Your guide to graduate degrees in higher education leadership and teaching
A doctoral degree in higher education leadership and teaching prepares you for an administrative or leadership role within a school district, college, or university. When you complete a Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in this field, you’ll be equipped with the necessary training to assume high profile positions within community organizations, government institutions, and the private sector.
Is a doctorate degree in higher education leadership and teaching education right for you?
Does a doctorate in higher education leadership and teaching education suit your personal and professional interests?
Many teachers and other working professionals in the educational field at some point contemplate whether or not they should return to school to pursue a doctoral degree. If you believe you can make a difference in the education field on a leadership level, you may want to train for a career in educational management. As an educator, there are many different doctoral programs to consider, but if you’re thinking of becoming an administrator, superintendent, professor, or training and development manager, an Ed.D. in higher education leadership and teaching may be right for you.
You might want to learn skills that let you directly affect change and policy in your organization. Perhaps you’re choosing to branch out from the educational field you’re in and hope to seek a new career that specializes in higher education leadership.
Does a doctorate in higher education leadership and teaching education fit your career goals?
The higher education leadership and teaching program leading to a doctorate may suit some of your long-term career and personal goals. See if any of these aspects of obtaining an Ed.D. in this field apply to you:
- Your focus is on administration. You want to have more of a hands-on leadership role in educational, governmental, or nonprofit organizations
- You want to make a positive change in the education, community, or business world through teaching.
- You enjoy using existing research study results that you can then directly apply to real-world issues.
- You prefer to learn more about practical rather than philosophical solutions to problems in the workplace. Choose to enter an Ed.D. rather than a Ph.D. higher education leadership and teaching program if you are looking for practical educational solutions that can be directly used when managing large organizations.
How do I choose a doctorate-level higher education leadership and teaching education program?
So, you know why earning a doctorate degree is good for your career, and you’re pretty sure that a doctorate degree in higher education leadership and teaching education meshes with your interests and goals. This is a great start, but there’s still more to think over.
First off, you need to explore the many program options in higher education leadership and teaching education. It is important to note that while an doctorate degree in higher education leadership and teaching education may be well suited to teachers (especially those in the middle and high school grades), these programs also could be suitable for people in the corporate world.
Educational program titles — what you need to know
Programs in higher education leadership and teaching on the doctoral level tend to mirror the latest research findings and ways of thinking about higher education leadership, managerial dynamics, and bureaucratic change. These programs offer midcareer adult students advanced training on ways to shape educational domains into more vitally energetic communities of learning. The programs may differ in name, depending upon the institution where these graduate degree programs are offered. Listed below are some of the most common program titles:
- Educational Leadership
- Higher Education Administration
- Higher Education Leadership
- Leadership and Learning in Organizations
- Educational Leadership and Management
- Education in Leadership and Learning in Organizations
- Educational Leadership in Higher Education
What kinds of courses are offered in doctor of higher education leadership and teaching education programs? What do they teach?
No matter how a higher education leadership and teaching education program is titled, it will include both foundation curriculum and hands-on learning that lets you try different strategies for sharing career-related knowledge with students of all abilities.
Sample courses in doctorate higher education leadership and teaching education programs:
Programs offering a doctoral degree in educational leadership and teaching require that you complete and pass a specified number of core courses. The core requirements typically focus on communication, working with diverse communities, assessing schools and teachers, and implementing new strategies and technologies.
Each school may differ a bit in their requirements toward this degree, but most are based on the following types of courses:
- Educational Leadership and Change — Covers the characteristics, styles, strategies, and change processes that constitute leadership. You’ll create a plan of action for a school-based project and perform a reflective analysis of a log you’ll keep. Interviewing a leader and developing a leadership portfolio is often included in the course plan.
- Leadership for Social Justice — Examines the different approaches to and controversies related to social justice issues. From this course, you’ll gain knowledge about culturally responsive leadership, community-to-school relationships, and how to create diversity policies for students’ equity in education.
- Research Methods — This course involves applying methods and techniques, such as qualitative and quantitative statistics and analysis, to identify and interpret research findings. Prepare reviews of literature in the field.
- Organizational Theory and Behavior — During this course, you’ll analyze the structure and organization of U.S. public education, including its historical development. Also under study are organizational change theory, development, and planning processes.
Variations in coursework in doctorate higher education leadership and teaching education programs
Program curricula will vary depending on the school’s goals. Some of the factors of your decision will include cost and time to complete, but you cannot underestimate the importance of the coursework in the program. Make certain to research all the courses in a program you’re considering to make sure they are relevant to your goals.
What else makes doctoral higher education leadership and teaching education programs unique?
A doctoral program in this field of study is devised to produce thoughtful leaders who understand our complicated and ever-evolving higher education systems. Graduates will be able to identify and assess problems of practice, become informed decision-makers, and contribute to the extension of learning, scholarship, and service. The unique features of these programs include:
- Communication Skills — Developing the skills necessary to communicate effectively and clearly with community leaders, parents, and faculty members.
- Address Critical Issues — Research method courses help you use current analytical studies to help remedy problems as quickly as possible.
- Leadership Skills — These skills are helpful throughout life, but specific to the field of education, they’ll help you promote positive social change. Leadership also enhances your strategic planning and budgeting, assessment, and program evaluation tasks.
What jobs are available to people with a doctorate in higher education leadership and teaching education?
Gaining a doctorate in higher education leadership and teaching prepares you for many rewarding career positions. In an educational system, you may go on to become a dean at a university or a superintendent within a school district. Jobs in government agencies, corporations, and nonprofits are also highly desirable positions available to you once you’ve completed an Ed.D. program in this field.
Education — PreK-12 and universities or colleges
- Manage everyday school operations, including the budget
- Oversee faculty, advise students
- Work within the community and with a school board
- Teach college-level classes
- Develop course curricula
- Engage in research and publish findings
- Hire school principals
- Create district policies
- Meet with the community to discuss educational goals
Other corporations and businesses
Executive Director of Education
- Make day-to-day operational decisions for a nonprofit organization
- Hire and manage staff
- Handle external relations
- Oversee a budget and fundraising initiatives
Chief Learning Officers
- Develop and implement strategies to help a college meet important business goals
- Create learning, training, and development strategies
- Oversee the organization’s technologies, including online learning platforms