The mission of Union Institute & University's Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) program is to help you develop the skills and attributes necessary to become an effective scholar-practitioner in Pre-k-12 Educational Leadership or Higher Education. The program’s blend of core, specialized, and praxis experiences is intended for experienced education professionals who seek to explore, explain, and work to resolve the challenges they face within their organizations and communities.
Blended Learning: Designed for Working Adults
The Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) program utilizes a blended learning model. Seminars include both online (via eCollege) 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.
Twice each year, new students are admitted to the Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) program and come together for an initial academic residency at the university's academic center in Cincinnati followed by a three-day, mid-semester residency. Students begin and move through the Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) program as members of cohorts that are formed within and across the program’s two areas of specialization: Pre K-12 Educational Leadership and Higher Education.
Excellence in Scholarship
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) doctoral students will participate in a developing a tradition of thought, discussion, exploration, and inquiry in their field of study. Achieving excellence in scholarship requires full and meaningful participation in this evolving, cooperative endeavor.
The Union Institute & University's Doctor of Education program follows a practitioner-scholar model. The professional practice of education, informed by scholarly inquiry, is the program’s primary focus. The program employs a developmental approach, where expectations of competency increase as students proceed through the sequence of seminars, supervised internships, and completion of other requirements. Students will assume increased responsibility and independence as they progress from their first year to completion. Graduates of the program are expected to be competent and ethical professionals and leaders in the field of education.
Attentiveness to Social Justice
Social justice is a matter of ensuring that each person and group receives their proper due from the storehouse of primary and secondary goods that are available, at any given time, within the context of social and political life. Primary goals of the Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) program
are to explore alternative theoretical conceptions of the proper distribution of a society’s resources and to examine the importance of attending to social justice within the framework of present and future historical circumstances.
A concern for the goal of social justice is incorporated into the program of study for each of the Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) program’s two areas of specialization: Educational Leadership and Higher Education.
Engagement of Differences
Related to the concern for social justice, an additional goal of the Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) program is for students to acquire advanced understanding of the complex issues (historical, sociological, psychological, political, philosophical, and ethical) related to the presence of difference among individuals and a complex array of alternative identities and social groups. Grounded in studies within the humanities and social sciences, a related and equally important goal associated with the study of difference is to explore the various possibilities for engaging and addressing difference.
The issues and possibilities explored include assimilation, mutual understanding, dissent and resistance, tolerance and accommodation, mutual respect, separatism, opposition, cooperation, discursive communication, negotiation and compromise, conflict, matters of translation and possible reconcilability or irreconcilability, synthesis and transformation.
Praxis: The Integration of Theory and Practice
In the process of lifelong learning, the study of empirical theories provides an understanding of patterns of underlying causes and their effects within specific areas of natural and social worlds. Normative or value-oriented theories offer insight into the principles and practices that have served and might better serve as a guide to the organization of social, economic, and political life. While theoretical study has an importance in itself, the primary value of theoretical understanding depends on the relative applicability of theories within the limits, tensions, and vicissitudes of specific personal, organizational, and institutional contexts.
A thorough understanding of the problem of praxis, of relating and assessing the applicability and effectiveness of theories to practical circumstances—and, on occasion, of altering theories in light of such relative applicability and effectiveness—is another central value of the Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) program. While the problem of praxis is examined in seminars and other learning activities, this problem is especially examined within the professional development experiences that are included within each academic residency.