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Doctor of Education in Leadership, Curriculum, and Instruction

Doctor of Education in Leadership, Curriculum, and Instruction

The Doctor of Education in Leadership of Curriculum and Instruction (Ed.D.) 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 Ed.D. 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. 

Mission Statement

The mission of Westcliff University’s Doctor of Education in Leadership, Curriculum, and Instruction is to develop leaders with a global perspective to inspire and empower through excellence in innovation and the practical adaptation of research to guide organizations, curriculum, and instruction.

Ed.D. Program Description

The Doctor of Education in Leadership, Curriculum, and Instruction builds upon the practitioner’s prior knowledge to empower students as scholar-practitioners capable of in-depth analysis and research, as well as program development, deployment, and evaluation based on contextualized research and practice. This program advances the leader’s pragmatic implementation of leadership theory to guide organizations, curriculum, and instruction, as well as the adoption and use of technology. It teaches and mentors doctoral candidates in evaluating and conducting research that supports organizational missions and performance goals. Also, doctoral candidates perfect their skills for writing and presenting formal stakeholder reports. 

In the first year, students engage with theories on leadership, curriculum, instruction, praxis, and review research methods to organize a prospectus guiding their dissertations. In the second year, students select courses that support their study and concentration interest. Year two culminates in doctoral candidacy. In year three, doctoral candidates continue their course selection to support their study and concentration interest and finally defend their dissertation. 

Ed.D. Program Learning Outcomes

Ed.D. Program Learning Outcomes

The Doctor of Education in Leadership, Curriculum, and Instruction empowers scholar-practitioners to effectively integrate current challenges, research, and educational principles to guide research, curricular pedagogy, and design for strategic planning and implementation.

 

The Ed.D. encourages students to achieve the following educational objectives:

1
Relate educational leadership principles to established educational pedagogy principles and current best practices for teaching and curriculum design.
2
Integrate current educational pedagogy and instructional design methods to create and evaluate effective, level-appropriate material for diverse learners in various contexts and modalities.
3
Analyze and apply leadership theories and research to current educational leadership challenges to develop and present innovative solutions.
4
Develop and apply collaborative and communication skills for effective institutional leadership.
5
Analyze and discuss current leadership, curricular, and instructional theories to address ethical affective, cognitive, cultural, and social challenges in institutional and educational settings.
6
Select, assess, and implement technology for effective leadership, administration, curriculum design, and change implementation.
7
Apply academic research skills to effectively find, appraise, and synthesize information for an approved research topic.
8
Apply analytical reasoning as well as qualitative and quantitative research procedures to guide, support, and solve complex institutional issues.

More Course Information

  • Ed.D. Core Course Requirements

    Year 1 (21 credits, 48 weeks, 7 Courses)

    1. EDU 710 Effective Teaching & Learning Strategies
    2. EDU 711 Educational Leadership in Theory & Practice
    3. EDU 712 Curriculum Theory & Design
    4. EDU 713 Critical Analysis of Problems & Issues for Educational Leaders
    5. RES 701 Fundamentals of Elementary Statistics for Education
    6. RES 721 Developing the Dissertation Prospectus
    7. RES 801 Quantitative Research in Education

    Year 2 (18 credits, 48 weeks, 6 courses)

    • Elective: Select one

    EDU 800 Leading & Managing Choice in Education 
    EDU 810 Classroom Pedagogical & Andragogical Approaches

    • Elective: Select one

    EDU 820 Advanced Instructional Design 
    EDU 810 Classroom Pedagogical & Andragogical Approaches

    • Concentration: Select one

    EDU 830 HE Online & Blended Learning Instructional Methodologies 
    EDU 840 K-12 Online & Blended Learning Instructional Methodologies

    • Concentration: Select one

    EDU 831 HE Classroom Technology Integration 
    EDU 841 K-12 Classroom Technology Integration

    • RES 741 Research Methods II
    • RES 751 Literature Review /Candidacy Review

    Note: Students who do not pass RES 721 will retake the course in the subsequent session together with EDU 780 to support their work in the RES 721 course. Students who do not pass RES 751 will retake the course in the subsequent session together with EDU 781 Advanced Academic Study & Writing I/II to support their work in the RES 781 course.

    Year 3/Dissertation (21 credits, 48 weeks, 7 courses)

    • Elective: Select one

    EDU 811 Instructional Design for Equitable Education
    EDU 801 Program Evaluation Methods for Academic Leadership

    • Concentration: Select one

    EDU 832 Action Research for Educational Leaders in HE                                      
    EDU 842 Action Research for Educational Leaders in K-12

    • Concentration: Select one

    EDU 833 Managing Human & Fiscal Resources as an Educational Leader in HE
    EDU 843 Managing Human & Fiscal Resources as an Educational Leader in K-12

    • Elective:  Select one

    EDU 812 Student Assessment Methods
    EDU 821 Advanced Curriculum & Instruction Supervision

    1. EDU 900 Dissertation 1
    2. EDU 901 Dissertation 2
    3. EDU 902 Dissertation 3

    Note: Candidates who do not initially receive credit for a dissertation course may retake that dissertation course two (2) times. 

  • Ed.D. Areas of Concentration

    Higher Education

    The Higher Education (HE) concentration is for those already working in or planning to work in higher education institutions.

    EDU 830 HE Online & Blended Learning Teaching Methodologies
    EDU 831 HE Classroom Technology Integration
    EDU 832 Action Research for Educational Leaders in HE
    EDU 833 Managing Human & Fiscal Resources as an Educational Leader in HE

    Kinder through 12th Grade (K-12)

    The K-12 concentration is for those working in or planning to work in a school, district, or county-level K-12 setting.

    EDU 840 K-12 Online & Blended Learning Teaching Methodologies
    EDU 841 K-12 Classroom Technology Integrating
    EDU 842 Action Research for Educational Leaders in K-12
    EDU 843 Managing Human & Fiscal Resources as an Educational Leader in K-12

Ed.D. Course Descriptions

  • First-Year Ed.D. Courses

    EDU 710 Effective Teaching and Learning Strategies (3 credit hours) This course covers best practices and sound research for effective teaching and learning in reviewing issues related to human development theory, proven learning strategies, modern technologies, barriers to learning, and cultural, linguistic, and cognitive diversity. Participants will develop student-centered lessons, activities, and materials for different types of student populations.

    EDU 711 Educational Leadership in Theory and Practice (3 credit hours) This course explores the strategic application of key activities indigenous to the mission and value that lead directly to attaining organizational goals. People are the most important and valuable resource within an organization and, as such, must be incorporated in any functional business strategy. The course explores strategic principles related to achieving the maximum performance from managing people. Planning for performance, identifying opportunities, strengths, weaknesses, and threats are examined in great detail to obtain a strategy for a sustainable competitive advantage.

    EDU 712 Curriculum Theory and Design (3 credit hours) This course examines the theoretical assumptions underlying curriculum design. Students explore leading concepts of curriculum development models to implement curricula that are consistent with specific theoretical principles. Students will evaluate, create, and present their differentiated curriculum, emphasizing theoretical principles and universal learning design (UDL) used during the development process.

    EDU 713 Critical Analysis of Problems and Issues for Educational Leaders (3 credit hours) This course examines current and emerging issues and trends impacting the field of education. The issues and trends are presented in a forum that brings experience and current methodology together to review long-term and short-term strategies to address problems related to the course participants' specific roles.

  • Second-Year Ed.D. Courses

    EDU 800 Leading and Managing Choice in Education (3 credit hours) This course focuses on concepts and strategies for managing change in various educational settings. Recognition of human diversity and strategies that empower administrators, educators, students, and schools are emphasized. Strategic planning, processes, procedures, and skills for change are presented. Students will consider the implications of proposed changes.

    EDU 810 Classroom Pedagogical Andragogical Approaches (3 credit hours) This course is designed to examine learning diversity and the psychological and social factors related to learning from childhood through adulthood. Critical analysis of selected theories and learning concepts is applied to adult and child learning experiences, learning styles, and educational programs' motivation. In the application of teaching and learning, emphasis is placed on the differences between how children and adults acquire, process, and apply knowledge.

    EDU 820 Advanced Instructional Design (3 credit hours) This course consists of instructional design theories and practical skill development at the technological level. Through multiple tutorials and mini assignments, students will work together to produce learning experiences using today's media and technologies, such as designing and creating courses on learning management systems and creating educational tools and webinars for a more effective online and on-ground classroom experience for all.

    EDU 830 HE Online & Blended Learning Teaching Methodologies (3 credit hours) This class examines effective instructional design elements for higher education online and blended learning environments, starting with course design and development to implementation and evaluation. The technological, pedagogical, and content knowledge (TPACK) framework will be used to evaluate the necessary skills and innovative techniques used in the online and blended classroom for adult student learning and engagement. Students will engage in activities to create meaningful interaction and build a classroom community while addressing the issues, challenges, and advantages of online learning.

    EDU 831 HE Classroom Technology Integration (3 credit hours) This course explores the potential of current and emerging technologies relevant to learning, teaching, and educational research within Higher Ed. Participants will create innovative environments that enable teaching from a different perspective, using various applications, educational technology platforms, and cloud-based tools and resources to enable skill development at the technological level. Key components of creating an accessible, adaptable, and inclusive environment for adults are emphasized.

    EDU 840 K-12 Online & Blended Learning Teaching Methodologies (3 credit hours) This class examines effective instructional design elements for K-12 online and blended learning environments, starting with course design and development to implementation and evaluation. The technological, pedagogical, and content knowledge (TPACK) framework will be used to evaluate the necessary skills and innovative techniques used in the online and blended classroom for student learning and engagement. Students will engage in activities to create meaningful interaction and build a classroom community while addressing the issues, challenges, and advantages of online learning for children and teenagers.

    EDU 841 K-12 Classroom Technology Integration (3 credit hours) This course explores the potential of current and emerging technologies relevant to learning, teaching, and educational research within the K-12 area. Participants will create innovative environments that enable teaching from a different perspective, using various applications, educational technology platforms, and cloud-based tools and resources to enable skill development at the technological level. The key components of creating an accessible, adaptable, and inclusive environment for children and teenagers are emphasized.

  • Third-Year Ed.D. Courses

    EDU 801 Program Evaluation Methods for Academic Leadership (3 credit hours) This course focuses on programmatic evaluation methods used to address student needs in education effectively. The evaluation methods covered consist of program review for accreditation purposes, continuous decision-making, new advancements in the field, and assessing program curriculum delivery, assignments, and teaching methodologies.

    EDU 811 Instructional Design for Equitable Education (3 credit hours) This course enables students to explore the phases of the instructional design process including analysis, implementation, evaluation, and practice. The course focuses on online and on-ground design issues, including course planning, instructional strategies selection, instruction assessment, and on-going course evaluation. Students will practice designing effective instruction based on instructional design principles and Universal Design for Learning (UDL) theory. This course will be applicable for both K–12 and HE environments.

    EDU 812 Student Assessment Methods (3 credit hours) In this course, participants will examine topics related to the assessment of student learning across disciplines. Student assessment techniques and theories of cognitive learning will be reviewed and practiced using equitable assessment practices. Emphasis will be placed on how data can be used and applied to student learning outcomes analysis for effective curriculum planning.

    EDU 821 Advanced Supervision of Curriculum and Instruction (3 credit hours) This course analyzes the relationship between current practice and research in curriculum and instruction supervision. Students will examine and use educational best practices and evaluate current program management and classroom instruction methods to create reflective instructors and curriculum designers. Topics include the concepts and techniques necessary to establish comprehensive staff supervision programs and performance standards based on observation strategies, descriptive feedback, managing diverse personalities, and teaching subjectiveness.

    EDU 832 Action Research for HE (3 credit hours) This course covers the historical, philosophical, and theoretical foundations of action research. Action research as a practical research application for educators will be used to design, diagnose, plan, implement, observe, and reflect on educational challenges. Students will discuss the various roles and skills necessary for effective action research and critical issues related to empowerment, contextualization, ethical considerations, and higher education’s validity.

    EDU 833 Managing Human & Fiscal Resources as an Educational Leader in Higher Education (3 credit hours) In this course, participants will review organizational theory and design and how it applies to educational management and leadership to meet the higher education organization, faculty, and staff needs. Strategic university planning and budgeting for faculty hiring, scheduling, evaluation, and training will be reviewed and constructed for effective programmatic implementation.

    EDU 842 Research Action for K-12 (3 credit hours) This course covers the historical, philosophical, and theoretical foundations of action research. Action research as a practical research application for educators will be used to design, diagnose, plan, implement, observe, and reflect on educational challenges. The various roles and skills necessary to be an effective action researcher will be discussed and important issues related to empowerment, contextualization, ethical considerations, and validity.

    EDU 843 Managing Human & Fiscal Resources as an Educational Leader in K-12 (3 credit hours) In this course, participants will review organizational theory and design and how it applies to educational management and leadership to meet K-12 organizational, faculty, and staff needs. Strategic planning and budgeting for teacher hiring, scheduling, evaluation, and training will be reviewed and constructed for effective programmatic implementation in private and public K-12 sectors.

  • Ed.D. Dissertation Courses

    EDU 900 Dissertation I (3 credit hours) During this course, the doctoral candidate will develop, write, and submit the methodology (Chapter 3), complete their research proposal and IRB research study application, and deliver a preliminary oral defense of that proposal. The writing process is a re-iterative process. The dissertation committee will review and offer revisions for the doctoral candidates to address and resubmit for final approval. The doctoral candidate will need to carefully manage their time to organize their study and have it approved in the first 8 weeks.

    EDU 901 Dissertation II (3 credit hours) During this course, the doctoral candidates compile chapters 1-3 of their dissertation, collect their data, and begin the data analysis process (Chapter 4). Doctoral candidates may not begin collecting data in any way without first acquiring IRB approval. While the doctoral candidate is waiting for approval and collecting data, the candidate will work to revise and edit the previous dissertation chapters (1-3).

    EDU 902 Dissertation III (3 credit hours) In the final dissertation course, the doctoral candidate will complete chapter 5 – the discussion section of the dissertation, combine chapters 1-5 as a thoroughly reviewed and professionally edited dissertation, and deliver the final, oral defense to the dissertation committee, and university committee at large in an open forum. The dissertation committee may approve, request revisions, or reject the dissertation. The doctoral candidate must address all identified revisions and edits for final approval. Dissertations that are rejected must not be published in any form.

  • Ed.D. Research Courses

    RES 700 Identifying & Planning a Research Project (3 credit hours) This course culminates with a pre-prospectus and the dissertation-chair selection in preparation for the dissertation. A prospectus is a formal research project proposal to convince a reader that the research can be carried out and will yield beneficial results. The prospectus reviews existing scholarship, summarizing basic arguments relevant to the project, and positions the project concerning this scholarship. Additionally, the prospectus includes a hypothesis statement or research problem and a project organization overview. Writing a prospectus sharpens several important communication skills applicable in various situations, such as scholarship and funding applications, proposals for research forums, conferences, publications, job applications, and preparation for larger and more complex research projects found in a variety of professional settings.

    RES 701 Fundamentals of Elementary Statistics for Education (3 credit hours) This course reviews fundamental statistical principles set in an educational context. Learners are given opportunities to apply statistical principles, infer meaning from findings, and report on issues that matter to them. As a foundational statistics course, this course is developed for students with a limited algebraic background who have limited experience collecting, compiling, cleaning, and crunching data sets for meaningful inferences. This course will develop learners’ descriptive statistical knowledge, skills, and readiness to engage in statistical analysis, recognize the role descriptive statistics play in their given domain and form the basis for further quantitative and qualitative inferential statistical analysis.

    RES 800 Education Research Literature Review (3 credit hours) This course culminates in the review of the literature. The students build and refine scholarly writing by using archival research, documented sources, and library databases as they synthesize pertinent literature and develop their topic knowledge base. Students leverage peer and instructor support systems to complete a 30-source (minimum) literature review that focuses on the methodology, arguments, and frameworks associated with the chosen topic, resulting in a clear description of the study's need. Emphasis is also placed on examining emerging connections and themes emerging from source findings and discussions in preparation for future course requirements. Students will use the latest American Psychological Association (APA) Publication Manual style guide.

    RES 801 Quantitative Research in Education (3 credit hours) This course builds from RES 701 Fundamentals of Elementary Statistics for Education. Students will apply their knowledge of descriptive statistics to conduct inferential statistics. Students will test hypotheses, test the difference between two means, two proportions, and two variances, study correlation and regression, conduct chi-square and ANOVA, and review nonparametric statistics, sampling, and simulation. Students will apply these skills to the data sets they have previously been working with to increase their proficiency and skills in conducting, interpreting, and reporting inferential statistics. Students will use SAS for this course.

    RES 802 Qualitative Research in Education (3 credit hours) This course builds from RES 701 Fundamentals of Elementary Statistics for Education. Students will explore the philosophical underpinnings, history, and key elements of each of five qualitative inquiry traditions: narrative research, phenomenology, grounded theory, ethnography, and case study. This course will guide students in a comparison of these theoretical frameworks, methods of employing quality standards, and strategies for writing introductions to studies, collecting data, analyzing data, writing a narrative, and verifying results. Students will use MAXQDA for this course. 

  • Ed.D. Academic Writing Courses

    EDU 701 Advanced Academic Study and Writing (1 credit hour) This course focuses on developing the scholarly writing skills necessary to excel at a graduate level. The course will focus on proper ways to structure and format academic writing while maintaining proper style and cohesion. This course is designed to be taken concurrently with a content course. 
    Note: Students are assigned this course due to failing or missing the placement test before their first doctoral course. This course is taken concurrently with the first doctoral course.

    EDU 780 Writing for Research and Scholarly Publications I (1 credit hour) This course provides students with the ability to independently revise the Prospectus through step-by-step modules addressing most common issues, writing tips and techniques, and content required in each subsection. Students will be provided individualized feedback and can consult with writing specialists throughout the revision process.
    Note: Students are assigned this course if they do not pass the RES 700 - Prospectus course. Students will repeat RES 700 in the subsequent session and take this course concurrently with the retake of RES 700.

    EDU 781 Writing for Research and Scholarly Publications II (1 credit hour) This course provides students with the ability to independently revise the literature review through step-by-step modules addressing most common issues, writing tips and techniques, and content required in each sub-section. Students will be provided individualized feedback and can consult with writing specialists throughout the revision process.
    Note: Students are assigned this course if they do not pass the RES 800 – Literature Review course. Students will repeat RES 800 in the subsequent session and take this course concurrently with the retake of RES 800.

     

More Course Information