Doctorate in Educational Leadership

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This program is designed for the development and certification of educational leaders who can lead and manage private and public K-12 systems, higher education programs, and state, national and international educational organizations.  The program emphasizes the mastery of skills and processes for adapting to social, political and economic influences when faced with human, financial and structural demands.  The program requires the completion and defense of a dissertation research project.

  1. The cohort program is scheduled around an accelerated weekend format to accommodate the schedules of working adults.
  2. The weekend scheduling provides opportunities for concentrated, in-depth study of course topics.
  3. Courses integrate “real-world” field experiences.
  4. Cohort members complete a six credit, full semester internship on a project with a mentor in the area they wish to pursue after course completion.
  5. The dissertation process is treated as an integral part of the program, enabling students to complete the program, including defense of the dissertation, within the designed three years program.
  6. NCATE accreditation along with the ELCC Standards provide the base model for the program.
  7. The program is designed to meet the State of Delaware certification requirements for School Leader II (Superintendent/Assistant Superintendent).*

NOTE: Students without an earned master’s degree in Educational Leadership may have course requirements in addition to those for the Ed.D. to meet the State of Delaware’s academic requirements for School Leader II certification.

For more information contact:

Dr. N. K. Rathee, Acting Director
Graduate Programs in Education



The Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (Ed.D.) is a 51 credit hour, three year program, including a 6 credit hour Applied Educational Internship.

Courses are conducted in an accelerated weekend format.  Courses span six weeks.  Class sections are normally held the first, third and sixth weekends of a six week session.  Normally a two week break is provided between courses, so that students can prepare for the next course.  Sessions are held Friday nights from 5:00-9:00pm; Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and Sundays from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Required Courses

Philosophy, Goals and Objectives 

In collaboration with the State of Delaware, the purpose of Delaware State University Graduate Education Leadership program is to prepare Educational leaders for prominent leadership and service positions in School Districts, Higher Educational Institutions, and society. Through a rigorous educational formation and directed field experience, students emerge as viable candidates for leadership position throughout the country. Since (2002) the Doctorate and the Masters programs have consistently adjusted to meet the current needs of our public and higher education societies in dramatic changes. At Delaware State University, you will find a unique balance between rigorous research, serious academic studies, partnership, collegiality, and personal development. You will be prepared to make data driven decisions to serve authentically, and lead with integrity. 

Educational Philosophy

Delaware State University fulfills its mission with an emphasis on education that prepares Educational leaders for leadership and service in the public school system, higher education and other related educational institutions. Such an emphasis mandates a well rounded curriculum which prepares individuals who are thoughtful, compassionate, culturally sensitive, and capable of integrating personal integrity and scholarly appreciation in all avenues of society. 

Educational Goal

The primary goal of the Delaware State University Educational Leadership Programs is to prepare leaders who are equipped with a repertoire of knowledge, skills, and dispositions to meet the challenges of school leadership. It is also to prepare leaders who demonstrate instructional leadership by understanding and applying the curriculum standards of the State of Delaware and being able to evaluate and mentor teachers using non-coercive methods to assist them with planning, presentation, and continuous refinement of instructional and leadership skills. Additional goals prepare leaders who can:
  • Articulate a vision for public schools on the district and building levels as well as other educational institutions and involve all the stakeholders in strategic planning, implementing, and evaluating processes which benefit the academic growth and development of all students.
  • Demonstrate a deep commitment to diversity issues and are role models for the community.
  • Demonstrate technological awareness and competence.
  • Demonstrate substantive knowledge of school finance, law, contract
  • Create a positive school culture that promotes student learning and development.
  • Understand schools as political systems and develop relationships with constituent groups which effectively connect the community with the school.
  • To enhance knowledge and understanding of Institutional Research and the relevant issues of current practice.
  • To promote the use of Institutional Research in policy development and administrative processes at educational institutions.
  • To stimulate interest in using national databases to address educational issues.
  • To promote professional collaboration and the advancement of Institutional Research in the US and other countries

 Educational Objectives

The integration of rigorous academic training and field experience in learning is facilitated by a curriculum and learning environment which:
  • Offers an appropriate balance between courses in educational theories, research methodologies, leadership courses, school law, finance, general education, and an internship that erase any artificial barriers between these areas of study;
  • Encourages a flexible schedule and promote individual research aspirations;
  • Personalizes the educational process by emphasizing the priority of relationship-building throughout the University experience.


Student Learning Outcomes

Delaware State University commits itself to producing students who will exemplify ethnical and authentic leadership qualities in public schools, higher educational and other related educational institutions. Through the integration of educational philosophies, theories, leadership constructs, and critical thought in the arenas of educational literacy, field experience formation, communication, systematic and empirical research inquiries, socio-cultural perspective, professional development, and transformational leadership.
DSU Graduates will:
  • Exemplify Educational literacy through applied leadership knowledge, a  research foundation, and an Educational leader worldview.
  • Describe the nature and mission of the educational leadership process revealed in the literatures.
  • Apply a dialectic approach in the examination of educational issues that impact the school community, reflecting the conditions and dynamics of the diverse school community, enabling ongoing dialogue with representatives of diverse community groups, taking into account community resources, and recognizing the role of public education in developing and renewing a democratic society and the role of equity in a democratic society.
  • Develop a framework for use in examining matters of significance in education in order to clarify personal viewpoints and develop a successful model of a school, family, business, community, government and higher education partnership that works within the greater framework of policies, laws, and regulations enacted by local, state, and federal authorities.
  • Ensure that the environment in which schools operate is influenced on behalf of students and their families as well as recognize that the social, political and economic settings of schools have a great impact on their orientation, organization, and operation.
  • Examine the contextual variables, value orientations, and philosophical and political assumptions that shape both the status quo and reform efforts.
  • Relate educational issues to focus on the success of all students by advocating that education is the key to opportunity and social mobility and recognizing and respecting a variety of ideas, values, and cultures.
  • Participate actively in the political and policy-making contest in the service of education.
  • Demonstrate ethical and professional competence in their chosen disciplines.
  • Integrate content knowledge and experience.
  • Demonstrate discernment of the ethical consequences of decisions and actions.
  • Demonstrate understanding of the importance of lifelong learning and personal flexibility to sustain personal and professional development
  • Knowledge and application of human resource management and personnel administration and development, ensuring the maintenance of confidentiality and privacy of school records.
  • Ability to communicate and work effectively with diverse populations in the school community in a human resource office.
  • Knowledge and application of information sources, data collection and data analysis strategies, and related technologies.
  • Ability to facilitate processes to ensure that the human resources functions support the attainment of school goals.
  • Ability to engage in activities ensuring that financial, human, and material resources are aligned to the goals of schools.
  • Demonstrate their working knowledge of the values and skills that are needed by successful practicing CEOs and/or administrators by being able to design interview questions, successfully conduct interviews with practicing CEOs and/or administrators, and deliver a presentation of the results of their findings.
  • Demonstrate their ability to construct a vision of learning that will enhance the success of all students by conducting a visioning workshop.
  • Be able to examine their current dispositions to assist in their prediction for success as an administrator by completing a reflective paper describing their predispositions toward being able to become a successful, effective, efficient and caring administrator.
  • Be able to craft their individual professional development plan. 


Doctoral candidates must complete Capstone Projects:

1.       Leading School Change Project

This assessment provides an opportunity for candidates to demonstrate an understanding of key principles of the change process. The assignments and activities require the candidate to develop a plan for an Organizational Change. The Candidate selects their school district or select one of their choices with approval from the course professor. The candidates develops appropriate change strategies and a plan to resolve a problem facing the system at this time and discuss the impact of the strategies on the systems productivity, human dynamics, and short/long term impact.
2.       Strategic School Planning Project  
This assessment provides an opportunity for the educational leadership/candidate to review their own and another district's strategic plan. In this assignment candidate are asked to pay particular attention to goals and processes used to attain the vision. The professor assigned to this course will be primary assessor that will apply this assessment. Candidates should make all effort to involve major internal and external stakeholder in all segments of this review. This project enables the candidate to demonstrate the acquired knowledge and understanding of the school’s organizational management, operations and community relations. Strategic planning is a developmental process utilizing many resources and stakeholders in a sequential process and should result in professional growth of the candidate and organization.
3.       School Improvement Plan 
This assessment provides activities that require the candidate to address a selected school-related problem within the school district and develop a comprehensive school improvement plan that supports the school’s and district’s vision. The candidate engages in data-driven decision making and formulate strategic actions to support the process of continuous improvement. In this four-part assignment, the candidate will; (a) identify the problem needing improvement utilizing a need analysis survey, (b), collect and analyze the survey data, (c) conduct and analyze additional data and summary from the state, district office and best practices, and (d) develop an action plan for the school’s improvement project with plans for implementation.     
4.       Action Research Project 
This  assessment assists advanced students on the district level to become more effective leaders through acquiring a thorough knowledge of action research that will empower them with the capacity to lead school change at a time of increasing demands, pressures and societal change. Candidates demonstrates the ability to identify an educational challenge and to determine the most advantageous structure for analysis. The candidate ability to understand the importance of implementing, synthesizing, evaluating and summarizing data is crucial for administrators, leaders and supervisors in educational organizations.
5.       Internship
This assessment provides an opportunity for the candidate to gain an understanding of the overall picture or the human, fiscal, and material resources that are manageable in a school district for the purposes of teaching, learning, assessment, communications, and safety. Intern will gain a deeper understanding by identifying and evaluating the available resources in a district managed on a daily basis by district leaders for the purpose of instructions throughout the district and learning of students while maintaining the school district’s vision. 
6.       Portfolio Project 
This assessment and assignment provide an opportunity for the candidate to compile a professional portfolio containing exemplars/products generated throughout their course experience. The following are project specific items that must be included as part of the Portfolio: (a) Action Research Project,  (b) Leading School Change Project, (c) School Improvement Project, (d) Strategic Plan, and Internship Project and (e) Research Papers . The candidate may elect to include other items of interest, but the listed items are mandatory. The candidate makes all effort to retain and collect important documents over the course of their graduate program of studies. The Portfolio provides reflections on the candidate’s personal growth and development in relation to ELCC standards.
7.       Dissertation
The doctoral dissertation in the Educational Leadership Program is a self-directed, analytical, and comprehensive product of scholarly inquiry within the field of education professional literature. This project demonstrating excellence will be the center piece of the three (3) year academic experience that will add to the body of knowledge relative to educational leadership in specific settings and contribute to educating others.   The dissertation is conducted in accordance with the policies and procedures of the Delaware State University Graduate School. Included in the Dissertation will be the five chapters (Chapter 1, Introduction, Chapter 2, Literature Review, Chapter 3, Methodology, Chapter 4, Results/Findings & Chapter 5 Discussion, Recommendation, & Conclusion). 
Additionally, doctoral candidates must complete and orally present and defend a doctoral research dissertation.  Candidates are also responsible for presenting a professional portfolio reflecting their experiences and skills. All projects are related to the ELCC Standards. 
Standard 1.0: Candidates who complete the program are educational leaders who have the knowledge and ability to promote the success of all students by facilitating the development, articulation, implementation, and stewardship of a school or district vision of learning supported by the school community.

Standard 2.0: Candidates who complete the program are educational leaders who have the knowledge and ability to promote the success of all students by promoting a positive school culture, providing an effective instructional program, applying best practice to student learning, and designing comprehensive professional growth plans for staff. 

Standard 3.0: Candidates who complete the program are educational leaders who have the knowledge and ability to promote the success of all students by managing the organization, operations, and resources in a way that promotes a safe, efficient, and effective learning environment.
Standard 4.0: Candidates who complete the program are educational leaders who have the knowledge and ability to promote the success of all students by collaborating with families and other community members, responding to diverse community interests and needs, and mobilizing community resources.
Standard 5.0: Candidates who complete the program are educational leaders who have the knowledge and ability to promote the success of all students by acting with integrity, fairly, and in an ethical manner.
Standard 6.0: Candidates who complete the program are educational leaders who have the knowledge and ability to promote the success of all students by understanding, responding to, and influencing the larger political, social, economic, legal, and cultural context.
Standard 7.0: Internship. The internship provides significant opportunities for candidates to synthesize and apply the knowledge and practice and develop the skills identified in Standards 1-6 through substantial, sustained, standards-based work in real settings, planned and guided cooperatively by the institution and school district personnel for graduate credit. 

Course descriptions:

EDUC-800. The Superintendent as CEO- Effective Management and Executive Skills

This course gives an overview and provides the foundation for developing and cultivating the leadership skills and values that superintendents will find helpful to move from a theoretical base to becoming an effective practicing CEO.  This course addresses district vision, school culture, politics and governance, internal and external communication, organizing for high performance, curriculum design and delivery, and human resource management for student learning.  NCATE (ELCC Standards) and AASA professional standards for the superintendency are used to define the role of a superintendent as CEO.  3 credits.

EDUC-801. Contemporary Issues in American Education
This course assists advanced students to further analyze current trends, problems and theories based upon an examination of recently surfacing educational events and/or topics from a historical perspective.  Discussions focus on a critical exploration of topics related, but not limited to, the formation of curriculum, instructional policy and methodology, and assessment of student success in education.  Additionally, current issues that involve students with challenges, No Child Left Behind, state standards and teacher certification, state testing, the state student testing program (DSTP), full inclusion, school choice, charter schools, and accreditation are typical topics of discussion.  Components that relate to administrative handling of current issues and challenges in the educational system, found in the ELCC Standards, are addressed. 3 credits.

EDUC-888. Action Research in Education
This course addresses the role of action research in studying the underlying problems that occur in educational organizations.  The types of action research, their advantages and disadvantages, the action research process, and the similarities and differences between action research and formal quantitative and qualitative research are examined in detail.  3 credits.

EDUC-803. Human Resources Management/Personnel Administration
This course addresses the role and functions, strategic planning, information technology, recruitment, selection, and induction of employees, staff development, performance appraisal, compensations, employment continuity, and unionism from the human resource administrator’s standpoint.  Additionally, this course addresses the human relations aspects intrinsically involved in and through the human resource parameters.  The relationship of the human resources office to the effective, safe, and efficient operation of an educational organization’s vision for the promotion of student success are further examined.  3 credits.

EDUC-804. Effective Administration, Staff Development, School Plant and Facilities
This course explores the major issues that impact administrative policies, decisions, and one’s effectiveness as a school leader.   The following topics are examined: district vision and school culture: developing a staff development/in-service program that addresses the improvement of the educational program and assesses its effectiveness; strategic planning for future plant and facility needs; politics and school governance; internal and external communication; organizational processes for effective and efficient performance; curriculum design and delivery; human resource management for student learning; and leadership values and skills.   3 credits.

EDUC-805. Quantitative and Qualitative Research Methods
This course is designed to prepare doctoral students to understand, interpret, evaluate and design qualitative and quantitative research and to develop the ability to select and use appropriate research methods. This course integrates the major concepts and practices of qualitative and quantitative research methodology and introduces descriptive and inferential statistics. This course focuses on the development and application of research for the purpose of writing the doctoral capstone. Topics addressed in this course include choice of research methods, developing a problem statement and proposal, preparing questionnaires, conducting research, tabulating data, and reaching conclusions from qualitative and quantitative data. Additionally, this course includes readings on methodology, lectures, discussions, presentations, and in-class exercises that are designed to highlight various issues. 3credits.

EDUC-806. Educational Policy:  Political, Social, Economic, Legal, and Cultural Issues        
This course provides the framework and content by which the doctoral student as an aspiring administrator can affect school governance and policy.  Major issues influencing administrative practices are addressed, including, but not limited to, school autonomy versus government control, state legislated learning effects on the teaching profession, democratic versus professional authority in the teaching profession, lack of minorities in administration, the effects of economics on the educational system, society’s cultural views, desires, and ramifications, and comprehending the diverse theories of school change.  In this course, doctoral students have opportunities to develop their skill sets that will enable them, as aspiring administrators, to build the requisite interlocking and collaborative relationships among school personnel, the community, and state and federal agencies for the purpose of creating better schools.   Advanced students will focus upon current issues and challenges that impact the formation of educational policy in today’s ever changing society.  3 credits.

EDUC-807. Leading School Change at a Time of Increasing Demands, Pressures, and Societal Change
This course focuses on a review and discussion of current methods used to change school cultures, curriculums, and parent/community involvement.  The course is used to enhance collegiality, professionalism, instructional strategies, classroom management techniques, effective classroom designs, student motivational techniques, and to create a safe and orderly environment.  Additionally, the course focuses on making staff development a worthwhile endeavor and using systems thinking as the key to continuous improvement.  It focuses on envisioning desired results, defining reality through data, developing action plans while welcoming accountability.  3 credits.

EDUC-808. Strategic Planning and Program Analysis
This course explores the steps of the strategic planning process in educational organizations.  The benefits of involving a broad range of personnel in the process are discussed.  The doctoral student will examine the following strategic planning steps: the development of a mission statement; completion of an environmental scan; development of key objectives and initiatives; design of programs and activities to accomplish the key objectives; and determination of performance measures to monitor and evaluate the organization’s progress toward accomplishing its key objectives.  3 credits.

EDUC-809. Technology Applications
The course addresses the latest technologies from a practitioner’s point of view.  The Internet and World Wide Web are used with the intent to make informed decisions.  Fifty percent of the semester is assigned to an on-site field experience, in which the student demonstrates the ability to report research, security, data collection, etc.  Doctoral candidates complete a project focusing on the applications of technology to the unique area of their administrative interest within educational administration, leadership or supervision and teaching fields.  Doctoral candidates will have the opportunity to focus on emerging technologies and their applications from the viewpoint of planning, enhancing communications, managing information and the latest technologies used by professionals in their respective fields.  3 credits.

EDUC-812 and EDUC-813. Internship:  Applied Educational Administration
The internship experience is a supervised field experience that enables the doctoral candidate to practice knowledge and skills acquired in coursework and professional experiences in an authentic setting.  The doctoral candidate experiences the everyday life of an administrator and how everyday challenges are solved, such as time management strategies, organizational techniques, successful secretarial relationships, appropriate interpersonal skills and human relations, communication vehicles, problem solving, negotiation, instructional leadership, management, professional dispositions, and leadership.  In conjunction with the field-based administrator, doctoral candidates will identify an educational problem in the organization and design an action-based research project to examine possible solutions.  6 credits.

EDUC-817. Dissertation Seminar I
EDUC-818. Dissertation Seminar II
EDUC-819. Dissertation Seminar  III
Three one-hour Dissertation Seminars are required.  The dissertation seminar is designed to address doctoral candidates’ progress in the choice of topic, determination of their research format, and dissertation chapter requirements.  Assistance is given to clarify the candidate’s research question(s), determine the appropriate research design, methodologies and analysis of data.  Doctoral candidates meet with the course professor as a cohort group and/or on an individual basis with their respective dissertation committee chair.  Discussion of policies and procedures of the dissertation process is addressed in this course.   One credit each.


This course provides candidates in the doctoral program of Educational   Leadership with advisement and support while carrying out their dissertation study.  Doctoral candidates are required to address one or more ISLLC standards through their choice of dissertation research. Each course is three credits hours. A minimum of 12 credit hours of Dissertation Research are required.
EDUC- 899. Sustaining dissertation research
Students must be continuously enrolled until their dissertation research and oral defense requirements have been completed.  This course provides the vehicle for completion of those requirements.


Dr. N. K. Rathee, Acting Director, Graduate Program
Ext. 7170, Room 112

Dr. Prince Attoh, Associate Professor
Program Coordinator
Ext. 6718, Room 267