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How long does it take to complete the Ed.D Program?

The Ed.D. Program is a 66 credit hour degree program. Seminars, internship, and dissertation credits are included in the 66 credit hour degree program requirements. It requires a minimum of three (3) full-time academic years of graduate study at Union Institute & University.

How are courses delivered?

The Ed.D. program utilizes a blended learning model. Seminars include both online and face-to-face residency components. This model is highly accessible to working adults, as students are able to maintain family and work commitments while obtaining the training they need to advance their careers.

How is the residency requirement met?

When new students are admitted to the program, they convene for an initial academic residency followed by a three-day, online mid-semester weekend. After the initial term in the program, students will continue to meet in a series of academic residencies that convene each July at the same time as the initial academic residency for newly admitted students.

Where are the cohorts and how many students are in each?

Students begin and move through the program as members of cohorts of no more than 15 which include students from both program specializations (Pre-K – 12 Educational Leadership and Higher Education). The Ed.D. model leads to the formation of academic communities through regular and sustained interaction among students and between students and faculty. These communities begin to form at the initial academic residency and are strengthened through online learning activities, through email and telephone conversations, and through the one-on-one and small group conversations that occur when students return and meet each other and faculty again during the residencies and mid-semester weekends.

How often are new cohorts admitted into the program?

A new cohort enters the Ed.D. Program each July and January. Deadlines for preferential admissions consideration are in November and May.

Is the Ed.D. a full-time program?

The program is full-time only. However, the distributed learning model allows for individual flexibility. Students can complete many of the online components of the courses based on their own daily schedule, making this program a good fit for adults with work and home responsibilities.

What are the internship requirements?

The Ed.D. Program requires completion of an internship. The student will design the internship with the support of the faculty advisor and program faculty; the student will be responsible for arranging an appropriate site. A field supervisor and the faculty advisor will supervise the internship. As with all learning in the Ed.D. Program, the proposed internship must have clearly defined goals and objectives; it must also reflect increasing levels of responsibility over its duration.

Will students be able to carry out their internship at their current place of employment?

Possibly. All students will be required to select an internship that presents a challenge to the norms of their previous or current professional experiences. If this can be demonstrated to the internship supervisor, the student may be able to carry out their internship at their current place of employment. However, the student may benefit or choose an internship that provides a new opportunity.

For example, an urban school professional might choose to participate in an internship in a rural setting. Similarly, a public school professional might choose to experience a private school setting; a community college professor might choose to experience a four year or graduate college setting; a university faculty might work with an administrator. The purpose of the internship experience is to provide a challenge to students’ present thinking by requiring them to work outside their comfort zone and thereby to expand their awareness of and sensitivity to social justice issues. The internship is also a great opportunity for mentoring such that those who wish to transition to another position will be able to learn new tasks and hone skills appropriate for the move.

Is a Dissertation required?

Yes. The Dissertation integrates and adds to the learning accomplished in other phases of the students’ program. It addresses the appropriate intellectual, cultural, and/or artistic traditions of the field and signifies grounding in the theoretical and critical scholarship in this field with a focus on social justice. It allows the student to exercise his/her originality so the work provides new knowledge and approaches to the larger scholarly community.

What are the prerequisites for admission?

Applicants will be required to hold an earned master’s degree from a regionally accredited institution. While it is expected that most applicants will hold master’s degrees in education, individuals with a master’s degree in related fields, will also be considered. Additionally, applicants should have successfully completed a minimum of one graduate research study appropriate for an individual preparing to begin a doctoral study program. The program is intended for individuals with significant experience in and knowledge of the profession of education, who seek the necessary leadership to explore, explain, and possibly resolve the challenges they face within their organizations and communities.

How do you determine admissions into the program?

The admissions application process requires a reflective essay, curriculum vitae, letters of recommendation, and transcripts of all college and graduate school work. Upon receipt of all required admissions documents, the admissions committee reviews applicants’ files for their ability to complete a rigorous doctoral program as evidenced by strong academic background, solid references, a commitment to social justice, leadership potential, and related professional experiences. The admissions committee places a great emphasis on the quality and depth of admissions essays. Those who pass this initial screening will be invited to a telephone interview, which is the final stage of the admissions process.

Can courses taken at a previous graduate school be transferred to the program?

Up to 12 semester hour credits (the equivalent of four (4) doctoral level courses) from a regionally accredited university are eligible to be reviewed by the admissions committee for approval of transfer. The transfer courses must have been completed in the past five (5) years with an equivalent grade of “B” or above. Courses applied toward an earned master’s degree are not eligible to be reviewed for transfer. A transfer credit petition form and transcripts for courses considered for transfer must be submitted as part of the application package.

Can students in the Ed.D. program develop their own course of study?

No. All students follow the same sequence of courses and are required to demonstrate an established set of competencies. Students are encouraged to develop specialized areas of interest and pursue them in class discussions, papers, presentations, and in their dissertation projects. In year three, students can take electives of their own choosing, but these are not self-designed.

Will graduates qualify for licensing as principals or superintendents when they complete this program?

Because licensure varies from state to state, it is not possible for Union to offer that option. Students wishing to achieve licensure in their state must explore that on their own. It may be possible that certain courses taken through the Union Institute’s Ed.D. program could be applied to a licensure program but students should establish that with their state department of education.

What are the technology requirements for students in the Ed.D? program?

Students must have access to a desktop or laptop computer that has current Microsoft Windows professional or Vista software. It is highly recommended that students have access to broadband or DSL high speed Internet in order to be able to work effectively online. The ability to maneuver through Microsoft Office such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint is strongly recommended. Students without these skills and comfort levels are encouraged to first take a course at their local community college to develop a comfortable level of skill.

Degree: Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
Start Dates: Jan & July
Credits: 66
Transfer up to 12 credits
Min. Time: 3 years

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