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University Bulletin
Graduate Degree Programs

Educational Leadership (EDLDR)

Program Home Page

DANA MITRA, Director of Graduate Studies
302A Rackley Building
814-863-7020

Degrees Conferred:

Ph.D., D.Ed., M.Ed.

 

The Graduate Faculty

 

The Program

Graduate work in the Educational Leadership program encompasses two major career paths. The first path focuses on those who want to engage in a wide variety of leadership roles within and directly affecting schools and districts. These roles include, but are not limited to teacher leadership, instructional leadership, principal leadership, and district-level leadership. This path may also lead to certification and/or letters of endorsement in supervision, the principalship or the superintendency. The second path focuses on those who want to exercise leadership roles in educational policy arenas and/or engage in educational research. Possible roles include: intermediate unit officials, state and federal agency administrators and staff, professors of educational administration, and research and development personnel. The principalship certification is also available at Penn State Harrisburg. The teacher leadership path and principal certification may also be pursued in the online M.Ed.

The M.Ed. in Educational Leadership is designed for students who wish to pursue leadership positions in educational organizations.

Admission Requirements

Admission requirements listed here are in addition to requirements stated in the GENERAL INFORMATION section of the Graduate Bulletin. Applicants apply for admission to the program via the Graduate School application for admission.

The Educational Leadership program requires all graduate program applicants to submit three letters of recommendation, official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended, a brief personal statement of intent, and a current resume or CV. Applicants must present evidence of at least a 3.0 grade-point average in the last two years of undergraduate work. A grade-point average of 3.50 in prior graduate work is required of those desiring admission to enter a doctoral program. The best-qualified students will be accepted up to the number of spaces available. Special backgrounds and experiences may allow for conditional admission to those not meeting stated criteria, at the discretion of the program.

Applicants are required to submit a writing sample. For master’s degree applicants, this should be a reflection paper. Doctoral Degree students should submit a writing sample that reviews and critiques an academic article related to education leadership or education policy that affects education leaders.

Official scores from the GRE, the Miller Analogy Test, or the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) from within the last 5 years are required.

Master's Degree Requirements

Requirements listed here are in addition to requirements stated in the DEGREE REQUIREMENTS section of the Graduate Bulletin.

All candidates for the M.Ed. degree will complete a minimum of 30 credits, with at least 18 credits at the 500 or 800 level, and at least 6 credits at the 500 level. M.Ed. students also must complete a capstone project as described below.

Certification for various public school administrative positions requires additional graduate work beyond the master's degree and such requirements as specified on the program web page.

The three designated emphases for this M.Ed. are Teacher Leadership, School Leadership, or a "General" M.Ed.:

Teacher Leadership(online)

School Leadership(online)

General M.Ed.(residential)

EDLDR 540 Technology Applications in Educational Leadership (3 cr)

EDLDR 540 Technical Applications in Educational Leadership (3 cr)

18 credits of Educational Leadership coursework required, with a total of 30 credits, inclusive of EDLDR 596. Students may select their 18 credits of EDLDR courses from the following: EDLDR 480, 530, 540, 559, 560, 576, 579 or 568.
This emphasis is created and defined through the interaction of student and adviser based on the student’s career path.

EDLDR 559 School Improvement (3 cr)

EDLDR 559  School Improvement (3 cr)

EDLDR 560 Principles of Instructional Supervision (3 cr)

EDLDR 560 Principles of Instructional Supervision (3 cr)

 

EDLDR 551 Curriculum Design: Theory and Practice (3 cr)

EDLDR 551 Curriculum Design: Theory and Practice (3 cr)

 

C I 501 Teaching as Inquiry (3 cr)

EDLDR 480 Introduction to Educational Leadership (3 cr)

 

EDLDR 801 Introduction to Teacher Leadership (3 cr)

EDLDR 530  Leadership for Inclusive Education (3 cr)

 

EDLDR 802 How Schools Work (3 cr)

EDLDR 568 The Principalship (3 cr)

 

EDLDR 563 Designing Staff Development Programs (3 cr)

EDLDR 576 The Law and Education (3 cr)

 

ADTED 505 The Teaching of Adults (3 cr) OR EDPSY 421 Learning Processes in Relation to Educational Priorities (3 cr)

EDLDR 579 Financial Management for Schools (3 cr)

 

EDLDR 894A Capstone Inquiry Course (3 cr)

EDLDR 595  Internship (3 cr)

EDLDR 596 Masters Paper (3 cr)

The final courses in all three emphases (EDLDR 894A, EDLDR 595 and EDLDR 596) are project-based courses that represent the culmination of academic work toward the M.Ed. degree. Course requirements involve the development of a final capstone project focused on evaluation, analysis, or application of concepts first introduced and developed over the course of the student’s M.Ed. program. The project should be planned in coordination with an EDLDR faculty member who agrees to serve as the student’s adviser for this project and must reflect an appropriate degree of graduate-level scholarship, as determined by the adviser.

Doctoral Degree Requirements

Requirements listed here are in addition to requirements stated in the DEGREE REQUIREMENTS section of the Graduate Bulletin.

Expectations of candidates for both the D.Ed. and Ph.D. are high in the field of research competence and require the ability to identify and conceptualize a research problem for the thesis. The D.Ed. is more appropriate for those with career goals in administration and policy making. The Ph.D. is more appropriate for those with career goals in research and scholarship.

A minimum of 36 credits is required for the Ph.D.:

  • EDLDR Course Work (15 cr.): A minimum of 15 credits chosen in conjunction with the student’s academic adviser from a list of areas of concentration and courses that have been approved by the program to fulfill this requirement.
  • Research Course Requirements (12 cr.):
    • A 3-credit course with statistical focus up to multivariate inference
    • A 3-credit course with focus on qualitative research methods
    • A 3-credit advanced course in either of the above areas (including course work in Mixed Methods)
    • EDLDR 585 Research Design
  • Supporting Field (9 cr.): A minimum of 9 credits selected from outside of the EDLDR program. All supporting field courses should be at the 500-level or above; however, appropriate 400-level courses may be approved by the adviser. As noted above, a student may choose to have research as a supporting field and substitute additional research courses to fulfill this requirement.

Ph.D. students may not enroll in more than 6 credits of independent study.

A minimum of 90 credits is required for the D.Ed., of which at least 30 credits must be earned in residence at University Park campus. A maximum of 30 credits from a completed master’s degree earned at an institution that does not grant a doctorate in Higher Education may be accepted towards this minimum, subject to limitations listed in the Transfer Credit section of the Doctoral Degrees Bulletin page. A maximum of 60 credits beyond the baccalaureate may be accepted towards this minimum, subject to limitations listed in the Transfer Credit section of the Doctoral Degrees Bulletin page.

The 90 required credits must be earned in the following:

  • Major Field (48 cr.): In the Major Field Area, D.Ed. students are required to take a minimum of 48 credits in Educational Leadership courses and courses related to the graduate major field. These courses should be selected in consultation with the student’s adviser from a list of areas of concentration and courses that have been approved by the program to fulfill this requirement. If approved, transfer credits may be used to fulfill a portion of this requirement.
  • Minor or General Studies Group (15 cr.): A graduate minor can be taken in any approved graduate degree program offered at Penn State, or in one of the approved stand-alone minors. A general studies group may include up to 6 credits taken as part of previous master’s degree. These courses must be taken outside the EDLDR program. Selection of these courses should be done in close consultation with the student’s academic adviser.
  • Special Education Focused Course (3 cr.): a minimum of 3 credits concerning special education issues in a course approved by the program to fulfill this requirement.
  • Research (9 cr.):
    • 3 credits of quantitative research
    • 3 credits of qualitative research
    • 3 credits of research design or advanced research methods
  • Dissertation Research (15 cr.): EDLDR 600 or 610.

Doctoral students must pass a candidacy examination, a comprehensive written and oral examination, and a final oral examination (the dissertation defense). To earn the Ph.D. or the D.Ed. degree, doctoral students must also write a dissertation that is accepted by the doctoral committee, the head of the graduate program, and the Graduate School.

Dual-Title Ph.D., D.Ed., and M.Ed. in Comparative and International Education

Admission Requirements

Students must apply and be admitted to the graduate program in Higher Education and The Graduate School before they can apply for admission to the dual-title degree program. After admission to their primary program, students must apply for admission to and meet the admissions requirements of the Comparative and International Education dual-title program. Refer to the Admission Requirements section of the Comparative and International Education Bulletin page. Doctoral students must be admitted into the dual-title degree program in Comparative and International Education prior to obtaining candidacy in their primary graduate program.

Degree Requirements

To qualify for the dual-title degree, students must satisfy the degree requirements for the degree they are enrolled in Higher Education, listed above. In addition, students must complete the degree requirements for the dual-title in Comparative and International Education, listed on the Comparative and International Education Bulletin page. Some courses may satisfy both Higher Education and Comparative and International Education degree requirements. Final course selection must be approved by the student's doctoral committee.

The candidacy examination committee for the dual-title Ph.D. degree will be composed of Graduate Faculty from Higher Education and must include at least one Graduate Faculty member from the Comparative and International Education program. Faculty members who hold appointments in both programs’ Graduate Faculty may serve in a combined role. There will be a single candidacy examination, containing elements of both Higher Education and Comparative and International Education. Dual-title graduate degree students may require an additional semester to fulfill requirements for both areas of study and, therefore, the candidacy examination may be delayed one semester beyond the normal period allowable.

In addition to the general Graduate Council requirements for doctoral committees, the doctoral committee of a Higher Education and Comparative and International Education dual-title Ph.D. student must include at least one member of the Comparative and International Education Graduate Faculty. Faculty members who hold appointments in both programs’ Graduate Faculty may serve in a combined role. If the chair of the doctoral committee is not also a member of the Graduate Faculty in Comparative and International Education, the member of the committee representing Comparative and International Education must be appointed as co-chair. The Comparative and International Education representative on the student’s doctoral committee will develop questions for and participate in the evaluation of the comprehensive examination.

Students in the dual-title program are required to write and orally defend a dissertation on a topic that is approved in advance by their doctoral committee and reflects their original research and education in Higher Education and Comparative and International Education. Upon completion of the doctoral dissertation, the candidate must pass a final oral examination (the dissertation defense) to earn the Ph.D. degree. The dissertation must be accepted by the doctoral committee, the head of the graduate program, and the Graduate School.

Joint Degree Program between Penn State Law (J.D.) and the Educational Leadership Program (M.Ed., D.Ed., and Ph.D.)

Penn State Law (PSL) and the Educational Leadership (EDLDR) Program offer a joint degree program leading to a Juris Doctor (J.D.); and either a Master of Education (M.Ed), a Doctor of Education (D.Ed) or a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Educational Leadership.

Admission Requirements

Applicants to the joint degree program must apply and be admitted first to Penn State Law, and subsequently to the Educational Leadership graduate program. Admissions requirements and applications for admission for Penn State Law are listed in the J.D. Admissions section of the Penn State Law website. The admission requirements for the Educational Leadership graduate program are listed above. When applying to the Educational Leadership graduate program, applicants must include two letters of recommendation from Penn State Law faculty members and a career statement. Applicants to the joint degree program may submit LSAT scores instead of GRE scores. Students must be admitted to the program prior to taking the first course they intend to count towards the graduate degree.

Residency

Students will normally spend four semesters in residence at the Law School and as many additional semesters in residence as needed to complete the additional requirements for the pertinent EDLDR degree. Ph.D. candidates must arrange the sequence of semesters to ensure that they are in residence as full-time students in the EDLDR program for at least two consecutive semesters (Fall-Spring or Spring-Fall) excluding summer in a single twelve-month period.

Degree Requirements

Students must fulfill all requirements for each degree in order to be awarded that degree, subject to the double-counting of credits as outlined below. Degree requirements for the J.D. program are listed on the Penn State Law website. Degree requirements for the Ph.D., D.Ed., and M.Ed. degrees are listed above.

PSL: A maximum of twelve credits for EDLDR course work may be double-counted for credit toward the J.D. degree at PSL. Students must obtain a grade satisfactory to PSL for the course work to be credited toward the J.D. degree. The following EDLDR courses may qualify for credit in PSL: (1) EDLDR 533 (The Politics of Local School Districts; (2) EDLDR 565 (Personnel Management and Contract Administration); (3) EDLDR 568 (The Principalship); (4) EDLDR 569 (Decision Making in Educational Organizations); (5) EDLDR 573 (Public School Finance); (6) EDLDR 576 (The Law and Education); and (7) EDLDR 577 (The Law and Ethical Decision Making).

EDLDR: The courses that may be double-counted will be determined by the student’s degree program. Normally a maximum of twelve credits of PSL course work will be counted for credit for the minimum requirements for a master’s degree, subject to approval by the student’s advisory committee. Normally, a maximum of 30 credits from a master’s degree program will be counted for credit for the minimum requirements for a Ph.D. or D.Ed. degree.

Sequence: The sequence of courses will be determined by the students and their advisers.

Recommended Program of Study and Advising: All students in the program will have two advisers, one from PSL and one from EDLDR. Periodic interaction between the two advisers is encouraged.

Tuition: Students will be charged the applicable PSL tuition to cover the J.D. program and the applicable graduate tuition to cover the EDLDR degree program. PSL tuition will be paid for the semesters in which the student is registered for PSL courses, and graduate tuition will be paid for the semesters in which the student is registered for graduate courses. A student may take up to one course (3 credit hours) per semester in the program where the student is not primarily registered without any change in tuition, but must pay additional tuition to the program that the student is not primarily registered if he or she wishes to take additional course work pursuant to that program during the semester.

Financial Aid and Assistantships: Decisions on financial aid and assistantships will be made by each school according to that school’s procedures.

Fulfillment of Degree Requirements and Graduation: All courses in one program that will count toward meeting the requirements of the other program must be completed before the awarding of either degree. If students accepted into the joint degree program are unable to complete the J.D. degree, they are still eligible to receive the EDLDR degree if all EDLDR degree requirements have been satisfied.

Student Aid

Graduate assistantships available to students in this program and other forms of student aid are described in the STUDENT AID section of the Graduate Bulletin. Students on graduate assistantships must adhere to the course load limits set forth in the Graduate Bulletin.

Courses

Graduate courses carry numbers from 500 to 699 and 800 to 899. Advanced undergraduate courses numbered between 400 and 499 may be used to meet some graduate degree requirements when taken by graduate students. Courses below the 400 level may not. A graduate student may register for or audit these courses in order to make up deficiencies or to fill in gaps in previous education but not to meet requirements for an advanced degree.

 

Last Revised by the Department: Spring Semester 2017

Blue Sheet Item #: 45-06-000

Review Date: 4/4/17

Faculty linked: 8/14/14

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