Dec 11, 2023  
2022-2023 Academic Catalog 
2022-2023 Academic Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Educational Leadership Ed.D.

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Debra Bukko, Ed.D., Program Director

Office: Demergasso-Bava Hall - DBH 351
Phone: (209) 664-6564

The College of Education offers a cohort-driven program in educational leadership, which leads to the Doctorate of Education (Ed.D.) degree.  Students interested in the Ed.D. degree program may obtain general information from the program office at (209) 664-6564 (DBH 351) or the Graduate School (209) 667-3129 (MSR 120).

The doctorate has specializations in PreK-12 and Community College Leadership that focus specifically on the educational needs in the six counties served by the university. The mission of the program is to prepare visionary leaders and faculty who serve all students, families, and community members within the Central Valley and Sierra Foothills by:

  • Leading complex educational organizations ethically and effectively, utilizing comprehensive leadership skills to create coherent systems that are socially responsive;
  • Engaging in collaborative inquiry, using equity frameworks to research and understand problems of practice that perpetuate structural inequities;
  • Transforming educational organizations through creative, informed, inclusive, and multi-disciplinary solutions that promote community empowerment and revitalization;
  • Practicing critical self-reflection that contributes to the refinement of an equity-minded leadership philosophy that advocates for social justice;
  • Developing awareness of psychological well-being and self-care practices in professional and personal roles.

Specializations within the Ed.D. Program

1.  PreK-12 Leadership (PreK-12)

2.  Community College Leadership (CC)

Examples of Career Opportunities


  • mentor and professional development teachers
  • principals
  • coordinators
  • directors
  • assistant superintendents
  • associate superintendents
  • deputy superintendents
  • superintendents

Community College

  • instructors
  • professors
  • coordinators
  • directors
  • assistant deans
  • associate deans
  • deans
  • assistant vice presidents
  • associate vice presidents
  • presidents
  • assistant chancellors
  • associate chancellors
  • chancellors

Admission Requirements

The doctoral program requires the following of all applicants for admission to the doctoral program:

  1. The applicant holds an earned baccalaureate degree and earned master’s degree from accredited institution(s) of higher education.
  2. The applicant has attained a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 in graduate courses completed.
  3. The applicant was in good standing at the last institution of higher education attended.
  4. The applicant has demonstrated sufficient preparation for, experiences in, and potential for educational leadership to benefit from the program including:
  • successful experience in school, postsecondary, community, and/or policy leadership;
  • problem-solving ability, technology proficiency, excellent writing skills;
  • interest in critically assessing and improving current educational policies and practices.

Evidence considered in the admission process shall include but is not be limited to:

  1. Three letters of recommendation attesting to the leadership ability and scholarship of the candidate;
  2. A written statement of purpose attesting to the motives for applying to the program, short-term and long-term professional goals, and personal background and qualifications that provide adequate preparation for doctoral studies.  The statement of purpose should also include evidence of understanding the challenges facing the public schools or community colleges in California.
  3. A statement of support from the applicant’s employer, indicating support for the candidate’s doctoral studies.
  4. A personal interview (required of those applicants who have been identified as semi-finalists).

Program Requirements

The program of study is comprised of 60 semester units.  It is designed for working professionals and includes 48 units of core and specialization courses, and 12 units of dissertation credits.  Additional requirements include a written qualifying examination prior to the student’s advancement to candidacy; oral dissertation proposal examination to evaluate the candidate’s readiness to proceed to dissertation research; a dissertation that is a product of systematic, rigorous research on a significant educational issue; and final examination that is an oral defense of the candidate’s dissertation.  Students must earn a grade point average of 3.0 or better in the coursework taken to satisfy the requirements for the degree.


(9 units)

Choose one of the following two specializations:


(12 units)

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