Doctor of Education

This terminal degree program is designed for students already holding a Master's or Specialist degree and seeking advanced knowledge and skills in educational leadership and research. It culminates with a research project reported in the form of a doctoral dissertation. The concentration areas serve those who seek greater knowledge related to educational leadership in the areas of Pre K-12, post-secondary, and the private sector.


Concentration Areas and the Requirements:

Screening Process for Admission
General Requirements and Information


Admissions Screening Process

All students who apply to the Graduate School for the Doctor of Education degree in the Educational Leadership department must be screened for initial admission. The screening process consists of participation in a timed writing and an interview with the screening committee.

Uniform evaluation sheets are used to evaluate the applicant's credentials and interview. Recommendations may be provided by the screening committee for acceptance, conditional acceptance, rejection, or for subsequent re-screening, if deemed appropriate.

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Program Requirements and Information

Below you will find a brief discussion of general program requirements. For more information see the our Doctoral Handbooks or follow links below.

Residency Requirements

Doctoral students are required to submit a Residency portfolio of activities and a "Declaration of Intent to Establish Residency." The residency portfolio consists of 10 pre-approved activities and must be completed prior to the Qualifying Exam.  The "Declaration of Intent to Establish Residency" form will be completed at the beginning of the program and will be filed with the deans of the College of Education and of the School of Graduate Studies, the department, and the chair of the student's advisory committee. . The most commonly chosen Residency plan is a "continuous" residency that requires the student to be continuously enrolled in the program (spring and fall semester) from the time the preliminary examination is completed until the qualifying examination is completed.


Internship Program

Students must complete a focused internship as part of their educational experience before taking the qualifying exam. Students may work with their advisor to ensure that the 150-clock hours worked in satisfaction of the ELPA 6581- Internship in Educational Leadership requirements may also be counted toward meeting a portion of their administrative certification requirements. For more information see the internship handbook.

The Qualifying Examination

Students sit for the qualifying examination after completing the required coursework and prior to beginning the dissertation.  To be eligible to take the examination, a student should obtain permission of his/her advisor and be enrolled for 3 semester hours during the semester that orals will take place.  The student also must have completed a program of study, all residency requirements and internship (ELPA 6581) requirements.

The examination will be written and oral, administered on the ETSU Johnson City campus on pre-established dates during the spring, summer, and fall semesters. If and when the qualifying examination is favorably reported to the program coordinator and deans of the College of Education and the Graduate School, the student may make application for candidacy for the doctorate through the offices of the deans of the College of Education and the Graduate School.

Admission to Candidacy

Upon successful completion of the qualifying exam, the student will apply for admission to candidacy for the Doctorate in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis. 

Dissertation Defense (Final Exam)

The student's committee must first accept the dissertation as a finished research report.  The examination will be oral and will be principally devoted to an evaluation and defense of the student's finished dissertation.

Each defense will be publicly announced by the dean of the Graduate School and held on the Johnson City campus of ETSU. It will be an open examination and all interested persons will be encouraged to attend.

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Postsecondary and Private Sector Leadership Concentration

Jim Lampley, Program Coordinator
Postsecondary and Private Sector Leadership Concentration
504 Warf-Pickel Hall
P. O. Box 70550
(423) 439-7619

Required Courses

For students already possessing a valid master's degree, or equivalent, the minimum requirements for the doctoral program would be 66 credit-hours which includes the following courses and activities:

ELPA 7810 - Educational Statistics - 3 hours

ELPA 7811 - Quantitative Research or

    ELPA 7812 - Qualitative Research - 3 hours

ELPA 7813 - Research in Educational Leadership - 3 hours

ELPA 6450 - Leadership Studies - 3 hours

ELPA 6810 - Theories of Educational Administration - 3 hours

ELPA 6581 - Internship in Educational Leadership - 3 hours

ELPA 7960 - Dissertation - 12 hours

6 credit hours in research, statistics, evaluation, or technology
6 credit hours in cognate area other than Educational Leadership
6 credit hours of Foundations of Education, to include EDFN 6730

18 credit hours of guided electives (see below).

Requirements for students who hold a specialist degree

For qualified students already possessing a valid Specialist's degree, or its equivalent, and seeking an Ed.D. degree, the requirements are for a minimum program of 44 credit hours, to include:

ELPA 7810 - Educational Statistics - 3 hours

ELPA 7811 - Quantitative Research or

ELPA 7812 - Qualitative Research - 3 hours

ELPA 7813 - Research in Educational Leadership - 3 hours

ELPA 6450 - Leadership Studies - 3 hours

ELPA 6810 - Theories of Educational Administration - 3 hours

ELPA 6581 - Internship in Educational Leadership - 3 hours

ELPA 7960 - Dissertation - 12 hours

12 credit hours of guided electives in Educational Leadership (see below).

At least 10 residency activities

Guided Electives for Postsecondary & Private Sector Concentration

Guided electives include the following courses; however, advisors may recommend substitutions which would better address individual students' needs:

Guided Electives must include

ELPA 6563 - The Adult Learner,

ELPA 7820 (or equivalent)- Administration of Higher Education

ELPA 7822 - Higher Education Law  Finance (or equivalent)


Other Guided Electives

ELPA 6010 Leadership for Lifelong Learners

ELPA 6452 Creating Organizational Cultures that Support Excellence

ELPA 6561 Organizational Development

ELPA 6850 Integrating Public Agencies

ELPA 6954 Educational Program Evaluation

ELPA 6955 Grant and Proposal Development

ELPA 6953 Policy Analysis

ELPA 7110 Community Colleges in the United States

ELPA 7220 Supervising Community College Curriculum Planning

ELPA 7820 Administration of Higher Education

EDFN 6730 Historical and Philosophical Foundations of Education

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School Leadership Concentration

Pamela Scott, Program Coordinator
School Leadership Concentration
506 Warf-Pickel Hall
P. O. Box 70550
(423) 439-7618

Required Courses

A graduate committee may require other credit hours of course work not listed here if circumstances required such a decision. Specific requirements for an Ed.D. degree will be individually determined.

Requirements for students who hold a master's degree

For students already possessing a valid master's degree, or equivalent, the minimum requirements for the doctoral program would be 66 credit-hours which includes the following courses and activities:

ELPA 7810 - Educational Statistics - 3 hours

ELPA 7811 - Quantitative Research or

ELPA 7812 - Qualitative Research - 3 hours

ELPA 7813 - Research in Educational Leadership - 3 hours

ELPA 6010 - Leadership for Lifelong Learning - 3 hours

ELPA 6810 - Theories of Educational Administration - 3 hours

ELPA 6581 - Internship in Educational Leadership - 3 hours

ELPA 7960 - Dissertation - 12 hours

6 credit hours in research, statistics, evaluation, or technology
6 credit hours in cognate area other than Educational Leadership
6 credit hours of Foundations of Education, to include EDFN 6730

18 credit hours of guided electives (see below).

At least 10 residency activities

Requirements for students who hold a specialist degree

For qualified students already possessing a valid Specialist's degree, or its equivalent, and seeking an Ed.D. degree, the requirements are for a minimum program of 44 credit hours, to include:

ELPA 7810 - Educational Statistics - 3 hours

ELPA 7811 - Quantitative Research or

ELPA 7812 - Qualitative Research - 3 hours

ELPA 7813 - Research in Educational Leadership - 3 hours

ELPA 6450 - Leadership Studies - 3 hours

ELPA 6810 - Theories of Educational Administration - 3 hours

ELPA 6581 - Internship in Educational Leadership - 3 hours

ELPA 7960 - Dissertation - 12 hours

12 credit hours of guided electives in Educational Leadership (see below).

At least 10 residency activities

Guided Electives for School Leadership Concentration

Guided electives include the following courses; however, advisors may recommend substitutions which would better address individual students' needs.

ELPA 6010 Leadership for Lifelong Learning

ELPA 6451 Strategic Planning and School-Based Decision Making

ELPA 6452 Creating School Cultures that Support Teaching and Learning

ELPA 6558 Innovative Practices in Classroom Leadership

ELPA 6561 Organizational Development

ELPA 6820 Law for Educational Leaders

ELPA 6830 School Housing and Transportation

ELPA 6841 School Finance and Business Methods

ELPA 6850 Integrating Public Agencies

ELPA 6861 Personnel Administration

ELPA 6872 Technology Applications for Educational Leaders

ELPA 6954 Educational Program Evaluation

ELPA 6955 Grant and Proposal Development

ELPA 6953 Policy Analysis

EDFN 6730 Historical and Philosophical Foundations of Education

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Administrative Endorsement Concentration

Dr. Eric Glover, Program Coordinator
Administrative Endorsement Concentration
501-B Warf-Pickel Hall
P. O. Box 70550
(423) 439-7566

Required Courses

For qualified students already possessing a valid master's degree, specialist degree, or their equivalents, and seeking an Ed. D. degree leading toward endorsement as a Beginning Administrator, the requirements are for a minimum program of 66 semester hours, to include:

ELPA 7810 - Educational Statistics

ELPA 7811 - Quantitative Research or ELPA 7812 - Qualitative Research

ELPA 7813 - Research in Educational Leadership

ELPA 6450 - Leadership Studies

ELPA 6810 - Theories of Educational Administration

ELPA 6581 - Internship in Educational Leadership

12 semester hours of Dissertation

At least 10 residency activities

Required Sequenced Coursework for qualified students already possessing a valid master's degree:

ELPA 6100 - Interpersonal Relations (6)

ELPA 6200 - Professional Needs of Individuals and Groups(6)

ELPA 6300 - Professional Needs of Individuals and Groups (6)

ELPA 6400 - Developing Learners Through Instructional Leadership(6)

ELPA 6500 - Implementation Strategies (6)

ELPA 6600 - Shaping the Quality and Character of the Institution (6)

Required Sequenced Coursework for qualified students already possessing a valid specialist degree:

ELPA 6100 - Interpersonal Relations (6)

ELPA 6200 - Professional Needs of Individuals and Groups(6)

Beginning Administrator Endorsement

The applicant for endorsement as principal or district-level supervisor shall hold a teacher's professional certificate. The applicant shall have had a minimum of three years of successful teaching experience and/or administrative experience in grades for which the certification is sought. The applicant must successfully pass the examination required by the Tennessee Department of Education. For a "Type B" Beginning Administrator Endorsement, the applicant shall successfully complete an appropriate, supervised, Standard Ninety-Day Internship or Alternative Ninety-Day Internship as part of the planned program to be eligible for the Professional Administrative Endorsement. The endorsement of Beginning Administrator (K-12) is added to an existing teaching certificate by the State Department of Education.

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Classroom Leadership Concentration

Virginia Foley, Program Coordinator
Classroom Leadership and Teacher Leadership Concentrations
502 Warf-Pickel Hall
P. O. Box 70550
(423) 439-7615

Required Courses

A graduate committee may require other semester hours of course work not listed here if circumstances warrant such a decision. Specific requirements for an Ed.D. degree will be individually determined.

Requirements for students who hold a master's degree

For students already possessing a valid master's degree, or equivalent, the minimum requirements for the doctoral program would be for a 66 credit-hours which includes the following courses and activities:

ELPA 7810 - Educational Statistics - 3 hours

ELPA 7811 - Quantitative Research or

ELPA 7812 - Qualitative Research - 3 hours

ELPA 7813 - Research in Educational Leadership - 3 hours

ELPA 6450 - Leadership Studies - 3 hours

ELPA 6810 - Theories of Educational Administration - 3 hours

ELPA 6581 - Internship in Educational Leadership - 3 hours

ELPA 7960 - Dissertation - 12 hours

6 credit hours in research, statistics, evaluation, or technology
6 credit hours in cognate area other than Educational Leadership
6 credit hours of Foundations of Education, to include EDFN 6730

18 credit hours of guided electives (see below).

At least 10 residency activities

Requirements for students who hold a specialist degree

For qualified students already possessing a valid Specialist's degree, or its equivalent, and seeking an Ed.D. degree, the requirements are for a minimum program of 44 credit hours, to include:

ELPA 7810 - Educational Statistics - 3 hours

ELPA 7811 - Quantitative Research or

ELPA 7812 - Qualitative Research - 3 hours

ELPA 7813 - Research in Educational Leadership - 3 hours

ELPA 6450 - Leadership Studies - 3 hours

ELPA 6810 - Theories of Educational Administration - 3 hours

ELPA 6581 - Internship in Educational Leadership - 3 hours

ELPA 7960 - Dissertation - 12 hours

12 credit hours of guided electives in Educational Leadership (see below).

At least 10 residency activities

Guided Electives for Classroom Leadership and Teacher Leadership Concentrations

Guided electives include the following courses; however, advisors may recommend substitutions which would better address individual students' needs.

Guided Electives must include:

ELPA 6558: Innovative Practices in Classroom Leadership

Other Guided Electives include:

ELPA 6010 Leadership for Lifelong Learning

ELPA 6451 Strategic Planning and School-Based Decision Making

ELPA 6452 Creating School Cultures that Support Teaching and Learning

ELPA 6561 Organizational Development

ELPA 6872 Technology Applications for Educational Leaders

ELPA 6952 Action Research

ELPA 6954 Educational Program Evaluation

ELPA 6955 Grant and Proposal Development

ELPA 6953 Policy Analysis

EDFN 6730 Historical and Philosophical Foundations of Education

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