Online Doctor of Education CurriculumOnline Doctor of Education CurriculumOnline Doctor of Education Curriculum

Practicing education professionals have the opportunity to observe firsthand the issues, and sometimes shortcomings, their institutions face each day. This knowledge and experience lends itself to increased opportunities for education professionals. Higher learning institutions are always seeking innovators eager to strengthen curricula, employ emerging technologies, and improve delivery and efficacy in higher education courses. An online doctor of education curriculum teaches students how to develop and apply education-focused leadership theory effectively across all levels. These skills can be applied in higher education institutions to improve and build administrative relationships and create effective policy while also enhancing the student experience.

Maryville University Online Doctor of Education Curriculum

Maryville University’s online Doctor of Education Higher Education Leadership strives to prepare its graduates for positions that require high-level decision-making. As these professionals typically have the knowledge and experience necessary to positively influence academic institutions, they often have frequent opportunities to boost their earning potential and maintain career satisfaction.  Our online Doctor of Education degree is a 32-month, 48-credit program.

Learn about Maryville’s online Doctor of Education program here:

Doctor of Education – Higher Education Leadership Curriculum

  • This course introduces students to historical and contemporary foundations of higher education with specific focus on ethical leadership and reflective practice. Students will be introduced to educational inquiry and build knowledge and skills in academic research and writing.

  • Students will become familiar with higher education leadership from the perspective of the student experience through study of student development theory, student services, student engagement, and through application of theory to practice in student affairs.

  • This course provides a general overview of various aspects of leadership in higher education including theories, multiple frames approach, strategic planning, and various decision-making models.

  • Students will be able to identify educational research methodologies and methods and understand the importance of research design and paradigms.

  • The context of higher education is an increasingly complex and increasingly competitive environment. This course discusses the contemporary and future roles of enrollment management, the nature and scope of institutions in higher education, and constituency engagement.

  • Students will be immersed in dissertation research and writing through workshops, presentations and critique groups.

  • In this comprehensive course students will develop strategies and leadership skills that will enable them to lead in an academic environment. Topics will include academic structure, governance, faculty tenure, emerging roles of faculty, and unions. Students will identify leadership roles in academic planning and curriculum development and will identify current and emerging issues in the academic environment in higher education.

  • Understanding the context of higher education prepares future leaders to confront most any issue if they have a grasp of organizational theory in higher education, power, conflict and crisis management, and organizational behavior.

  • This course focuses on understanding the analysis of qualitative and quantitative data. Students will have the opportunity to learn different forms of analysis but can concentrate on the most appropriate type for their own study. Writing results and conclusions for a research study will also be discussed.

  • Higher education is constantly evolving and changing. Future leaders must be prepared to understand, manage and implement change. This course focuses on change models, barriers and resistance to change, innovation and the future of higher education. Students will be exposed to the concept of design thinking as a tool for innovation in higher education.

  • These semester-long courses allow students to focus on their dissertation research studies under the direction of a dissertation chair/advisor. These courses allow students to develop an area(s) of emphasis through online course work focused on a particular skill or knowledge. Credit hours range from 0-3.

  • The second residency includes presentations and workshops for advanced research and writing.

  • Leaders now and in the foreseeable future are held to many types of performance and accountability measures from different external and internal forces. This course discusses the role of assessment and data for decision-making, accreditation, and the basics of financial management.

  • This course provides an overview of the key policy and legal issues in public and private higher education. Students will learn how policy, legal, and finance intersect and are integrated to solve complex problems.

  • This course focuses on completion of the research, writing, revisions and editing of all parts of the dissertation.

  • This final course is to review and defend the comprehensive portfolio through a professional conversation and an oral presentation.

  • Each student will complete a proposal of the research study including the research idea, statement of the problem, its background and significance, a review of the literature, and a proposed methodology and research design to address the problem of practice in higher education leadership to be addressed in the study. The proposal must be approved by the end of semester 4 and the student must receive a grade of P indicating approval of the proposal by the student’s faculty advisor/dissertation chair and program faculty members. Prerequisites: EDHL 750, 751, 753, 755

  • Each student will prepare a formal presentation and orally defend the dissertation of practice. The EdD program is complete when the student’s dissertation chair, program faculty members, and program director give approval. Prerequisites: all required program coursework, EDHL 764 and EDHL 790.

To ensure the best possible educational experience for our students, we may update our curriculum to reflect emerging and changing employer and industry trends.

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Skills, Concepts, or Opportunities Gained with an Online Doctor of Education Degree

A typical Doctor of Education (EdD) curriculum consists of courses that can give students in-depth knowledge and skills in several critical aspects of higher education:

  • Practice-based research. Effective practice-based research is essential to studying and improving educational outcomes. Students may learn techniques for gathering and analyzing information and using the results of their research to form new understandings of how to improve higher education.
  • Reflective leadership practice. Educators face myriad daily choices, such as how to organize curricula, how to best serve students from different backgrounds, and how to structure learning time. Students acquire critical skills to help them make decisions amid evolving situations and solve complex, difficult problems through both reflection and self-reflection.
  • Academic leadership strategies. Leaders in higher education must demonstrate managerial capacities—flexibility, adaptability, the ability to strategize, and effectiveness—and must also be resourceful researchers and academic performers. Students pursuing a doctorate in education learn administrative skills to deal with problems and effect long-term change.
  • Data analysis. Progress in educational technology has provided tools for measuring students’ performance in tasks, which can increase the relevance and precision of what students learn, allow instructional tailoring to fit students’ specific needs, and provide individualized feedback across a wide range of learning issues. Doctor of Education students will learn data analytics that will aid them in improving their research and analysis skills.

Common Courses for Online Doctor of Education Students

These are some of the common courses offered for this degree. Though actual course titles may vary depending on the university, many higher education programs offer courses that touch on the following concepts:

Educational Research Methods. Students learn how to identify educational research methodologies and methods and understand the importance of research designs and paradigms.

Reflective Leadership Practice and Inquiry. This type of course introduces students to historical and contemporary foundations of higher education, with a specific focus on ethical leadership and reflective practice. Students enrolled in courses like this could be introduced to educational inquiry and could build knowledge and skills in academic research and writing.

Strategic Change and Innovation. As higher education evolves, future leaders need to be prepared to understand, manage, and implement change. Doctor of Education students taking this type of course will focus on change models, barriers and resistance to change, innovation, and the future of higher education. This exposes students to the concept of design thinking as a tool for innovation in higher education.

Leading in a Complex Environment. Students interested in taking on leadership roles in higher education need to understand key policy and legal issues involved in both the public and private spheres. Classes of this type will inform students how policy, law, and finance intersect, and how they are all integrated to solve complex problems.

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