Education Doctoral Program
Graduate College of Education
Dean: Dr. Cynthia Grutzik
Phone: (415) 405-4103
Director: Dr. Barbara Henderson
Graduate Coordinator: Dr. Andrea Goldfien
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Educational Leadership
The Ed.D. in Educational Leadership is a three-year, intensive, multidisciplinary program that culminates in a doctoral degree in Educational Leadership (Ed.D.) with specializations in P-12 or community college leadership. The program focuses on transformative leadership, social justice, and equity. The program's purpose is to prepare educational leaders who envision and lead social justice reform for California public education from early childhood through community college and other postsecondary settings.
This applied doctoral program prepares educational leaders who will work in California public school settings including early childhood sites, elementary, middle, and high schools, and our community college system. The program strives to prepare a new generation of educational leaders who reflect the vast diversity of our state, and to that end, we honor the cultural and personal knowledge, as well as the resiliency that our students bring.
Our goal is to prepare leaders who can enhance development, learning, and academic achievement for all students. We prepare leaders who will work in our local communities to equalize student access to the cultural capital that a rigorous education based on open-minded inquiry and reflection can provide. San Francisco State University’s Ed.D. program is centered on issues of leadership, equity, and social justice and strives to use curricular materials and instructional methods that embrace this courageous approach. Our doctoral faculty are a multi-disciplinary group who are conducting research and taking practical action as public intellectuals around these same issues of social justice in education.
A distinctive aspect of our program is how the doctoral faculty conceptualize the dissertation as a problem of practice, a form of research most applicable for students earning an Ed.D. Specifically, we support our doctoral students to undertake practical and applied research including evaluation projects, practitioner research, participant action research, self-studies, and non-traditional research forms, such as narrative inquiry, autoethnography, as well as other research genres that involve artistic or creative expression.
Regardless of form, the overarching goal for our graduates’ culminating research projects is that these original inquiry projects will make a positive difference in the educational opportunities California provides for all of its people. These culminating projects should also demonstrate the potential to create broader ripples of influence, as our graduates take on increasingly significant leadership roles in educational institutions and community organizations.
The curriculum addresses three major categories: (1) leadership and administration, (2) social justice and equity, and (3) inquiry. Other notable aspects of the program include:
- Face-to-face classes and a cohort model provide ongoing support and build professional networking opportunities among peers.
- Culminating research projects focus on addressing current and urgent issues of practice in diverse educational settings and take action to improve programs and systems for increased equity and to meet social justice goals.
- Course scheduling accommodates the needs of working professionals. Courses are offered on weekends during fall, spring, and summer semesters.
- Courses are taught by multidisciplinary faculty and educational practitioners to ensure students gain an understanding of the complexities of providing effective leadership for educational institutions, given current and historical social, political, and economic contexts.
Program Learning Outcomes
Leadership: Students will be able to:
- Initiate, facilitate, and sustain collaborations
- Make complex decisions
- Act as ethical change agents
- Apply knowledge on issues of accountability
- Apply knowledge of education policy, public financing, and budgeting
Equity: Students will be able to:
- Apply analysis of inequalities to design and lead education institutions
- Support effective equity-centered curricula and pedagogy
- Integrate research & theory with data to address barriers to recruiting and retaining people from under-represented backgrounds
- Integrate findings to support special needs and non- traditional students
- Use effective communication with underserved populations
Inquiry: Students will be able to
- Evaluate a range of qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods research on ed. leadership
- Use findings from relevant qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods research on ed. leadership
- Interpret program evaluations, research reports, to identify programmatic applications of research findings
- Design and carry out educational research that addresses a practical problem of educational leadership
The program encourages individuals to apply who have a background, experience, and potential in educational leadership in the community, early childhood, P-12 and postsecondary settings, who are committed to social justice, and who seek to build their expertise and capacity as agents of change through a Doctorate of Education (Ed.D.)
The program requires the following for admission:
- A master's degree from accredited institutions of higher education with a cumulative grade point average in graduate study of 3.0 or above.
- Demonstrated competence in writing as determined by the Ed.D. Program and Graduate Studies at SF State. Typically, applicants score a 4.0 or above on the analytical writing portion of the Graduate Record Exam (GRE); conditional admission may be offered to applicants with lower GRE writing scores.
- Non-native speakers of English must have a minimum score of 80 on the iBT-TOEFL or 6.5 on the IELTS overall, or a 55 PTE.
- Submission of Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores on the three sections of the General Test. GRE scores from the previous five (5) years are valid for this purpose. In some circumstances, scores from other tests (e.g., GMAT) may be accepted in lieu of the GRE.
- Demonstrated educational leadership experience or potential in educational settings, community-based organizations, or policy development and analysis.
- Demonstrated academic excellence, problem-solving ability, and interest in critically assessing and bringing about improvements in current educational policies and practices.
- Professional résumé or Curriculum Vitae.
- Three letters of recommendation attesting to the candidate's leadership and scholarship potential.
- A written personal statement reflecting an understanding of the equity challenges leaders face in California's public schools or community colleges/institutions of higher education and how the Ed.D. would support the applicant's professional goals.
- A personal interview with the admissions committee.
Meeting the minimum requirements qualifies an individual for consideration, but does not guarantee admission to the program. Admission will be granted on a competitive basis. The Ed.D. in Educational Leadership does not include a second-language requirement.
Criteria for Continuing in the Program
- Students must advance to candidacy and complete all courses and milestones demonstrating skill, academic competence, and standards of scholarship and professionalism expected in this doctoral program.
- Students are expected to make satisfactory progress in accordance with the Ed.D. cohort structure and program of study.
- Students must maintain at least a 3.0 cumulative grade point average.
- Students may not have a grade point average below 3.0 in two successive semesters.
- Students must pass all program milestones within two attempts.
The program expects the following of students in completing unit requirements:
- The program of study is composed of at least 60 semester units earned in graduate status at the doctoral level.
- At least 48 semester units must be completed in residence at SF State. The program leadership may authorize the substitution of credit earned by alternate means for no more than 12 units of these 60 required units.
- A grade point average of 3.0 (grade of B) or better must be maintained in all courses taken to satisfy the requirements for the degree, and courses in which no letter grade is assigned will not be used in computing the grade point average.
- No more than 12 semester units will be allowed for the culminating experience or dissertation.
Students in this program continuously self-reflect and receive feedback from faculty on their learning. Additionally, there are three milestones that provide formal assessment during the program:
- The initial milestone occurs after the first year of coursework when the student must pass the qualifying examination to advance to the second year. The qualifying examination is a short paper that is read and scored by a faculty panel.
- The second milestone is the dissertation proposal defense, which should be completed during the second year of coursework. It requires an oral defense of the student's research proposal to their dissertation committee. The dissertation study should be related to a significant leadership problem or issue fundamentally grounded in equity and social justice in the context of early childhood, P-12, community college, or other postsecondary education.
- The third and final milestone is the presentation of the student's dissertation study through an oral defense of their work before their dissertation committee, including completion of all required revisions, as stipulated by their committee.
The dissertation must focus on a significant problem or issue and have the potential to contribute to the improvement of public education. Work in support of this final research project is embedded throughout the curriculum. All research undertaken for the dissertation must meet the requirements and gain the approval of the University Institutional Review Board and the Office for the Protection of Human and Animal Subjects. The dissertation may take a variety of forms and must demonstrate a strong scholarly and professional foundation of knowledge on the part of the student, with a strong potential to impact educational systems and or policy in California.
For application details, please visit the Ed.D. in Educational Leadership web site: edd.sfsu.edu.
Dr. Barbara Henderson, Director
Ed.D. in Educational Leadership
San Francisco State University
1600 Holloway Avenue, BH 521
San Francisco, CA 94132
Phone: (415) 405-4103
Educational Leadership (Ed.D.) — Minimum 60 units
To be eligible for the Ed.D. degree, the students must progress through and complete a specified pattern of study that includes 60 units of doctoral level coursework (outlined below).
In addition, students must pass the three program milestones:
- Qualifying exam written during the second semester;
- Defense of their dissertation or culminating research project proposal before the Dissertation Committee;
- Defense of their dissertation or culminating research project before the Dissertation Committee.
Sixty units of doctoral level coursework are comprised of 20 courses offered through the Educational Leadership Doctoral Program under three main themes: Leadership, Equity, and Inquiry. The courses are listed below:
|EDDL 910||Transformational Leadership and Coalition Building (Themes: Leadership and Equity)||3|
|EDDL 911||Organizational Behavior, Change, and Systemic Reform (Themes: Leadership and Equity)||3|
|EDDL 912||Advanced Educational Leadership Seminar (Themes: Leadership and Equity)||3|
|EDDL 920||Literacy and English Language Learners (Themes: Leadership and Equity)||3|
|EDDL 921||Theories of Learning and Student Development in Math and Science (Themes: Leadership and Equity)||3|
|EDDL 930||Qualitative Analysis for Education Theory, Practice, and Transformative Leadership (Theme: Inquiry)||3|
|EDDL 931||Quantitative Analysis of Structural Inequality in Education (Theme: Inquiry)||3|
|EDDL 932||Transformational Strategies to Address Inequality in Education and Society (Themes: Leadership and Equity)||3|
|EDDL 940||Policy, Law, and the Political Economy of Education (Themes: Leadership and Equity)||3|
|EDDL 941||Accountability and Performance of Educational Organizations (Themes: Leadership, Equity, and Inquiry)||3|
|EDDL 942||Integrated Planning and Budget (Themes: Leadership and Equity)||3|
|EDDL 945||Communication Techniques & Strategies in Educational Leadership (Themes: Leadership and Equity)||3|
|EDDL 961||American Education Leadership (Themes: Equity and Inquiry)||3|
|EDDL 962||Analyzing Critical Issues in Education (Themes: Leadership, Equity, and Inquiry)||3|
|EDDL 963||Seminar: Linking Theory with Practice (Theme: Inquiry)||3|
|EDDL 964||Research Seminar: Analyzing Critical Issues in Teaching and Learning (Theme: Inquiry)||3|
|EDDL 965||Advanced Research Design (Theme: Inquiry)||3|
|EDDL 966||Data Collection Methods (Theme: Inquiry)||3|
|EDDL 997||Dissertation Seminar: Early Stage Writing and Data Analysis (Theme: Inquiry) (repeatable for up to 9 credits)||3|
|EDDL 998||Dissertation (Theme: Inquiry)||3|
Educational Leadership Discipline Courses
|EDDL 910||Transformational Leadership and Coalition Building||3|
|EDDL 911||Organizational Behavior, Change, and Systemic Reform||3|
|EDDL 912||Advanced Educational Leadership Seminar||3|
|EDDL 920||Literacy and English Language Learners||3|
|EDDL 921||Theories of Learning and Student Development in Math and Science||3|
|EDDL 930||Qualitative Analysis for Education Theory, Practice, and Transformative Leadership||3|
|EDDL 931||Quantitative Analysis of Structural Inequality in Education||3|
|EDDL 932||Transformational Strategies to Address Inequality in Education and Society||3|
|EDDL 940||Policy, Law, and the Political Economy of Education||3|
|EDDL 941||Accountability and Performance of Educational Organizations||3|
|EDDL 942||Integrated Planning and Budget||3|
|EDDL 945||Communication Techniques & Strategies in Educational Leadership||3|
|EDDL 961||American Education Leadership||3|
|EDDL 962||Analyzing Critical Issues in Education||3|
|EDDL 963||Seminar: Linking Theory with Practice||3|
|EDDL 964||Research Seminar: Analyzing Critical Issues in Teaching and Learning||3|
|EDDL 965||Advanced Research Design||3|
|EDDL 966||Data Collection Methods||3|
|EDDL 997||Dissertation Seminar: Early Stage Writing and Data Analysis||3|
|EDDL 999||Independent Study||3|