Accelerated Executive Doctorate in Educational Leadership
Prepare for the highest level of leadership in education with Gwynedd Mercy University. Our new Accelerated Executive Doctorate in Educational Leadership (Ed.D.) gives you the opportunity to develop the skills, knowledge, and capabilities necessary for leadership roles in domestic or international schools, school districts, colleges, universities, and educational non-profits.
Delivered through a combination of online education and periodic residencies, this degree program is designed to offer you unparalleled flexibility and support. You’ll benefit from the guidance and motivation offered by our professors and faculty members, all of whom are leaders in the field. You’ll also have access to a suite of self-evaluation and professional learning tools through our partnership with Teachscape®, including video analysis of lessons you deliver and a comprehensive PreK-12 resource library.
Dissertation Completion Support from Day One
In 2010, surveys conducted by the Council of Graduate Schools found that nearly 60% of doctoral students who complete all their coursework and examinations don’t earn their degree. The reason? The dissertation. This final rite of passage can be a major stumbling block, whether due to a change of advisors, a change of focus, or lack of support.
Gwynedd Mercy University aims to correct this failing by providing dissertation support from day one. Our aim is to see 80% of our students successfully claim the degree for which they’ve worked so hard. As an Ed.D. student at GMercyU, you’ll begin your dissertation early in your program, completing regular reviews and benchmarking sessions with your advisor. We’re one of very few schools in the country to offer this type of support to doctorate students—and one of the only schools to do so online.
Program Structure and Concentrations
This program, lasting two years and eight months, takes place largely through asynchronous online education. You’ll join a cohort of students who will progress through the course with you, ensuring a supportive and challenging learning environment. Lessons you teach will be evaluated using video, either in a one-on-one discussion, through group critique, or self-evaluation.
Students have the opportunity to pursue their Ed.D. with a concentration in a specific area of educational leadership:
- Higher Education
- Pre-K – 12 Schools and School Districts
- Special Education
Three residencies are required over the course of the program. Residencies include one international experience and two at our Gwynedd Valley, PA campus. The international residency travel costs are included in your tuition costs as well as your required textbooks.
Coursework for the Ed.D. in Educational Leadership
This degree program consists of 18 courses: nine foundation courses common to all concentrations, five concentration courses, and four dissertation advisement courses.
Foundation course topics include:
- Educational Policy in Research and Practice in the U.S.
- Organizational Research and Theory Development
- Statistical Analysis, Methods, and Research
- Cross-Cultural Perspectives and Educational Leadership
- The Ethics of Educational Leadership and Policy
- Equity, Equality, and Equal Opportunity
- Advanced Statistical Analysis, Quantitative and Qualitative Research
- Technology, Data, and Program Evaluation
- Global Educational Policy and Practice
You’ll also complete four dissertation advisement courses concurrently with your coursework to ensure you complete your dissertation and graduate on time. The goal is to graduate leaders capable of ethical, reflective executive practice who have an understanding of global trends in education.
Earn Your Superintendent Letter of Eligibility
If you are an administrator or principal with at least three years’ experience, you have the option to earn your Superintendent Letter of Eligibility as part of your EdD program or as a standalone option. The Superintendent Letter of Eligibility is 24 credits as a standalone option, or if you enroll into our EdD program you only enroll in an additional 6 credits and you earn your EdD and Certification for a total of 60 credits.
Earn Your Supervisor of Education Certification
If you possess a Special Education Certification with a Subject Certification, you have the option to earn your Supervisor of Special Education Certification as part of your EdD program or you can enroll in just the Certification as a standalone. The Supervisor of Special Education Certification is 15 credits as a standalone option, or if you enroll into our EdD program you only enroll in an additional 6 credits and you earn your EdD and Certification for a total of 60 credits.
Who Can Apply?
Applicants to the Accelerated Executive Doctorate in Educational Leadership should be able to show evidence of:
- A master’s degree in a field related to the student’s preferred area of concentration from an accredited institution, or comparable accreditation, with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above.
- Official graduate and undergraduate transcripts.
- Satisfactory achievement on the Graduate Record Examination or Miller Analogy Test (waived for applicants with a graduate GPA of 3.5 or greater).
- A resume showing professional experience. A minimum of three years’ relevant experience is recommended.
- Three letters of reference from persons in leadership roles in the applicant’s chosen area of concentration attesting that the applicant has the ability to engage in studies at the doctoral level and to conduct research.
- A personal interview with a member of the graduate faculty representing the applicant’s preferred area of concentration. For applicants where distance is a factor, an electronic medium may be utilized for the interview.
- A written statement of professional goals and topic of research interest.
- A 750-1500 word sample of the applicant’s writing abilities.
- Evidence that international applicants have received a minimum score of 550 (written), 213 (computer), or 79 (internet) on the TOEFL examination.
Applicants who cannot meet one or more of the above requirements are encouraged to contact the Program Director for a review of qualifications. Upon acceptance into the program, the doctoral student must obtain a Child Abuse Clearance, complete a Criminal Background Check, and have a Federal Criminal History clearance.
Earn Your Doctorate
Contact a Gwynedd Mercy University Admissions Counselor now to learn more about our innovative online doctoral degree program in education—and how we can help you join the next generation of education leaders.