Graduate School of Education

Ed.D. in Higher Education Leadership

Program Overview

As today's education landscape continues to undergo rapid change, administrative leaders must be equipped with the skills, knowledge and vision to steer institutions through current and future transformations in economics, technology, and cultural shifts.

CLU's Doctor of Education in Higher Education Leadership empowers college and university administrators to take on heightened leadership roles in student affairs, academic leadership, institutional advancement, athletic administration, and institutional assessment. Offered through CLU's Graduate School of Education, the program provides the concepts, tools and values necessary to positively influence institutions of higher education and those who learn and work there.

Program Highlights

The three-year program develops expertise to effectively lead 21st century educational organizations, understand the dynamics affecting college students, lead positive organizational change, and engage in the national and international dialogue surrounding critical higher education issues. Collaborative, small classes engage students and provide development in educating a diverse society through the following:

  • Context of higher education
  • Student success in higher education
  • Teaching and learning
  • Leading change
  • Management and administration
  • Diversity and intercultural maturity
  • Research skills
  • Technology
  • Moral and ethical practice

The program is designed to be highly accessible to working professionals. Course work is completed on campus four weekends per semester with 40 percent of each course utilizing an online format. Unique among Ed.D. programs, the dissertation is completed concurrently with coursework.

Educational Leadership Courses (27 units)

  • EDLD 603: Historical & Philosophical Foundations of Educational Leadership (3)
  • EDLD 607: Ethics & Values in Educational Leadership (3)
  • EDLD 614: Policy Development & Political Influences in Education (3)
  • EDLD 617: Leadership, Diversity, and Inclusivity in American P-20 Education (3)
  • EDLD 619: Higher Education & The Law (3)
  • EDLD 621: International Comparative Educational Practices (3)
  • EDLD 623: Student Success & Retention (3)
  • EDLD 624: Leading Organizational Change & Development (3)
  • EDLD 627: Administration in Higher Education (3)

Research Courses (23 units)

  • EDLD 601: Research Tools & Application to Practice (3)
  • EDLD 610: Summer Seminar: Literature Review (4)
  • EDLD 612: Quantitative Research Design & Analysis (4)
  • EDLD 613: Qualitative Research Design & Analysis (4)
  • EDLD 620: Proposal Seminar (4)
  • EDLD 630: Data Analysis Seminar (4)

Dissertation (10 units)

  • EDLD 634: Dissertation Research (3)
  • EDLD 635: Dissertation Seminar (4)
  • EDLD 636: Dissertation Defense (3)


EDLD 601 Research Tools and Application to Practice (3 units)

An introductory course that equips candidates with basic library, writing, technology, and research skills to be used in all courses in the program. Strategies and ethics of research provide the basis for designing research questions, selecting data collection strategies, and conducting basic data analysis. Candidates begin a comprehensive literature review in the course.

EDLD 603 Historical and Philosophical Foundations of Educational Leadership (3 units)

A historical survey of the competing philosophical bases for the creation and implementation of educational policy and practice, with particular attention to questions of equity and excellence in a multicultural society.

EDLD 607 Ethics and Values in Educational Leadership (3 units)

This course guides students to understand and articulate individual and organizational values that shape the dynamic learning organization. Students make the connection between articulated values and ethical practices in our diverse communities.

EDLD 610 Research Seminar: Literature Review (4 units)

A comprehensive review of the research literature related to designated themes and a general topic of research interest, with a focus on literature review of the anticipated dissertation topic. Students will complete the integrative literature review and begin framing research questions for further pursuit.

EDLD 612 Quantitative Research Design and Analysis (4 units)

The use of data-based decision making in modern, diverse organizational settings. The course builds on the prerequisite basic research methods course and includes problem posing and presentation and analysis of data.

EDLD 613 Qualitative Research Design and Analysis (4 units)

An overview of qualitative research assumptions, characteristics, approaches, and techniques. Candidates will conduct a small-scale field-study.

EDLD 614 Policy Development and Political Influences in Education (3 units)

Provides an introduction to the various phases of policy making in education, including problem identification, policy development, policy analysis, political decision making, policy implementation, and policy evaluation. The course includes study of organizational structures for educational decision making at the federal, state, county, and local levels, with emphasis on how and where influence can be exerted.

EDLD 617: Leadership, Diversity, and Inclusivity in American P-20 Education (3 units)

This course examines the social ecology of American P-20 education through a lens of inclusion, social justice, diversity, and equity.  The course will focus on best practices as they inform policy and practice from early childhood education to postsecondary institutions.  It will also concentrate on the influence of diversity, culture and society, and politics on P-20 American education.

EDLD 619 Higher Education and the Law (3 units)

This course examines legal problems and issues as they affect students, faculty members, and administrators in American colleges and universities. Distinctions in the legal environment of public, private, and church-related institutions will be made. Emphasis will be placed on constitutional issues, contract law, federal and state regulation, liability, faculty and staff employment, and community relationships.

EDLD 620 Research Seminar: Dissertation Proposal (4 units)

In this course, candidates receive the direction and guidance needed to develop their dissertation research proposals. At the end of the course, candidates will have a draft of their proposal, which must be presented to their dissertation committee.

EDLD 621 International Comparative Educational Practices (3 units)

This course will provide candidates with the opportunity to examine educational policy and practice in an international setting. The focus of the course will be on (1) comparative educational policies and practices and their relationship with economic development, and (2) educational quality, standards, accountability, and reform. The course will involve the critical examination of relevant literature and international travel to visit educational institutions and agencies of the selected country or countries.

EDLD 623 Student Success and Retention (3 units)

This course will examine the current research and best practices relative to college student success and retention. Particular attention will be given to the demographic trends, co-curricular institutional practices, public policies, campus environments, and educational practices that contribute to student success and persistence.

EDLD 624 Leading Organizational Change and Development (3 units)

Candidates examine approaches to studying and influencing organizational effectiveness. The course includes a study of leadership styles, conflict management, group dynamics, and change process.

EDLD 627 Administration in Higher Education (3 units)

This course will focus on the best practices in college and university management and administration with an emphasis on planning, resource acquisition, resources allocation, human resource development, and organizational communication. Distinctions will be made among public, private, and church-related institutions of higher education.

EDLD 630 Research Seminar: Data Analysis (4 units)

This course is intended to guide students through the organization and analysis of their dissertation data. Advanced topics in data analysis will be introduced including multivariate statistics; factor analysis; multilevel modeling. Advanced qualitative topics including the use of computer programs for qualitative data analysis will be presented. Students will also hear presentations of dissertation formatting. Students will be expected to present a draft of the problem statement, literature review, and methods sections of their dissertations by the end of the summer seminar.

EDLD 634 Dissertation Research (3 units)
EDLD 635 Dissertation Seminar (4 units)
EDLD 636 Dissertation Defense (3 units)

Currently Accepting Applications for Summer 2016

Admission Requirements

  1. Checklist and Completed Application Form
  2. $50 Application Fee (please make checks payable to CLU)
  3. Official transcripts verifying bachelor's and master's degree
  4. Personal Statement
  5. Two Recommendation Forms
  6. Resume
  7. GRE Scores
  8. Writing sample

Application Process

Apply Online

Interested individuals are encouraged to make an appointment to meet with a graduate admission counselor to review specific program information, admission requirements, start terms, deadline dates, and review financial aid options.

Please call (805) 493-3325 to schedule an appointment to meet with a graduate admission counselor or to request information.