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Educational Studies, Specialization in Educational Leadership & Higher Education, EdD

Class Adult

Prepare for Leadership in Professional Practice

Program Description

This fully online Ed.D. program in educational leadership is designed to prepare you for professional practice and to help you develop the leadership and analytical skills needed to confront difficult problems of practice in P-20 education, higher education, community colleges, or other educational institutions. This program is for you if you have a master's degree and aspire to hold an administrative position other than P-12 administration.

The degree is ideal if you intend to pursue or continue a career as a practicing administrator in an education or related organization. The program benefits practitioners working in P-20 educational settings, higher education, community colleges or other education related organizations throughout the world.

Special Accreditation

In addition to the Higher Learning Commission accreditation carried by all University of Nebraska campuses, this education program is also accredited by:

  • The Teacher Education Accrediting Council
  • Nebraska Department of Education

Nebraska Department of Education logo, TEAC logo

Delivery Format

Home Campus: University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Method of Delivery: 100% Online - what's this?Program can be completed fully at a distance. Courses are asynchronous, meaning students and instructor may access content at any time and do not have to be connected to the Internet at the same time. If your program includes an internship or practicum, experiences may be completed in the student's local area.

All online courses are accessed via the Internet and use a learning management system. Technology requirements may vary by program and course, but all campuses have basic recommended requirements. High-speed Internet is required.

Interaction with professors and other students may include:

  • E-mail
  • Online discussion boards
  • Phone or video conferencing
  • Other forms of electronic and print communication

Supplemental materials for some courses may include:

  • Printed material and scanned documents
  • Digital resources accessed through university libraries
  • Videos accessed via the Internet, CDs or DVDs
  • Other media

To be successful, students taking online classes should be reasonably comfortable using a computer and the Internet. Learn more about online student tips for success.

Academic Year 2015 - 2016

Tuition rates are effective for the academic year listed. Tuition is subject to change.

Nebraska Resident:

 TuitionDistance Ed. FeeTechnology FeeLibrary FeeTotal
Per credit hour$325.50$25.00$11.00$4.00$365.50
3 credit hour$976.50$75.00$33.00$12.00$1,096.50


 TuitionDistance Ed. FeeTechnology FeeLibrary FeeTotal
Per credit hour$700.00$25.00$11.00$4.00$740.00
3 credit hour$2,100.00$75.00$33.00$12.00$2,220.00

Note: In addition to the costs outlined above, students will be assessed a $20.00 registration fee each semester they enroll in courses.

This fully online EdD degree is focused on helping you develop leadership and analytical skills used to confront difficult problems of practice. It requires a minimum of minimum of 96 credit hours beyond bachelor’s degree, which includes 36 hours of a master’s degree, 12 hours of dissertation, 9 hours of research tools, 3 common doctoral hours, and 24-36 hours of electives.

You and your adviser will develop a concentration of elective courses in either educational leadership or higher education. If you pursue the community college leadership certificate in conjunction with the Ed.D. program you will complete 15 credit hours of courses as required for the certificate, and have 9-21 credit hours of electives.

Components of the Ph.D. with a specialization in Educational Leadership and Higher Education include:

Master's Degree   36 credit hours
Research/Statistics Courses   15 credit hours (assuming one research course completed with your master's degree) 
Dissertation   12 credit hours 
EDAD Master's Core (if not already completed) EDAD 830
EDAD 833 or 922
EDAD 837 or 925
EDAD 981 
 0-12 credit hours
Common Doctoral Course EDAD 966 3 credit hours
Introduction to Doctoral Study in Educational Administration  EDAD 993  1 credit hour
Electives  Within the elective hours, students and advisors develop a concentration of courses in either educational leadership or higher education. Students who pursue the community college leadership certificate in conjunction with the Ed.D. complete 15 credit hours of courses as required for the certificate, leaving 9-21 credit hours of electives. Elective courses to develop a concentration in educational leadership or higher education can be selected from the electives listed below. 27-42 credit hours
Course Name
Course #
Core Courses

Administrative Theory

EDAD 830
Introduction to classic and contemporary administrative theory as applied to educational organizations. The theoretical nature of the course content is relevant to those with an interest in a broad variety of educational institutions. General organizational theory, organizational models, historical schools of administrative theory, authority, power, motivation, and leadership. Frequently students are involved in studying problems of practice as a means of testing theory.

Educational Finance

EDAD 833
Critical analysis of the political and economic elements impacting K-12 school finance. Content and activities address both building and district level concerns with an emphasis on principles, programs, and trends in school finance.

Education Law

EDAD 837
Evolution, principles, and practice of education law in relation to local, state, and national units of organization. Education law of Nebraska.

Finance in Postsecondary Education

EDAD 922
Federal and state government funding, institutional planning, technological and community influences, human resources finance, budgeting, and sources of financial support as they relate to postsecondary education institutions and agencies.

Law and Higher Education

EDAD 925
Examination of legal principles applicable to postsecondary education institutions. Overview of the legal system, postsecondary education institutions as legal entities, authority for governance and administration, faculty rights and responsibilities, student rights and responsibilities, institutional and personal liability, and other selected issues.

Introduction to Research

EDAD 981
A written report is required. Investigation and analysis of current problems in education administration and supervision.

Introduction to Doctoral Studies in Educational...

EDAD 993

Introduction to Doctoral Studies in Educational Administration

Workshop seminar topics are determined with the student’s adviser.

Leadership in Educational Organizations

EDAD 966
Education administration problems with an analysis of research and literature pertaining to these problems.
Elective Courses

College Students in America

EDAD 842
This course is designed to provide students an understanding of a broad range of facts and issues pertaining to undergraduate college students in America.

Special Topics in Education

EDAD 892

(CYAF 892; EDPS 892; EDUC 892; SPED 892; TTEAC 892) Prereq: EDPS 859 or parallel; EDPS 859 or equivalent Aspects of education not covered elsewhere in the curriculum.

Issues in Educational Politics and Policies

EDAD 907
Analyze and evaluate policy processes involved in making choices; develop understanding, apply and evaluate knowledge about key political concepts and theories to the analysis of educational policy issues; analyze and evaluate issues as points of political conflict between institutional structures with competing interests; understand people as the actors in roles they occupy in the political system.

The Higher Education Environment

EDAD 910
Universities are adaptive, living systems interacting with their environment. Equips participants with the skills required to analyze and assess the environment of higher education institutions. Environment concepts, components and structures are studied together with analysis techniques and methodological approaches to future study.

Educational Leadership in Community Colleges


Issues facing community college leaders and the knowledge, skills, and competencies necessary to provide effective leadership in the community college setting. Case studies of community colleges, combined with the literature on community college leadership, and active learning opportunities to examine current practices and develop a personal philosophy of leadership.

Administrative Issues in Postsecondary Education

EDAD 921
Introduction to contemporary issues in the administration of postsecondary education with a focus on the scholarly literature, a comparative analysis of administration in types of institutions, leadership and planning, institutional and environmental issues, and selected topics.

The Community College

EDAD 923
Designed particularly for those interested in upper secondary and college levels. Junior college movement; relationship of movement to provisions for an adequate educational program; functions of the junior college; legal status and basis for extension of junior college; problems of organization, administration, and curriculum.

Administration of Higher Educational...

EDAD 924

Administration of Higher Educational Instructional Programs

Administration of higher education instructional programs. Exploration of curricular issues including an assessment of program quality and reputation, program reallocations, retrenchments, and expansions.

The American Professoriate: An Administrative...

EDAD 926

The American Professoriate: An Administrative Perspective

Contemporary faculty issues in postsecondary education institutions from the perspective of college administrators. Current status of faculty, assigning faculty workloads and monitoring performance levels, evaluating faculty performance, structuring development activities, and special topics.

Global Issues in Higher Education

EDAD 932
Selected issues affecting global educational policies and practices.

Strategic Planning

EDAD 933
System theory, practice and problem solving. The strategic planning process in higher education. Models of strategic planning.

Teaching and Learning in the Community College

EDAD 934
This course is planned for individuals who hold or aspire to leadership positions in community colleges that focus on or support instructional programs and others who seek to learn more about this particular aspect of America’s comprehensive community colleges. The primary purpose of the course is to develop a comprehensive understanding of five aspects of the community college:
  • Its curricular missions (general education, transfer education, career education, remedial/developmental education, community education);
  • Its faculty and student population;
  • Issues concerning program and curriculum development;
  • Human resources aspects related to instructional programs (full- and part-time faculty ratios, hiring qualified adjunct faculty, faculty development programs);
  • Issues concerning the evaluation of programs and the assessment of student outcomes.

Workforce, Economic, & Community Development

EDAD 935
Workforce, economic, and community development represents a central mission of the community college. Community colleges provide an important means for educating citizens and preparing skilled workers to maintain the civic vitality and economic growth of their communities. EDAD 890 develops the knowledge base and capabilities needed by community college leaders to advance the workforce, economic, and community development mission of the community college. This course explores the workforce, economic and community development role of the community college within the broader context of recent economic, social, and technological changes in communities, society, and the economy and examines the how this role is integrated with, and distinct from, other community college missions. Drawing on both sound theory and best practices, course topics include the strategy, structure, funding, policy, and programs of the community college related to workforce, economic, and community development. Using both conventional and applied/experiential learning activities, students will explore leadership issues related to planning, managing, budgeting, and evaluating the effectiveness of workforce, economic, and community development programs in the community college.

Seminar in College Student Development

EDAD 980
EDAD, EDPS 977. (2-3 cr per sem, max 6) Current knowledge, theories, and practices, and related issues in the area of college student development. Special field experiences and research projects are available to students for additional credit.

Timothy Alvarez, Ph.D., Assistant Vice Chancellor

Miles T. Bryant, Ph.D., UNL Department Chair and Professor

Brent D. Cejda, Ph.D., Professor and Department Chair

Marilyn Grady, Ph.D., Professor

James Griesen, Ph.D., Professor

Deryl Hatch, Assistant Professor

Barbara A. LaCost, Ph.D., Associate Professor

William Nunez, Ph.D., Chief of Staff and Associate to the Chancellor

Richard Torraco, Ph.D., Associate Professor

Guidelines for Admittance

To participate in the online doctoral program the student must have:

  • A master's degree from an accredited institution

Application Checklist

  1. Apply and be admitted to Graduate Studies at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.
  2. Apply and be admitted to the Department of Education Administration. Instructions and forms can be found in the Educational Administration department application packet, and includes:
    • Title page containing your name, address, work and home telephone numbers, your fax number and your e-mail address.
    • Letter of application
    • Department doctoral application form
    • GRE score results (must have been taken within the last five years) 
    • Personal Vita or Resume
    • Statement of goals
    • Three samples of writing or research
    • Three letters of support

Application Deadlines

Fall Semester March 1 
Spring Semester September 1 


Online Worldwide Educational Representative

For More Information Contact:
Cheryl Griffith
Phone: 402.472.5515

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