Academic Catalog

Education: Literacy (EdD)

Program Description

School of Education Graduate Faculty

The Doctor of Education (EdD) program is a post-master’s interdepartmental degree offered by the School of Education. This program follows a low-residency model, with courses being offered online during the regular academic year and an on-campus component in the summer.

The program serves school practitioners who are primarily interested in preparing for a variety of leadership positions in educational systems, including superintendent, district office, and other areas. 

The program also serves students interested in other related careers in education, including nonprofit and higher-education administration, and other education-related professions. It can be tailored to meet varied professional needs and interests. This degree is for active professionals interested in leadership positions in all fields and levels of education.

Using the educational benefits of collaborative and cooperative learning combined with continued professional association, this program uses a cohort approach for core doctoral classes. Once admitted to the program, you proceed though these cohort courses as part of a group, following a defined schedule and sequence.

Because this is an interdepartmental degree, you will select courses and learning experiences — with the assistance of the director of doctoral programs — from a variety of areas and opportunities in the School of Education, or from other schools within Seattle Pacific University (subject to approval by the School of Education Doctoral Committee).

The specialization/elective component provides students with the opportunity to develop an area of expertise appropriate to professional and academic goals. You may choose from the following areas: Curriculum and Instruction, Digital Educational Leadership, Executive Leadership, or Literacy. As an alternative, you may elect to “self-design” a specialization by partnering with your advisor to select elective coursework that aligns with your goals.

Earning Washington state certification as a superintendentprincipal, or program administrator is possible as an area of specialization while working on the EdD degree. It is also possible to pursue a MEd in Digital Education Leadership or a Digital Educator Certificate while concurrently working on the EdD degree.

Leadership Colloquium and Comprehensive Exams

After approximately one year of coursework, or 24 credits, you may register for EDU 7990 Leadership Colloquium. This requires you to write a scholarly paper and present the paper in a formal setting to the educational community.

Graduate faculty of the School of Education conduct an evaluation of the scholarship and Colloquium. The Leadership Colloquium must be taken before the comprehensive exams.

Upon completion of all courses, you must pass two written comprehensive examinations. These examinations will cover the foundations and research components of the core course requirements. Successful completion of the comprehensive examination advances you to doctoral candidacy.

The Dissertation

Under the direction of a faculty dissertation advisor and committee, you will complete a dissertation project during the final phase of the degree program. The dissertation is designed to integrate theories and tools learned throughout the program, and should demonstrate your mastery of concepts and methods. As a final demonstration of scholarly competence, you will prepare a written dissertation report and conduct an oral presentation/defense.

The dissertation requirement may be fulfilled by a study of an educational problem such as curriculum evaluation, development and evaluation of administrative models, field testing of a diagnostic tool or curricular material, or development and evaluation of educator training models. It may also take the traditional form of a research study. You are encouraged to take additional research courses linked to specific dissertation methods and design.

You will choose problems of practice originating from external practitioners and policymakers, generated through the suggestion and review of faculty members. External practitioners may include school districts, educational service districts (ESDs), universities, state agencies, and research groups.