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K-16 Educational Leadership Preparation, Research, and Teaching


The Ph.D. in Educational Leadership program is a direct outgrowth of initiatives created and sustained by former COEd Dean Jeanne Gerlach as the Associate Vice President for K-16 Initiatives. Since 2003, Dr. Gerlach has directed University-wide efforts for K-16 education. The history of and strong tradition in supporting K-16 initiatives serve as a foundation for the Doctor of Philosophy degree in Educational Leadership started in 2007 (approved July 21, 2006, “Doctor of Philosophy degree with a major in Educational Leadership”). The Ph.D. in Educational Leadership, which focuses on K-16 issues and concerns, is one of only a few in the nation, and the only one in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex.

This unique program brings together scholars and students with research expertise and/or practical experience from K-12, higher education, and business to explore educational concerns within the K-16 continuum. The doctoral program provides current and prospective school leaders with valuable information and experiences for successfully implementing transformational change in our K-12 education system. The doctoral program also provides higher education practitioners with valuable information and experiences for senior leadership in colleges and universities, including executive roles in academic and student affairs administration, university business operations, and enrollment management. Moreover, the doctoral program prepares students interested in professoriate work related to K-12 and higher education research, and those interested in careers in the private or government sectors. Students gain knowledge and skills that can enhance their research and assessment practices in their work; develop stronger arguments to justify new campus initiatives; improve their academic writing to contribute to scholarly publications; and influence policy development at the institutional, state, or national level.