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Educational Leadership

Be an Education Game Changer

The future of education needs a leader with an edge. It needs a bold innovator with the knowledge and passion necessary for bringing large-scale change. It needs a Shark.

NSU helps you move education forward at school, district or national levels with an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership. Challenge yourself to solve real-world problems through project-based planning and implementation. Master how to advocate for school improvement. Discover ways to boost administrative competencies. Navigate educational trends in a changing world.

Unlike research-heavy Ph.D. programs, an Ed.D. will give you a more hands-on approach to leading. Our graduates earned their degree in their own time and are currently shaping schools everywhere, as assistant principals and principals, superintendents, school district leaders and university deans and presidents. Your own path to making a meaningful difference for the students of tomorrow starts today.

Who Should Apply

  • Practicing superintendents, assistant superintendents, principals, assistant principals, and lead teachers in public and nonpublic K–12 education; OR
  • Individuals with master’s degrees or above in education who are on an administrative track who wish to obtain a doctoral degree and increase their knowledge and skills in education administration and leadership; OR
  • Individuals considering a Ph.D. in educational leadership who would instead like to explore the benefits of an Ed.D. in educational leadership program.

Now, You Can Earn Your Ed.D. With No Dissertation Requirement

At the FCE&SCJ, we understand that not all doctoral students wish to write a traditional research-based dissertation. We now offer an alternate opportunity that allows students to solve problems in a real-world setting. The Strategic Research Project (SRP) is an alternative to the Applied Dissertation. Check out the Curriculum section below to learn more about this option.

We now offer Ed.D. students the option of a Strategic Research Project (SRP) as an alternative to the Applied Dissertation. This project is made up of two 6-credit courses (ESRP 9000 & ESRP 9001) to be completed in 2 semesters after you have completed all of your required courses.

ESRP 9000 Strategic Research Project I (6 credits): This course represents the first phase in the development of the Strategic Research Project (SRP). Students will begin the conceptualization and development of the Strategic Research Project. Students will identify the problem they wish to investigate. The problem can take many forms including but not limited to a problem of practice, challenge, or complex phenomenon in the student’s organization or in an organization they choose to study. Students will investigate this problem and provide multiple forms of evidence that demonstrate a need to focus on the problem in the particular organizational context. Students will (a) examine a problematic process/issue in an organization that could be improved through the implementation of planned intervention, (b) identify the specific evidence that serves to define the problem and the potential impact if it is not addressed, (c) determine a potential action, intervention, or change that could be implemented to bring about improvement, (d) review the literature to learn how other organizations have addressed the issue and which actions or interventions have been shown to be most effective, (e) discuss potential actions/interventions with your colleagues, professors, and other key experts in the field to gather additional ideas and feedback. Prerequisites: all prior courses

ESRP 9001 Strategic Research Project II (6 credits): This course represents the second phase in the development of the Strategic Research Project (SRP). Students continue to develop their project as they incorporate feedback on the proposed intervention, outline a system of evaluation for the recommended design and integrate the content of the entire project into one narrative and final deliverable. While students are not required to implement the intervention, their final strategic research project should provide a detailed plan and evaluation strategy that, backed by extensive research, would result in the expected improvement in the organization or successfully address the organization’s challenges. In addition, the final product will include an insightful reflection piece analyzing what was learned from the development of the SRP, what worked and what didn’t, and what changes or recommendations for improving the initial strategy resulted from the experiences. Prerequisite: ESRP 9000

Recommended 3-Year Program Sequence

For Students Completing Strategic Research Project (SRP): 

DOWNLOAD PLAN

Strategic Research Project FAQ

An Alternative to Applied Dissertation for Ed.D. Students

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Ed.D. in Educational Leadership

The following are specific admission requirements for entry into the Doctor of Education programs. Please refer to the admissions application or catalog for specific program admission requirements and information for international students.

  • Completed online application for admission, including ($50) nonrefundable application fee
  • An official transcript from a regionally accredited institution indicating a conferred master’s degree with a minimum CGPA of 3.0, and official final transcripts from all institutions of higher education (community colleges, bachelor’s programs, post-graduate programs)
  • Professional letters of recommendation from two (2) individuals who can attest to the applicant’s ability to succeed in a doctoral program
  • No entrance exam required
  • Completed Personal Statement of Goals
  • Completed Transfer of Credits form if applicable

FOR NON-NATIVE ENGLISH SPEAKERS

Applicants whose native language is not English are required to demonstrate English proficiency by providing proof of a minimum score of 213 on the computer-based or 550 on the paper-based Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) exam or 6.0 on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exam.

EDUCATIONAL LEADERSHIP COURSE OF STUDY

(55 CREDITS MINIMUM)

 

CONCENTRATION AREA COURSES (24 CREDITS)

Course Number Course Title and Description Credits
EDD 8200 Leadership, Communication, and Technology 3
EDLR 8410 Leading an Educational Organization: Theory, Practice, and Reflection 3
EDLR 8415 Strategic Planning for Educational Leadership 3
EDLR 8420 Policy, Power, and Politics in Educational Leadership 3
EDLR 8425 School-Based Inquiry and Transformation 3
EDLR 8430 Legal and Ethical Issues in Educational Leadership 3
EDLR 8435 Current Topics in Educational Leadership 3
Select one of the following to align with the level of certification you are seeking:
EDLR 8460 The Principal and School Leadership 3
EDLR 8461 The Superintendent and District Leadership 3

RESEARCH COURSES (12 CREDITS)

Required Courses

Course Number Course Title and Description Credits
RES 8100 The Nature of Knowing: Epistemology and Inquiry-Based Learning (Required Course) 3
RES 9300 Methods of Inquiry (Required Course) 3

Please select ONE of the following research tracks based on your dissertation (please consult your RES 9300 professor and your dissertation chair prior to registering):

Quantitative Research Track

Course Number Course Title and Description Credits
RES 8911 Quantitative Research Design 3
RES 8921

Quantitative Data Analysis

3

Qualitative Research Track

Course Number Course Title and Description Credits
RES 8916 Qualitative Research Design 3
RES 8926

Qualitative Data Analysis

3

APPLIED DISSERTATION (12 CREDITS) OR STRATEGIC RESEARCH PROJECT (12 CREDITS)

The Applied Dissertation is a detailed, accurate, and cohesive account of a scholarly investigation designed to answer one or more research questions. It is required of all FCE doctoral students and its purpose is to improve practice in education and human services. The dissertation process consists of a total of 12 credits encompassing four major benchmarks.

Course Number Course Title and Description Credits
DISR 8966 Applied Dissertation 1: Prospectus 3
DISR 8967 Applied Dissertation 2: Proposal Development 3
DISR 8968 Applied Dissertation 3: Proposal 3
DISR 8969 Applied Dissertation 4: Applied Dissertation 3

ELECTIVES (MINIMUM OF 6 CREDITS)

Students will fulfill this requirement by selecting from a variety of educational leadership courses.

Students seeking certification must take the electives that align with the level of certification they are seeking:

Course Number Course Title and Description Credits
BUILDING LEVEL LEADERS
EDLR 8490 Reflection and Vision for School Leaders 3
EDLR 8498 Internship (Building Level) 3
DISTRICT LEVEL LEADERS
EDLR 8495 Reflection and Vision for District Leaders 3
EDLR 8499 Internship (District Level) 3

STRATEGIC RESEARCH PROJECT (ESRP) – AN ALTERNATIVE TO DISSERTATION

ESRP 9000 Strategic Research Project I (6 credits): This course represents the first phase in the development of the Strategic Research Project (SRP). Students will begin the conceptualization and development of the Strategic Research Project. Students will identify the problem they wish to investigate. The problem can take many forms including but not limited to a problem of practice, challenge, or complex phenomenon in the student’s organization or in an organization they choose to study. Students will investigate this problem and provide multiple forms of evidence that demonstrate a need to focus on the problem in the particular organizational context. Students will (a) examine a problematic process/issue in an organization that could be improved through the implementation of planned intervention, (b) identify the specific evidence that serves to define the problem and the potential impact if it is not addressed, (c) determine a potential action, intervention, or change that could be implemented to bring about improvement, (d) review the literature to learn how other organizations have addressed the issue and which actions or interventions have been shown to be most effective, (e) discuss potential actions/interventions with your colleagues, professors, and other key experts in the field to gather additional ideas and feedback. Prerequisites: all prior courses

 

ESRP 9001 Strategic Research Project II (6 credits): This course represents the second phase in the development of the Strategic Research Project (SRP). Students continue to develop their project as they incorporate feedback on the proposed intervention, outline a system of evaluation for the recommended design and integrate the content of the entire project into one narrative and final deliverable. While students are not required to implement the intervention, their final strategic research project should provide a detailed plan and evaluation strategy that, backed by extensive research, would result in the expected improvement in the organization or successfully address the organization’s challenges. In addition, the final product will include an insightful reflection piece analyzing what was learned from development of the SRP, , what worked and what didn’t, and what changes or recommendations for improving the initial strategy resulted from the experiences. Prerequisite: ESRP 9000

 

SUMMER INSTITUTE (1 CREDIT)

The Summer Institute is an opportunity for students to meet with Fischler College classmates, professors, and staff on-campus in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. Students will be able to schedule individual sessions with their applied dissertation committee chairs to discuss dissertation work and with representatives from various service areas, including distance library services, student financial assistance, and program advising. The conference will also offer applied dissertation workshops enabling students to learn valuable information about the dissertation process, as well as roundtable sessions affording students the opportunity to present their dissertation work to a group of peers and receive immediate feedback. 

Course Number Course Title and Description Credits
FSC 8000

Summer Institute (Residency Requirement)        

1

EXTENDED DISSERTATION SERVICES (0 CREDITS)

Beginning the 37th month of the Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) program, students will enroll in ADS 8091, Applied Dissertation Services, in order to receive dissertation services and support from Dissertation Committee Chairs and/or other NSU faculty and staff. In cases where students are not enrolled in any classes prior to the 37th month and where Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) students require support from Dissertation Chairs and/or other NSU faculty and staff, ADS 8090 may be used to satisfy Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) requirements for continuous matriculation.

Course Number Course Title and Description Credits
ADS 8091 Applied Dissertation Services 1

*Note: Students must be registered for ADS 8091 to be eligible for continuing services.

 

ACADEMIC PROGRAM OF STUDY

DOWNLOAD PROGRAM OUTLINE

 

RECOMMENDED 3-YEAR PROGRAM SEQUENCE

For Students Completing Applied Dissertation:

DOWNLOAD PLAN

For Students Completing Strategic Research Project (ESRP): 

DOWNLOAD PLAN

Click on the button below to download the Course Equivalencies/Substitutions for the Educational Leadership Concentration

Course Equivalencies/Substitutions

For advising assistance, please send an email to FCEadvise@nova.edu

Coursework for the Doctor of Education is available online, which allows international students and those who don't live near our South Florida campus to receive and submit coursework, and interact with classmates and professors, via the Internet. This distance education option allows busy professionals like you to earn your degree without work disruption or long commutes.

In addition to coursework, all doctoral students are required to participate in Summer Institute in Florida.

The Summer Institute is an intensive conference designed to give doctoral students the tools and support they need to complete their doctoral program. Students must attend one Summer Institute. 

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