Aug 21, 2018  
2015-2016 Graduate Catalog 
2015-2016 Graduate Catalog

Education: Urban Education, Leadership, and Policy Studies (EdD, PhD)

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EdD and PhD students in urban education share a common learning experience in a rigorous core curriculum that reflects the state-of-the-art in the field of K-12 urban education, leadership and policy studies. All students will develop advanced research skills and discipline-based theoretical knowledge through a set of concentration courses and electives that they customize to meet their individual learning needs. Coursework for the Urban Education Program begins in the summer and consists of 3 summers and 4 academic years. During the first two summer sessions, students attend two courses (one in the morning, one in the afternoon), Monday through Thursday for three weeks. These courses are typically scheduled for mid-July to early August. During the academic year, for the first two years, students typically attend two evening classes in the spring and fall, and one integrative seminar each fall. The integrative seminars meet 4 Saturdays out of the semester. In the remaining two years, students enroll in various seminars designed to assist them with designing and conducting their dissertation research. The entire program consists of sixty-five credits of work beyond a master’s degree. Students who enter with a master’s degree in an equivalent discipline may be considered for advanced graduate standing on a case-by-case basis. Alternatively, if a student is ineligible for advanced standing, the student may transfer up to 6 credits of coursework taken beyond the master’s level that has not contributed toward the award of any other degree.

Course Sequence

Concentration Areas

In the Spring of Year II, students will begin to pursue a concentration in an area of study, which entails taking two courses in their chosen concentration area. The concentration areas will allow EdD and PhD students to specialize in the following areas of expertise, preparing them for the following careers:

Administration and Leadership

This concentration is designed for students who aspire to positions in educational administration at the public school, district, state, national levels and who are concerned with issues such as closing learning gaps and raising student achievement, public school policy, creating and sustaining effective leadership, and leading high performance learning organizations.

Teaching, Learning, and Leadership

This concentration is designed to develop leaders who are interested in affecting change in learning environments for children, youth, and adults in urban education settings. Leaders who are interested in pedagogical innovation; curricular trends and policy; psychological and sociological perspectives on cognition and learning; after-school, informal, on-line, and community-based learning; and organizational change from a teaching and learning perspective will likely choose this concentration. TLL will prepare students for careers as teacher leaders, department heads, assistant principals of curriculum and instruction, district-wide administrators, out-of-school time directors, curriculum-development agencies, curriculum-policy researchers, and school advocates.

Evaluation and Applied Research Measurement

Students who choose this concentration study the rigorous methodologies appropriate for educational assessment, instrument development, program evaluation, and data analysis in a wide range of educational settings. The program prepares graduates both to assume leadership roles in assessment and evaluation practice and to pursue careers as college professors teaching measurement and evaluation.

International and Comparative Education

This concentration is designed to develop leaders concerned with global urban education issues and the interrelationships between our local and global educational contexts. The ICE concentration will likely appeal to leaders seeking to expand their work to tackle international and transnational problems that relate to urban education. The ICE concentration prepares students considering careers in: academic and research institutions both in the US and internationally; policy-oriented leadership roles in a variety of institutions with educational mandates, including international non-governmental organizations, private foundations and United Nations-affiliated agencies; US K-12 schools working with, for instance, immigrant students, multi-ethnic communities and global citizenship education, and; leadership positions in K-12 schools and ministries of education outside the US.

Program Benchmarks and Dissertation

In addition to coursework, students in the Urban Education program must successfully complete 4 major benchmarks:

  1. Comprehensive assessment
  2. Qualifying paper
  3. Dissertation proposal and hearing
  4. Dissertation and defense

The dissertation is designed to demonstrate students’ ability to analyze a problem in urban education extensively and to assess its implications for practice or policy. The problem involves a specific issue or policy, which is of critical concern in urban education. The problem can be drawn from organizational or administrative practice, theories and practices regarding learning and teaching, historical or cultural issues, or public policy at the state, regional, or national level.

Admission Requirements

Requirements include the submission of an admission portfolio consisting of:

  • a completed application for admission;
  • an essay (about 1,500 words long) describing the applicant’s background and career aspirations, with an emphasis on the kinds of changes in elementary or secondary education he or she is interested in bringing about. The essay must include a description of a critical incident (involving change) in which the applicant took part, explaining his or her role in it. The essay ought to describe the applicant’s potential area of research interest and how this relates to their past experience or future professional commitments.
  • a resume or curriculum vitae;
  • three letters, including one from an employer and at least one from a colleague, describing and giving evidence of the applicant’s potential as an initiator and implementer of education reform and assessing the applicant’s level of motivation for and commitment to a leadership role in elementary or secondary education;
  • official transcripts of all previous academic work, graduate and undergraduate, demonstrating particularly that the applicant has earned a master’s degree or equivalent from a college or university of recognized standing.

Optionally, applicants may submit test scores from the Miller Analogies Test (MAT) or the General Test of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).

The admissions committee will interview all finalists before making its recommendations for acceptance to the program. Completed applications must reach the University’s Office of Graduate Admissions by March 15.

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