Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership, Community College Specialization

The doctoral program in Educational Leadership is a rigorous, research-based program which prepares PK-12 and Community College leaders who can apply their knowledge base with the critical skills of analysis, inquiry, research and evaluation to contribute to the study, development, and implementation of educational reforms.

Admission to the Program

The recruitment and admissions committee will oversee the specific admissions processes for the program, review candidate applications and make admissions decisions. The graduate admissions standards of the university shall apply to all Ed.D. candidates.

The Ed.D. program requires the following of applicants for admission to the doctoral program:

  1. A completed application;
  2. An earned baccalaureate degree and master's degree from an accredited institution of higher education with a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher in upper-division and graduate study combined;
  3. Official transcripts from each college or university attended since high school graduation (no exceptions);
  4. Submission of Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores from three sections of the General Test taken within the last five years;
  5. Three letters of recommendation from professionals in the field attesting to the leadership ability and scholarship potential of the candidate; included shall be one letter from an educationally related institution or university administrator and at least one letter from a university faculty member preferably with a doctoral degree that addresses the applicant's potential for academic success in a doctoral program. Letters must be sent directly to the Office of Doctoral Studies.
  6. A written statement of purpose reflecting an understanding of the challenges facing the public schools or community colleges/institutions of higher education in California;
  7. A scholarly writing sample such as a master's thesis;
  8. Sufficient preparation and experience to benefit from the program;
  9. Demonstrated educational leadership potential and skills including successful experience in school, postsecondary, community, and/or policy leadership;
  10. Demonstrated academic excellence, problem-solving ability, technology proficiency, and interest in critically assessing and bringing about improvements to current educational policies and practices as that pertains to social justice and equity; and
  11. A personal interview.

Advancement to Candidacy

  1. After completion of the qualifying examination, the student will advance to candidacy and can begin taking EDDL 7804. No more than 12-semester units shall be allowed for a dissertation. If students do not complete their qualifying examination within three years of the program, they will be placed on academic probation. 

Requirements for Graduation

  1. All 60 units required must be at the doctoral level. 
  2. At least 48 units required for the degree shall be completed in residence.
  3. The overall grade point average must be at least a 3.0, and grades in individual courses must be a "B-" or better. Courses in which no letter grade is assigned shall not be used in computing the grade point average. Students with a grade point average below 3.0 in two successive terms will be disqualified from the program.
  4. The Graduate Writing Assessment Requirements is met through successful completion of the doctoral dissertation.
  5. The Ed.D. program is designed to be completed in three calendar years, including two required summer sessions. However, students are allowed five years of completion for the requirements of the doctoral degree. In accordance with Title 5, the appropriate campus authority may extend the time for completion. 
  6. After completion of the qualifying examination, the student will advance to candidacy and can begin taking EDDL 7804. No more than 12 semester units shall be allowed for a dissertation. If students do not complete their qualifying examination within three years of the program, they will be placed on academic probation. 
  7. Continuous enrollment is a requirement of the program. If extenuating circumstances require that the student leave the program for a period of time, the student must file a Leave of Absence for all semesters including all summer sessions. The doctoral leadership will develop an adjusted program plan with the student.
  8. Ed.D. students must take their summer courses over the summer. Independent studies as substitutes for the summer courses are not allowed.
  9. Ed.D. students may be permitted to repeat one course one time only. The original course grade on the student's permanent record will be discounted. Only the second grade earned shall apply to the student's cumulative post baccalaureate grade point average. The first attempt will show on the transcript with the repeat (discount) noted. If a student fails two courses, they will be automatically dismissed from the Ed.D. program. 
  10. Grade grievances must follow the university grade grievance policy. Non-academic grievances must follow the university non-academic grievance policy. 
  11. Issues related to student conduct and plagiarism will be addressed in accordance with university policy. 

Program Milestones and Related Requirements 

The Ed.D. Program includes rigorous classes, a qualifying examination, and written and oral defense of both a Dissertation Proposal and Dissertation, passage of which is required for student progression to program completion and degree conferral. 

1. Dissertation Committee 
The dissertation committee must be composed of a three member committee that includes: (a) a chair who must come from the Ed.D. program faculty. The other two members must have their doctoral degree or terminal degree and related expertise in the student's field of inquiry. The committee must be approved by the doctoral studies leadership. The committee is responsible for writing and reviewing the qualifying exam. In addition, the committee supports the student through the dissertation process and approves their work. 

2. Written and Oral Qualifying Examinations

The qualifying examination is based on the student's approved literature review and is a rigorous assessment of student knowledge in response to questions generated by the student's dissertation committee.The qualifying examinations are administered when the student's dissertation committee has deemed the student is ready for the exam based on their literature review. Once students have passed their qualifying examination, a proposal for the dissertation is written and defended orally. Once the student's proposal (both written and oral) has been approved, they continue to work on their dissertation. The final step in the program is the written dissertation and oral defense.

3. Dissertation Proposal 
The dissertation research will focus on a significant professional problem or issue and will have the potential to contribute, generally or in the context of a particular educational institution, to the improvement of public PreK-12 or community college/higher education. Work in support of the dissertation is embedded throughout the Ed.D. curriculum. However, formal dissertation research is subject to (a) passage of the dissertation proposal defense and (b) approval of human subjects by the Institutional Review Board in this order, which constitutes formal approval for the candidate to proceed with the dissertation research as proposed.

The dissertation proposal must demonstrate a strong scholarly and professional foundation of knowledge on the part of the candidate and must demonstrate the candidate's ability to apply this knowledge to rigorous study of PreK-12 or community college/higher education. The dissertation proposal will contain, at a minimum, a description of the problem, a review of the relevant literature, a statement of the research question, a description of the research methodology, and a time-line for completion of the study.

The committee communicates formally in writing to the student its (a) approval, (b) approval with modifications, or (c) lack of approval. In the case of approval with modifications or lack of approval, the committee will communicate to the student in writing the process and expectations for resubmission. If the student is required to resubmit the proposal, the committee will review the revised proposal and communicate the outcome to the student in writing. The student must receive written approval of the proposal by the committee and written notification by the Institutional Review Board that human subjects review requirements have been met, and they must submit that approval letter to the doctoral studies office in order to proceed with the formal conduct of the dissertation research.

4. Institutional Review Board 

Evidence of Institutional Review Board approval must be submitted to the doctoral studies office prior to the recruitment of participants and collection of data. Any changes to the original IRB protocol must be submitted and approved as an addendum to the IRB and IRB approval of that addendum must be submitted to the doctoral studies office. Failure to follow these steps presents grounds for dismissal from the program. 

5. Dissertation Defense 

The dissertation is the written product of the research undertaken in accordance with the approved proposal. The dissertation will state the research problem and question(s), describe the primary theoretical perspectives of the research, identify the major assumptions, explain the significance of the undertaking and relate it to the relevant scholarly and professional literature, describe the research methods, the sources for and methods of gathering data, the approaches used for analyzing the data, the findings based on the analysis of the data, and the conclusions or recommendations. The dissertation will reflect original analysis and independent, critical thought.

The committee communicates formally in writing to the student its (a) approved with commendation, to be conferred, (b) approved, to be conferred, (c) approved with following conditions/recommendations, and (d) disapproved. In the case of approval with conditions or disapproved, the committee will communicate to the student in writing the process and expectations for resubmission. If the student is required to resubmit the dissertation, the committee will review the revised proposal and communicate the outcome to the student in writing. 

Unanimous agreement of the dissertation committee is required for approval of the dissertation and recommendation that the Ed.D. degree be conferred. In the event that the dissertation committee requires substantive changes to the dissertation, the final vote of the committee will be postponed until the changes are completed.

Submission of the approved dissertation is the last step in the program leading to the awarding of the Ed.D. degree. The dissertation must be submitted by the Graduate Studies deadline. The dissertation format must conform to Graduate Studies approved dissertation manuscript requirements. The final copy of the dissertation must be approved by the dissertation committee and the Office of Graduate Studies.

Degree Requirements (60 units)

(Program Code: ELCC)

EDDL 7901Theories and Principles of Leadership 3
EDDL 7902Leadership and Educational Reform 3
EDDL 7903Leadership and Fiscal Planning in Complex Organizations 3
EDDL 7904Human Resources Development and Management 3
EDDL 7905Field-based Practicum in PK-20 Settings3
ESPE 7906Leadership in Program Development for Students with Disabilities 3
EDUC 7907Diversity and Equity in Education 3
EDUC 7908Ethical Leadership and Decision Making in Education 3
EDDL 7801Scientific Inquiry3
EDDL 7802Applied Quantitative Research 3
EDDL 7803Applied Qualitative Research 3
Community College Specialization (15)
EDDL 7020Foundations of Community Colleges and Other Higher Education Systems3
EDDL 7120Leadership for Teaching and Learning in Community College/Higher Education3
EDDL 7220Higher Education Organization, Governance, and Policy 3
EDDL 7320Assessment and Data Driven Decision-Making in Community Colleges/Higher Education 3
EDUC 7420Career and Technical Education Leadership in Community College3
Culminating Experience (12)12
Total Units60

Culminating Experience (12 units)

Qualifying Exam (0)
EDDL 7980EdD Qualifying Exam0
Dissertation (3)
EDDL 7804Dissertation 3
Total Units3