The purpose of this degree is to enhance the leadership capabilities of persons who serve or plan to serve in leadership roles in schools, education districts, community colleges, or universities. The common core of the program includes leadership theory, personal leadership skills, the dynamics of organizational change, the socio-political environments of education, instructional theory and research, education foundations, curriculum theory, data analysis, and research strategies and techniques.
While the foregoing knowledge and skills are central to the proposed program and are required of all students in the program, elective courses permit the acquisition of specialized knowledge unique to particular career aspirations. School professionals specializing in the superintendency, for example, may take such courses as educational finance and the superintendency practicum as part of their cognate area; students may also use cognate hours to acquire mid-management certification; persons preparing for collegial leadership of high school departments may take courses in such fields as mathematics, English, or foreign languages. Higher education professionals follow the structured cognate in their area with, for example, courses in community college and University administration, student affairs, finance, and law.
Student Learning Outcomes
- Exhibit understanding of and the ability to synthesize the body of literature in the field.
- Demonstrate the knowledge and skills to write theoretically grounded, scholarly research papers.
- Design and complete an original research project.
Joint Program Status
The program is being jointly offered by Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi and Texas A&M University-Kingsville, drawing from the resources of both institutions. Efforts are made to align the curriculum so that students may take courses at either campus.
A special feature of this degree at Texas A&M University–Corpus Christi is a concentration of courses in higher education administration (cognate area) for those with an interest in that area.
Higher Education Cognate Area
The higher education cognate area focuses on providing knowledge and skills for professionals seeking to secure or advance their careers in a variety of settings. Some of these settings include four-year colleges, universities and community colleges, as well as professional agencies that promote and support higher education. The courses in the higher-education cognate area are offered only at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi.
Admission requires approval of an Educational Leadership admission committee. Criteria for admission include the following:
- a Graduate Record Examination (GRE) score (taken within the last five years)
- an undergraduate grade point average of 3.00 or above
- a graduate grade point average of 3.50 or above
- official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate coursework indicating completion of a master’s degree in a relevant field
Selected applicants will be invited for personal interviews, presentations, and a writing exercise, and an admission committee will consider all qualifications, including professional and personal qualifications, in making admission decisions. The committee may admit persons with lower levels of the above indicators of academic history if (a) professional and personal qualifications are unusually strong and (b) the student demonstrates a high degree of proficiency on a writing sample administered and scored by an admission committee. Individuals denied admission three times are ineligible to re-apply.
The Doctor of Education Degree in Educational Leadership is awarded in recognition of the attainment of independent and comprehensive scholarship in the field. To qualify for the degree, the student must meet the following specific requirements.
- Residence: Three consecutive sessions (e.g., summer, fall, spring) of enrollment in six semester credit hours must be completed sometime during the program. The seven year rule on recency of credit will apply.
- Coursework: Sixty-nine semester hours of coursework are required, inclusive of dissertation courses. Up to one-fourth of the credits for the degree plan may be transferred from another regionally accredited University. The transfer credits must be post masters-level graduate coursework, must be less than seven years old at the time of conferral of the Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi degree, and may not have been included on degree plans for any other degree. Likewise, up to one-fourth of the credits for the degree plan may be transferred from post masters-level work taken at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. The transfer credits must be approved by the program faculty (normally the advisor) and the Graduate Dean. The degree requires the following:
- 27 hours in core leadership classes
- 15 hours in research tools
- 18 hours in a cognate area
- 6 hours of electives
- 3 hours of dissertation (repeated as necessary)
- All courses applied to the doctoral degree plan must have a grade of B or higher.
- Candidacy/Comprehensive Examinations: Comprehensive examinations will be scheduled at such time as the student’s mentor judges that the student is ready, but not before the student has completed the 42 semester hours of core coursework. Admission to candidacy for the degree requires passing both a written and an oral comprehensive examination.
- Dissertation and Final Examination: The dissertation is developed under the supervision of a dissertation adviser, who serves as Chair of the dissertation committee. The committee is composed of four members including the Chair. There will be a final oral examination that will focus on, but is not limited to, the dissertation work.
See Course Descriptions for information on graduate courses for this program.
For Additional Information