Ed.D. in Educational Leadership
National Louis University's Doctorate of Education in Educational Leadership (Ed.D.) is a three-year, advanced practitioner-oriented professional preparation program for school district or system leaders. Though it officially targets endorsement for the superintendency, the Doctorate in Educational Leadership program prepares leaders for a variety of roles in schools, districts, charter organizations, technical assistance organizations, policy and political organizations, and government.
Consider getting your doctoral degree in educational leadership at NLU if you:
- Want to pursue your superintendent endorsement (formerly educational leadership certification) or other educational leadership credentials as stipulated by state or district requirements in your area
- Are interested in a blended program where you experience online learning along with regular face-to-face meetings
- Possess the desire and determination to complete your degree in three years
Why Earn Your Doctorate in Educational Leadership at NLU?
NLU's has a long-standing reputation for its education and teacher training programs, and is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). Since 1886, NLU has trained thousands of educators and continue to graduate the majority of Illinois' Golden Apple Award winners — one of the most prestigious teacher honors in the state.
The three-year educational leadership doctoral program is offered in a cohort format. Cohorts may meet one weekend per month in a weekend residency with classes held on Friday night, Saturday morning and afternoon. Cohorts are also offered in the more traditional model of meeting every week on a specified weeknight. All cohorts have a strong online presence using our Learning Management System for discussions, retrieval of materials, and submission of assignments. The dissertation is ongoing throughout the program and is complete at the end of the third year. In addition, the internship component is completed during the three years with students working closely with a faculty internship advisor and practicing superintendent.
What You Will Learn
Combining structured curriculum through coursework and internship experiences, the program integrates theory, research and practice into a cohesive plan of study for educational leaders. The focus will be on:
- Teaching and Learning
- Change Leadership
- Policy Analysis and Advocacy
Employment of education administrators is expected to grow by about eight percent through the remainder of the decade. The expected growth is primarily the result of increased enrollments of school-aged children. The number of administrative positions will continue to increase as more administrative responsibilities are placed on individual schools, particularly with regard to monitoring student achievement. Student enrollment in post-secondary schools is projected to grow more rapidly than in elementary and middle schools.
Two Program Options
There are two options for students admitted to the Doctorate in Educational Leadership (EDL) doctoral program.
• Option One: Students seeking the superintendent’s endorsement in addition to earning the doctoral degree. Students choosing option one must hold an Illinois Professional Educator License endorsed for general administrative or principal licensure, Wisconsin Type 51, or other state-approved principal’s endorsement upon admission. Students admitted to this option must complete all 60sh of the program, including EDL690 Educational Leadership Internship, and are then eligible to apply for the Illinois or Wisconsin Superintendent Endorsement.
• Option Two (available in Illinois and Wisconsin only): Students not seeking the superintendent’s endorsement. Students choosing option two may be admitted without an Illinois Type 75 or its equivalent, Wisconsin Type 51, or other state-approved principal’s endorsement. However, this option does not lead to endorsement, either principal or superintendent, upon completion of the program. Students admitted to this option must complete all 60sh of the program, including EDL690 Educational Leadership Internship, but are not eligible to apply for principal certification or the superintendent endorsement. In addition to admission requirements set forth by the Foster G. McGaw Graduate School, applicants for doctoral study in Educational Leadership are to document evidence of at least two years of leadership in the educational field. During the admission interview, the applicant is asked to share educational background, experience, career and research interests, and applicability of this program to the applicant’s goals.
Candidates may bring in up to 12 semester hours from another doctoral program if approved by faculty and not part of another
degree program that has been completed.
Educational Leadership Doctoral Program Admission Requirements
All applicants must meet NLU's general admission requirements as well as additional requirements specific to this program. Refer to the appropriate application checklist available online at nl.edu/applyonline.
Get more information today about enrolling at NLU. Connect with an Enrollment Specialist.
Please note: The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) may change the state licensure and endorsement requirements at any time and without prior notice. Teacher candidates will be bound by the requirements in place when applying for licensure, not by the licensure requirements in place when beginning their program. That is, the state may specify that a new regulation is immediately applicable to all candidates with no provisions made for candidates who began their work on licensure under different regulations.