Alverno College’s online EdD program is divided among core curriculum, dissertation research and development, and your chosen concentration. This rigorous program equips you for the highest level of leadership in education by:
- Developing your understanding of trends and developments in global and national education policy and pedagogy.
- Building on your knowledge of the student population in your chosen concentration area (K–12 Leadership or Higher Education Leadership).
- Extending your research skills so you can evaluate academic literature and performance data from your institution for informed decision making.
- Challenging you to develop and apply your critical faculties of conceptualization, diagnosis, communication, coordination and inclusive interaction within a leadership context.
Our online EdD is presented in an accelerated format designed to help you complete your EdD in as few as two years of study.
Click here to see examples of course sequences by start term.
Each year of the online EdD program consists of three semesters: fall, spring and summer.
Fall and spring semesters – 16 weeks each
Courses cover material in the doctoral core and/or your concentration. You will take one course during the first eight weeks of the semester and the other during the final eight weeks of the semester.
Dissertation seminar courses are highly personalized to your research interests and involve working with your advisor to develop and write your dissertation. Dissertation courses meet throughout each 16-week semester.
Summer semesters – 8 weeks each
During summer semesters, you take core courses and courses in your concentration area.
Core doctoral curriculum
The core of our EdD program consists of core coursework focused on developing leadership skills inside the classroom and the administrative suite.
EDD 801: Principles of Responsive and Transformational Leadership
Explore the conceptual models, theories and frameworks that will empower you as an educator and leader. Analyze and define your professional practice by applying principles of responsive and transformational leadership.
EDD 803: Ethical Organizational Leadership
Explore principles and frameworks of ethical organizational leadership. Examine how your professional values inform your responses to issues and challenges in educational contexts.
EDD 812: Equity in Diverse Educational Settings
Propose strategies to address issues of disproportionality, inequity and bias based on an analysis of diversity and equity issues and how they impact education. Equipped with this knowledge, design meaningful interventions to address inequity or bias.
EDD 814: Scholarly Communication
Refine your power as a writer and communicator through substantive feedback on your dissertation as it nears completion. Evaluate diverse methods for communicating your research findings by writing conference proposals, book proposals and peer-reviewed journal articles.
EDD 850: Transformational Leadership: Practice and Impact
Assess your current practice within the context of responsive and transformational leadership, define yourself as a leader and describe how your research has informed your leadership.
Dissertation and research
Unlike many doctoral programs, Alverno College provides support on the development of your dissertation from day one to ensure you can complete your degree on time. If additional time to complete your dissertation is necessary or if revisions are requested following your initial submission, you have the option to take an additional semester of dissertation support.
EDD 800: Dissertation Advisory I
In this first dissertation course, you will identify a potential area for study, identify members of your dissertation committee, develop your initial research question and complete a draft literature review.
EDD 802: Research in Educational Contexts
Define your areas of interest in relation to existing research by reading broadly and deeply from a variety of scholarly sources. Begin the framework for your literature review by developing a bibliography in APA format.
EDD 804: Research Methods
Create an initial plan for a research method for your dissertation after analyzing and evaluating diverse research paradigms and methods. You can also explore the possibility of co-authoring your dissertation in this course.
EDD 810: Dissertation Advisory II
Complete the introduction and literature review, and begin development of the methodology section of your dissertation.
EDD 811: Statistics and Data Analysis
Deepen your understanding of statistical and quantitative data, and evaluate tools for effective analysis. Undertake a critical evaluation of the use of statistics to support arguments and claims. Identify appropriate tools and approaches for your own research design.
EDD 813: Advanced Research Methods and Data Analysis
Take on deeper study of advanced research methods to identify methods aligned with your dissertation focus, and complete a draft of your research methodology for your proposal.
EDD 820: Dissertation Advisory III
Complete and defend your research proposal. Compile, receive feedback on, revise and submit your Institutional Review Board (IRB) documents.
EDD 830: Dissertation Advisory IV
Engage in data gathering and analysis, and begin write-up of your dissertation.
EDD 840: Dissertation Defense and Dissemination
Defend your dissertation, receive feedback and make any needed revisions.
EDD 860: Dissertation V (Optional)
If necessary, you can opt for an additional semester to complete or revise and defend your dissertation.
K–12 Leadership courses
The K–12 Leadership concentration includes courses focused on leading primary and secondary institutions, plus the option to complete an additional three credits to prepare for the superintendency.
EDD 821: Leadership, Educational Law, and Policy Leadership
Deepen your knowledge of the authority, liability and legal responsibility of school personnel in public and private institutions, analyzing the impact of local, state and national constitutions, statutes and court decisions on education. Analyze policy development as a political process; develop an understanding of power structures and the role of leadership in impacting policy; and learn to work with influential groups and lobbies.
EDD 822: LEA Governance, Management and Finance
Study the organizational structure and administrative relationships in school settings through the lens of systems thinking and the study of administrative behavior. Explore organizational theory, the collection and distribution of tax revenue at all levels of government, problems and issues in funding education, and resource allocation.
EDD 823: Assessment, Technology and Data for School Improvement
Explore the use of evaluative information for administrative decision making and the administration and evaluation of educational projects and programs. Develop your ability to assess needs and plan projects and programs, use technology for efficiency and effectiveness, and evaluate the impact of educational programs and decisions.
EDD 825: The Superintendency: Climate, Personnel and Supervision
As a superintendent candidate, explore the commitment and skills required for success as a school superintendent. Develop the competencies you need to create climates and capacities of learning across organizations through study of systematic leadership theory and best practices in instructional leadership.
EDD 826: Superintendency Practicum
Supervised practicum. You will practice administrative leadership in a setting beyond an individual school site. Examine a range of challenges in school administration, develop and implement a practicum plan to meet the needs of the field experience, and provide evidence of learning through the completion of a final portfolio.
Higher Education Leadership courses
The Higher Education Leadership concentration covers coursework for future leaders in post-secondary institutions.
EDD 831: Higher Education Legal Issues and Accreditation
Compare regional accrediting body expectations, with an emphasis on regional IHE accrediting bodies. Apply what you learn about accreditation to write a proposal for a new degree program and prepare for a mock annual review.
EDD 832: Higher Education Curriculum and Assessment
Demonstrate your ability to work effectively and collaboratively with key higher education stakeholders and faculty. Examine and evaluate curricula, explore strategies for board and trustee engagement, and identify methods for effectively addressing student and faculty concerns and grievances.
EDD 833: Assessment, Technology and Data in Higher Education Settings
Analyze the tools and data used in program evaluation, including retention, graduation and attrition rates, evaluations of faculty, and enrollment trends and patterns. Apply this analysis to the design of a higher education program evaluation process.
EDD 835: Higher Education Roles, Responsibilities and Leadership
Explore the commitment and skills required for success as an IHE leader. Study systematic leadership theory and practice, developing professional competencies and skills that will enable you to create climates and capacities for learning across organizations.