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EdD in Higher Education

It’s an incredible time to work in higher education. Faced with sliding enrollments, increased competition, and shrinking endowments, institutions are making innovative moves to defend their value. Medical schools are integrating with art schools. Universities are bringing their best programs online. More colleges are opening satellite campuses overseas. If you’ve ever wanted to make your mark in higher ed, now is the time. The floor is yours — and with an EdD in Higher Education from Concordia University, people will listen.

This particular EdD concentration includes an emphasis on both higher education administration and higher education instruction, 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 postsecondary educational settings.

Through intensive curricula, scholarly discussions, and a nurturing faculty of highly regarded instructors, our EdD program produces leaders who inspire ethical change. Each of our five fully online, leadership-focused concentrations incorporates a unique Virtual Residency component, is comprised of eight-week classes, and is limited in class size to support quality and collaboration. Accredited, nonprofit, and private, Concordia has been developing leaders since 1905.

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Step 1 of 3: What type of student are you?

Step 2 of 3: What would you like to study?

Step 3 of 3: Get info about this program

Yes! By submitting this form I ask to receive email, texts and calls about degree programs on behalf of Concordia University-Portland, and agree automated technology may be used to dial the number(s) I provided. I understand this consent is not required to enroll.
NEXT START DATE
January 6th
MODALITIES
Online
Program Length 3 Years
Credits 59 Credit Hours
Cost Per Credit $880
Accreditation NWCCU
SCHOLARSHIPS* Up to $6,000
100% online
100% online with a Virtual Residency
Updated curriculum
Current and relevant curriculum
NWCCU
Accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
Respected
Concordia is one of the most respected names in learning today
Time to completion
Complete in 3 years
20,000 alumni
Over 20,000 College of Education alumni
Faith-based university
Nonprofit, private, and faith-based university

OBJECTIVES

EdD in Higher Education Concentration Objectives

In addition to meeting the goals and objectives set forth for Concordia’s doctoral program, the Higher Education concentration 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

The Higher Education concentration is ideal for:

Professionals who plan to 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

3TOPHD®

The 3toPhD® campus is home to our College of Education as well as Faubion School — and its 800+ pre-Kindergarten through 8th-grade students. This means that as an MAT student, your classrooms are just down the hall from their classrooms — creating a highly contextualized learning experience.

The 3toPhD® educational model powerfully demonstrates not only innovation in practice but also compassion in action — a collaborative effort to strengthen the community from the ground up.

READ MORE ABOUT 3toPhD

Earn your EdD in Higher Education in three years.

CORE & CONCENTRATION COURSES

Higher Education 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.

This course addresses the need for administrators and faculty to both understand innovative curriculum, instruction, and assessment for college and university education and to develop the leadership skills to implement them effectively. Candidates explore a wide variety of curriculum, and instructional and assessment applications. The course prepares higher education leaders to effect transformational change as well as to meet the curriculum, instruction, and assessment challenges that face higher education presently and in the future.

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.

This course provides a contextual framework for students to understand factors affecting the financial well-being of higher education institutions and how these factors affect an institution’s long-term viability, sustainability, and ability to deliver on their mission.

CONCENTRATION & RESEARCH COURSES

Higher Education 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.

This course examines the character and structure of the American postsecondary education system. Candidates explore the history, major participants, and forces that shaped the postsecondary enterprise through a study of six components: history of higher education, the diversity of institutions in higher education, benefits of higher education, diversity of students in higher education, issues of autonomy, accreditation, accountability, academic freedom, and federal and state coordination of higher education institutions, and future trends in higher education.

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.

Leadership in American higher education demands an understanding of its legal context and policy implications. This course provides an overview of laws and legal precedent most relevant to higher education and introduces methods of legal analysis and decision-making for higher education leaders to anticipate, recognize, and appropriately address legal issues. Candidates learn how to incorporate legal advice from attorneys into decision-making, access court cases, regulations, and statutes, and understand relationships among various sources of law.

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.

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.

Knowing what I know now has changed my entire perspective on teaching and education as a whole. I love Concordia's online program.
JOHN HOSKINS, EdD in Higher Education

Concordia University's Virtual Residency Advantage

With our EdD program’s innovative Virtual Residency feature, you’re able to earn your EdD in HIgher Education completely online — without having to sacrifice time away from your family, work, and other obligations.

MORE INFO

What’s a Virtual Residency?

The focal point of any doctoral program is the residency. Since Concordia Portland’s online EdD is aimed at the practitioner-scholar who already balances career, family, and other responsibilities, we designed a doctoral residency that can be completed anywhere, anytime, and completely online.

HOW IT WORKS

How does the Virtual Residency work?

  • It utilizes an orientation module to introduce new doctoral candidates to a rigorous course of study and identifies resources needed to engage fully in the doctoral experience
  • It employs the cohort model to generate a source of sustained collaboration and support among peers
  • It provides interactive group projects designed to build community, cooperation, and creativity
  • It provides networking opportunities embedded in proposal and dissertation development, which creates pride, fellowship, and esprit de corps with faculty, dissertation chairs, and fellow students in a cohort
WHY IT WORKS

“It appears clear that one of the main reasons almost 50 percent of students don’t finish their doctoral work is that they don’t have adequate support,” says Dr. Jerry McGuire, Emeritus Professor and former Director of Doctoral Studies at Concordia University-Portland.

As part of our Virtual Residency, students have a rich and expansive support system; they’re linked to mentors who can guide them throughout the program and the doctoral dissertation process.

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