EdD Administrative Leadership

Advanced study in the Doctor of Education in Administrative Leadership program at Shenandoah University is designed to serve learners with career goals related to PK-12 educational administration. The program advances application of organizational and leadership theory to schools and other institutions of public trust; understanding of the context in which these organizations operate; and a comprehensive approach to ethical leadership and mission-driven organizations. Graduates of this program hold positions in schools, colleges and universities, and community-based organizations.

The program is unique in its emphasis on the application of theory to real-world problems and lived experiences. Through cohort-based coursework and self-directed study, learners think deeply, examine critically, and understand theoretically the challenges and problems facing schools and related organizations today. We employ a student-centered, inquiry-driven, and problem-oriented approach.

  • Student-Centered: Learners bring to the program a general area of interest in which to ground their studies. We work with individuals to shape and examine a particular interest as it relates to administration and leadership in an individual’s life.
  • Inquiry-Driven: Learners are expected to use a learning model that emphasizes question-asking and synthesis rather than knowledge acquisition and the mere accumulation of facts. The topic of interest brought to the program is explored systematically, thoughtfully, and deeply under the guidance of faculty members who share a vision of graduate education.
  • Problem-Oriented: Topics are typically grounded in the lived experiences of real people in a real place. We do not ask the learner to apply theory to cases alone, but to the lived experience as well. Success in this approach to learning is established early with the idea that problems are opportunities where learning can occur. In this sense, a problem is the difference between what is and what should be.

The EdD is a practitioner’s degree requiring a 60-credit (minimum) program of study in one of two tracks. Completion of the appropriate track will qualify learners for Virginia initial administrative licensure or the superintendent’s license (providing applicants hold the initial administrative license upon application to the program). Curriculum specialization is also possible. Cohorts typically attend class one night per week.

Program Core
Societal Factors
Organizational Theory and Behavior
Contemporary Issues

Research Methods I and II
Advanced Research Methods
Multivariate Statistical Analysis
Quantitative Methods Proposal & Pilot
Qualitative Methods Proposal & Pilot
Quantitative Methods or Qualitative Methods Lab

Track 1: PK-12 Leadership (not a licensure track)
Track 2: Initial Administrative Licensure

Dissertation (15 credits minimum)

Please Contact Dr. Cathy Shiffman with any questions: Cshiffma@su.edu