The Ph.D. programs in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies (Cohort) at Purdue University develop leaders for the schools of Indiana and the nation. The graduate programs at West Lafayette offer preparation in educational leadership for PK-12 schools and school districts. The Cohort Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership concentrates on PK-12 superintendent preparation and features the use of hybrid distance learning technologies. Although it utilizes distance learning technology such as interactive video (WebEX) and on-line conferencing such as Blackboard to supplement class discussions, it is not an on-line degree program.
As a performance-based, NCATE-accredited preparation program, the curriculum focuses on the six Educational Leadership Constituent Council (ELCC) standards for district administrators. Within that structure there is a heavy emphasis on visionary leadership, policy and planning, management and operations, learning environments, school culture, community building and ethical behavior. The core curriculum explores contemporary educational issues as they play out in urban settings, in suburbia, and in rural America. The reforms associated with the Every Student Succeeds Act (2015) demand that schools educate all students. Developing these schools requires school leaders with competencies in systems analysis, planning, fostering change, and building consensus and collaboration. Above all, these school leaders must first be educators with a compelling vision of what education can mean for students. The Cohort Doctoral Program strives to develop leaders with those qualities.
Each year a select group of 8-10 students is admitted as a cohort. Students usually have two required on-campus Saturday class meetings for their core course each semester with weekly video-conferencing (WebEX) classes or on-line class discussions (Blackboard). Weekend on-campus summer courses are also required.
The Ph.D. program involves a minimum of 60 semester hours, preliminary examinations, and a dissertation. Applicants are expected to have earned a master’s degree in educational leadership and/or hold a principal’s license.Courses in the cohort program are coordinated with superintendent licensing course requirements. Upon completion of Ph.D. or Ed.S. degrees, graduates are eligible for an Indiana District Administrator license for Superintendent. The program consists of a set of seven core courses in educational leadership. The program is designed so students will complete cohort doctoral core coursework in two and a half years. Students are expected to attend all cohort course courses in sequence throughout the program.
The program contains a sequence of 12 hours of research design and methods courses, 6 hours of related area courses, and 15 dissertation research hours. Students will schedule on a case-by-case basis additional electives and courses that may be required to complete the degree and license.
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*Tuition and fees are charges on a per credit hour basis and are subject to annual increase. Annual increases may change the total program cost.
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The flexibility provided through the cohort hybrid model has made the opportunity to earn my PhD a much more attainable goal than I would have believed, allowing me to continue working as a school administrator during the entire cohort program. Having the ability to connect to class from anywhere in the world via the power of technology has allowed me to continue my studies during times when they may have been disrupted in the past, while the opportunity to meet in person at key times each semester has helped our cohort form bonds and lifelong friendships that will carry forward in our personal and professional lives.
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