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Program Overview

The Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) program in Educational Leadership at West Texas A&M University is a cohort-designed, online program with a research emphasis and immersion experiences that incorporate design thinking and improvement science to resolve current, real-world issues in the school district in which the candidate lives and works.

Degree requirements include courses in three domains (1) cognate courses in educational leadership, (2) rural specialization, and (3) research. Table 1 lists the requirements for the proposed doctoral degree in each of these categories.

Table 1:  Degree Requirements for Doctorate in Educational Leadership

Category

Educational Leadership (EDLD) Track

Leadership in Higher Education (HE) Track

EDLD Cognate

21

21

Rural Specialization

15

15

Research Practices (12 hours) and Scholarly Delivery (12 hours)

24

24

Total degree requirements

60

60

Table 2 lists the course descriptions from both the educational leadership (EDLD) and leadership in higher education (HE) tracks.

Table 2:  Course Descriptions

Educational Leadership (EDLD) Track

Leadership in Higher Education (HE) Track

EDLD 6304 Educational Law

Educational leaders engage in political and legal processes that are instrumental in creating federal, state, and local laws, policies and regulations that shape and guide educational governance and operations.

EDLD 6304 Educational Law

Educational leaders engage in political and legal processes that are instrumental in creating federal, state, and local laws, policies and regulations that shape and guide educational governance and operations.

EDLD 6324 Executive Instructional Leadership (for the EDLD track)

Executive leaders of education facilitate the development of strategic plans to enhance teaching and learning supported through the provision of intellectually rigorous and coherent systems of curriculum, instruction, assessment and services for all students by a professional staff led, supervised and evaluated by highly-effective school-level leadership.

EDLD 6356 Power, Myth, and Memes (for the HE track)

Study of various memes and myths that are associated with the concept of power.  Topics may include situational power, legitimate power, personal power, coercive power, reward power, the science of survival, and the memes and myths such as Machiavelli’s theory of power juxtaposed with current trends and contemporary perspectives.

EDLD 6320  Executive Leadership in the Educational Community (for the EDLD track)

Guided by morally and ethically sound core values, executive leaders of education influence the political, social, economic, legal, and cultural context in shaping organizational culture through the development, communication, implementation and stewardship of a vision of educational success for all students that is shared and supported by the educational community.

EDLD 6358 Finance in Higher Education (for the HE track)

Course evaluates economic theories and models applied to the study of higher education finance and examines national and state laws and accounting regulations affecting revenue sources, resource allocation, and the budgeting process.  

EDLD 6322  Executive Administrative Leadership (for the EDLD track)

In compliance with federal and state requirements, executive educational leaders apply principles of effective leadership and management to physical plant and support systems, budgeting and financial management, personnel, and technology applications to ensure a safe and effective learning environment for all students.

EDLD 6360  Higher Education Policy (for the HE track)

Critical analysis of higher education policy that limits or advances accessibility, affordability, and accountability especially in rural geographical areas with a demographically diverse student population.

EDLD 6332 Ethics in Educational Leadership

Serving as an advocate for all children, educational leaders provide moral direction for the educational community by modeling and promoting the highest standard of conduct, ethical principles, and integrity in decision making, actions, and behaviors in interpersonal communications, applications of laws and policies, and stewardship of educational resources.

EDLD 6332 Ethics in Educational Leadership

Serving as an advocate for all children, educational leaders provide moral direction for the educational community by modeling and promoting the highest standard of conduct, ethical principles, and integrity in decision making, actions, and behaviors in interpersonal communications, applications of laws and policies, and stewardship of educational resources.

EDLD 6336 Organization Theory

Educational leaders develop, implement, and evaluate systems and processes for organizational effectiveness to keep stakeholders inspired and focused on the institution’s mission.

EDLD 6336 Organization Theory

Educational leaders develop, implement, and evaluate systems and processes for organizational effectiveness to keep stakeholders inspired and focused on the institution’s mission.

EDLD 6340 Leadership in Education

Educational leaders explore applicable theories and conceptualize traits, skills, and styles of effective, innovative, and influential educational leadership, while reflecting on personal practice, to guide the growth and development of their own approaches to leadership.

EDLD 6340 Leadership in Education

Educational leaders explore applicable theories and conceptualize traits, skills, and styles of effective, innovative, and influential educational leadership, while reflecting on personal practice, to guide the growth and development of their own approaches to leadership.

EDPD 6380 Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Programs (for EDLD track)

Using research to explore current trends in Bilingual/ESL programs, candidates will examine strengths and weaknesses of various programs based on theory, practice, and results.  Candidates will learn how to assess and implement the most effective programs considering costs, demographics, student and teacher needs, and the availability of resources

EDLD 6354 History and Future of Higher Education (for HE track)

A study of college and university evolution as a reflection of philosophical, cultural, and social history

EDLD 6313 Decision Making

This course explores the irrationality of decision making, emotion’s role, beliefs, heuristics and biases, and decision making under uncertainty to avoid decisions that put student learning at risk.

EDLD 6313 Decision Making

This course explores the irrationality of decision making, emotion’s role, beliefs, heuristics and biases, and decision making under uncertainty to avoid decisions that put student learning at risk.

EMA 6310 Emergency Management and Response

Developing response strategies for natural disasters and socially and environmentally-generated hazards. Principles of emergency management will include vulnerability analysis, hazard mitigation, emergency response, and disaster recovery.

EMA 6310 Emergency Management and Response

Developing response strategies for natural disasters and socially and environmentally-generated hazards. Principles of emergency management will include vulnerability analysis, hazard mitigation, emergency response, and disaster recovery.

SOCI 6315 Demographics of Rural Communities

Understanding dynamics of rural communities. Course will focus on issues of increasing poverty and diversity in rural populations and navigating the political and social climate to establish short and long-term planning goals.

SOCI 6315 Demographics of Rural Communities

Understanding dynamics of rural communities. Course will focus on issues of increasing poverty and diversity in rural populations and navigating the political and social climate to establish short and long-term planning goals.

EDPD 6305 Curriculum Theory and Analysis

Course is an introduction to various curriculum theories and their application and functions in the school context. Curriculum design and assessment also is examined in terms of how to improve student achievement and motivation.

EDPD 6305 Curriculum Theory and Analysis

Course is an introduction to various curriculum theories and their application and functions in the school context. Curriculum design and assessment also is examined in terms of how to improve student achievement and motivation

EDPD 6310 Instructional Strategies

In-depth investigation into various teaching strategies, using technology to compare cognitive learning activities.

EDPD 6310 Instructional Strategies

In-depth investigation into various teaching strategies, using technology to compare cognitive learning activities.

EDRD 6348 Organization and Administration of Reading Programs

Survey of current research, trends and issues, federal and state initiatives, legislation and resources related to development, supervision and administration of reading programs, pre-K through adult learners. Includes clinical experience.

EDRD 6348 Organization and Administration of Reading Programs

Survey of current research, trends and issues, federal and state initiatives, legislation and resources related to development, supervision and administration of reading programs, pre-K through adult learners. Includes clinical experience.

EDSP 6363 Legal Issues in Special Education

Course analyzes special education in a legal context, including regulation through federal and state legislation, judicial decision, and administrative process. Course explores the authority and legal responsibility of the educator and the administration of the school district.

EDSP 6363 Legal Issues in Special Education

Course analyzes special education in a legal context, including regulation through federal and state legislation, judicial decision, and administrative process. Course explores the authority and legal responsibility of the educator and the administration of the school district.

EDLD 6326 Research Design

Research design fundamentals for the scholar-practitioner including the similarities and differences in action research and scholarly research, the IRB process, literature review, and introduction to descriptive statistics. Research may be conducted in international or domestic settings.

EDLD 6326 Research Design

Research design fundamentals for the scholar-practitioner including the similarities and differences in action research and scholarly research, the IRB process, literature review, and introduction to descriptive statistics. Research may be conducted in international or domestic settings.

RSCH 6311 Quantitative Research Methods

Introduction to traditions and methods of conducting quantitative study with emphasis on application concepts related to research problem development, study design, measurements, sampling, data analysis and write-up in rural environments.

RSCH 6311 Quantitative Research Methods

Introduction to traditions and methods of conducting quantitative study with emphasis on application concepts related to research problem development, study design, measurements, sampling, data analysis and write-up in rural environments.

RSCH 6312 Data Analysis/Research Statistics

Sampling techniques, univariate analysis, analysis of variance and other basic statistical methods. Emphasis on application and interpretation in rural educational environments.

RSCH 6312 Data Analysis/Research Statistics

Sampling techniques, univariate analysis, analysis of variance and other basic statistical methods. Emphasis on application and interpretation in rural educational environments.

RSCH 6313 Qualitative Research Methods

Understanding the field based and general methods and application of conducting qualitative research, especially related to rural educational environments.

RSCH 6313 Qualitative Research Methods

Understanding the field based and general methods and application of conducting qualitative research, especially related to rural educational environments.

RSCH 6314 Mixed Research Methods

Introduction to historical, descriptive, experimental and survey research as they relate to seeking solutions to problems within the field of education, especially as it relates to rural educational environments.

RSCH 6314 Mixed Research Methods

Introduction to historical, descriptive, experimental and survey research as they relate to seeking solutions to problems within the field of education, especially as it relates to rural educational environments.

EDLD 6000 Scholarly Delivery (12 hours)

Developing and completing scholarly deliverables associated with an independent research project(s). Topics for research are to be negotiated with the chair and members of the scholarly delivery committee. Consent of doctoral chair. May be repeated for a maximum of 12 credit hours.

EDLD 6000 Scholarly Delivery (12 hours)

Developing and completing scholarly deliverables associated with an independent research project(s). Topics for research are to be negotiated with the chair and members of the scholarly delivery committee. Consent of doctoral chair. May be repeated for a maximum of 12 credit hours.

Immersion Experiences

The on-campus immersion experiences will require candidates to meet as a cohort each long semester on the WTAMU campus or at the Amarillo Center for a weekend seminar, conference, guest speaker, or special learning engagement. Time on campus will allow for collaborative interactions between and among faculty, candidates, and their cohorts. There may also be an opportunity for an immersion experience in a rural international setting.

Residency

The program residency requirement for the Ed.D. in Educational Leadership will be met when candidates complete 48 semester credit hours of doctoral course work at West Texas A&M University. 

Up to twelve (12) semester credit hours of transfer and/or competency-based credit may be accepted by the program. Transfer coursework is not guaranteed. The program director will review, evaluate, and approve or disapprove any coursework candidates submit for consideration of transfer. To be considered for transfer, the course grade must be an "A" or a "B". Candidates may enter the doctoral program with some experience in a leadership position. Competency-based credit supported by evidence of expertise may be granted to candidates in recognition of career-acquired experiences.

Qualifying Exam

The comprehensive qualifying exam for the Ed.D. will be an extensive literature review centered on a problem of practice. The qualifying exam will be assessed by the candidate’s chair and scholarly delivery committee. Upon approval of the qualifying exam and the candidate’s research topic of choice, candidates will be permitted to enroll in scholarly delivery courses.

Scholarly Delivery

Because the focus of WTAMU’s educational leadership program is that of a practitioner, the development of scholarly delivery is a more pragmatic alternative to the traditional dissertation process. To satisfy the requirement for scholarly delivery, candidates will produce two (2) original scholarly works for publication in a professional journal and will be encouraged to present research findings at a professional conference or comparable meeting.

Research topics must be pre-approved by assigned faculty advisors and participating school districts (when appropriate) to ensure that the material meets IRB requirements. Research must be related to the improvement of the educational process with possible results impacting EC-12 student achievement and progress.

Ideally, the candidate will choose and design research projects that will resolve current real-world issues in the school district in which the candidate lives or works. The format of the scholarly delivery will be flexible, allowing candidates options to choose qualitative, quantitative, or mixed methodologies. Please refer to the Scholarly Delivery Guide for more information.

Each scholarly delivery must demonstrate the rigor associated with formal research. 

Program Completion

The program is completed when the following criteria are met:

  1. Successful completion of all program course work;
  2. Passing a written comprehensive exam;
  3. Selection of scholarly delivery committee;
  4. IRB approval for research (if required); and
  5. Presentation of two (2) scholarly deliverables to the scholarly delivery committee that results in passing that defense.

Upon the completion of requirements, the candidate will present to the scholarly delivery committee a portfolio containing:

  • A two to three (2-3) page narrative explaining how the candidate met the goals and outcomes of the program;
  • Two (2) scholarly delivery articles ready for submission to a professional journal;
  • A completed conference proposal for presentation of research findings; and
  • A signature sheet that will confirm that the committee agrees that the articles are approved.