Ed.D. Option

Principal Ed.D.

The overall design of the principal preparation program* enables candidates to become transformational leaders through carefully constructed opportunities to build their knowledge base, practice skills, implement skills in work-embedded field-based/clinical settings, and debrief using a transformational leadership/implementation science framework.

The layout of the program has been heavily influenced by the work of the Kentucky Continuum for Principal Preparation and Development. Thus, early in the program students complete the required coursework and anchor assessments for principal licensure in Kentucky (33 credits). After a successful capstone defense of the principalship requirements candidates enter the research core of the program (12 credits) leading to the dissertation phase. This can be seen in the figure below. 

Principal Picture

Curriculum Requirements

The principal preparation program requires successful completion of 45 credit hours of post-master’s graduate coursework. The 45 credit hours include coursework in educational leadership and principal specialization and research methods. In addition to courses described, a minimum of 4 credit hours of post-qualifying examination coursework in EDL 767, Dissertation Residency Credit, are spread over two academic semesters. Upon admission to the Ed.D. program, each candidate is assigned an advisor. The candidate must meet with her or his advisor during the first semester to develop a curriculum contract that is reviewed annually as part of the continuous assessment plan.

Leadership and Principal Core. A total of 33 credit hours constitute the leadership and principal core. Most courses in this area include approximately 60 clock hours of required field/clinical practice during which candidates observe, participate in, or lead school-based activities. Required courses:

  • EDL 703, Leading Organizational Change
  • EDL 704, Politics of Educational Leadership
  • EDL 706, Leadership for Learning-Centered Schools I
  • EDL 707, Leadership for Learning-Centered Schools II
  • EDL 708, Organizational Learning in P12 Schools
  • EDL 625, School Safety and Discipline Leadership
  • EDL 627, School Finance and Support Services
  • EDL 628, School Law and Ethics
  • EDL 634, Securing and Developing Staff
  • EDL 646, Leadership for School-Family-Community Engagement
  • EDL 661, School Technology Leadership

Research methodology core. A total of 12 credit hours constitute the research methods core. Successful completion of a graduate-level basic statistics course is a prerequisite for admission to the program to assure candidates have background knowledge to analyze P-12 school and student data the first semester of program.

  • EDL 751, Foundations of Inquiry
  • EDL 771, Seminar in Leadership: Action Research I
  • EDL 771, Seminar in Leadership: Action Research II
  • EDL 792, Research in Educational Leadership
     

Sample Course Sequence

Year 1 – Summer
EDL 771, Seminar in Leadership: Action Research I
Year 1 – Fall
EDL 706, Leadership for Learning-Centered Schools I
EDL 751, Foundations of Inquiry
Year 1 – Spring
EDL 661, School Technology Leadership
EDL 707, Leadership for Learning-Centered Schools II
Year 1 – Summer
EDL 627, School Finance and Support Services
EDL 628, School Law and Ethics

Year 2 – Fall
EDL 634, Securing and Developing Staff
EDL 646, Leadership for School-Family-Community Engagement
Year 2 – Spring
EDL 625, School Safety and Discipline Leadership
EDL 708, Organizational Learning in P12 Schools

Defense of Capstone Project (Level 1 Coursework Complete)

Year 2 – Summer
EDL 703, Leading Organizational Change
EDL 704, Politics of Educational Leadership

Final Review (Level 2 Coursework Complete)

Year 3 – Fall
EDL 771, Seminar in Leadership: Action Research II
Year 3 – Spring
EDL 792, Research in Educational Leadership

Qualifying Examination

Year 4 – Fall
EDL 767, Dissertation Residency Credit

Year 4 – Spring
EDL 767, Dissertation Residency Credit

Oral Examination (Defense of three-chapter dissertation)


Exit Requirements

The principal preparation program leads to certification for school principal, all grades, by the Education Professional Standards Board (EPSB). Successful candidates will complete the following exit requirements, which are detailed in the continuous assessment section of this proposal.

  • completion of the six anchor assessments as broadly defined by the Continuum;
  • a capstone project at the end of Level I coursework, defended before a panel of UK faculty and practicing Kentucky school leaders;
  • an ePortfolio defense at the end of Level II coursework;
  • at least three hundred clock-hours of field/clinical experiences;
  • a three-chapter dissertation that embeds the capstone project.