Academic Catalog 2020-2021

Educational Leadership, Doctor of Education

The Doctor of Education Degree in Educational Leadership (EDLS) at Gardner-Webb University is a 63-credit-hour program designed for potential and practicing educational leaders who wish to develop and refine their leadership skills in complex organizations. Schools are dynamic institutions whose practice is shaped by powerful and influential interests. As a result, the economic, political, social, and technological environment of schools is always changing. The EDLS program is designed to equip candidates with the knowledge, skills, attitudes, values, and beliefs that will enable them to function effectively in leadership roles in this fluctuating environment. The purpose of the EDLS is to develop educational leaders at the central-office level through courses, research, seminars, and internships conducted in an environment based on Christian principles and values.

Mission Statement

The EDLS program will strive to produce leaders for schools and school systems that are better prepared to create school districts as organizations that can learn and change quickly if they are to improve performance. This will be accomplished through innovative, collaborative leadership by applying principles of continuous improvement to maximize human, social, and spiritual potential.

Admission Requirements

Program-specific admission requirements for full acceptance into the Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership are the following:

  1. Minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for all post-baccalaureate work completed;
  2. Minimum of three years of successful administrative/teacher leadership experience, administration preferred;
  3. Current entry-level license in school administration;
  4. Three professional recommendations from persons, at least one of whom must be an administrator or at the central-office or school-board level, who know the applicant’s work as an educator or graduate student;
  5. Satisfactory scores on the GRE or MAT, current within the previous five years OR the completion of a master's degree program from the School of Education at Gardner-Webb University OR completion of an add-on Licensure program at the master's level from the School of Education at Gardner-Webb University; 
  6. Personal essay explaining the applicant’s purpose in wanting to earn a doctoral degree in Educational Leadership; and
  7. Internship Supervision Form and Cohort Form.

Program Goals

  1. The EDLS program in the School of Education will prepare and improve abilities of doctoral candidates in the area of Strategic Leadership leading to Superintendent’s licensure;
  2. The EDLS program in the School of Education will prepare and improve abilities of doctoral candidates in the area of Instructional Leadership leading to Superintendent’s licensure;
  3. The EDLS program in the School of Education will prepare and improve abilities of doctoral candidates in the area of Cultural Leadership leading to Superintendent’s licensure;
  4. The EDLS program in the School of Education will prepare and improve abilities of doctoral candidates in the area of Human Resource Leadership leading to Superintendent’s licensure;
  5. The EDLS program in the School of Education will prepare and improve abilities of doctoral candidates in the area of Managerial Leadership leading to Superintendent’s licensure;
  6. The EDLS program in the School of Education will prepare and improve abilities of doctoral candidates in the area of External Development Leadership leading to Superintendent’s licensure;
  7. The EDLS program in the School of Education will prepare and improve abilities of doctoral candidates in the area of Micro-political Leadership leading to Superintendent’s licensure; and
  8. The EDLS program in the School of Education will prepare and improve abilities of doctoral candidates in the areas of research and data-driven decision-making by completing a dissertation study of choice and approval.

Student Learning Outcomes

      As a result of participating in the EDLS program students will be able to demonstrate:

      1.  cultural competence;

      2.  expert content knowledge;

      3.  evidence-based decision-making;

      4.  skills of reflective and effective practitioners;

      5.  innovative integration of technology; and

      6.  ethical and collaborative leadership skills with all stakeholders.

Course Requirements for Candidates Beginning Prior to Fall 2019 (63 hours)

EDLS 700Theory Development Module

6

EDLS 701Dissertation Coaching Seminar

1

EDLS 702Operational and Managerial Module

6

EDLS 703Dissertation Coaching Seminar

1

EDLS 704Research Module

12

EDLS 705Dissertation Coaching Seminar

1

EDLS 706Reform and Change Module

6

EDLS 707Dissertation Coaching Seminar

1

EDLS 708Organizational Behavior Module

6

EDLS 709Dissertation Coaching Seminar

1

EDLS 710Instructional Module

12

EDLS 711Dissertation Coaching Seminar

1

EDLS 712Dissertation Module I

6

EDLS 713Dissertation Module II

3

EDLS 720 is also required for candidates moving from the EdS to the EdD.

As-needed Continuing Hours

In order to continue to receive University assistance and consultation throughout the dissertation process, the candidate will register for EDLS 714 each semester until the dissertation is successfully defended or until the candidate chooses to graduate with the EdS or withdraw from the program.

EDLS 714Dissertation (Continuing)

1-3

At the dissertation stage, doctoral candidates must maintain continuous enrollment through the semester of their successful defense or until the candidate withdraws from the program. In rare and extenuating circumstances, a candidate may request a leave of absence which must be approved by the candidate’s dissertation chair, program coordinator, the Dean of the School of Education, and the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies. Candidates who are approved for a leave of absence may return to the program with the approval of the program coordinator, the Dean of the School of Education, and the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies. Candidates who break continuous enrollment without a leave of absence will be suspended from the program. If a suspended candidate requests readmission, the program graduate faculty makes the decision on whether to readmit and, if readmitted, the stipulations that will apply. A Dissertation Enrollment Fee equal to the tuition of the missed semesters of continuous enrollment will be applied to the suspended candidate’s account upon return to the program. Candidates approved for a leave of absence will not be subject to the Continuous Enrollment Fee. The time limit of seven calendar years to complete the program from the beginning of the term in which candidates complete their first graduate course toward the degree continues to apply to candidates who are granted a leave of absence or who are suspended.

Course Requirements for Candidates Beginning Fall 2019 or After (63 hours)

EDLS 730Strategic Leadership and School Reform

6

EDLS 732Instructional Leadership: Curriculum and Instruction for Sustaining Academic Acheivement

9

EDLS 734Human Resource Leadership: Organizational Development and Leading Adult Learning

9

EDLS 736Research and Program Evaluation

12

EDLS 738Cultural and Ethical Leadership

6

EDLS 740Managerial Leadership

6

EDUC 731Dissertation Coaching/Clinical Experience Seminar

1

EDUC 733Dissertation Coaching/Clinical Experience Seminar

1

EDUC 735Dissertation Chairing/Clinical Experience Seminar

1

EDUC 737Dissertation Chairing/Clinical Experience Seminar

1

EDUC 739Dissertation Chairing/Clinical Experience Seminar

1

EDUC 741Dissertation Chairing/Clinical Experience Seminar

1

EDUC 742Dissertation Module I

6

EDUC 743Dissertation Module II

3

EDLS 720 is also required for candidates moving from the EdS to the EdD.

As-needed Continuing Hours

In order to continue to receive University assistance and consultation throughout the dissertation process, the candidate will register for EDUC 744 each semester until the dissertation is successfully defended or until the candidate chooses to graduate with the EdS or withdraw from the program.

EDUC 744Dissertation (Continuing)

1-3

At the dissertation stage, doctoral candidates must maintain continuous enrollment through the semester of their successful defense or until the candidate withdraws from the program. In rare and extenuating circumstances, a candidate may request a leave of absence which must be approved by the candidate’s dissertation chair, program coordinator, the Dean of the School of Education, and the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies. Candidates who are approved for a leave of absence may return to the program with the approval of the program coordinator, the Dean of the School of Education, and the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies. Candidates who break continuous enrollment without a leave of absence will be suspended from the program. If a suspended candidate requests readmission, the program graduate faculty makes the decision on whether to readmit and, if readmitted, the stipulations that will apply. A Dissertation Enrollment Fee equal to the tuition of the missed semesters of continuous enrollment will be applied to the suspended candidate’s account upon return to the program. Candidates approved for a leave of absence will not be subject to the Continuous Enrollment Fee. The time limit of seven calendar years to complete the program from the beginning of the term in which candidates complete their first graduate course toward the degree continues to apply to candidates who are granted a leave of absence or who are suspended.

Total Credit Hours: 63