Jun 06, 2023  
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog 
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED BULLETIN]

Educational Leadership, Ed.D.

The University of Hartford’s Doctoral Program in Education (Ed.D.) focuses on higher education and reflects the latest thinking and research on leadership, organizations, and institutional change. Participants benefit from the rich interactions of our diverse student body, drawn from colleges and universities, public and private schools, health-related professions, government and human service organizations. What these individuals have in common is a dedication to the improvement of possibilities for their respective constituencies through change and enhancement of their service delivery systems.

A variety of experiences have been infused into the doctoral program of study, enabling students to acquire cognitive understanding and to strengthen their personal leadership skills. Students who successfully complete this program are awarded a Doctor of Education, with a specialization in higher education educational leadership.

Special Features

Diversity of Students. Most students are mid-career adults, who balance family and professional responsibilities with their pursuit of the doctoral degree. They work in colleges, universities, schools, and in health care, government, and human service organizations. Thus, the educational leadership learning community benefits from interdisciplinary problem solving as we address the complex issues confronting educational leaders today.

Cohort Group Structure. Students are admitted in cohort groups each summer. These groups serve as a support network as students advance through the program. To the extent possible, courses are scheduled to enable students to complete their programs together with colleagues. Active enrollment in summer courses allows students to move through courses rapidly and replaces the residency requirement in more traditional doctoral programs. Also, students have ongoing formal and informal opportunities to integrate and exchange ideas with colleagues, faculty, and other members of the University community.

Doctoral Advisement Process. Upon matriculation into the doctoral program, each student is assigned a program advisor. Program advisors meet with students regularly as a demonstration of the doctoral program’s commitment to matriculated students. In addition, faculty assist students with the development of their programs of study and develop mentoring relationships with students.

Information Technology. The doctoral program includes training and support in electronic information technology. Students use Blackboard and the University online support system to enhance their classroom experiences. The Mortensen Library website offers a wealth of tools for conducting research on the Internet.

Also, students learn to use computer applications to enhance their work, including spreadsheet, database, and presentation software. The goal of this component of the program is to produce leaders who are familiar with the tools of information technology and who are prepared to use them in instructional and administrative settings.

Advancement to Candidacy

In order for students to be eligible to conduct dissertation research, they must (1) have maintained a 3.5 GPA, (2) have no incomplete grades, and (3) have successfully completed the advancement to candidacy requirements. These requirements include successful completion of EDD 860  and full faculty approval of the candidate’s EDD 860  Chapter One assignment. Official advancement to candidacy entitles the student to formally engage in the dissertation research process, the final stage in the doctoral program.


Every student must complete a dissertation as part of the graduation requirements. Policies and procedures for completing the research are available under separate cover.

Students must maintain continuous enrollment from the initial date of matriculation through completion of the dissertation.

Required credits: 63

Learning Sequence

Professional Studies (21 credits)

These courses represent the core learning in the program and address the major challenges confronting educational leaders with the responsibility of sustaining institutions through the promotion of innovative practices. Such leaders engage in systems thinking, understand both practical and policy issues associated with resource management, as well as develop and sustain professional learning communities. These leaders explore the viability of coordinated service delivery approaches for persons with complex service needs and their families. They address the major understandings and skills needed by educational leaders in the areas of educational policy, curriculum and instruction, organizational performance and change, and professional and ethical practice. Collectively, these areas represent the domains within which educational leaders practice.

Specialization Courses (9 credits minimum)

Research Methods (12 credits)

Students acquire those quantitative and qualitative research skills and methodologies needed to engage in their doctoral research. All courses are required.

Synthesis Activities (9 credits minimum)

Students are required to complete at least one internship. Many choose a research internship (EDD 858 )in which they produce a scholarly presentation or publication. Others opt for an administrative internship in an educational organization setting.

All students are required to complete the Synthesis Seminar in which they develop a substantial review of the literature related to a specific research problem. They are also required to compete the Dissertation Proposal Seminar. The comprehensive introduction to a research project developed in this class is used to assess students’ readings for the final dissertation phase.

Dissertation (9 credits minimum)