SCHOOL OF EDUCATION
The Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) Program is a 90-quarter credit (post-master's) interdepartmental degree offered by the SPU School of Education. The Ed.D. program serves school practitioners who are primarily interested in preparing for a variety of leadership positions in educational systems, including superintendent, district office, school counseling, and other areas. In addition, the program also serves students who have interest in other related careers in education, including nonprofit and higher-education administration, and other education-related professions. It can be tailored to meet varied professional needs and interests. This degree is for active professionals interested in leadership positions in all fields and levels of education.
For additional program information, see the Doctoral Handbook (PDF).
COURSE OF STUDY
Using the educational benefits of collaborative and cooperative learning combined with continued professional association, the program uses a cohort approach for core doctoral classes. Students admitted to the program proceed though these cohort courses as a group, following a defined schedule and sequence. Cohort courses are noted with an asterisk in the following listings.
Because this is an interdepartmental degree, the student selects courses and learning experiences, with the assistance of the director of doctoral studies, from a variety of areas and opportunities in the School of Education, or from other schools within Seattle Pacific University (subject to approval by the School of Education Doctoral Committee).
AREAS OF SPECIALIZATION
The specialization/elective component provides the opportunity to develop an area of expertise appropriate to the student's professional and academic goals. Areas of specialization include the following:
- Program administrator
- Curriculum and instruction
- Global education
- Literacy education
- Educational technology
- School counseling
- Self-designed specialization
Earning Washington State certification/endorsement as a superintendent, principal, program administrator, or school counselor is possible as an area of specialization while working on the Ed.D. degree.
(90 quarter credits, post-M.S./M.A. degree; 135 quarter credits post-B.A./B.S.)
Foundations and Instructional Leadership (24 credits)
EDU 6085 (3) Moral Issues in Education
EDU 6120 (3) American Education: Past and Present
EDU 7101 (3) Instructional Theory*
EDU 7102 (3) Curriculum Design*
EDU 7106 (3) Trends and Research in Global Education*
EDU 7910 (3) Seminar in Educational Values
EDAD 7120 (3) Educational Organizations and Systems
EDU 7990 (3) Leadership Colloquium*
Inquiry and Dissertation (30 credits)
EDU 7107 (3) Program Evaluation*
EDU 7201 (3) Educational Inquiry and Research I*
EDU 7202 (3) Educational Inquiry and Research II *
EDU 7991 (1) Dissertation Orientation Seminar*
EDU 7995 (20) Dissertation
Students are encouraged to take additional research courses linked to their specific dissertation project methods and design.
* cohort course
Specialization and Electives (36 credits)
These courses may include certification or endorsement programs, internships, practicum, graduate seminars, or existing graduate courses. The electives are to be decided by the program advisor and approved by the director of doctoral studies. Students may choose from the following specializations:
- Superintendent (with endorsement)
- Principal (with endorsement)
- Program administrator (with endorsement)
- School counseling (with certification)
- Curriculum and instruction (may include a specific content area)
- Teacher preparation
- Global education
- Literacy education
- Educational technology
Depending on a student’s educational background, the following prerequisites may be required for the doctoral degree:
- EDU 6975 Interpreting and Applying Educational Research I
- EDU 6976 Interpreting and Applying Educational Research II
- EDU 6655 Human Development & Principles of Learning
- EDU 6524 Approaches to Curriculum Design
- EDU 6526 Survey of Instructional Strategies
- EDU 6613 Standards-Based Assessment
LEADERSHIP COLLOQUIUM AND COMPREHENSIVE EXAMS
After approximately one year of coursework (24 credits), students may register for the leadership colloquium (EDU 7990). This requires the student to write a scholarly paper and present that paper in a formal setting to the educational community. Graduate faculty of the School of Education conduct an evaluation of the scholarship and colloquium. The leadership colloquium must be taken before the student can take the comprehensive exams.
Upon completion of all courses, the student must pass written comprehensive examinations. These examinations will cover the foundations, professional and research components of the core, and the student's area of specialization. Successful completion of the comprehensive examination advances the student to the doctoral candidacy.
Under the direction of a faculty dissertation advisor and committee, the student completes a dissertation project during the final phase of the degree program. The dissertation is designed to integrate theories and tools learned throughout the program, and should demonstrate mastery of concepts and methods. As a final demonstration of scholarly competence, the student prepares a written dissertation report and conducts an oral presentation/defense.
The dissertation requirement may be demonstrated by a study of an educational problem such as curriculum evaluation, development and evaluation of administrative models, field testing of a diagnostic tool or curricular material, or development and evaluation of educator training models. It may also take the traditional form of a research study. Students are encouraged to take additional research courses linked to their specific dissertation methods and design.
Students will choose problems of practice originating from external practitioners and policymakers, generated through the suggestion and review of faculty members. External practitioners may include school districts, educational service districts (ESDs), universities, state agencies, and research groups.
Because the Doctoral program requires considerable faculty time and resources, a limited number of students will be admitted to the program each year. It is expected that all applicants will have at least a bachelor's degree (135-credit doctorate) or a master's degree (90-credit doctorate) from a regionally accredited college or university. Admission decisions will be based on the following:
- Submission of the doctoral degree application with the application processing fee.
- Official transcripts documenting excellent undergraduate and graduate GPAs.
- Academic degree(s) in education or related field from an accredited university.
- Minimum of three years successful experience as an educator.
- Graduate Record Exam (GRE) or Miller Analogies Test (MAT) score taken within five years of application.
- Four (4) letters of recommendation (two academic and two professional).
- Personal statement – including goals and proposed area of study (no more than 500 words).
- Personal interview with at least two SPU core doctoral faculty members.
Cohort classes begin each summer. Screening applicants for admission is an ongoing process and students may be admitted to the program throughout the year so they can begin needed prerequisites, foundations and elective courses.
PROGRAM AND ENROLLMENT POLICIES
At the time of admission, a student may transfer up to 15 post-master's degree credits into the Doctoral Program with the approval of the director of doctoral studies. Courses transferred must be graduate level, from a regionally accredited institution and relevant to the student's course of doctoral study.
They must have been taken within the three years prior to admission and must have been part of a planned program leading to a graduate degree or a professional certificate. Courses with grades below a 3.0 ("B"), or those receiving "pass" or "satisfactory" grades cannot transfer into the program.
Finally, transferred classes may be substituted for degree requirements if the student can document in writing that they are comparable to required courses offered through SPU. Modifications to these transfer policies may be made at the discretion of the director of doctoral studies in consultation with the Doctoral Admissions Committee.
Students are expected to complete the required cohort courses (7000-level) in sequence during the first two years of the program. Once students begin their classes, continuous enrollment must be maintained throughout the program. Students who interrupt the residency requirement may be dropped from the program.
GRADE POINT AVERAGE
A 3.2 overall GPA is required for graduation.
All requirements for the doctoral degree must be completed within five years from the quarter the first post-admission course was taken. Students needing more than five years to complete the degree must file a time-extension petition with the director of doctoral studies.
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