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EdD in Instructional Leadership

In some states, teachers are required to further their education to move up the pay scale—but if you’re like many educators, you might want to advance your education simply to become a more effective teacher and leader. Whether you’re looking to stay in the classroom, potentially working at the collegiate level later in life, or just want to get better at instruction and guiding others to improve, our EdD in Instructional Leadership is for you.

Concordia’s non-licensure EdD concentration in Instructional Leadership will develop your skills and capacity to positively impact practice, programs, and policy. You’ll also graduate with a deeper understanding of how to analyze and improve the college readiness of students, and how to improve your workplace’s culture overall.

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.

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 Instructional Leadership Concentration Objectives

In addition to meeting the goals and objectives set forth for Concordia’s doctoral program, the Instructional Leadership concentration develops transformative leaders who:

  • Design and conduct reliable and accurate assessments of student learning
  • Apply the principles and methods of servant leadership to effect organizational change without authority
  • Understand how to foster healthy family, school, and community partnerships through trust and collaboration
  • Communicate clearly and effectively within the organization and with outside stakeholders about critical topics in education
  • Compare the strengths and weaknesses of American public and private educational systems with international models
  • Understand the dynamics of change leadership and how to encourage personal and professional development in teachers

The Instructional Leadership concentration is ideal for:

Candidates who plan on leadership roles, including team leaders, department heads, instructional coaches, staff developers, mentors, and teachers on special assignment.

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 Instructional Leadership in three years

CORE & CONCENTRATION COURSES

Instructional Leadership 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 examines and provides resources to apply the powerful approach of servant-leadership. This approach emphasizes leading by serving, leading by example, and recognizing that the more organizational power and influence one has, the more he or she is responsible for the growth and well-being of others. Leaders in all organizations, schools, and businesses influence change and re-shape working culture most effectively when empowering others, that is, when leaders tap into the talents of colleagues, and lead by example. Those who understand the art of leading without authority will inspire commitment and leadership development in others.

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 the structure and impact of successful and effective family, school, and community partnerships. Candidates examine the knowledge, dispositions, and skills required by leaders to understand and respond to diverse community systems, interests, and needs. Candidates explore techniques to collaborate effectively with families, stakeholders, and community members and to mobilize community resources. Additionally, this course facilitates and guides the analysis and development of instructional approaches and programs that foster relationship building and communication.

CONCENTRATION & RESEARCH COURSES

Instructional Leadership 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 introduces and examines multiple perspectives on the concept of college readiness, with focused attention given to cognitive strategies, content knowledge, learning skills, and transition knowledge. The course establishes a foundation for understanding the purposes, theories, and methods for achieving college readiness in schools across the country. Candidates develop skills to analyze and improve the college readiness of students. Candidates participate in a forum to explore issues of equity, access, and achievement that lead to disparities in the levels of college readiness among subgroups of students. The relationships between Common Core State Standards, college readiness, implementation efforts, and the opportunity gap that remains are examined.

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.

This course presents a rationale for learning-centered assessment and an overview of the tools, techniques, and issues that educators should consider as they design and use assessments focused on learner needs. The emphasis in the course is implementation, data collection, analysis, and reporting of results on assessment projects. Understandings and skills include: developing and using assessments, basic psychometric statistics, grading, communicating assessment information, testing ethics, locating and evaluating measures, and assessments used for educational policy decisions.

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.

When you celebrate and recognize educators the way Concordia does, it gives educators that motivation and sense of value that what I'm doing makes a difference in the lives of my community.
WILKIE V LAW, III, EdD in Instructional Leadership

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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