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Doctorate in Education

The Ed.D. is a professional terminal degree that requires students to engage in a rigorous process of research, inquiry, and site-based practice that not only includes the dissertation but also an extensive internship that includes an action research project as well as a cultural diversity project. There are three (3) options within the degree program, with the student selecting one specific area in which to specialize. These areas are:

            I. The Superintendency

            II. Curriculum & Instruction

            III. Organizational Management

Program Information

The strengths of the Doctorate in Education Program reflect the missions of Oakland City University and the School of Education. They include:
  • A three-dimensional program that includes leadership training in the areas of:
    • 1) superintendent,
    • 2) curriculum & instruction in higher education, and
    • 3) ceo leadership model
  • Delivery system based on Adult Learning Theory; limited seat time with alternate means of interaction and communications
  • Structured candidate support of the dissertation process which includes class interaction
  • during the proposal phases
  • Cohort group moves through the program together
  • Small class sizes
  • Authentic assessment provides meaningful evaluation to candidates throughout the program
  • Well-developed faculty research agendas - Ed.D. Leadership Research Agenda
  • Effectiveness of the program represented by maturity and breadth of faculty, ie:
    • Dr. McCandless, 35 years in public educational administration and four years in
    • higher education
    • Dr. Mills, 28 years in higher education and highly recognized as a scholarlyresearcher and
    • author
    • Dr. Swails, 36 years experience in higher education, recognized as a nationalpresenter in the area of statistical analysis
    • All adjunct faculty are current practitioners and have expertise in their program related area
  • Assessment for continuous program improvement

Option Information

Option I - The Superintendency

Admission to the Ed. D Program

The admission process for the Doctor of Education in Leadership degrees is designed to admit the highest quality professional educators and business leaders who desire to contribute to their respective fields of work. Applicants to the specialist or doctoral programs must:

A comprehensive portfolio system, including both qualitative and quantitative measures, is used to assess personal characteristics, academic skills, communication skills, and leadership ability. Acceptance into the program is by cohort with one cohort group is admitted each year.

The admission portfolio must contain the following items:

  1. Completed Application Form;
  2. Documentation and description of a record of a minimum of two (2) years of successful administrative experience in education, or management;
  3. Provide two (2) ETS® Personal Potential Index (PPI) profiles.  The ETS PPI web-based evaluation system offers a simple and convenient process to collect and report essential information about applicant’s personal attributes.  Go to to start the process. 
  4. A letter of reference from a supervisor or other person familiar with the applicant’s academic ability and professional performance (specific examples of leadership ability and problem-solving skills should be cited);
  5. An essay that reconciles personal goals with the objectives of the Ed.S./Ed.D. programs as reflected in the OCU Mission Statement and School of Education Conceptual Framework;
  6. A complete resume that includes work experience, educational background, professional experience, professional activities, honors received, professional publications or presentations, community service, and other relevant information relating to the applicant’s leadership background;
  7. A thesis or major research paper, minimum at master’s level, for review that demonstrates the applicant’s professional writing ability at the graduate level;
  8. Official transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate institutions of study (credit earned  through correspondence courses is not acceptable, and credit


Course Syllabi

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