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Educational Leadership and Policy Studies Ed.D. Program

Ed.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

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ADVANCING EDUCATIONAL LEADERSHIP

DESIGNED FOR WORKING PROFESSIONALS

PROGRAM OVERVIEW

The Educational Leadership and Policy Studies Ed.D. program is available across multiple Virginia Tech campuses across Virginia. The vast majority of our doctoral students pursue the Ed.D. As such, we advertise our doctoral cohorts as “Ed.D. cohorts” and treat the Ed.D. as the default degree option.

Ed.D. students complete approximately 69 hours of coursework on a part- or full-time basis. Typically, students attend two classes – totaling 6 credit hours – per semester. Students may attend fewer credit hours in Summer I or II, or more credit hours while working on their dissertation research but must always be enrolled in a least 3-credits and one class for continuous enrollment. Courses are conducted in the evening to fit the schedules of full-time educators.

Applicants are evaluated based on: written and oral communication skills; technological competence; letters of recommendation; and their commitment both to completing the program and to continuing their service as educational leaders.

LOCATIONS AND COHORTS

Virginia Tech offers the  Educational Leadership and Policy Studies Ed.D. program online and at five Virginia Tech extension sites: the Hampton Roads Center (Virginia Beach/Newport News), the Northern Virginia Center (in Falls Church), the Richmond Center, the Roanoke Higher Education Center, and the Southwest VA Higher Education Center (in Abingdon).

The Ed.D. program operates on a cohort model. In other words, each site admits a new, approximately fifteen-person group – or cohort –of doctoral students every three years. The members of a given cohort all attend the same classes in the same sequence and pursue common plans of study.

WHY CHOOSE THIS PROGRAM?

History & Purpose

For over forty years, the Virginia Tech Educational Leadership Doctoral Program has prepared aspiring educational administrators throughout the Commonwealth. Designed for working educational professionals, the program is conducted on a part- or full-time basis, with coursework that balances modern academic theory with real-life practice. Ed.D. graduates leave with the skills they need to lead ethically; initiate school reform; investigate issues in educational policy; communicate with diverse constituents; and improve the learning and prospects of all K-12 students. Many alumni of the program have gone on to serve in impactful capacities as principals, superintendents, central office administrators, state DOE officials, university faculty, or researchers. 

Dissertation

The Ed.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy studies is not awarded solely on the basis of coursework completion. To graduate, each student must also conduct a major research study culminating in the presentation and defense of a dissertation. The Ed.D. dissertation demonstrates the student’s ability to investigate a practical issue in educational administration – in program evaluation, program implementation, curriculum development, or another related topic agreed upon by one’s dissertation chair and advisory committee. The majority of students write their dissertations in the traditional five-chapter format (i.e., as a research paper with an introduction, literature review, methodology, results, and conclusion.) 

a group of professionals working together in a collegial atmostphere

WHAT YOU'LL STUDY

All Ed.D. students graduate with a minimum of 69 doctoral course credits, 30 transfer credits (from previous graduate coursework), and 99 credits in total. The degree may be completed in three years, though some students take additional semesters to complete their dissertations. 

Course topics include advanced school law; advanced school finance; instructional leadership; governance and policy; facilities planning; theories of administration; and quantitative research methods. Each course will touch upon relevant, contemporary issues in K-12 education, such as standardized testing, school safety, special education, school accreditation, diversity, educational politics, and educational reform. Each course touches upon relevant, contemporary issues in K-12 education, such as standardized testing, school safety, special education, school accreditation, diversity, educational politics, and educational reform. 

Courses are offered face-to-face, blended, and online for most cohorts. For the online cohort, all courses are delivered online with synchronous and asynchronous classes. 

Do you think the VT Educational Leadership Doctoral Program may be right for you? To be admitted, you must have:

  • Earned an appropriate master's-level degree from an accredited institution
  • Earned at least a 3.3 GPA on your most recent graduate coursework
  • Served or currently serve in an educational  leadership position

Applicants are evaluated based on: written and oral communication skills; technological competence; letters of recommendation; and their commitment both to completing the program and to continuing their service as educational leaders.

Learn more 

There is a discount for in-state K-12 teachers; use this application form in order to receive the reduced costs.

As with on-campus students, we refer you to the VT Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid for information on financial assistance. Generally, distance learners may qualify for federal loans if they take 5 or more credit hours per semester.

Find out what loans are available as a graduate student and other opportunities.

As full-time Virginia K-12 school employees, our students qualify for a 25% reduced tuition rate.  Use this application form in order to receive the reduced costs.

Tuition & Fee Rates

Starting Term   Campus Applications
Summer 2021 Fully online Begin reviewing now and will accept until full
Fall 2021 Richmond Begin reviewing now and will accept until full
Summer 2022 Fully online November 1, 2021
Fall 2022 Northern VA / Roanoke TBD
Summer 2023 Fully online TBD
Fall 2023 Hampton Roads TBD

Note: Virginia Tech does not discriminate against employees, students, or applicants on the basis of age, color, disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, veteran status, or any other basis protected by law. For inquiries regarding nondiscrimination policies, contact the executive director for Equity and Access at (540) 231-8771 or Virginia Tech, North End Center, Suite 2300 (0318), 300 Turner St. NW, Blacksburg, VA 24061. 

David Alexander, EdD mdavid@vt.edu

Jodie Brinkmann, EdD jlbrinkmann@vt.edu

Carol S. Cash, EdD ccash48@vt.edu

John Gratto, EdD john1112@vt.edu

Carol A. Mullen, PhD camullen@vt.edu

Ted Price, PhD pted7@vt.edu

Susan Li
Graduate Academic Program Assistant
susanli@vt.edu

Kathy Tickle
Enrollment Services Specialist
Starting Term Campus Applications
ktickle@vt.edu

Many of our graduates go on to work as local, state, national, or international educational administrators; university faculty; or educational researchers.

In keeping with the university’s land grant mission, we strive to meet the preparation needs of educational leaders in all regions of the Commonwealth. Alumni of our program also serve as school principals, central office administrators, university presidents, state department of education officials, members of state boards of education, researchers, university faculty, and administrators of various colleges and universities including Virginia Tech itself.

QUESTIONS?

Carol Cash
Program Leader
VT Richmond Center
2810 Parham Road,
Suite 300
Richmond, VA 23294
(804) 662-7288
ccash48@vt.edu

Susan Li
Graduate Academic Program Assistant
Northern Virginia Center
7054 Haycock Rd.
Falls Church, VA 22043
703-538-8481
susanli@vt.edu

NATIONALLY RECOGNIZED FACULTY