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School of Education: Doctor of Education in Learning and Leading
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Learning and Leading
Program of Study and Areas of Concentration
The Prospectus and Dissertation Process
Program Application and Admission
Applying to the Program
The Doctor of Education in Learning and Leading (Ed.D.) program in the nationally accredited School of Education combines innovative coursework and faculty expertise with applied research and best practices to prepare the next generation of leaders. The School of Education is Portland’s premier institution preparing teachers and leaders. Our 200-year tradition in education affirms an ethos that each individual is a learner, that dignity and justice are achieved through education, and that education is a community responsibility. All programs in the School of Education are approved by Oregon (TSPC) and accredited nationally (NCATE), with distinctions in the areas of evidence-based programming, faculty experience, and community outreach.
Ed.D. Program Overview and StrengthsCredits and Length: The 51-semester-hour cohort program is designed to be completed in 3 years. Students enroll in 5-6 semester hours of credit in three contiguous semesters (summer, fall, spring) during consecutive years of study. Part-time options may be planned individually based on consultation and transfer credit. Career goals will determine the best track for each student.
Integration of a Leadership and Learning Concentration: Ed.D. candidates select one of the following 15-hour concentrations to integrate into their program: School Leadership and Development (Initial Administrator Licensure [IAL] courses), Organizational Leadership and Development (Continuing Administrator Licensure [CAL] courses), and Neuroeducation.
State-of-Art Ed.D. Core Curriculum: All students complete a 21-semester hour common core that bridges theory, best practices, and applied research for immediate impact on the profession.
Transfer Credit Options: UP alumni who have completed the CAL or Neuroeducation programs enter the Ed.D. program at advanced status; transfer credit options from other institutions allow experienced professionals and current graduate students a fast track towards degree completion. Applicants with a completed IAL must select Organizational Leadership and Development (CAL) or Neuroeducation as their area of concentration.
Dedicated Faculty and Professional Network: Our full-time faculty hold advanced doctoral degrees from leading national institutions of education, and our clinical faculty bring expertise and applied experience around the challenges of learning and leading. Our Educational and Teacher Leadership Boards and alumni network, 7,500 strong, connect you with opportunities for mentorship and leadership advancement.
Intentionally Small Cohorts: Students and faculty form learning communities around areas of interest, study, and research. Intentionally small program cohorts begin during the summer session and progress toward faculty-led seminars that culminate in the prospectus and dissertation focused on applied issues in the field.
Accessible and Affordable: Courses are delivered on the UP campus one evening a week. The School of Education offers programs at some of the lowest tuition rates in the metropolitan area; all programs are eligible for federal financial aid, and no application fee is required. Current graduate program tuition rates may be found here.
Information, Consultation, and Advising Sessions: The application review process begins in mid-November and admission notification begins in February. Check this Ed.D. program page for updates on dates and times of information sessions. For general questions about the Ed.D. program or to RSVP for an upcoming informational session, please contact Anne Rasmussen at firstname.lastname@example.org or 503-943-8257. To schedule an individual consultation and advising session with the Associate Dean, Dr. Bruce Weitzel, please contact Stacey Boatright at email@example.com.
Ed.D. Program of Study and ConcentrationsThe Doctor of Education program in Learning and Leading offers three options as areas of concentration: School Leadership & Development (Initial Administrator Licensure [IAL]), Organizational Leadership & Development (Continuing Administrator Licensure [CAL]), and Neuroeducation. The program develops leaders who apply knowledge of research and practice to advance individual and organizational learning in a socially just manner with the goals of developing lifelong learners able to integrate research and theory and provide leadership for the field rooted in the School of Education’s emphasis on inquiry and scholarship for service. The Ed.D. program of study consists of 51 total semester hours segmented by doctoral core courses (21 semester hours), area of concentration hours (15 semester hours), and prospectus and dissertation hours (12 semester hours).
Doctoral Core Courses (21 semester hours)
ED 601 Advanced Qualitative Research
ED 602 Advanced Quantitative Research
ED 603 Research for Evaluation and Action
ED 610 Cultural and Institutional Perspectives on Education: Individual, Community, and Society
ED 611 Essential Ideas in Education: History, Philosophy, and Change
ED 612 Individual, Group, and Organizational Dynamics
ED 613 Foundations and Emergent Understandings of Learning and Development
Area of Concentration Courses (15 semester hours in one concentration)
School Leadership and Development - Initial Administrator Licensure [IAL])
ED 557 Ethical Leadership and Moral Imperative for Inclusive Practice
ED 546 Policy, Ethics, and the Law
ED 547 Resource Allocation, Finance and Management
ED 544 Human Resource Development and Management
ED 548 Supervision for Instructional Improvement
Organizational Leadership and Development (Continuing Administrator Licensure [CAL])
ED 552 Leadership for Sustaining the Vision
ED 553 Leadership for Instructional Improvement
ED 554 Leadership for Effective Data Driven Decision Making
ED 556 Leadership in the Socio-Political Context
ED 557 Ethical Leadership and Moral Imperative for Inclusive Practice
ED 585 Foundations of Cognitive Processes in Learning
ED 586 Neuroscience and Learning
ED 587 Neuro-Biological Aspects of Learning in Diverse Populations
ED 588 Neuroeducation: A Cultural-Linguistic Translation
ED 593 Readings and Topics in Neuroeducation and Education
Prospectus and Dissertation Courses (15 semester hours)
ED 621 Dissertation Prospectus (5 semester hrs)
ED 622 Dissertation Seminar: Area of Concentration (2 semesters, 2 semester hrs each semester)
ED 699 Dissertation Research (2 semesters, 3 semeester hours each semester)
The Prospectus Dissertation ProcessPre-candidacy evaluation. In the first two years of the program, students will write a synthesis paper and take comprehensive exams.
Post-candidacy evaluation. In the second year of a student’s program, a doctoral committee will be established to support that student’s independent research.
Prospectus Defense. After passing the comprehensive exam, students will prepare a prospectus for an oral examination conducted by the candidate's doctoral committee. The focus of this exam will be to ensure that the student’s dissertation project is well-conceived, and the individual is prepared to begin conducting the proposed research independently.
Dissertation Defense. Upon completion of the dissertation, an oral defense will be conducted by the committee. The purpose of the defense would be to confirm three elements of the dissertation: (a) the candidate’s mastery of methodology employed in the dissertation study, (b) the appropriateness of findings in relation to the methods employed, and (c) the clarity of communication.
Program Admission and Application
The Ed.D. in Learning and Leading is a 51-semester credit hour cohort program. The full program is designed to be completed in three years with contiguous semesters, including summer. There are 15-semester credit hours in an Area of Concentration. An earned master’s degree in education or a related field from a nationally accredited institution is required for admission to the program. Applicants must demonstrate prerequisite preparation in educational foundations and qualitative and quantitative research methods through transcript or applicable experience or plan satisfaction of these prerequisites as part of the program of study. All application materials must be submitted to the Graduate School. To begin your application, go to the Graduate School's website and apply online.
UP alumni who have completed the master's levelContinuing Administrator License (CAL) or Neuroeducation programs enter the Ed.D. program at advanced status; transfer credit options from other institutions allow experienced professionals and current graduate students a fast track towards degree completion. The following guidelines help to plan programs of study.
Educational Specialist (Ed.S.) Option
• A completed CAL or Neuroeducation Certificate program at the University of Portland satisfies the Organizational Leadership and Development or Neuroeducation area of concentration.
• Students with a completed IAL must select either Organizational Leadership & Development (CAL) or Neuroeducation as their area of concentration.
• Up to 12 semester hours may be transferred from another institution towards the Ed.D. area of concentration courses in the program.
• Prerequisite courses do not count toward the 51-credit Ed.D. program total hours. Prerequisite courses satisfied through transcript documentation are not transferred into the Ed.D. program.
• Students may be accepted into the Ed.D. program on the condition that prerequisite courses are completed before doctoral core courses begin.
• Required Ed.D. core, prospectus, and dissertation courses and hours may not be satisfied through transfer credit.
Students may complete only the coursework portion of the Ed.D. and graduate with an Educational Specialist (Ed.S.) degree. The Ed.S. is proposed as a completion alternative for students who are unable or who are not recommended to advance to dissertation candidacy.
To be considered for admission, the application form and all supporting materials must be received by the Graduate School on or before the published application deadline. All applicants to the Ed.D. program in Learning and Leading must submit the following:
1. Application Form
Completed Ed.D. online application form. There is no application fee.
2. Official Transcripts
An official transcript sent directly to the University of Portland Graduate School showing all college credit attempted and/or completed from each college and university previously attended. Transcripts from foreign universities must be in English or be accompanied by an English translation certified as authentic. Evidence of possession of a master’s degree from a nationally accredited institution is required. All official transcripts submitted become the property of the University and cannot be copied or returned to the applicant.
3. Three Essays
Candidates are required to write three essays. The doctoral program essay topics and instructions are listed below. Essays may be submitted electronically (email attachment or as part of the online application).
4. Two Letters of Recommendation
We require two letters of recommendation to assess your ability to integrate research and theory, your potential for successful and timely degree completion, and your ability to provide ethical leadership for the field. The appropriate Recommendation Cover Sheet must accompany letters from the recommender.
Letters of recommendation are among the most important aspects of a doctoral application. The School of Education uses recommendations to assess a candidate’s past accomplishments and determine potential for success. To present a well-rounded portrait of yourself as a candidate and a professional, we suggest that you request references from a former professor who is familiar with your academic ability, and a supervisor who is knowledgeable about your leadership and professional work.
5. Grade Point Average
Evidence of scholastic background that indicates ability to do satisfactory graduate work. Usually this is considered to be a minimum of a B average.
Submit a current professional résumé listing positions that you have held for three months or longer, including your current position.
Qualified applicants may be invited to interview with members of the School of Education School faculty.
Please note: All application materials must be submitted to the Graduate School. To begin your application, go to the Graduate School's website.
Ed.D. in Learning and Leading Essay Questions
These essays will be completed as part of the Ed.D. application form found on the Graduate School website.
1. Each candidate brings his or her own set of personal and professional goals to the selection of a doctoral program. What are your goals? Provide an analysis of how those goals match the University of Portland’s Learning and Leading doctoral program. Limit your response to no more than 500 words.
2. Discuss an area of professional interest that might become a topic of study within your doctoral program. Why is this area of study of interest to you? What contributions might your research make to the profession? Support your discussion with citations and references. Limit your response to no more than 1500 words.
3. The expectation of the doctoral program is a continuous commitment until program completion. Discuss how you will accommodate the schedule and rigorous academic expectations of the program. Limit your response to no more than 500 words.
Candidates accepted into the program are expected to have their own computer and access to the Internet.
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