Earn Your Doctorate in Educational Leadership Online
With Grand Canyon University's (GCU) Doctor of Education in Organizational Leadership with an Emphasis in K-12 Leadership at GCU, you’ll find your path toward transformative leadership. Graduates of this doctorate in educational leadership programs are able to lead at all levels, including departments, schools and even districts.
Learners can complete the doctorate of educational leadership online or in evening courses with a small cohort. Future educational leaders work with GCU faculty and other education professionals to uncover the latest trends emerging in K-12 education.
The College of Doctoral Studies has identified the six primary domains that EdD educational leadership graduates need to embrace.
- Scholarship and Research
- Globalization and World View
- K-12 Leadership Emphasis
The coursework begins with doctoral dispositions. Learners in the doctorate of educational leadership program also work in Doctoral Residencies and on dissertation milestones. Throughout the program, future educational leaders apply their learning to further research and practice to write and defend a dissertation.
Learn to Navigate the K-12 Education Landscape
The studies of educational history, politics and K-12 governance and structure make up the core of the EdD educational leadership program. Research and hands-on practice help future educational leaders build a supportive school community that nurtures student achievement.
These topics are integral parts of the doctorate of educational leadership courses:
- Global history and politics of K-12 education
- Political landscape and ethics surrounding K-12 education
- Governmental educational interventions
- Governance structures in K-12 education
- K-12 education stakeholders
- Master planning
- Professional and facilities development
- Leadership behaviors
- Strategy execution within an educational organization
- Research for strategic planning and development
Graduates of the doctorate in K-12 leadership degree may already be working in a position in education. This degree can allow them to move into different or more advanced positions, such as:
- Higher education faculty
- School/District administrator
EdD graduates may continue their current roles or move to new places of employment such as:
- Educational agencies
- Elementary schools
- Secondary schools
- Community colleges
If you desire to lead students, teachers and other administrators in K-12 academic settings, the Doctor of Education in Organizational Leadership with an Emphasis in K-12 Leadership degree program at GCU offers the skills you need to pursue your passion.
Program Core Courses
This course introduces students to the principal elements of research and scholarly writing. Learners explore approaches to synthesizing literature and the application of the major components of APA form and style, and learn to coordinate literature searches. Furthermore, they learn how to discern principal arguments, analyze research questions, and clearly identify the key scholarly attributes to journal articles and other sources of scholarly data. This course also introduces learners to the University’s overarching values and beliefs regarding research and the responsibility scholars have in continuing a tradition of contributing to an ever-growing body of knowledge.
This course provides an overview of seminal leadership theories and models. Learners focus on understanding the development and evolution of leadership theories and the range and emphasis of leadership research. Prerequisite: RES-811.
This course examines multiple ethical frameworks, principles, and theories as they apply to the study and practice of leadership. Corporate social responsibility will be addressed from the perspective of ethical decision making. Prerequisite: RES-811.
This course provides a broad overview of foundational elements for conducting independent, original research. Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed research methods are introduced and applied. The template for developing a research prospectus is also introduced, with emphasis on identifying a researchable topic related to the learners’ degree specialization. Prerequisite: RES-811.
This course provides a broad, global overview of the history and politics of K-12 education and examines the political landscape and ethics surrounding K-12 education. A brief overview of governmental interventions is also presented. Prerequisite: RES-850.
This residency allows students to begin developing their skills as academic researchers. Residency sessions address topics such as research question development, design, item generation, subscale development and analysis, and basic hypothesis testing. Students have hands-on experience with quantitative and qualitative analysis software.
This course examines internal and external governance and structures in K-12 education. The course emphasizes analysis of the leadership practices necessary to guide construction of appropriate internal and external frameworks. Prerequisite: RES-850.
This course is designed to train learners in the conduct of a systematic literature review related to their research topic. Emphasis is placed on creating structure for reading, analyzing, synthesizing, and organizing prior research necessary for drafting the first iteration (draft) of Chapter 2 of the dissertation. Learners use the research prospectus template to guide the development of their Chapter 2. Prerequisite: RES-850 or MGT-810 or RES-825.
This course examines relations with K-12 education stakeholders, including boards, learners, parents, faculty, staff, and the community at large. Attention is given to creating and sustaining a diverse learning infrastructure through faculty and staff professional development, alumni relations, and the building of a learning community. Prerequisite: RES-861 or EDL-861.
This course examines the current and emerging leadership strategies and classroom practices in K-12 education. Topics are placed in the context of improved student outcomes. Prerequisite: RES-861.
This course provides learners with an overview of qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches with emphasis on conceptual and practical aspects of data collection, management, and analysis. Learners use their research prospectus to align the research question(s) and variables of interest with the appropriate data collection and analytical techniques. Prerequisite: RES-861.
This residency prepares students to present their scholarly work and to thoughtfully critique the work of others. Students orally present papers developed in their own classes and respond to questions from colleagues. Students are further prepared to become active members in academic communities by learning how to review papers and provide comments.
This course provides an overview of the impact of leadership and the effects of behaviors on the formulation and execution of strategy within an organization. Topics include the increasing importance of resilience and change in today’s global and turbulent economy. Prerequisite: RES-861 or RES-866.
This course explores the opportunities and challenges facing leaders in the global environment. The course topics focus on aspects of leading global and diverse workforces, and on theories of leadership and leadership development in diverse and global cultures. Prerequisite: RES-861 or RES-866.
Learners complete a cogent research prospectus as the foundation for their dissertation research proposal. Emphasis is placed on fully articulating a study design and methodology that is aligned with the research questions and developing the first iteration (draft) of Chapter 3 of the dissertation. Prerequisite: RES-855 or RES-866.
This course addresses the establishment of a shared mission, vision, and goals among both internal and external stakeholders as the foundation for long-range strategic planning in K-12 education. Professional and facilities development is addressed in the context of K-12 education master planning.
In this course, learners formalize their research proposal specific to their topic. Emphasis is placed on fully developing Chapter 1 and incorporating Chapters 2 and 3 (drafts) from previous research courses. This proposal becomes the first three chapters of the dissertation upon approval of the final draft by the College of Doctoral Studies. Prerequisite: RES-880.
This course provides learners with individualized support in their dissertation journey. Learners work directly with their dissertation chair and committee members to continue their research endeavors as aligned with their individual progress plan. Prerequisite: RES-871 or RES-885.
This course continues to provide learners with individualized support in their dissertation journey. Learners work directly with their dissertation chair and committee members to continue their research endeavors as aligned with their individual progress plan. Prerequisite: DIS-955.
This course continues to provide learners with individualized support in their dissertation journey. Learners work directly with their dissertation chair and committee members to continue their research endeavors as aligned with their individual progress plan. Prerequisite: DIS-960.
Pursue a next-generation education with an online degree from Grand Canyon University. Earn your degree with convenience and flexibility with online courses that let you study anytime, anywhere. GCU offers the most experienced leadership in delivering online degree programs. Full-time faculty members and fully trained adjunct instructors, equipped with strong academic backgrounds and practical experience in their fields, support you every step of the way. Designed with the career-oriented professional in mind, our online classes provide an intimate environment that stimulates engaging and challenging discussions. Choose from programs across our distinct colleges, in high-demand employment areas. Classes begin frequently.
Grand Canyon University’s evening programs cater to the demands of working professionals who prefer an in-person learning environment. Our night classes meet just once per week and offer the interaction and discussion of a typical college classroom. Night classes are designed for a specific number of students, providing a warm and nurturing environment that supports an engaging experience. In an evening cohort, you will progress through your degree program with the same career-minded classmates, providing an opportunity to network and forge relationships that go beyond the classroom. Classes begin frequently at various locations, including our main campus.
* Please note that this list may contain programs that are not presently offered as program availability may vary depending on class size, enrollment and other contributing factors. If you are interested in a program listed herein please first contact your University Counselor for the most current information regarding availability of the program.