EdD in Professional Leadership, Inquiry, and Transformation Online

Today's leaders must have mastery of a variety of subjects to successfully analyze and address the complex challenges, personnel issues, accountability, and fiscal priorities facing many organizations.

The innovative Professional Leadership, Inquiry, and Transformation EdD specialization from Concordia University-Portland offers candidates the ability to design and implement a customized program of study from an array of doctoral coursework.

The Professional Leadership, Inquiry, and Transformation EdD curriculum gives traditional EdD candidates the ability to choose coursework outside a predefined, specific curriculum. Candidates from governmental, community/non-profit, religious, and other sectors can gain in-depth knowledge to further enhance their high-level problem solving, decision-making, and collaborative skills.

This flexibility means Professional Leadership, Inquiry, and Transformation candidates can use what they learn through this prestigious terminal degree program to better position themselves for career success and meet specific educational goals.

The Next Start Date is October 23rd

Virtual Residency

The focal point of any doctoral program is the residency. Since Concordia University-Portland’s online EdD is aimed at candidates who already balance career, family, and other responsibilities, the program features a “virtual residency” — a doctoral residency that can be completed anywhere, anytime and completely online. Our virtual residency offers 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 advisor-mentors and fellow students, providing needed support to complete the doctoral dissertation. Find out more about Concordia Portland's virtual residency advantage.


Course Descriptions

Earning Your EdD - Professional Leadership, Inquiry, and Transformation Degree Online: Program Objectives

The Professional Leadership, Inquiry, and Transformation doctoral specialization develops transformative educators who:

  • Want to improve marketability in an ever-changing landscape of occupational opportunities.
  • Need to learn and apply a variety of leadership skills in disparate environments.
  • Are employed in a leadership position requiring diverse and distinct knowledge and skills.
  • Require updated skills to create a better leadership fit in their current position.
  • Want to take advantage of a self-initiated and self-tailored course of study.
  • Aspire to an enhanced leadership position requiring a different skill base.
  • Need expertise in a variety of areas in order to analyze complex challenges.

In addition to the core courses required for a Doctorate of Education, candidates enrolled in the Professional Leadership, Inquiry, and Transformation specialization must select six courses from the 18 course options below, for a total of 18 credit hours.

EdD - Professional Leadership, Inquiry, and Transformation Courses

18 credits
EdD - 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. Candidates 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 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.

EDDH 633 (3)
Higher Education: Human Issues, Accountability, and Administrative Behavior

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.

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 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.

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.
EdD - Instructional Leadership Courses
18 credits
EDDL 613 (3)
Leading Without Authority

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.

EDDL 614 (3)
Creating a Greater Community

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.

EDDL 625 (3)
Good Teaching is Not Enough

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.

EDDL 626 (3)
Reimagining the Educational Enterprise

This course focuses on skills and teamwork to devise alternatives to traditional schools and organizations. Participants will use a comprehensive process to collaboratively create a description of a new and innovative school using research-based conceptual frameworks encompassing school standards, elements of effective schools, educational leadership, and program evaluation. These frameworks involve strategies and innovative thinking that will prove to be productive in all leadership endeavors. Candidates participating in this course will develop leadership skills for the improvement of organizations and cultures.

EDDL 636 (3)
Assessing Learning for Student Achievement

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.

EDDL 637 (3)
The International Challenge

The content of this course focuses on looking outside of the American schooling paradigm to discover what we can learn from educational systems worldwide.  The course includes a review of the complex issues surrounding the concepts of schooling and education. Rapid, constant, and interdependent global changes present new challenges and opportunities to critically examine current models of education. Candidates will grapple with broader societal issues through the lens of a global environment. As the international community seeks to strengthen its collective efforts, it is crucial to look ahead and chart new paradigms to help guide education forward.

EdD - Transformational Leadership Courses
18 credits
EDDT 620 (3)
Voices of Leadership

This course provides a review of leadership styles and attributes through the lens of historic and current examples of leadership. Candidates will engage in applying leadership concepts and lessons learned from selected leaders to their own leadership style and practice. Selected current and historic individuals represent diverse aspects of society, including politics, sports, entertainment, business, and religion; potential selections include presidents of the United States, Phil Jackson, Nelson Mandela, Harriet Tubman, Margaret Thatcher, Oprah Winfrey, Adolf Hitler, and Steve Jobs. The course emphasizes a close examination of how and what contributed to the success of these individuals by studying their leadership techniques and their careers. The course challenges candidates to evaluate how these individuals developed as leaders and how they develop others around them. Candidates will engage in developing their own leadership voice through analysis, assessment, and reflection as well as increasing the potential and capabilities of those they lead.

EDDT 624 (3)
How Programs Really Work
The goal of this course is to help candidates develop understandings and skills needed to make decisions that lead to improved program performance. Program evaluation is derived from the idea that social programs should have demonstrable effects and those effects should in some way outweigh the costs of the programing. This course is an examination of evaluation theory and approaches and is designed to provide students an introduction to program evaluation practice including theoretical perspectives on the purpose of program evaluation, phases of program evaluation, ethics and standard elements, and practical experience in evaluation proposal development. Application assignments will be focused on the most important and perhaps most difficult question: How to measure the impact of a program?
EDDT 631 (3)
Transforming the Mission-driven Organization

Although the missions may vary - educational, environmental, spiritual, economic, health, children and youth-mission-driven organizations (MDOs) are distinct entities that focus more on achieving the organizational vision than making a profit margin. This course introduces and examines the concept of mission-driven organizations (typically called non-profit or social sector organizations) and how to lead them. The course establishes a foundation for understanding the rationales for these types of organizations and the methods of leadership employed in social sectors. The course conducts an analysis of the various aspects of MDO leadership including vision, strategy, governance, funding, and metrics as well as analyzes the current practices of MDO leaders and the critical issues and unique challenges faced by these leaders. The course employs case study analysis and strategic plan development to assist candidates in developing a capacity for change and to increase the effectiveness of their own organizations. Candidates will examine various types of MDOs while following one organization of their choosing throughout the course that will serve as the unit of analysis in the final comprehensive paper.

EDDT 634 (3)
Moving Organizational Knowledge
A survey of principles and practices of sociological knowledge management applied to the movement of organizational knowledge. This course identifies organizational knowledge limitations and provides strategies aimed at increasing organizational knowledge/involvement strategies to better meet organizational objectives. The focus is how to identify and execute needs assessments by way of strategically involving stakeholders within the organization/school. Organizational communication methodologies will be studied within the process.
This course examines practical strategies to disseminate and move knowledge, organizationally. The course will explore the theory and practice applied to a wide variety of entities, such as Education (higher and elementary/secondary education), churches, and profit/non-profit. Interdisciplinary fields of study will be incorporated, such, but not limited to strategic management, organizational behavior and communication.
EDDT 641 (3)
Leading the Learning Organization

In this course learners will be introduced to the importance of a learning organization as a system. Candidates will focus study on creating a sustained organizational learning environment that enhances the learning capability and intellectual capacity that will result in individuals and organizations with a strategic advantage. The appropriate use of knowledge will allow the scholar practitioner to explore practices and behaviors which promote individual and organizational learning and growth, as well as identify barriers which may prevent effective knowledge growth.

EDDT 645 (3)
Communication, Collaboration, and Culture

Given the diverse nature of an organization in people, resources, and location, how can we design effective, transformative communication and collaboration to accomplish organizational goals? All professionals must share responsibility for problem solving because successful quality improvement is driven by effective multidisciplinary teamwork. The principal elements that support transformative change in developmental and group cultures are teamwork and collaboration - working together in a cooperative and coordinated way in the interest of a common cause. In order to produce effective change, a supportive organizational culture has to be present. That culture must support and value change and quality improvement. Research findings support that any outcome could be improved if people work well together as a team. This course will examine the development of better practices for creating and sustaining a culture of collaboration.

Note: Professional Leadership, Inquiry, and Transformation candidates may not select courses from the Administrative Leadership specialization program; further, candidates in the Professional Leadership, Inquiry, and Transformation specialization will not earn licenses, certification, or endorsements.


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