University of Vermont

College of Education and Social Sciences

Doctoral Programs in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

Current Ed.D. Students

Current Ed.D. Students

Core Curriculum Themes

The coursework and experiences contained within the 21-hour core requirement are organized around these five major themes. Associated with each theme is a listing of knowledge and skills that will be addressed across the core and other courses. Throughout the core, students will be expected to provide evidence of their knowledge and skills related to each of the themes below.

  • Organizational Theory, Change, and Leadership [ + ]
    • Analyze, develop, and construct policy that advances humane and just goals.
    • Clarify and articulate one’s role as a leader in creating a society grounded in an ethical/moral vision of a humane and just world.
    • Communicate clearly for the purposes of critically examining an argument, reporting research, presenting a policy, and advocating for a cause.
    • Critically examine one’s own leadership dispositions and style in relation to theory and knowledge to increase one’s capacity as an effective, caring leader.
    • Understand and apply the principles of inter-professional collaboration in multiple education and human service contexts.
    • Understand and apply knowledge of organizational development and change theory to the design and implementation of strategies and practices.
    • Demonstrate one’s knowledge of the richness of diverse cultures to expand our perspectives, enhance our understanding of effective leadership, and inform what we do.
  • Process of Inquiry/Applied Research and Utilization of Knowledge [ + ]
    • Develop a philosophical and epistemological understanding of diverse research paradigms and methods to promote applied scholarship.
    • Critically examine and interpret qualitative and quantitative data to gain insight into educational dynamics and develop strategies for intervention.
    • Utilize research skills to conceptualize and conduct a study.
  • Critical Perspectives [ + ]
    • Critically analyze societal and educational dynamics related to justice, equity, freedom, and diversity.
    • Critically examine the interrelationships among ideology, power, and socio-historical context with particular reference to the control of knowledge.
  • Learning and Development [ + ]
    • Employ theories of human development and learning in constructing frameworks for program development and evaluation, organizational change and professional development.
    • Apply understanding of collaborative learning and exhibits effective interpersonal skills.
  • Policy Study and Analysis [ + ]
    • Understand the relationship of policy and practice
    • Examine policy as a lever for change
    • Apply knowledge about policy for organizational improvement


While the program is designed within the broad rubric of leaderhip, three specific concentration areas are available to students:

  • educational leadership PreK-12
  • social service and non-profit leadership
  • higher education leadership
  • policy leadership
  • special education leadership

Schedule of Coursework

The program is designed to accommodate professionals who are currently employed in full time positions in schools, health and social service agencies, and institutions of higher education. Full time enrollment is also possible. The program requires:

  • A minimum of 59 semester credit hours beyond the Masters degree 
  • Coursework is divided into 9 hours of core courses and 18 hours of courses in a selected concentration and 12 hours of research courses
  • 20 hours of dissertation research credits are required  
Year One: The Core
  • During the first year, students participate in the learning community known as the cohort. Students take two core courses in the fall and one core course in the spring for the first year. Students take an additional core course in the fall of their second year and a course focused on policy during the spring of their second year. The content of these courses includes critical perspectives, emerging views of leadership, organizational development and change, and research methods.
Year Two and Beyond
  • Students will have completed an individually designed program plan of study is constructed with the assistance of their faculty program advisor. Together an additional 21 hours of coursework related to the student’s area of interest is planned (18 concentration courses and one additional research course).


Last modified February 18 2015 10:43 AM

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