Educational Leadership

Doctor of Philosophy in Education

The Educational Leadership specialization will help you gain knowledge and skills in K-12 education as you work to become an independent scholar and leader in the field of education. You will learn to address management and leadership issues in education, such as school law, safety and diversity. You will also develop your leadership skills in implementing training programs, and recognizing excellence in teaching, conducting research and service. As an Educational Leadership graduate, you will be prepared to lead others and conduct original research to advance the field of knowledge in educational leadership.

General Degree Requirements

The PhD Program may be completed in 60 semester credit hours. However, up to an additional 15 credit hours will be allowed as needed to complete the dissertation research. If the program is not completed in 75 credit hours, the student will be dismissed from the program.

Completion Period for Doctoral Degrees

Northcentral University allows 7 years to complete all doctoral programs of 60 credits or less. Normal time to complete varies depending upon course take rate and credits transferred.

Certification and Licensing

The School of Education serves educational leaders by providing online graduate studies in education to reach worldwide populations. The PhD program is designed to reach national and international markets and does not purport to provide licensure or certification in any particular state or country.

PhD Degree Requirements

Admission to the doctorate programs at NCU requires a master's degree from an accredited institution. PhD students are also required to demonstrate competency in specific subject areas prior to enrolling in any of the specialization or elective courses.

Foundational Competencies for PhD Program

  • Graduate Level Statistics Competency - PhD students are required to complete a Statistics in Education Research Course, EDU8003, and also EDU8006, Advanced Educational Statistics.
  • Competency in Research Writing Skills - PhD students are required to show competency in writing skills for research purposes through their Northcentral University graduate coursework before being assigned to any dissertation courses. Students will be required to take EDU8001, Advanced Scholarly Writing, to improve APA formatting skills and to address advanced writing and research skills as necessary.
  • Computer Competency - PhD students are required to use appropriate computer skills that are necessary in writing a dissertation. Students must be able to prepare documents using advanced word processing skills (e.g., creation of tables and figures, headers and footers, page breaks, tables of contents, hanging indents, etc.). In addition, students need to use computer programs for the statistical analysis and presentation of data (e.g., Excel, SPSS). The oral defense normally requires a computer-based presentation by the candidate (e.g., a PowerPoint presentation).

Course Length

All new students enrolling in the PhD in Education program are automatically enrolled in courses that are eight weeks in length. All eight-week courses are indicated by a "-8" (dash eight) at the end of the course code.

Foundation Courses - 6 credit hours

Course Code

Name

Course Description

Specialization Course 1

EDU8002, EDU8002-8

Educational Research Methodology

The purpose of this course is to enable students to gain a holistic understanding of the research process and examine the most common research designs used in educational research. In this course, students are prepared to make thoughtful and wise choices about their dissertation research project or capstone project through the exploration of different research design options.

Specialization Course 2

EDU8003, EDU8003-8

Statistics I

This course provides an introductory exploration of statistics for the graduate Learner. It includes instruction on the calculation, use, and interpretation of descriptive statistics, and introduces inferential statistical analysis. The emphasis of this course is on providing a working knowledge of basic statistical concepts to help the Learner understand statistical methodology used in education, and also more generally, developing a working knowledge of statistical usage in everyday life.

Specialization Course 3

EDU8202, EDU8202-8

Research Design

In this course, the Learner acquires the basic skills necessary for the interpretation and application of quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods research. The Learner will examine the formal research process carefully, with an emphasis on practical applications and skill development. Critical concepts and principles intrinsic to research paradigms, study designs, and methods of inquiry are presented to empower the Learners ability to formulate and respond to research questions. The resources listed below from the Northcentral University Dissertation Center are critical resources throughout the whole research process _ learners are highly encouraged to become deeply familiar with the resources from the Northcentral University Dissertation Center.

EDU8005, EDU8005-8

Qualitative Research Design

This course is an examination of qualitative methods for studying human behavior including grounded theory, narrative analysis, ethnography, and case studies.

Specialization Course 4

EDU8006, EDU8006-8

Statistics II

This course is an intermediate examination of statistical analyses commonly used for research in education. It prepares the doctoral student with the skills required to plan, conduct (using SPSS), report, and interpret quantitative statistical analyses. Topics include: basic statistical knowledge, probability theory, exploratory data analysis, assumptions for statistical tests, parametric and nonparametric tests. Specific analyses include correlation, regression (simple, multiple, and logistic), basic ANOVA and advance ANOVA techniques.

Specialization Course 5

EDU8007, EDU8007-8

Quantitative Methods

This course provides students with the skills essential for designing experimental, quasi-experimental, and survey studies; analyzing the data collected in those studies, and interpreting the results of data analyses. Students will explore designs and statistical techniques to use with their envisioned dissertation research.

Specialization Course 6

EDU8207, EDU8207-8

Planning Dissertation Research in Education

Students in this course will begin the process of writing a dissertation for a research or professional doctorate. The course will address the University dissertation procedures and aids students in the process of successfully completing a dissertation, including attending to self-care and time management.

The PhD in Education requires six specialization, five research, and two statistical courses for a total of 39 credit hours

Course Code

Name

Course Description

EDU8000, EDU8000-8

Foundations for Doctoral Study in Education (This course will be taken as the first course)

This course is an orientation to Northcentral University and to the essential skills needed to pursue a doctoral degree in Education. Doctoral level skills, such as academic integrity, time management, effective use of the Northcentral Library, comprehending complex scholarly texts and research articles, and APA form and style in professional communication are also introduced. Students will complete the course with a better understanding of personal goals, strengths, and challenges, and a roadmap to navigate their way to completion of their educational aspirations.

EDU8001, EDU8001-8

Advanced Scholarly Writing

The purpose of this course is to build advanced skills identifying and obtaining high quality sources through online library searches. In addition, the course addresses advanced writing and APA formatting skills, and it prepares students to be critically reflective consumers of research reports.

Dissertation Courses - 12 credit hours

Course Code

Name

Course Description

ED7004-8

School Law

In this course, students will address legal issues pertinent to teacher, administrator, and student legal rights and responsibilities in daily school activities. Students will also review legal process, structures of the law, legislation/ litigation, and practices to avoid.

ED7005-8

Language Arts and Reading

In this course, students are introduced to research-based instruction that effectively prepares each candidate to deliver a balanced, comprehensive program of instruction in reading, writing, and related language arts. A balanced approach to reading/language arts instruction includes explicit instruction in basic reading skills and comprehension strategies for all students, including students with varied reading levels and language backgrounds.

ED7008-8

Educating a Diversity of students

As the United States continues to experience increasing cultural diversity, today's educators must appraise, assess, and argue the best means to reach diverse and exceptional students. Additionally, individuals differ in gender, sexual orientation, age, physical, and mental abilities. Students will choose and compare different means to address the nature of cultural diversity, its sources and importance to educators. Finally, students will organize, plan, prepare and write instructions that a district might use to meet the needs of diverse students, taking into consideration epistemological and axiological perspectives unique to each culture.

ED7012-8

Educational Leadership

In this course, students will be presented to an examination of contemporary theories, models, concepts, and practices for efficient approaches to leadership within an educational organization. Students will study how to effectively apply these concepts to educational settings. Topics include time management, philosophy, principles of an effective leader, and leadership styles.

ED7013-8

Financial Issues in Schools

This course is designed to introduce and explore concepts in school finance and school business management. Specifically, the course content will cover school finance and school business practices as it pertains to the national, state, and local practices.

ED7014-8

Practices in School Organization

In this course, students will examine the organizational structure of schools and school systems, their relationships to and effects on school programs, teaching strategies, testing and measurement, and the evaluation of programs in schools. The student will consider the way schools are organized around time, space, and other resources. Organizational dynamics will be explored and there will be an opportunity to engage operational factors that influence the school climate including human resources, organizational outreach, and capacity. Finally, students will explore stakeholder participation in organizational practice.

ED7015-8

Safety Issues for Educators

The content of this course provides educators with the skills and information to analyze safety data, plan for both school safety interventions and procedures and to manage crises in an educational setting. Topics include school safety, crisis management, intervention plans, and community safety partnerships.

ED7022-8

Policies and Practices in Leadership

In this course, students will focus on research, theory and philosophy in developing powerful schools that educate all children well, grades K through 12. Students will learn about various school reform efforts, policies and politics behind various local, states, and federal efforts, and be able to draw upon the educational change and leadership literature to develop their own process and design for better schools.

ED7030-8

Development of Organizational Leadership

In this course, doctoral students will explore classic and contemporary approaches to organizational development. Students will explore preferred communication styles, cultivate relationships, develop strategies, and evaluate optimal strategies for organizational growth. Finally, students will be introduced to the doctrines of organizational development, theory, and techniques.

Course Code

Name

Course Description

CMP9500E

Doctoral Comprehensive Examination

In pursuit of a research doctoral degree (PhD) at Northcentral University, students gain expertise in their academic discipline and in one or more specializations that complement their academic discipline. The Doctoral Comprehensive Examination is intended to assure that students have mastered knowledge of their discipline before candidacy status is achieved and their dissertation work is initiated. The Doctoral Comprehensive Examination is taken following the completion of all foundation, specialization, and methods courses. This course is graded using Satisfactory (S) and Unsatisfactory (U) grading criteria. The Doctoral Comprehensive Examination must be successfully completed with an "S" grade prior to beginning any work in Dissertation courses. This course may only be retaken once.

DIS9501E

PhD Doctoral Dissertation

In this course sequence, students work progressively on completing each doctoral dissertation milestone toward the completion of the PhD degree. These milestones include Committee and University approval of a dissertation concept paper, a dissertation proposal paper, an approved IRB application by the Northcentral University Institutional Review Board, the collection and analysis of research data, the preparation and approval of the final dissertation manuscript, and the successful completion of the oral defense. Courses are taken continually and sequentially until all dissertation milestones have been completed. Throughout these courses, students often work independently but are required to be in communication with the Chair of their Dissertation Committee at least every 28 calendar days. These courses are graded utilizing Satisfactory (S) and Unsatisfactory (U) as the grading criteria.

DIS9502E

PhD Doctoral Dissertation

In this course sequence, students work progressively on completing each doctoral dissertation milestone toward the completion of the PhD degree. These milestones include Committee and University approval of a dissertation concept paper, a dissertation proposal paper, an approved IRB application by the Northcentral University Institutional Review Board, the collection and analysis of research data, the preparation and approval of the final dissertation manuscript, and the successful completion of the oral defense. Courses are taken continually and sequentially until all dissertation milestones have been completed. Throughout these courses, students often work independently but are required to be in communication with the Chair of their Dissertation Committee at least every 28 calendar days. These courses are graded utilizing Satisfactory (S) and Unsatisfactory (U) as the grading criteria.

DIS9503E

PhD Doctoral Dissertation

In this course sequence, students work progressively on completing each doctoral dissertation milestone toward the completion of the PhD degree. These milestones include Committee and University approval of a dissertation concept paper, a dissertation proposal paper, an approved IRB application by the Northcentral University Institutional Review Board, the collection and analysis of research data, the preparation and approval of the final dissertation manuscript, and the successful completion of the oral defense. Courses are taken continually and sequentially until all dissertation milestones have been completed. Throughout these courses, students often work independently but are required to be in communication with the Chair of their Dissertation Committee at least every 28 calendar days. These courses are graded utilizing Satisfactory (S) and Unsatisfactory (U) as the grading criteria.

DIS9504E

PhD Doctoral Dissertation

In this course sequence, students work progressively on completing each doctoral dissertation milestone toward the completion of the PhD degree. These milestones include Committee and University approval of a dissertation concept paper, a dissertation proposal paper, an approved IRB application by the Northcentral University Institutional Review Board, the collection and analysis of research data, the preparation and approval of the final dissertation manuscript, and the successful completion of the oral defense. Courses are taken continually and sequentially until all dissertation milestones have been completed. Throughout these courses, students often work independently but are required to be in communication with the Chair of their Dissertation Committee at least every 28 calendar days. These courses are graded utilizing Satisfactory (S) and Unsatisfactory (U) as the grading criteria.

At Northcentral University, we pride ourselves in being completely transparent when it comes to tuition and fees. If a cost is not included in our Cost Per Course Tuition Rate, we let you know up front. Currently, the only additional cost above your program rate* is books. Learn more about the NCU’s PhD in Education costs below:

  • Per credit cost: $986
  • Per 3 credit course cost: $2,958
  • Program cost: $59,160
  • Average book cost per course: $110
  • Application Fee: $0
  • Learning Management Fee (one-time per program): $250
  • Registration Fee: $0

Click here to learn more about payment and financing options.

*Program rates are subject to change and generally increase at the start of each calendar year.

Total program costs reflected are calculated based on standard degree program credits exclusive of the program’s potential evaluation track. The actual cost of a program is determined based upon the program and track the student enters, transfer credits if any, and other unique student factors.For more information: please contact Admissions or refer to the catalog.

If there’s one thing we’ve learned about our students, it’s that they are motivated and ambitious—but they are also busy! At Northcentral University, we’ve designed our education experience to work with you, not against you, so you can achieve your academic goals without sacrificing the quality, flexibility and support you need to be successful.

To learn more, request information or call 1-866-776-0331 to speak with an enrollment advisor today. We offer new courses every Monday of the year so you can get started when it’s best for you.