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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 conprised 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.

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

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

Portland Campus: Classes taught entirely at Concordia University-Portland.

Accelerated Online: Classes taught 100% online. MEd programs complete in 1 year. EdD programs complete in 3 years.

Flex Online: For online students who want to go at a slower pace - MEds can be completed in 18-36 months.

Hybrid: Students take some classes online and some at Concordia University-Portland.

Step 3 of 3: Get info about this program

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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
10,000 alumni
Over 10,000 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

3 TO PHD®

The 3 to PhD 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 3 to PhD 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 courses in this sequence (EDDC 700 through 705), Scholarly Writing, provide opportunities for doctoral candidates to develop and refine their scholarly writing during the first year of the education doctorate in order to become successful writers both during and beyond their academic career. Course topics include writing article abstracts and analyses, critiques, and literature surveys. Strategies for reading critically, organizing and developing thoughts, choosing appropriate vocabulary, and revising their own writing are also covered. Candidates will practice concrete strategies for drafting and revising texts and will develop greater metacognitive awareness of their writing processes. Through peer editing experiences, candidates will develop the ability to be thoughtful readers of their peers’ writing. Candidates write and revise various genres of scholarly writing during the course sequence, culminating in 705 with a revised draft of the Comprehensive Connection paper.

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. Educators must also ensure that the institutional policies and practices of their school or organization adhere to the application of ethical practice throughout the workplace. The course will emphasize human subjects research issues of harm and deception. This study of the use of ethical principles in an educational context will include an examination of the underlying assumptions and implicit or explicit policies that can support or erode ethical practice. As a result of the activities and discussions completed in this course, candidates will have the opportunity to transform their personal and professional ethical lives and priorities.

The courses in this sequence (EDDC 700 through 705), Scholarly Writing, provide opportunities for doctoral candidates to develop and refine their scholarly writing during the first year of the education doctorate in order to become successful writers both during and beyond their academic career. Course topics include writing article abstracts and analyses, critiques, and literature surveys. Strategies for reading critically, organizing and developing thoughts, choosing appropriate vocabulary, and revising their own writing are also covered. Candidates will practice concrete strategies for drafting and revising texts and will develop greater metacognitive awareness of their writing processes. Through peer editing experiences, candidates will develop the ability to be thoughtful readers of their peers’ writing. Candidates write and revise various genres of scholarly writing during the course sequence, culminating in 705 with a revised draft of the Comprehensive Connection paper.

Based on the view that an individual's beliefs influence his or her actions in powerful ways, this course encourages candidates to reframe their world-view to move away from knowledge transmission towards transformational learning. Candidates will deconstruct conformity to social and cultural canons which have permeated U.S. public schools to a negative effect. They will 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.

The courses in this sequence (EDDC 700 through 705), Scholarly Writing, provide opportunities for doctoral candidates to develop and refine their scholarly writing during the first year of the education doctorate in order to become successful writers both during and beyond their academic career. Course topics include writing article abstracts and analyses, critiques, and literature surveys. Strategies for reading critically, organizing and developing thoughts, choosing appropriate vocabulary, and revising their own writing are also covered. Candidates will practice concrete strategies for drafting and revising texts and will develop greater metacognitive awareness of their writing processes. Through peer editing experiences, candidates will develop the ability to be thoughtful readers of their peers’ writing. Candidates write and revise various genres of scholarly writing during the course sequence, culminating in 705 with a revised draft of the Comprehensive Connection paper.

This course emphasizes the need for organizations to foster an environment 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 break-through contributions in the areas of science, music, art, and business. The course will address such questions as "What is the essence of creative work? Can creativity be learned? How critical is it for organizations and leaders to innovate? What conditions are necessary in the workplace to foster an environment where creativity, experimentation, and innovation are welcomed? Who determines what is creative and what is not? Why is innovation more likely found in the commercial and nonprofit sector rather than schools?" Lastly, the course hopes to tap the creative potential within all of us and illustrate its value for our own growth as well as the health of the organization.

The courses in this sequence (EDDC 700 through 705), Scholarly Writing, provide opportunities for doctoral candidates to develop and refine their scholarly writing during the first year of the education doctorate in order to become successful writers both during and beyond their academic career. Course topics include writing article abstracts and analyses, critiques, and literature surveys. Strategies for reading critically, organizing and developing thoughts, choosing appropriate vocabulary, and revising their own writing are also covered. Candidates will practice concrete strategies for drafting and revising texts and will develop greater metacognitive awareness of their writing processes. Through peer editing experiences, candidates will develop the ability to be thoughtful readers of their peers’ writing. Candidates write and revise various genres of scholarly writing during the course sequence, culminating in 705 with a revised draft of the Comprehensive Connection paper.

This course focuses on helping learners 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 from pre-school to graduate school. Additionally, the course content is undergirded by person-centered values, democratic leadership skills, as well as the ideology of service-management, and is aimed at facilitating excellence in student-centered teaching and learning.

The courses in this sequence (EDDC 700 through 705), Scholarly Writing, provide opportunities for doctoral candidates to develop and refine their scholarly writing during the first year of the education doctorate in order to become successful writers both during and beyond their academic career. Course topics include writing article abstracts and analyses, critiques, and literature surveys. Strategies for reading critically, organizing and developing thoughts, choosing appropriate vocabulary, and revising their own writing are also covered. Candidates will practice concrete strategies for drafting and revising texts and will develop greater metacognitive awareness of their writing processes. Through peer editing experiences, candidates will develop the ability to be thoughtful readers of their peers’ writing. Candidates write and revise various genres of scholarly writing during the course sequence, culminating in 705 with a revised draft of the Comprehensive Connection paper.

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.

The courses in this sequence (EDDC 700 through 705), Scholarly Writing, provide opportunities for doctoral candidates to develop and refine their scholarly writing during the first year of the education doctorate in order to become successful writers both during and beyond their academic career. Course topics include writing article abstracts and analyses, critiques, and literature surveys. Strategies for reading critically, organizing and developing thoughts, choosing appropriate vocabulary, and revising their own writing are also covered. Candidates will practice concrete strategies for drafting and revising texts and will develop greater metacognitive awareness of their writing processes. Through peer editing experiences, candidates will develop the ability to be thoughtful readers of their peers’ writing. Candidates write and revise various genres of scholarly writing during the course sequence, culminating in 705 with a revised draft of the Comprehensive Connection paper.

This course will provide a contextual framework for candidates 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.

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 builds upon the critical thinking practices developed in EDDC 702 and 703, and it emphasizes the interrelatedness of critical reading, writing, and thinking in the pursuit of identifying and understanding the research literature on a topic. Candidates will locate and closely examine peer-reviewed, published research articles on their chosen dissertation topic. Candidates will leave this course with a substantial annotated bibliography of literatures on their topic and a completed literature matrix.

This course examines the character and structure of the American Postsecondary Education system. Candidates 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.

This course builds upon the work completed in EDDC 706. Candidates will use the annotated bibliography and matrix to write an initial Literature Review that presents an argument about the state of research on their topics. Substantial time will be devoted to critiquing previously written Literature Reviews as a way of helping the student understand the differences between a well-written and a poorly-written literature review. The completed literature review will provide the foundation for developing a quantitative research question and prospectus about the topic in EDDC 708 and a qualitative research question and prospectus for the topic in EDDC 709.

Leadership in American higher education demands an understanding of the legal context of that service, and its policy implications. This course will provide candidates with an overview of the laws and legal precedent most relevant to higher education and will introduce candidates to methods of legal analysis and decision-making so that they can anticipate, recognize and appropriately address legal issues as higher education leaders. Additionally, candidates will learn how to incorporate legal advice from attorneys into decision-making. Candidates 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.

This course focuses on developing scholarship and understanding in behavioral and social science quantitative research. Doctoral candidates will craft an initial quantitative research prospectus based on the quantitative research question developed previously in EDDR 707. Candidates will identify their research niche (i.e., find a gap, or weak connection, or alternate connection in literature); establish their research niche (i.e., situate their research question in context, purpose, and conceptual framework); and occupy their research niche (i.e., state the proposed study’s significance and the nature of the study, operationalize variables, and determine assumptions, delimitations and limitations).

This course helps beginning educational researchers balance the competing demands of formal experimental and survey design principles with the ever-present practical constraints of the real world so that they can conduct sound quantitative research. Emphasis will be placed on formulating research questions, identifying relevant target populations, selecting respondents for study, refining definitions of the effects of interest, identifying relevant comparisons, selecting appropriate measures, including descriptive, inferential, and probability statistics, determining how many subjects to study, taking advantage of the results of previous research and pilot studies, and anticipating the unanticipated. The quantitative research designs of survey, correlation, causal-comparative, and comparative will be examined.

The prospectus is a preliminary description of the proposed research study. The prospectus provides doctoral candidates the opportunity to develop a draft of a qualitative research prospectus, under the guidance of their Faculty Chair. The prospectus demonstrates the doctoral candidate’s ability to present his or her view of an investigative passion or situation, as a research idea, that he or she is making a case for using relevant, rigorous, and feasible methods.

The goal of this course is to examine inquiry from a relativistic, but systematic, way of knowing. Candidates will apply qualitative research principles through coherent study of the established methodological designs of narrative, phenomenology, grounded theory, ethnography, and case study. The issues of alternative knowledge claims, validity or trustworthiness, in-depth field work, and data collection and analysis will be examined through these six strategies of inquiry.

Taken twice in Year 2

Under the guidance of the Faculty Chair and dissertation committee, candidates will develop and execute a feasible, ethical, and scientifically valid dissertation research study and write a dissertation to report the development, execution, and completion of the study. The dissertation will include: a logical, organized Introduction; a synthesized Literature Review; a well-articulated and sound Methodology; a scientifically accurate and precise presentation of Data Analysis and Results; and, a well-developed Discussion and Conclusion. The dissertation is a scholarly document or presentation intended to demonstrate the research competence of the author and to produce greater understanding resulting from a comprehensive, logical, and ethical investigation. The dissertation is an expression of a high level of critical thought and is expected to be a substantive contribution to the theory or practice of its discipline or field of study.


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

Taken twice in Year 2

Under the guidance of the Faculty Chair and dissertation committee, candidates will develop and execute a feasible, ethical, and scientifically valid dissertation research study and write a dissertation to report the development, execution, and completion of the study. The dissertation will include: a logical, organized Introduction; a synthesized Literature Review; a well-articulated and sound Methodology; a scientifically accurate and precise presentation of Data Analysis and Results; and, a well-developed Discussion and Conclusion. The dissertation is a scholarly document or presentation intended to demonstrate the research competence of the author and to produce greater understanding resulting from a comprehensive, logical, and ethical investigation. The dissertation is an expression of a high level of critical thought and is expected to be a substantive contribution to the theory or practice of its discipline or field of study.


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 Administrative Leadership 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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