Educational Leadership

Doctorate of Educational Leadership (Ed.D.)

Doctorate of Leadership in Higher Education (Ed.D.)


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EdD Cohort


West Texas A&M University’s Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership is a fully online Ed.D. degree program that has two tracks. Track one prepares individuals to lead rural schools and to teach educational leadership within a university setting. Track two prepares individuals for leadership positions within higher education and educational organizations. Although the program focuses on rural school leadership, both tracks equip educational leaders with a wide variety of tools to lead in any school district, of any size, and in any location. 

Distinguished program characteristics require 60 hours of courses that include an interdisciplinary curriculum, an emphasis on action research, the opportunity for a high-impact experiential residency, and an endowed scholars program. Candidates who qualify can transfer in 12 hours of transfer credit and/or competency credit into the three-year program. The residency requirement will be satisfied when the candidate completes a minimum of 48 hours of classes at WTAMU. This satisfies the residency requirement from the Graduate School.

Features of the curriculum highlight environmental courses (sociology, decision making, and superintendent certification) to ground doctoral candidates in the interface among the community, the individual’s decision making, and the job description. The first year in the Educational Leadership Track also includes superintendent certification courses while the first year in the Leadership in Higher Education Track focuses upon leadership in the university setting. Both tracks are introduced to additional knowledge and skill courses in the second year. For both tracks, the final year focuses on research, writing, and applying theory to practice. Rather than the traditional dissertation, scholarly research throughout the three years at WTAMU results in an extensive literature review and two articles that are publication-ready. 

I See Me at WT Special Feature

Did you know that only 0.02% of doctorate degrees are held by Latin women? These four ladies from WT's Doctorate of Education program decided to make their dreams a reality and to improve that statistic. Together, they became "Las Chicas", and are inspiring others from minority groups to pursue their dreams.

Meet Our First Cohort

The first cohort of WT's Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership graduated on December 11, 2021. Five of the graduates shared their inspiring stories and experiences in the program with us.

Program Goals and Outcomes

Program learning goals for the online Ed.D. (both tracks) prepare:
  • Leaders who are responsive to the cultural, sociopolitical, economic, and emergency management contexts of rural communities.
  • Visionary and effective educational leaders grounded in research who are equipped to meet specific challenges in rural educational settings.
  • Leaders who are capable of innovative solutions within areas of limited resources and access conditions.
Candidate learning outcomes:
  • Critically analyze the cultural, sociopolitical, and economic milieu impacting educational organizations within rural and small urban areas.
  • Create settings that support accessible and equitable learning opportunities for all members.
  • Engage in diverse, scholarly activities to evaluate current educational organizations, to inform decision-making, and provide new directions for organization improvement.
  • Synthesize theory, research, and best practices from national and international perspectives to create innovative solutions to meet specific challenges in rural areas.

Career Opportunities

Educational Leadership (EDLD) Track:
  • School districts serving fewer than 1,000 students comprise more than 50% of the districts in Texas, creating the need for rural school leaders. This need for rural school leaders is similar in many states across the country.
  • Aspiring and current school leaders can enhance job performance and improve opportunities for leadership as this program focuses on problems of practice, action research, understanding the context that impacts learning, and the interface of the practitioner with the researcher.   
  • Aspiring and current school leaders can develop research skills to apply theory to problems of practice and unravel complexity.
Leadership in Higher Education (HE) Track:

The Leadership in Higher Education Track for the online Ed.D. is designed for those individuals who have a master’s degree in areas other than educational leadership, but desire an administrative position in a Higher Education environment or educational organization that serves rural schools and communities. 

The program prepares individuals for administrative positions in community colleges, colleges, universities, government agencies, and educational organizations as well as instructional positions in HE programs at universities. Although the focus is on rural schools and communities, the leadership skill set will transfer to suburban and urban areas.  

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