a student earning a doctor of educational leadership

Getting a Doctorate in Educational Leadership

More than ever, there is a demand for educational professionals, including teachers, administrators, professors, and principals. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this field is expected to grow 8% between 2020 and 2030. Teachers need the support of skilled school administrators so that they can focus on providing quality education to their students. School administrators allow teachers to focus on teaching while promoting accountability, implementing beneficial policies, as well as overseeing school operations. But how do school administrators gain the skills they need to successfully lead a school? The answer lies in the pursuit of a Doctorate in Educational Leadership.

What is a Doctorate in Educational Leadership?
A doctorate in Educational Leadership is a terminal degree that trains students to fulfill roles as leaders, in a variety of educational settings. With a Doctorate in Education (Ed.D.), focused on leadership, graduates leave qualified to fill administrative positions in elementary, secondary, and post-secondary institutions.

Doctorate in Educational Leadership Curriculum
An Ed.D. is a highly specialized degree path that prepares students to work as public and private educational leaders, policymakers, and researchers. The curriculum of an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership reflects this goal. Classes that students can expect to take in a Doctorate in Educational Leadership program include:

  • Constitutional Law
  • Organizational Management
  • Program Evaluation
  • Curricula Theory
  • Policy
  • Quantitative and Qualitative Research

Additionally, students pursuing an Ed.D. degree are required to complete a comprehensive exam, prepare a dissertation, and present a dissertation defense prior to completing their program of study.

Educational Leadership Career Paths
Much like a Ph.D., an Ed.D. can prepare students for positions in academia. However, a Doctorate in Educational Leadership offers graduates a wider variety of jobs, in addition to the possibility of a teaching position. Here are just a few examples of potential career paths open to those who earn a Doctorate in Educational Leadership:

  • School Principal
  • Admissions Director
  • Provost
  • Academic Dean
  • Curriculum Specialist
  • Education Researcher
  • Public Policy Consultant

Expanding Career Opportunities with an 092 Certificate
A Doctorate in Educational Leadership can lead to a variety of career paths. However, if a career as a principal or special education director is of interest, there are additional requirements to fulfill. Students who dream of leading a team of school administrators should consider earning an 092 Certificate concurrently with their doctorate. In the state of Connecticut, school administrators are required to hold a master’s degree and to have passed the Connecticut Administrator Test (CAT). They must also earn one of two administrative certificates for school administrators. These include the Intermediate Administration or Supervision Certificate (092) or the Superintendent of Schools Certificate. (Those interested in becoming a superintendent must first earn their 092 Certification and gain experience as an intermediate administrator.)

An 092 Certificate prepares graduates to lead PreK-12 schools as a principal, assistant principal, departmental head, and more. The program provides candidates with the skills they need to assess and develop curriculum, supervise teaching staff, evaluate school budgets, and more. With these skills, graduates who hold an 092 Certificate stand out among their peers and have far greater career opportunities.

Is an Ed.D. Different from a Ph.D.?
While an Ed.D. and a Ph.D. are both terminal, academic degrees, they differ in several ways. For example, a Ph.D. is well suited for those who wish to pursue research or professorial careers. Graduates with a Ph.D. may take jobs educating future teachers, conducting research that adds to the field’s theoretical knowledge base. Additionally, a Ph.D. may take 4 to 6 years to complete.

By comparison, an Ed.D. trains students, many of whom are already working teachers, for careers as educational leaders. In the 3 to 4 years this program takes to complete, students in an Ed.D. are trained on topics such as urban leadership, education leadership, and public school finance. These courses set students up for a career as organizational leaders, rather than as academics.

How Long Does a Doctorate in Educational Leadership Take?
Unlike some other doctoral programs, an Ed.D. can be completed in an expedited and convenient way, online. In an online Ed.D. program, students can complete a doctorate in as few as three and a half years if they pursue their studies full time. At University of Bridgeport, the online Ed.D. program includes 62 credits, 12 of which are areas of specialization, and two, one-week residencies. This program offers students the opportunity to fast-track their careers while taking classes in a flexible environment.

Education is the cornerstone on which society is built, and no school can survive without talented and dedicated leaders. This is where you’ll come in. With a Doctorate in Educational Leadership, you’ll have the skills you need to direct schools and school districts, conduct research, set successful curriculum plans, and lead a cohesive faculty team. Earning a degree in Educational Leadership is the first step towards becoming an indispensable resource to students, teachers, and administration alike.

Is a career in Educational Leadership in your future? Learn more about University of Bridgeport’s Ed.D. in Educational Leadership, here!