Ed.D. in Higher Education Online

This program includes an emphasis on both Higher Education Administration and Higher Education Teaching and is designed to prepare servant-leaders for leadership, teaching, and service positions in colleges, universities, community colleges, governmental agencies, educational associations, and other public and private post-secondary educational settings.

It is anticipated that graduates of this terminal degree will pursue careers in teaching, admissions, student services, student records, intercollegiate athletics administration, campus facilities, university business offices, institutional advancement, institutional research, and other administrative and support services in higher education.

Unique to this program is the commitment to develop within and among the program’s students and graduates a collaborative, worldwide network of scholars dedicated to transforming education.

The Next Start Date is June 27th

Course Descriptions

Earning Your Ed.D. - Higher Education Degree Online: Program Objectives

The Higher Education doctoral specialization develops transformative leaders who:
  • Understand the history of American higher education and how it relates to the critical issues facing academia today
  • Carefully evaluate research findings to make evidence-based strategic decisions
  • Recognize proven leadership and management strategies for successfully managing diverse and complex organizations
  • Demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the complex financial realities of higher education, and the factors that affect long-term financial viability
  • Understand the strengths and weaknesses of different curriculum design and instructional models
  • Acknowledge the transformational power of technology and strategically adopt proven innovations in teaching and learning

In addition to the core courses required for a Doctorate of Education, students enrolled in the Higher Education specialization must also take the following courses:

Ed.D. - Higher Education Courses
18 credits
EDDH 621 (3)
Critical Issues in Higher Education
This course will explore the challenges and opportunities that exist in America's system of higher education. Students will develop leadership skills in analyzing higher education issues and making informed decisions, based on this analysis, relative to higher education practice. Included in this course will be a study of the impact that state and federal policies have on higher education and the significant role that higher education leadership has in examining and influencing these policies. A particular emphasis will be placed on utilizing appropriate resources to be well-informed on issues facing higher education and developing skills essential to presenting one's perspective through debate and advocacy in order to be an effective leader in higher education.
EDDH 623 (3)
Higher Education: Curriculum and Leadership
This course addresses the need for administrators and teacher leaders to both understand innovative curriculum, instruction, and assessment for college and university education and to develop the leadership skills to implement them effectively. Students will explore a wide variety of curricula and instructional and assessment applications, including curriculum theory, instructional theory and practice, curriculum designed for the gifted and talented, curriculum designed for special needs populations, and educational technology. The aim of the course is to prepare higher education leaders to effect transformational change as well as to meet the curriculum, instruction, and assessment challenges that face higher education today and in the future.
EDDH 630 (3)
Higher Education: Finance and Facilities Management
This course will provide a contextual framework for students to understand factors affecting the financial wellbeing of higher education institutions and how these factors affect an institution's long term viability, sustainability and ability to deliver on their mission.
EDDH 633 (3)
Higher Education: Human Issues, Accountability, and Administrative Behavior
This course examines the character and structure of the American Postsecondary Education system. Students will explore the history, major participants, and forces that have shaped the American postsecondary enterprise through a study of six components: (1) History of American Higher Education; (2) Diversity of institutions within higher education; (3) Benefits of higher education; (4) Diversity of Students within American higher education; (5) Issues of Autonomy, Accreditation, Accountability, Academic Freedom and Federal and State Coordination of higher education institutions; and (6) Future Trends in American higher education.
EDDH 638 (3)
Higher Education Law
Leadership in American higher education demands an understanding of the legal context of that service, and its policy implications. This course will provide students with an overview of the laws and legal precedent most relevant to higher education and will introduce students to methods of legal analysis and decision-making so that they can anticipate, recognize and appropriately address legal issues as higher education leaders. Additionally, students will learn how to incorporate legal advice from attorneys into decision-making. Students will also learn to access court cases, regulations, statutes, and understand the legal relationships among these various sources of law. The primary format for this course will be reflection and discussion, based on articulating deep analytical thinking, both orally and in writing.
EDDH 640 (3)
Technology and Revolutions in Higher Education
Higher education is in the midst of a revolution. Technology has already changed the way we organize and live our lives, and higher education is scurrying to adapt to the rapidity of the digital age. This course investigates the current forces accelerating change in traditional higher education, conducts research to determine what a transformed learning environment could be, and promotes the need for higher education to take the lead in realizing a new vision for teaching and learning.

The focal point of any doctoral program is the residency. Since Concordia Portland’s online Ed.D. is aimed at the practitioner-scholar who already balances career, family and other responsibilities, the program features a “virtual residency” — a doctoral residency that can be completed anywhere, anytime and completely online.

What is a Virtual Residency?

The virtual residency offers you the same learning opportunities as our traditional face-to-face residency but without the travel requirements. Concordia Portland’s virtual residency will also link doctoral candidates to mentors and fellow students, providing needed support to complete the doctoral dissertation.

Talk to an Enrollment Specialist about Concordia Portland's virtual residency advantage.


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