School of Education - Graduate Studies

Welcome to the School of Education – Graduate Studies

Stimulated learning to produce dynamic educational leaders: teachers, principals and superintendents

Oakland City University continues to attract educational professionals because we provide:

  • Individualized encouragement and attention;
  • Quality, rigorous programming with reasonable expectations for working professionals;
  • Meaningful content taught by experienced and gifted faculty; and a
  • 98% program completion rate.

It is projected that until 2016, job growth for teachers is projected to increase by 12 percent, or just over 479,000 new jobs. However, demand will be greatest for teachers with expertise in science, math, and bilingual education. 

Teachers willing to relocate and be licensed in multiple subjects will enjoy more job opportunities than teachers licensed in only one subject and unwilling to relocate. Retrieved April 1, 2016, from

Middle and High School Principals

Employment of middle and high school principals is projected to grow 6 percent from 2014 to 2024, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Employment growth will be driven by increases in school enrollments.

From 2014 to 2024, the number of students enrolled in schools is projected to increase. Some additional schools may open to accommodate these students, resulting in a need for more assistant principals and principals.  Retrieved April 1, 2016, from

Postsecondary Education Administrators

Employment of postsecondary education administrators is projected to grow 9 percent from 2014 to 2024, faster than the average for all occupations. Expected growth is due to increases in enrollments.

People will continue to seek postsecondary education to accomplish their career goals. As more people enter colleges and universities, more postsecondary education administrators will be needed to serve the needs of these additional students.  Retrieved April 1, 2016, from

What Our Students are Saying About Us

Dr. Linda Itoka, English Language Learner Teacher, Thomas D. Gregg Elementary IPS #15

At OCU, professors were always available to the students through email, telephone, and face to face meetings to answer any question related to the program.

The professors all have doctoral degrees which modeled to me that they know exactly what they were advising when it was related to how to accomplish each goal of the program.  They were knowledgeable about the content being taught, always positive and had a great sense of humor.

Prompt response to assignments assisted me in being able to accomplish my goal of staying on schedule to graduate.

Professionalism from the School of Education staff was always displayed in email, on the telephone and face to face.

The financial aid department staff assisted me in answering questions and advising me on what was required to complete the financial aid process.

Dr. Randy Miller, Principal, Westview Jr. High School

“The strengths of the doctoral program at OCU is the friendliness of staff and willingness of faculty/staff to help.”

Dr. Dianna Whitlock, Grants/Rt I Coordinator, Cloverdale Community Schools

“Program is friendly for working adults and all staff members that I have encountered are helpful.  I feel as if OCU is supportive of my success in the doctoral program. This is my first experience with a private university, and I must say that the individualized encouragement and attention are above and beyond what I encountered at state universities.  I love the small class size and the ability to consult with any faculty member (even if not currently enrolled in their class) for assistance at ANY time!”

Dr. April MaGee, Principal/ Florence Avenue School- Irvington Board of Education 

The professors are knowledgeable and flexible simultaneously. They possess both professional and life experiences, that provide the requisite knowledge to effectively guide the students. This is perhaps why most OCU professors give a remarkable amount of access to their students and are very personable in their approach. Also, the structure of the program, online and traditional format, provide the balance necessary to give students the full educational experience of being a doctoral candidate. While online is convenient, it is nice to know that the summer will bring face-to face interactions with staff and the cohort.

Dr. Bob Hacker, Superintendent, White River Valley School District

“As educators, we always have the goal of producing life-long learners; it is important to me as a professional to be a positive role model in this regard.   I have had an advanced degree as an important personal goal for my entire adult life and made a promise to my parents and my kids to finish it through to completion.  Being the superintendent of a small school district, I am in charge of everything.  The time commitment is huge, and the job comes with a great deal of responsibility.  Oakland City University has been great to work with and the professors have been extremely thoughtful in their approach in allowing me great flexibility to complete my degree.  I am thankful to be attending a university where the philosophy is based on working with students in their own individual situations.  I needed this flexibility, and the people at OCU cared enough to provide it. “

Dr. Kevin Smith, Superintendent, 

“Lifelong learning is important not only for leaders, but for everyone.  Hall - of - Fame coach John Wooden was known for his openness to utilize learning as a way to continuously improve knowledge and skill, pointing to Gandhi's quote - "Learn as if you were to live forever.  Live as if you were to die tomorrow."  By taking advantage of advanced learning opportunities we best fulfill the mission God has in store for all of us, by moving us from comfort zones into the ability to accept greater challenges.

The Oakland City University program provides me with the flexibility I need in order to proactively and aggressively meet the challenges of multiple responsibilities.  Further, the program has proven to provide me with the rigor and relevance I believe is needed to successfully prepare for future challenges.”

Master of Arts in Teaching, Phil Zellers, Assistant Principal, Perry Central Jr.-Sr. High School

“Getting an advanced degree shows a commitment to lifelong learning and continuous improvement.  It also opens up opportunities that would not have been possible without it. 

OCU is close to home and has an excellent reputation.  Working through the program, with my cohort, has been an incredibly valuable experience.  Small class sizes enable the instructors to interact with you on and individual level and share their knowledge and experiences in-depth.  The internship program has given me hands-on experience that has prepared me for future career opportunities. “

Dr. Lance Richards, Assistant Superintendent, North Harrison Community Schools

“The Doctoral program at OCU is personalized, and have a willingness to accept pass coursework, they offer flexibility to accommodate working professionals.  Professors are willing to work through challenges of coursework and provide the extra time to explain and provide feedback.  They offer a very positive approach to learning.   The Doctoral Program at OCU greatest strength is their willingness to accommodate and work with very busy school administrators is the greatest single strength.”

Dr. Paris Spencer, President and CEO of Academic Solutions Initiative

“Workforce competition is at an all- time high.  It seems as though everyone has a secondary degree.  25 years ago, the MBA was the most sought after degree in the country.  Now, almost everyone has a Masters in something. So, to separate yourself from the rest, a Doctorate still holds its value and puts you in the optimal percentage of individuals with that advanced degree.

I selected OCU because I had done some curriculum work for their Online Criminal Justice Program. I stayed because of the awesome people in the graduate program.  All of the faculty, in the graduate education program, are awesome, I love them all.”

Andy Hines, Transition to Teaching Program, Loge Elementary, Title Aide

For me getting an advance degree is important for personal growth and career advancement. I hope that by completing my degree I can be more successful in the future financially and career wise as well.  Going back to school has made me also feel like I am accomplishing bigger and better things in my personal life.

I went to undergrad at Oakland City and played collegiate soccer at OCU. I love the school and the family like atmosphere and chose Oakland City again for graduate studies. That atmosphere of feeling like you belong to something and the helpfulness of the professors and administrators is something special. I would not choose anywhere else.

Doctoral Candidate, Victor Bush, District Behavioral Consultant, Metropolitan School District of Lawrence Township

Earning my Ed. D. in Educational Leadership is important to me because I want to lead by example for the children & communities in which I serve.  I want to bring about a sense of hope for my students by showing them that with the grace of God and the passion to achieve academic excellence, anything is possible regardless of the curve balls that the world throws at you. Academic achievement is not just a goal, it's a movement in my life."

"In addition to the outstanding recommendations that I received from my Indiana Wesleyan professors and classmates, I chose to pursue my Ed. D. from OCU because I was highly impressed with the servant leadership & opportunities presented by the OCU staff.  OCU is a faith based university lead by family oriented servant leaders that I believe will assist me in reaching new heights of leadership in urban education."

Dr. Tim Ziebarth, Dean, School of Professional and Online Education, Grace College 

“I believe in life-long learning.  This educational philosophy can include both informal and formal education.  However, the opportunity to think, ponder, and interact in a formal way, provides engagement of current educational leadership issues in order to be proficient and highly competent in my field. 

Oakland City University (OCU) provided a conceptual framework that aligned with my educational objectives and goals.  The opportunity to critically think and interact with faith-based professionals provides a value added dimension.  I found my interactions with the OCU to be personable and high touch.”  

Dr. Jeremy Shireman, Assistant Principal, Breckinridge County Middle School

As an educator myself, I want everyone I meet to know I value education.  I got my doctorate to set an example for my children, for my students, and for my staff so they know I am not afraid to put my time, energy, and money into my own education.  I know there are a lot of ways to invest and there is a certain amount of risk that comes with any investment, but the one sure bet is investing in yourself.  Getting an advanced degree will be the most important professional decision and accomplishment that I will ever make. 

The reason I selected OCU was I wanted a personal relationship with the professors when I got my Ed.D.  I have heard many stories of students being left on their own as they go through the process or students being a pawn in a bigger match between two of their committee members.  I did not want this to happen with me and it was clear from the very first time on campus that the faculty at OCU wanted me to be part of the “club”.  They all worked as hard as I did to make it a great experience and to make sure that when I defended my dissertation I was completely ready.  Now that I have completed my program, I can’t wait to go back and teach at OCU.  It is a great place with the best faculty around.

Dr. Will Smith, Computer Applications Teacher, Seymour Middle School

I am a new student with OCU and my opinions may not carry much weight but I can comment on why I chose OCU.  I chose OCU for the small size of the university and my thoughts that, because of the small size, I would be able to gain more individual instruction and mentoring in the Ed. D. program.  I, also, checked the cost of tuition with several other universities and I found that the cost per credit hour was competitive.   

Dr. Jacob Bryant, 6th Grade Science & Writing Teacher, Athletic Director - Winter Sports, Assistant Academic Team Coach, College View Middle School

An advanced degree opens doors for practicing educators to move beyond their current skill set and challenge their thinking towards something new. In the process, other candidates and I have discovered talents we didn't even know we possessed. The degree and class work is intended to support your expertise and knowledge. Finally, it is an opportunity to earn self-fulfillment through hard work, dedication, and faith. 

I chose OCU because of the small class size, the emphasis on the development of the whole student, and the beyond the lecture mentality of the professors.  In addition, the faculty is composed of practitioners who are experts and true servant leaders in their field. Rather than a textbook lecture, the faculty engage students in real, relevant, and authentic curriculum. OCU is a supporting home for working adults!

Dr. Andrew Rokosz, Teacher, Waldron Jr.-Sr. High School

The strengths of the programs in the graduate department are the content of the classes, the levels of understanding needed for all students, the steps taken to complete the programs, and the faculty guidance along the way.

Dr. Christina Collins, Director of Professional Development

Ivy Tech Community College-Central Indiana

I have an insatiable desire to develop my mind by challenging myself academically, so pursuing an advanced degree provided an opportunity for me to find great personal satisfaction in a structured environment. I am ready to pursue career advancement opportunities, so completing my advanced degree ensures that I will be properly credentialed when an opportunity becomes available in my organization. 

I selected OCU for my post-graduate degree, because I wanted to learn from faculty who were experienced in my field of study and willing to share personal insight about turning theory into practice. The OCU administrators and faculty, from my first interaction, demonstrated that they cared about my success and understood the challenges of balancing Higher Education and adult life. My class size was small which allowed for more one-on-one interaction as well as a high degree of responsiveness. I never felt like just an enrollment number. As a former teacher, I was most impressed by the faculty’s value and use of diverse teaching strategies and cultured curricular decisions.

 Michael A. Sparks, Ivy Tech, Associate Professor of History

An advanced degree allows one to master teaching and research skills and immediately apply said skills in the classroom and leadership positions in education. In the long term, such degrees lead to greater opportunities in advancement within your area of education.

The mission statement of Oakland City University aligns well with my own Christ-centered beliefs and servant leadership approaches to teaching, learning and service. To put it simply, the core values of the university are the same as my own. As a current college teacher, acquiring the doctoral degree in curriculum and instruction will prepare me to meet the ever changing demands and challenges of the 21st century classroom.

Dr. Lee Ann Kwiatkowski, Assistant Superintendent for School Improvement 

As a life-long learner, I value hearing different perspectives, keeping informed of current research, working with others, and gaining a deeper understanding of important matters in education.   Furthermore, more opportunities will be available for me. 

The classes integrate Christian principles while providing quality professors who are experts in their areas.  The professors provided support both in and out of the classroom.  In addition, I formed collaborative relationships among classmates with whom I will continue to network throughout my career.

Angie Allen, Teacher, CTE:  Business Services and Technology, Crawford County High School

Most important factor for attending OCU:  Cost, Flexibility, Saturday/Summer Classes, knowledge of instructors/real world professionals!