the necessary content and pedagogy, and establish culturally responsive educational environments where all learners can thrive and achieve.

Admission Requirements: 
  • master’s degree in education or a related field from an accredited institution;
  • minimum of one (1) year of successful performance in one or more administrative and/or supervisory K-12 school leadership positions;
  • formal submission of an application and corresponding fee to the TTU Graduate Admissions office; link at: http://cms.educ.ttu.edu/ or at http://www.depts.ttu.edu/gradschool/admissions/how.php;
  • official transcripts [submitted directly to Graduate Admissions];
  • official Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores [submitted directly to Graduate Admissions];
  • apply to the College of Education EDLD doctoral program at: http://cms.educ.ttu.edu/;
  • submit the following materials via the College of Education’s Graduate Application website at: https://appspace.ads.ttu.edu/EDUCGraduateApplication:
    • an up-to-date professional resume;
    • three letters of recommendation;
    • an applicant statement of professional goals that should include reasons why you are interested in the program, a discussion of your research, publications, presentation materials, leadership activities, and receptivity to new ideas; and
    • a professional portfolio with examples of scholarly work, leadership accomplishments, and receptivity to new ideas (see recommendations for content of these application sections in Appendix A at http://cms.educ.ttu.edu/academic-programs/psychology-and-leadership/educational-leadership/handbooks/edleaddochndb).

The review of application packet materials is holistic in nature in accordance with University standards and Texas Education Code §51.842.  The applicant’s performance on a standardized test will not be used in the admissions or competitive scholarship process as the sole criterion for consideration of the applicant or as the primary criterion to end consideration of the applicant.

General Information:
Program Delivery: Hybrid
Financial aid available to students:
Cost Structure

The in-state resident cost of a three-hour graduate course in the College of Education at Texas Tech University is approximately $1,300 during the 2013-2014 academic year.  For more detail please link to the TTU Student Business Services website grid for Texas Graduate Resident and Bordering County students:  http://www.depts.ttu.edu/afism/AFISMFormRepository/SBS/tuitionfee/Fall2013/GR%20Resident%20Bordering%20County.pdf

Information about financial aid is available from the university’s website at http://www.ttu.edu. You should contact the TTU Financial Aid Office and information is also available on the College of Education website at http://cms.educ.ttu.edu/.

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
info@cpedinitiative.org   +1 (412) 648-7428