Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership

A 36-month program for educators to develop skills and strategies to become an effective educational leader.

Program Description

The Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership is a 60-credit program designed for graduate level educators who are presently teachers or administrators in a school setting or have regular weekly access to a school and classrooms. The Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership program will provide opportunities for educators to learn and develop skills and strategies in the areas of school management, education law, education finance, and instructional supervision to be an effective leader.

The goal of the program is to develop scholars-practitioners who will learn and practice advanced skills in designing, implementing, and analysing effective research-based strategies in school/district leadership so they can provide active, positive, and effective leadership in the school environment. All students enrolled in the Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership degree program will demonstrate and apply knowledge and skills related to PSEL and NELP organisation standards.

Program Requirements

The Ed.D. requires the completion of a minimum of 60 credits – 51 credits of required courses and 9 credits of electives. (Note: courses are either three credits or six credits).

The Ed.D. prepares educators for advanced professional responsibility and leadership in effectively organizing, planning, implementing, and evaluating staff and programs, addressing diverse school environments, and building and fostering effective learning communities. This course will prepare educators to apply the PSEL and NELP standards in educational leadership practices.

Doctoral program admission requirements

  • Undergraduate bachelor’s degree from an accredited university

  • Master’s degree from an accredited university
  • A 3.25 or higher GPA in your master’s degree program
  • Verifiable work experience as a teacher or administrator in an educational setting for three or more years
  • Original transcripts from undergraduate and graduate degrees from accredited universities
  • Essay – A personal statement, not to exceed five hundred (500) words that discuss: your reasons for pursuing the Ed.D., your career goals, how the Ed.D. in Educational Leadership would help you meet career goals, and prior experiences which relate to your interest in, and aptitude for, this program
  • Applicants whose first language is not English and who do not have a master’s degree from a university in which instruction is conducted in English must provide evidence of English proficiency by submitting their TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) score. Doctoral applicants must demonstrate college-level proficiency with a minimum score of 550 on the paper-based Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL PBT) or 80 on the Internet-Based Test (iBT)
  • An online interview with a member of the doctoral program selection committee

    Talk to an admissions counselor about your goals and transfer credits.

    *A 60-credit program designed for graduate level educators who are presently teachers or administrators in a school setting
    Specifically, the Ed.D. in Educational Leadership will prepare graduates for:
    • Developing skills in leadership and accountability for continuous improvement.
    • Providing appropriate programs to meet diverse community, school, staff, and student learning needs.
    • Building and maintaining effective professional learning communities where staff can address important issues and solve problems related to equity, opportunity and excellence.
    • Implementing an aligned standards-based curriculum and performance-based assessments to promote the success of all learners.
    • Building communication processes in the community and with parents that inform, inspire, and build confidence in working together to achieve school goals.
    • Bringing the world into the classroom through a technology-infused and research-based curriculum that prepares all learners to work and live in a global society.
    • Recommending supervisory practises based on leadership standards, leadership theories, and critical success factors.
    • Identifying characteristics of effective schools and explaining opportunities and strategies for improving schools.
    • Identifying and explaining appropriate research-based effective teaching strategies for special education, ESL, and struggling students.
    • Outlining resources and processes for data-based decision making for strategic planning and school improvement.
    • Developing a plan to implement a professional learning community via a focused culture, climate, and communication strategies in an established school.
    • Creating a team leadership supervisory platform that implements your vision for education leadership in terms of duties and responsibilities.
    • Determining appropriate approaches to developmental supervision and professional development.
    • Explaining pertinent laws related to special needs, discrimination, discipline, and personnel.
    • Creating a supervisory plan that implements both clinical supervision and differentiated supervision.
    • Explaining the role of the principal in managing school facilities and fiscal management.
    • Proposing strategies for community relations, parent involvement, and internal communication.
    • Designing a plan for continuous school improvement.
    • Planning for the implementation of federal, state, and district policies.
    • Planning for the implementation of federal, state, and district policies.
    • Implementing specific teacher supervision and evaluation strategies.
    • Completing an administrative internship online and onsite in an educational setting that demonstrates PSEL and NELP standards.
    • Completing an action research dissertation demonstrating research and analysis skills related to a pertinent educational topic.


    Per Credit

    Degree Programs

    Technical Courses: (Electives – 9 Credits)

    EDA509D Essential Instructional Skills for Administrators
    EDA519D Understanding Child and Adolescent Development
    EDA529D Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment
    EDA539D Special Needs Students
    EDA589D Personnel Management and Supervision
    EDA599D Principles of Continuous Improvement

    General Courses:

    EDA549D Principles of School Leadership and Management
    EDA559D Education Law
    EDA569D Education Finance
    EDA600D International Virtual Leadership Residency
    EDA649D Advanced Leadership and Effective Decision Making
    EDA679D Foundations of American Education
    Comprehensive Exam - Proctored

    Applied General Education Courses:

    EDA709D Online Internship for Educational Leaders
    EDA710D Onsite Internship for Educational Leaders
    EDA718D Advanced Research Methods
    EDA719D Action Research Proposal
    EDA720D Action Research Project/Dissertation


    As needed in 8 blocks until completion:

    EDA7091D Online Internship for Educational Leaders Continuation
    EDA7101D Onsite Internship for Educational Leaders Continuation
    EDA7191D Action Research Proposal Continuation
    EDA7201D Action Research Dissertation Continuation


    All doctoral courses are $330 per credit



    The cost for a single 3-credit doctoral level course is $1,065.00
    ($990.00 + $75.00 one-time application fee)
    *The Doctoral Committee Fee is due in three instalments of $750. The first is due prior to EDA605D Comprehensive Exam, the second prior to EDA719D Action Research Proposal, and the third prior to EDA720D Action Research Dissertation.
    **For a printed and bound copy of the dissertation, there is an additional fee of $40.00 per copy.
    ***Returning after a 12-month or more absence.
    ****If the Comprehensive Exam is not completed and passed in the term in which the student initially enrolled and must re-enroll in a subsequent term, the Comprehensive Exam Extension Fee will be charged


    Mandatory fees:
    Application Fee (one-time)
    Graduation Fee
    International Virtual Leadership Residency
    One-Day Virtual Residency (four required sessions)
    $125 per session
    Doctoral Committee Fee
    Dissertation Publishing
    Fee $150
    Discretionary fees:
    Official Transcript Fee
    Late Fee (On Monthly Payments)
    Reactivation Fee
    Returned Check Fee
    Comprehensive Exam Extension Fee
    Who Should Enroll
    The Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership program is designed for graduate level educators who are presently teachers or administrators in a school setting or have regular weekly access to a school and classrooms.
    Transfer Credits
    Acacia University recognizes the prior learning of admitted students by awarding credit for courses at the graduate level, completed at an accredited institution, and documented through official transcript when the credit is applicable to the student’s degree program at Acacia University. As many as twelve (12) credits may be transferred.
    If an applicant has earned a degree at another university, credits from that degree cannot be transferred or used for an additional degree at Acacia University.
    The acceptance of transfer credits between institutions lies within the discretion of the receiving college or university. Credits earned at other institutions may or may not be accepted by Acacia University. Likewise, credits earned at Acacia University may or may not be accepted by another institution depending upon its own programs, policies, and regulations. Students planning to complete credits for a graduate degree in another college, university, or graduate school are advised to contact the Admissions Office of such institution in advance of applying.

    Most Acacia courses require no textbook. For those courses that do require a textbook, it is the responsibility of the student to purchase or rent the textbook prior to the start of the course. Acacia does not sell or lease textbooks. Students may purchase or rent in any format (hardback, e-textbook, new, used, etc.) but must use the assigned edition. Prices at the time of the current student handbook publication are listed here, but are subject to change. Prices listed are from the publisher, however, students may purchase from any source.

    More Details

    Payment Policies

    Tuition and fees are payable at the time of registration for each course. Students will not receive official grade reports, transcripts, or be awarded a degree until all financial obligations have been met. Students who have outstanding financial obligations to Acacia University will not be permitted to register for future courses unless special arrangements have been approved through the Finance Office.

    Students may pay by check, money order, wire transfer, or credit card (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover). International students must pay with U.S. currency. Students whose employers will be invoiced for tuition shall submit a billing authorization form prior to the second week of class in lieu of course payment.

    Military tuition assistance (TA) students may be eligible for a deferral of tuition once their DA 2171 Form has been completed, authorized, and received by Acacia University.

    Veterans Affairs Educational Benefits
    In accordance with Title 38 US Code 3679(e), Acacia University adopts the following additional provisions for any students using the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Post-9/11 G.I. Bill® (Ch. 33) or Vocational Rehabilitation & Employment (Ch. 31) benefits, while payment to the institution is pending from VA. Acacia University will not:

    • Prevent the student’s enrollment;
    • Assess a late penalty fee to the student;
    • Require the student to secure alternative or additional funding;
    • Deny the student access to any resources (access to classes, libraries, or other institutional resources) available to other students who have satisfied their tuition and fee bills to the institution.

    However, to qualify for this provision, such students may be required to:

    • Produce the VA Certificate of Eligibility (COE) by the first day of class;
    • Provide a written request to be certified;
    • Provide additional information needed to properly certify the enrollment as described in other institutional policies

    GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

    * Disclosure notice to US students:

    Acacia University offers graduate degrees for current teachers to achieve their professional goals. Prospective and current students in the US must be licensed teachers in the state in which they work. Therefore, Acacia programs are NOT a pathway to teacher licensure in the US. 

    This information is provided per U.S. Federal Regulations, 34 CFR § 668.50 (2016 Rules), 34 CFR § 668.43 (2019 Rules), and in compliance with the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) Manual version 19.2. 

    Acacia University is an approved institution of the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA) which allows the university to provide distance learning programs and coursework to students located in states other than Arizona. NC-SARA approval does not grant reciprocity or exemption from state professional licensing requirements.

    Next Steps
    If you have explored the website and have other questions, visit the Handbooks and Policies page to download the Catalog and Student Handbook with detailed descriptions of each course in the program.
    We look forward to you joining Acacia University.

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