Choosing a Chair and Defending the Scholarly Delivery

The candidate will choose a chair from the appropriately credentialed graduate faculty in the EDLD program at the end of the second year of the program. The chair will guide the candidate through the process of constructing and writing the scholarly delivery proposal for committee approval and the research and construction of the scholarly delivery papers.

Candidates should choose an individual they admire, can work well with, and who is knowledgeable about their research interests. Consulting the director of the program about who is available to chair should be part of the search process. Guiding a candidate through the process of academic writing is a hands on process for the chair and s/he will work closely with the candidate. Tenured professors, part-time and full-time, can chair committees while assistant professors can co-chair committees.

The candidate’s chair will help the candidate select his or her two (2) member scholarly delivery committee, including a faculty member who is also from the Ed.D faculty or a subject matter expert and one (1) methodologist. The first act of the chair and the EDLD committee member is to grade the candidate’s Qualifying Exam.  The candidate must pass the QE to continue with the program. During the third year of the program, the chair and full committee will guide the candidate through the process of constructing and writing the scholarly delivery proposal including the IRB for committee approval. The candidate will then conduct research and write up those results in a publishable article.  Finally, under the chair and committee’s guidance, the candidate will orally defend the case study article and the research article. After the candidate has successfully passed the final oral defense, the candidate will draft the final composite scholarly delivery which will include these scholarly deliverables: 1) a comprehensive literature review or a systematic review, 2) a case study article, and 3) the article of original research.  

Scholarly Delivery Committee, Proposal, IRB, and Defense

The candidate will write one (1) proposal for the research article and an IRB based on that proposal which will be presented to the chair and committee at the proposal defense, which is conducted virtually. Research questions around the problem of practice should be linked to that extensive literature review. Also, the proposal will contain a rationale for the selected research design, an explanation of the research methodology, data collection, research participants, and if deemed necessary, pilot research, data collection including interview protocols, codebook, data analysis, limitations of the study, and study timeline.

The candidate will submit the proposal and IRB to the doctoral committee to receive permission to conduct research. Permission must be obtained and the IRB approved before the candidate can commence the research. The candidate and the chair and methodologist will work together on modifications until the committee is satisfied that the candidate is ready to write the scholarly delivery papers. At this time, the candidate will receive guidance on the need for Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval as it applies to the proposed research. The candidate should note that if research is subject to IRB review, then no data can be collected until the IRB approves the research protocol. Before any data is collected, the candidate and the proposal committee will work to construct documents required by the IRB.

All doctoral candidates will summit completed applications for research to the Institutional Review Board (IRB) for approval.

Once the IRB is approved, research can begin.  Candidates will be asked to analyze and outline a recently published Educational Administration Quarterly article utilizing the same methodology as the candidate’s research.  That outline will serve as a template for the candidate’s research article.

Scholarly Delivery Oral Defense and Conference Proposal

The candidate will defend her or his scholarly delivery research before the scholarly delivery committee in an oral defense. The candidate's committee must approve the documents presented, that publishable case study and the publishable research article, which will be accompanied by all necessary supporting documents (Qualtrics reports, codebooks, Excel spreadsheets, etc.) to graduate from the program. The candidate must make all modifications necessary prior to submitting the final composite scholarly delivery to the Graduate School along with the accompanying forms and attending graduation. At the defense, committee members and the candidate will also discuss the submission or plans to submit a proposal for presentation at an academic conference. While the UCEA conference is educational leadership’s premier organization, submission proposals to other conferences can be reviewed by the committee.


APA (American Psychological Association) style is the most commonly used style guide to cite sources within the social sciences, and APA 7th is the style guide used for research papers and scholarly delivery in the Ed.D. program. For all rules and requirements of APA citations, please consult the 7th edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association.

Another resource for academic writing is the Purdue Online Writing Lab (Purdue OWL), which offers many free resources in academic writing, research, grammar, mechanics, and style guides including APA 7th edition.   

Intent to Graduate

You must apply for graduation the semester before you intend to graduate. Graduation information, including deadlines, frequently asked questions, and the application, can be found online. Familiarize yourself with the Graduate School forms and mark your three (3) year calendar to meet those deadlines.