Doctorate of Education (EdD) Degree Programs: online or on-campus in Portland, Oregon.

When true leaders aren’t satisfied with the status quo, they step up. They take charge. But at the same time, they exude stability under pressure, a collaborative spirit, and inclusion — those are the change-maker qualities we instill in our Doctorate of Education candidates here at Concordia. Are you compelled to enhance your leadership capabilities so you can make immediate and long-term impacts in your workplace? Do you agree that even the smallest positive change in the education sphere can have a ripple effect on the world at large? If so, you’ll find immense value in our innovative program.

Ideal for professionals who are balancing work, family, and community obligations, our EdD program offers an intensive curriculum taught by a faculty of highly regarded scholars from diverse backgrounds, including prestigious universities and successful businesses. And you’ll join the same, supportive community they belong to: one that believes in the strength and efficacy of genuine leadership.

Accredited, nonprofit, and private, Concordia has been developing education leaders since 1905. Through intensive curricula, scholarly discussions, and a nurturing faculty of highly regarded instructors, our EdD program produces leaders who inspire ethical change.

Earn your EdD online, on-campus in Portland, Oregon, or a hybrid of both

What makes Concordia’s EdD program so innovative? It originates from our first-of-its-kind campus in Portland, Oregon—in a facility that houses our College of Education, a public preK-8 school, medical facilities, food services, and more. We call it a 3 to PhD® community, living proof of our belief that health and safety matter just as much as education. What this means to you is that whether you’re an on-campus or online EdD student, your program is steeped in innovation, up-to-the-minute research, and people who truly care about changing the educational system.

If you opt to pursue the program exclusively online, Concordia includes an interactive “virtual residency” component, providing you with the same collaborative, in-depth academic support as traditional face-to-face residencies but with the flexibility of a truly online experience.

As the culmination of their doctoral program, the dissertations of our EdD candidates are a showcase of their scholarly skills, diligence, and intellect. Click here to browse and read their impressive dissertations.

The administrative leadership concentration is designed for those who want to advance in public or private sector professional and institutional management.

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This program includes an emphasis on both higher education administration and higher education teaching to prepare servant-leaders for leadership, teaching, and service positions.

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The Instructional Leadership concentration helps you develop the knowledge, ability, and capacity to positively impact practice, programs, and policy.

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The Professional Leadership, Inquiry, and Transformation concentration offers candidates the ability to design a customized program of study from an array of doctoral coursework.

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Transformational Leadership is an administrative and leadership concentration for individuals who want to advance in business, organization, and church leadership and management.

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GOALS & OBJECTIVES

Hone your vocational and leadership skills with a Concordia EdD

EdD Program Goals & Objectives

The Concordia University-Portland education doctoral program focuses on developing reflective practitioners and transformative leaders who:

  • Understand the theoretical bases of practice, are able to turn theory into action, and can utilize skills and strategies to improve practice
  • Apply organizational skills and strategies, apply capacity-building program analyses, and have a willingness to recognize need and confront it with reason and grace
  • Are grounded with a solid ethical, moral, and faith-based truth-telling, integrity, and a spirit of service
  • Understand purposeful collaboration, democratic participation, and choice as a guiding style that produces strong and powerful results
  • Have the capacity to meld reason and imagination, analysis and hunch, and accept a tolerance for ambiguity
  • Have a willingness to think and act critically, unravel dense meaning, and probe complicated projects with sense and clarity
  • See themselves as scholars who are committed to study as intentional, intriguing, and inspiring
They want you to succeed. It is an investment that they are making in you as well. And they will do their best to see you through to the end.
LISA FEE, EdD Graduate '17

COURSE DESCRIPTIONS

Earn your EdD in three years

CORE & CONCENTRATION COURSES

Year 1
21 credits

The first-year writing journey begins with a focus on the scholar as a writer: the writer’s identity. Candidates explore their current and past writing practices and processes, and then articulate who they currently are as writers. The course also focuses on issues such as writer’s block, writing anxieties, and APA style citation practices.

This course is grounded in the belief that it is the responsibility of educators to employ ethical practice in the daily activities of their personal and professional lives. Candidates examine the underlying assumptions and implicit or explicit theories that can support or erode ethical practice, as well as human subjects research issues of harm and deception. As a result of activities and discussions, candidates transform their personal and professional ethical lives and priorities.

This course moves the candidate journey from an examination of their identity as a writer to examining the elements of style in their current writing practices. Candidates improve their own writing through a detailed examination of style. Candidates become more proficient in making stylistic choices for their academic writing, including choosing appropriate words, constructing and punctuating sentences, and weaving paragraphs into elegant compositions.

Based on the view that an individual’s beliefs influence his or her actions in powerful ways, this course encourages candidates to reframe their worldview to move away from knowledge transmission towards transformational learning. Candidates deconstruct conformity to social and cultural canons which have permeated U.S. public schools. They examine theories that are meant to catalyze social transformation and individual change, and develop their own theory and practice of transformative learning for social change.

This course emphasizes the key role that the research literature plays in knowledge use and creation at the doctoral level. Candidates strengthen their skills in locating literatures relevant to their research areas and in reading the literatures critically and efficiently. Through analyzing articles to identify the techniques scholarly writers use, candidates pinpoint the choices writers make to effectively communicate ideas as well as to create and support knowledge claims.

This course emphasizes fostering environments where creativity, inventiveness, and entrepreneurship are expectations in the culture. Topics are investigated through popular literature and case studies of individuals who have made significant breakthrough contributions in science, music, art, and business. The course addresses questions like, can creativity be learned? How critical is it for organizations to innovate? Candidates tap into their creative potential and discover its value for personal growth and the health of the organization.

This course moves beyond the analysis of literature to the practice of developing synthesized arguments that are grounded in the literature. Candidates explore ways of engaging with other scholars’ voices to develop their own argument about a research topic.

This course focuses on helping candidates internalize the knowledge, attitudes, skills, and values necessary for facilitating organizational improvement in schools and colleges. In particular, it zeros in on the theory and technology of Organizational Development (OD), and the what, why, and how of planned change in diverse educational settings. The course content is undergirded by person-centered values, democratic leadership skills, the ideology of service-management, and is aimed at facilitating excellence in student-centered teaching and learning.

In this course, candidates explore several possible dissertation topics to identify the potential viability of them. The candidate then selects one topic to explore in more depth in preparation for the initial literature review in EDDC 706. Candidates leave this course with an essay that explores the topic along with a list of possible questions to ask about the topic.

The first course specific to your concentration.

In this course, candidates develop a Comprehensive Connection Paper that applies the core curriculum and literature to a dissertation topic that was explored in EDDC 704. Candidates demonstrate the ability to analyze and synthesize core learning, and apply theoretical and practical knowledge to a viable research topic. Candidates write and submit a first year critical assessment for review by the program in order to demonstrate readiness for advanced dissertation research and writing.

The second course specific to your concentration.

CONCENTRATION & RESEARCH COURSES

Year 2
17 credits

This course focuses on library research in support of a literature review along with continuing development of candidates’ academic writing. The course emphasizes the interrelatedness of critical reading, writing, and thinking in the pursuit of identifying and understanding the research literature on a topic. Candidates locate and closely examine peer-reviewed, published research articles on their chosen dissertation topic. Candidates leave this course with a substantial annotated bibliography of literatures completed literature matrix.

The third course specific to your concentration.

Candidates use the annotated bibliography and matrix to write an initial Literature Review that presents an argument about the state of research on their topic. Substantial time is devoted to critiquing previously written Literature Reviews to help the candidate understand the differences between a well-written and a poorly-written literature review. The completed literature review provides a foundation for developing a quantitative and qualitative research question and prospectus in EDDR 708 and EDDR 709.

The fourth course specific to your concentration.

This course develops scholarship and understanding in social science quantitative research. Candidates write an initial quantitative research prospectus based on the quantitative research question developed in EDDR 707. Candidates identify their research niche (find a gap, weak connection, or alternate connection in literature), establish their niche (situate the research question in context, purpose, and conceptual framework), and occupy their niche (state the proposed study’s significance and nature, operationalize variables/attributes, and determine assumptions, delimitations, and limitations).

This course prepares candidates to conduct sound quantitative research. Emphasis is placed on understanding quantitative research designs, identifying target populations, sampling, identifying comparisons, selecting appropriate measures and analyses, including descriptive and inferential statistics, and incorporating previous research and pilot studies to support a research study. Survey, correlation, causal-comparative, and comparative designs are examined. Candidates determine the appropriate quantitative research design, data collection tools, and analysis measures to answer their social science research question.

This course develops scholarship and understanding in social science qualitative research. Candidates write an initial qualitative research prospectus based on the qualitative research question developed in EDDR 707. Candidates identify their research niche (find a gap, weak connection, or alternate connection in literature), establish their niche (situate the research question in context, purpose, and conceptual framework), and occupy their niche (state the proposed study’s significance and nature, operationalize variables/attributes, and determine assumptions, delimitations, and limitations).

This course prepares candidates to examine research problems in a relativistic, yet systematic manner. Candidates are trained to conduct qualitative research through the coherent study of methodological designs of narrative, phenomenology, ethnography, action research, and case study. Emphasis is placed on recognizing the issues of alternative knowledge claims, validity or trustworthiness, and in-depth fieldwork. Candidates determine the appropriate qualitative research design, data collection tools, and analysis measures to answer their social science research question.

The candidate develops and executes a feasible, ethical, and scientifically valid research study and completes a dissertation to report the development, execution, and completion of the study. The dissertation includes: a logical, organized introduction; synthesized literature review; well-articulated and sound methodology; scientifically valid presentation of data analyses and results; and, well-developed discussion and conclusion. The dissertation is defended before the committee and revised for conformity with program and university publication standards.

 

NOTE: Must take a minimum of eight times. May be repeated for up to 78 credits within the seven-year time limit to earn the degree.

DISSERTATION

Year 3
3 credits

The candidate develops and executes a feasible, ethical, and scientifically valid research study and completes a dissertation to report the development, execution, and completion of the study. The dissertation includes: a logical, organized introduction; synthesized literature review; well-articulated and sound methodology; scientifically valid presentation of data analyses and results; and, well-developed discussion and conclusion. The dissertation is defended before the committee and revised for conformity with program and university publication standards.

 

NOTE: Must take a minimum of eight times. May be repeated for up to 78 credits within the seven-year time limit to earn the degree.

MORE ABOUT CONCORDIA UNIVERSITY-PORTLAND

Common FAQs About Our EdD Program

An EdD is for teachers, administrators, instructional coaches, or other educators who want to interact with academic research and make it practical, whereas a Ph.D. is strictly for teaching in academic settings. Both a Ph.D. and an EdD are doctoral degrees. The Ph.D. is a doctorate of philosophy and an EdD is a doctorate of education.

Administrators in schools, churches, and organizations; teacher leaders; community leaders in organizations that offer educational services, and other specialists may be interested in earning a doctorate of education.

People who enroll in Concordia’s Doctorate of Education do so for a variety of reasons. These include (a) gaining additional skills and knowledge to become stronger and more creative leaders in their organization (department chairs, directors of curriculum or policy, district-level leadership positions), (b) fulfilling a personal goal of earning the highest degree possible in their field, (c) completing an education requirement for a position in their district or organization that requires a terminal degree, and (d) increasing their salary potential in their district or organization’s compensation scale.

Some examples of possible roles include:

  • Department Head
  • Instructional Coach
  • Public Sector Program Management
  • NGO Leadership/Ownership
  • Intercollegiate Athletics
  • Administration
  • Admissions Leadership and Management
  • Professional Development and Consulting
  • Religious Institution Leadership and Management

Regardless of the exact position one may seek or acquire as a result of earning an EdD, those who pursue the degree are passionate about the future of education and how they will fit into that future.

Four words: Nonprofit. Accredited. History. Results. Affiliated with the Concordia University System, including 9 campuses located throughout the United States, Concordia University-Portland was founded more than 100 years ago and is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

Delivering a quality education through our College of Education programs is our top priority, which is why our faculty is composed of practitioners with extensive industry experience and we are constantly refreshing our curricula. Plus we offer numerous academic resources that our students can use for research purposes.

The sooner you begin, the sooner you’ll be able to apply your new skills and knowledge to begin your career, advance in your current role or take on a new position. We understand the temptation of waiting for life to slow down, but does it ever? Investing in yourself and your career provides a great return on your investment! We can help you get started by streamlining the admissions process. And throughout your experience, our Student Services team will be available to support you every step of the way.

The program can be completed entirely online, on­-campus in Portland, Oregon, or candidates have the ability to take some classes on-campus and some online. If pursuing the program on-­campus, most of the classes are face-­to­-face, with a few that may be delivered online.

Many of the same proven instructional strategies that provide a rich context for learning in a traditional classroom have online counterparts. While the form of interaction and engagement may be different, the same principles apply. In addition, many would argue that a technology mediated learning environment can provide a very rich level of learner-to-learner interaction and learner-to-instructor interaction. If you are a student in one of our online courses, you have the convenience of being able to study when your schedule permits, and you are one of a group of students who are constantly in contact with each another (and with your instructor) via the online classroom.

Many first-time online students have the same concern. There will be some adjustments needed compared to traditional in-class learning; however, we’ve found that after the first two weeks, students are often comfortable with online learning and enjoy its benefits and flexibility. You should have a basic comfort level with computers and will need to be familiar with the most commonly used web browsers (including Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Firefox, and Safari) and be able to use Microsoft Word and Microsoft PowerPoint to complete written assignments. In addition, you should be open to learning how to use any new technologies that your instructor chooses to incorporate into his/her course. And naturally, you’ll need a reliable computer and internet access to complete your coursework. We have resources we can show you before you even log in, and we offer outstanding student-focused support: you will have access to technical support and our Student Services team throughout your experience.

Our EdD program is designed to be completed in three years.

Concordia offers and accepts numerous funding options, such as school-based scholarships, grants, federal financial aid, monthly payments, military benefits, and additional promotions to those candidates who qualify. We will provide you with an enrollment specialist or admission counselor who will discuss all your funding options, and we have a dedicated financial aid team that can answer your questions regarding federally funded programs. If you are employed, we also encourage you to check with your employer to see if they offer tuition reimbursement.

There is no GRE score or other testing requirements necessary to enroll in our MEd, EdD or certificate programs.

Depending on the program to which you are applying, conditional admission may be provided to students who do not meet the GPA requirements; however, additional material and documentation will be required. GPA requirements vary by program. Please contact an enrollment specialist or admission counselor to discuss admission into your program of interest.

Up to 12 graduate credits may be transferred into the EdD program from other regionally accredited universities. Credit requests will be determined by appropriateness to the concentration and may be reviewed case-by-case. Please see the EdD transfer policy for more information, or contact your admission counselor or enrollment specialist.

Credit requests will be determined by appropriateness to the concentration and may be reviewed case-by-case. Please see the EdD transfer policy for more information, or contact your admission counselor or enrollment specialist.

Doctoral residencies are available for both our online and on-campus EdD modalities. For online students, we offer a Virtual Residency that employs the cohort model – providing support and networking opportunities anytime, anywhere. You can learn more by visiting any of our doctoral concentration pages.

The research library is a valuable resource for doctoral candidates. Several databases are available to help candidates locate scholarly articles and studies throughout their tenure in the program. Here’s a link to our EdD Research Library.

Concordia University-Portland IRB approval for research is a significant milestone on the doctoral journey, representing that the candidate’s research design has passed a formal ethics review, which has determined that the proposed research design complies with current federal regulations for research involving human subjects.

Yes! Concordia University is proud to partner with Dr. Becky Bailey, an international expert, publisher in early childhood education and development and the creator of Conscious Discipline, to provide graduate seminar credit for her workshops. Learn more on our Professional Development Conferences page.

Kappa Delta Pi is an international honor society organized to recognize scholarship and excellence in education. Each spring new students may be inducted into Concordia’s College of Education chapter if they obtain an overall GPA of 3.3 for undergraduates and 3.7 for graduates and meet all other chapter requirements. Visit the Kappa Delta Pi webpage for more information.

DOCTORAL PROGRAM OUTCOMES

Is Concordia’s EdD program right for you?

Should you earn a Doctorate of Education from Concordia?

Simply put, it depends on the kind of professional you are and the goals you have set for yourself. Prospective candidates exhibit a love of teaching both in and out of the classroom, and share many of the same objectives:

  • Learn how to use systematic inquiry to improve classroom and school practice
  • Lead organizational change using empirically developed and proven strategies
  • Work together in small research communities to share resources and ideas

EdD courses are practical and research-based, and will help you gain valuable leadership and decision-making skills through rigorous, intensive project-based learning and purposeful collaboration.

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