EDL Class

Program Description

The nature of education today defies the neat borders and boundaries that have historically characterized many education doctoral programs. Educational policy and politics are centered on changing the status quo as schools increasingly work collaboratively with families, non-profits, and civil society organizations. Activism and entrepreneurship are taking on new forms in the ever-shifting world of education. Thus, we offer an integrated approach that embraces these new worlds of education so that leaders are prepared to meet the needs of diverse student populations and communities through an array of educational institutions and programs. 


The guiding mission of our doctoral program is to prepare educational leaders and scholars who are attuned to culture-based leadership and who are critically aware, politically and ethically discerning, and policy fluent.  Our Ph.D. program in Educational Leadership with a focus in Leadership, Culture, and Curriculum integrates the fields of educational administration, leadership, and curriculum with an emphasis on educational equity. The program is flexible enough to allow room for students to build expertise in their areas of interest, or to complete the requirements for an administrative license.  We approach leadership from a cultural perspective that seeks to prepare leaders for various educational institutions. Our core classes employ culture-based theories to examine the interplay and struggles of various groups within societies. We ask students to understand both how schools as organizations are presently constructed, as well as to deeply understand how education for the purpose of social justice might require fundamental shifts in thinking about students, families, neighborhoods and nation. 

Guiding Principles

  1. Leadership is an intellectual, moral, and craft practice situated in the cultural, political, and social contexts of institutions and societies.
  2. Educational leadership is both positional and non-positional in form; it is a process of power-sharing rather than power-imposing which works toward collaboration, emancipation, and empowerment.
  3. Educators make a commitment to community. The building and development of diverse, inclusive communities is never assumed, and should be continuously nurtured, interrogated, and supported.
  4. Educational leaders understand and navigate the present environment in order to work towards transforming organizations and the individuals within them to become more democratic and socially just.

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Student will be able to describe and interpret the foundations of democratic education
  • Students will be able to explain and assess the social-cultural context of schooling. including contemporary educational policy and reform.
  • Students will be able to connect issues of power, diversity, and equity to social justice education.
  • Students will be able to integrate dimensions of leadership, culture, and curriculum through comprehensive exams or key benchmark assessments.
  • Students will be able to design, propose, and write an independent research or inquiry project.