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Doctor of Education in Leadership, Curriculum, and Instruction (EdD)

Doctor of Education in Leadership, Curriculum, and Instruction (EdD)

The Doctor of Education in Leadership of Curriculum and Instruction (EdD) prepares education professionals for career advancement as leaders, administrators, as well as curriculum and instructional design supervisors. This degree’s coursework embraces corporate and traditional educational settings with theory and practice that ground practitioners and researchers in the knowledge and skills needed to lead in excellence and equity in their domain.

Successful applicants to the EdD will have a completed master’s degree. They have a strong desire to hone their knowledge stacks and theoretical principles that drive excellence in education globally. Students participate in both in-class and out-of-class activities, group assignments, research papers, projects, as well as case study analyses. This degree culminates with a successfully defended doctoral dissertation.

The Doctor of Education program emphasizes advanced decision-making, leadership skills, in-depth theoretical knowledge, and applied research by exploring such educational challenges as change management, equity, globalization, and 21st-century skills. 

Reach out to our Recruitment and Outreach Team at outreach@westcliff.edu or by phone at 949-996-9889.


EdD Program Description

The Doctor of Education (EdD) in Leadership, Curriculum, and Instruction empowers scholar-practitioners to lead and influence education, design and evaluate curriculum, as well as elevate and maximize instructional methodologies. The degree integrates educational principles and leadership theories to inform research, andragogy and pedagogy, and evidence-based assessment. It combines primary research with practical experience to produce effective change agents who value diversity as well as equitable practices and policies. Students engage in project-based learning with embedded practicum experiences to solve real-world problems that foster personal and professional growth. They receive oversight, feedback, and guidance while participating in authentic working conditions. Graduates are equipped with the actionable skills necessary to positively impact organizations and advance their careers in leadership, curriculum, and instruction.

EdD Program Learning Outcomes

EdD Program Learning Outcomes

The EdD investigates the changing landscape of education by assisting working professionals to identify problems of practice and high-quality solutions that promote positive organizational culture and results-driven growth. Westcliff emphasizes the importance of contributions to the field of education by synthesizing research, honing leadership skills, and redefining curriculum and instruction.


The EdD encourages students to achieve the following educational objectives:

Relate educational leadership principles to established andragogical and pedagogical principles and current best practices for teaching and curriculum design.
Integrate current andragogical and pedagogical as well as instructional design methods into the creation and evaluation of effective, level-appropriate material for diverse learners in various contexts and modalities.
Analyze and apply leadership theories and research to current educational leadership challenges to develop and present innovative solutions.
Develop and apply collaborative and communicative skills for effective institutional leadership.
Analyze, discuss, and apply current leadership, curricular and instructional theories to address ethical, affective, cognitive, cultural, and social challenges in institutional and educational settings.
Select, assess, and implement technology for effective leadership, administration, curriculum design, and change implementation.
Apply academic research skills to effectively find, appraise, and synthesize information for an approved research topic.
Apply analytical reasoning as well as qualitative and quantitative research procedures to guide, support, and solve complex institutional issues.

Program Requirements

  • Admissions Requirements

    An applicant with a master’s degree in any field from a regionally or nationally accredited institution can apply for entrance into Westcliff University and a minimum GPA of 2.5. Master’s degrees obtained outside of the United States will only be accepted if they have been evaluated by a member in good standing of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES) or another nationally recognized credentialing service. In this case, the listed U.S. degree equivalency will be used.

  • Graduation Requirements

    Students must complete 60 total credit hours, composed of 18 credit hours of core courses (15 lecture, 3 practicum), 14 credit hours of research courses (12 lecture, 2 practicum), 12 credit hours for concentration courses (students choose either Leadership or Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment; 10 lecture, 2 practicum), and 16 credit hours of dissertation courses (14 lecture, 2 practicum). Students must also publish by the end of Year 3 and attend a conference/presentation. Internal options are available.

    Credit hours for some EDU 700-level courses completed at another institution may be transferred into the EdD program at Westcliff University in accordance with the university’s Transfer Credit Policy

  • Practical Learning Experience Requirements

    Westcliff University requires all students enrolled in the Doctor of Education (EdD) in Leadership, Curriculum, and Instruction in the College of Education to successfully complete a Practical Learning Experience (PLE) as a graduation requirement. Westcliff University degrees and certificates are designed to prepare students for the professional workforce, and the knowledge and skills learned throughout their program are directly applicable to the industries to which they are associated. Practical learning allows students to further refine the associated knowledge and skills through guidance, oversight, and feedback from industry experts and professionals while also building a stable network and gathering references to support their career needs. Students are encouraged to take full advantage of the opportunities afforded to them in practical learning and maximize their potential career placement or advancement upon graduation.

    The EdD PLE requirement is satisfied by completing embedded practical learning in every course within the EdD program, which is assessed on a Credit/No Credit basis. During practical learning, students engage in empirical experiences, in addition to participating in assigned course activities. This practice reflects Westcliff’s commitment to a practical and relevant education and the value of applied, experiential learning. Students who have this experience demonstrate a more successful transition into a new career or career advancement.

    EdD students engaged in practical learning are responsible for developing and demonstrating the skills necessary to be successful in a PLE. In addition to contemporary and growing industry knowledge, students should also be prepared to demonstrate professionalism, effective communication (written, oral and digital), and integrity while engaged in practical learning. The faculty facilitating internship courses associated with Practical Learning Experience assess these qualities and provide valuable feedback regarding their development to students throughout each experience. Students may reach out to Career Services with any questions about practical learning in the EdD program.

EdD Courses

  • Required Courses

    60 credit hours

    Core - Year 1 (18 credits)

    EDU 710 Effective Teaching and Learning Strategies (3 credit hours)

    EDU 711 Educational Leadership in Theory and Practice (3 credit hours)

    EDU 712 Curriculum Theory and Design (3 credit hours)

    EDU 830 Online Blended Learning and Teaching Methodologies (3 credit hours)

    EDU 831 Classroom Technology Integration (3 credit hours)

    EDU 833 Managing Human and Fiscal Resources as an Educational Leader (3 credit hours)


    Year 2 (19 credits)

    Choose a concentration: Leadership or Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment 

    • Leadership
      • EDU 713 Critical Analysis of Problems and Issues for Educational Leaders (3 credit hours)
      • EDU 800 Leading and Managing Choice in Education (3 credit hours)
      • EDU 801 Program Evaluation Methods for Academic Leadership (3 credit hours)
      • EDU 821 Advanced Supervision of Curriculum and Instruction (3 credit hours)
    • Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment 
      • EDU 810 Classroom Pedagogical and Andragogical Approaches (3 credit hours)
      • EDU 811 Instructional Design for Equitable Education (3 credit hours)
      • EDU 812 Student Assessment Methods (3 credit hours)
      • EDU 820 Advanced Instructional Design (3 credit hours)

    Begin research courses:

    RES 700 Identifying and Planning a Research Project (4 credit hours)

    RES 801 Quantitative Research in Education (3 credit hours)


    Year 3 (23 credits)

    Complete research:

    • RES 800 Educational Research Literature Review (4 credit hours)
    • RES 802 Qualitative Research in Education (3 credit hours)


    • EDU 900 Dissertation Course I (4 credit hours)
    • EDU 901 Dissertation Course II (4 credit hours)
    • EDU 902 Dissertation Course III (4 credit hours)
    • EDU 903 Dissertation Course IV (4 credit hours)
  • Program Concentrations

    Students are required to choose one of the following two concentrations: 

    Leadership - The concentration in leadership prepares professionals to positively impact organizations and transform learning environments by examining educational issues and trends. Strategies are presented to address problems through strategic planning, response to diverse needs, and the analysis and synthesis of political, social, economic, legal, and cultural contexts that shape educational discourse. Advancing education through innovation, creativity, critical thinking, collaboration, communication, students are equipped with leadership skills to manage change effectively and interpret data for programmatic review, accreditation,  evaluation, and efficient use of human and fiscal resources. Leveraging individual strengths, students cultivate the dispositions of ethical leaders and promote success for all.

    Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment - The Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment Concentration applies the theories of curriculum design with instructional practice. Setting learning objectives and aligning outcomes with assessment strategies are fundamental to learning and design frameworks. Applying practical solutions with technological integration fosters accessibility and inclusive methods to meet the needs of diverse learners. Using a variety of assessments including informal, formal, formative, and summative provides data-driven evidence of comprehensive learning experiences closing gaps and improving achievement for all.

  • Benchmark Courses

    RES 700 Identifying and Planning a Research Project and RES 800 Education Research Literature Review are benchmark courses in the EdD program. While most courses in the EdD program allow students three total attempts to successfully complete, benchmark courses only allow for two total attempts. Students who do not pass RES 700 in the first attempt are required to retake RES 700 while concurrently taking EDU 780 Writing for Research and Scholarly Publications I before progressing further in their program. Failure to pass RES 700 in the second attempt results in dismissal from the Doctor of Education in Leadership, Curriculum, and Instruction program. Similarly, students who do not pass RES 800 in the first attempt are required to retake RES 800 while concurrently taking EDU 781 Writing for Research and Scholarly Publications II before progressing further in their program. Failure to pass RES 800 in the second attempt results in dismissal from the program. Students must meet all academic and financial requirements to apply for graduation.

  • Course Catalog and Student Handbook

Scholarship Opportunities

  • Scholarship Application

    As a Westcliff student, you have access to a powerful network of support from staff, faculty, alumni, and many others who take pride in investing in you. Scholarships are made possible by generous benefactors who are passionate about supporting your success.

  • Scholarship Application Deadlines
    Semester Session Scholarship Deadline Start Date End Date
    FALL Session 1 07/29/22 Start: 8/29/22 End: 10/23/22
      Session 2   Start: 10/24/22 End: 12/18/22
    SPRING Session 3 12/03/22 Start: 01/03/23 End: 02/26/23
      Session 4   Start: 02/27/23 End: 04/23/23
    SUMMER Session 5 04/01/23 Start: 05/01/23 End: 06/25/23
      Session 6   Start: 06/26/23 End: 08/20/23


Program Requirements