Doctoral Program Details

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3 years| Credit Hours: 60

The online Ed.D. program in School Improvement offers a unique  opportunity for educators looking for an interdisciplinary, inquiry-based doctoral program that prepares graduates to become the next generation of change agents. Our mission is to develop educational professionals who initiate systemic and sustainable improvement in schools. Graduates will strategically and collaboratively plan, design, implement, and document the impact of educational improvements that promote and increase the academic achievement and social development of all students.

Two things make the Ed.D. in School Improvement unique (1) the program provides for students to develop a specialized "Area of Concentration" and (2) students work on their dissertations simultaneously with their coursework. Students can complete their dissertation by the end of their coursework.

Program Description

The doctoral program in School Improvement is challenging, rigorous, interdisciplinary, and focuses on developing skills in three areas that comprise our core curriculum: Teaching and Learning Leadership for Change Research and Effective Use of Data In addition to our core curriculum, students customize an area of concentration, based on individual needs and interests, to provide a focus for their doctoral studies. Moreover, we have designed the program so that we assist our students in conducting and completing their dissertations from day one. Through a unique synergy of dissertation classes, workshops, and faculty mentoring, students will complete their dissertations simultaneously with coursework. Our faculty are nationally recognized, committed to school improvement, understand your needs as an adult online learner, and make the successful completion of your dissertation a priority. This program is a cohort model that only admits students in the summer semester. This program is designed to take three years to complete. The Doctorate In School Improvement Program Website includes a directory of instructors and their credentials, as well as other vital information. Margaret Parrish (Pre-enrollment advisor) parrishm@westga.edu 678-839-6062

Method of Delivery

Coursework is available 100% online; one orientation is required on the Carrollton campus and one on-campus dissertation boot camp. However, the on campus sessions are scheduled over one long weekend, for travel convenience. 

Accreditation

NCATE

Credit & Transfer

Total semester hours required to earn a degree: 60
Maximum Hours Transferable into program: 12

Tuition & Fees

Save money.

Online courses and programs can mean a huge cost-savings in many ways. No more high gas charges. No childcare needed. The flexibility can allow one to maintain a job while attending school. Out-of-state students are not charged non-resident tuition rates.

Earn more.

The completion of an accredited online degree also increases your earning potential.

The bottom line - value.

Our online courses are as affordable as you will find among accredited schools.

For the most up-to-date and accurate cost information, see the Bursar's Office website at http://www.westga.edu/bursar/. (Fully online courses appear as NET charges on the bottom of the Bursar's spreadsheets.)

Coursework

Through a unique synergy of dissertation classes, workshops, and faculty mentoring, students will complete their dissertations simultaneously with coursework.

This program is a cohort model that only admits students in the summer semester and is designed to take three years to complete.

The Areas of Concentration (or AoC) in the School Improvement program are 12 credit hours of electives that comprise a student's focus within the program. Specific AoC's are developed in conjunction with various departments within the College of Education at the University of West Georgia. Currently, the available AoC's include:

Another option available to students is to develop a customized AoC. At a minimum, an individualized AoC must meet the following criteria:

  • It must have a thematic, cohesive foundation.
  • It must consist of a minimum of 12 semester hours of credit.
  • The coursework must be post-Masters level.
  • It must be approved by the Director of the Ed.D. Program in School Improvement.
  • It must have been completed within seven years of the date of admission to the Ed.D. degree program.
  • A grade of B or higher must have been earned in the coursework.

A customized AoC does not have to be taken only at our University. If you want a specialized, unique Area of Concentration, you can "assemble" one from another institution (either online or face-to-face), provided it meets the minimum criteria listed above AND that the hours were completed at an accredited institution. These hours could then be transferred into the program.

Please note that any customized AoC must be pre-approved by the Program Director. Please contact the Director with any questions about this policy.

Program Evaluation - EDSI-9171
Complete: 8 - 15 Weeks | Credit hours: 3.0

Description: This course focuses on the theories, concepts, and processes involved in planning and managing evaluations. Students will engage in evaluations in specific education situations (individual, group, organizational) using focus groups, key stakeholder interviews, survey design, data gathering, analysis and/or other methods as appropriate and analyze outcomes to make recommendations for development and/or remediation.

Dissertation Mentoring I - EDSI-9901
Complete: 8 - 15 Weeks | Credit hours: 2.0

Description: The purpose of this course is to begin the process of assisting candidates with moving from the role of student to that of emerging scholar and researcher through making steady progress toward completing the dissertation process. Students will understand the dissertation process and create a plan for the direction of their program of study including selecting topics of concentration, conducting research, and writing multiple dissertation plans based on a variety of research methods and approaches.

Dissertation Mentoring Section 2 - EDSI-9902
Complete: 8 - 15 Weeks | Credit hours: 2.0

Description: The purpose of this course is to continue the process of assisting candidates with moving from the role of student to that of emerging scholar and researcher through making steady progress toward completing the dissertation process. Students will understand the dissertation process and create a plan for the direction of their program of study including selecting topics of concentration, conducting research, and writing multiple dissertation plans based on a variety of research methods and approaches.

Dissertation Mentoring Section 3 - EDSI-9903
Complete: 8 - 15 Weeks | Credit hours: 2.0

Description: The purpose of this course is to continue the process of assisting candidates with moving from the role of student to that of emerging scholar and researcher through making steady progress toward completing the dissertation process. Students will understand the dissertation process and create a plan for the direction of their program of study including selecting topics of concentration, conducting research, and writing multiple dissertation plans based on a variety of research methods and approaches.

Leadership for Diversity in the 21st Century - EDSI-9923
Complete: 8 - 15 Weeks | Credit hours: 3.0

Description: This course will encourage a culturally pluralistic and global perspective on the equitable education of culturally and linguistically diverse student populations. Students in the course will investigate the philosophical, theoretical, and historical foundations of multicultural education; the values inherent in cross-cultural communication; and relationships between verbal and nonverbal communication systems. Interpersonal skills for encouraging harmony between the dominant culture and culturally and linguistically diverse populations will be topics for investigation.

Policy Analysis for School Improvement - EDSI-9925
Complete: 8 - 15 Weeks | Credit hours: 3.0

Description: This course is an advanced study of policy and its impact on the field of education broadly, and school improvement specifically. There is a specific emphasis on policy development and analysis. The course is designed to enable educators to become knowledgeable, effective, and responsible actors within the political and policy arenas of schooling.

Leadership for Change - EDSI-9933
Complete: 8 - 15 Weeks | Credit hours: 3.0

Description: This course addresses the theories and processes of change in societies, cultures, and organizations with particular emphasis on change within the educational systems. Completion of this course will enable students to effectively use theories and processes in their role as change agents within their own educational environments. Change strategies that lead to school improvement are emphasized.

Models of School Improvement and Reform - EDSI-9941
Complete: 8 - 15 Weeks | Credit hours: 3.0

Description: This course overviews nationally recognized models for school improvement, the forces and factors that influence school improvement and reform, the barriers to change and reform, and how change can be instigated within educational settings. Students build and value a conceptual understanding of the knowledge base in school improvement. Students develop foundational skills in different styles of writing required throughout the doctoral program.

Instructional Leadership That Facilitates School Improvement - EDSI-9942
Complete: 8 - 15 Weeks | Credit hours: 3.0

Description: This course prepares students to be instructional leaders in their educational settings. The knowledge base in effective teaching, motivation and learning, clinical supervision and professional development are explored and analyzed as vehicles for school improvement.

Models of Professional Development - EDSI-9943
Complete: 8 - 15 Weeks | Credit hours: 3.0

Description: This course identifies current research and theory in principles and models of professional development in the context of school improvement. Students will examine pedagogies of professional development, structures that support teacher and adult learning, models of profession development, issues that influence and define teacher learning, and evaluation of professional development.

Research Design - EDSI-9960
Complete: 8 - 15 Weeks | Credit hours: 3.0

Description: This course provides an overview of quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods research designs. Students will learn the fundamental components of research design including developing research questions, reviewing scholarly literature, exploring theory and theoretical frameworks, and the role of ethics in educational research.

Quantitative Research Methods - EDSI-9961
Complete: 8 - 15 Weeks | Credit hours: 3.0

Description: This course introduces the graduate student to basic methods of empirical inquiry used in education, nursing, and related social sciences. Quantitative research designs commonly used in these disciplines are emphasized. Students will learn how to select samples, identify appropriate measurement instruments, analyze data descriptively, and apply a variety of inferential statistical tests to answer research questions.

Qualitative Research Methods - EDSI-9962
Complete: 8 - 15 Weeks | Credit hours: 3.0

Description: This course focuses on the use of qualitative methods of research, including theoretical perspectives and methods of collection and analysis of qualitative data sources in educational studies. It emphasizes analysis of work samples, observations, inquiry data, artifacts, and other sources of data. Students become skilled at using methods of qualitative research to evaluate school improvement issues. In addition, students examine strategies for thematic and other forms of analysis of observational and inquiry data. Throughout the course students collect and analyze school improvement data.

Advanced Research Seminar - EDSI-9964
Complete: 8 - 15 Weeks | Credit hours: 3.0

Description: In this course students will strategically begin data collection and analysis processes for their individual research studies. Students will learn how to interpret and write results, discussions, and implications for their studies related to existing literature and theoretical frameworks.

Research for Doctoral Dissertation - EDSI-9998
Complete: 8 - 15 Weeks | Credit hours: 1.0

Description: Students develop and carry out an independent research project in school improvement. A minimum of nine semester hours in this course is required for graduation. Continuous enrollment is required while working on the dissertation project. Prerequisites: Consent of dissertation chairperson and admission to candidacy.

Guidelines for Admittance

  • All graduate applicants must complete the online Grad Application. A one-time application fee of $40 is required.
  • International applicants are subject to additional requirements and application deadlines. See Procedures for International Students.
  • Earned Master’s degree from a regionally or nationally accredited institution.

Program-specific Admittance Guidelines

We will accept (complete only) application packets beginning October 1, 2014.

Application packets must be postmarked by February 1, 2015.

Application Process for Cohort 16 (Beginning Summer, 2015)

Thanks for your interest in the University of West Georgia. Admission to the Doctor of School Improvement Degree is competitive; consequently students are urged to submit the strongest possible packet of application materials. All applicants, including previous UWG students, complete all steps of the application process as outlined below. Only complete, timely packets will be considered.

Step 1–Online Application, Official GRE Scores, and International Students

(A) Complete the online application for graduate studies. The online application requires a $40.00 non-refundable application fee.

(B) Send official GRE scores to the University of West Georgia. Scores must be no more than 5 years old. (Verbal and Quantitative reasoning)

(C) International applicants must follow procedures and timelines of the UWG International Office.

Step 2-Mail Application Packet to COE Graduate Studies

Send one complete packet to:
The University of West Georgia
COE Graduate Studies
1601 Maple Street
Carrollton, GA 30118
Attn: Deanna Richards

What is be Returned in the Mailed Packet?

(A) Signed Mission Statement

(B) Three Letters of Recommendation: (Must use this form). At least one of the letters must be from a current or past supervisor.

(C) Vitae: A vitae listing education and employment history, experience with school improvement, and awards and recognitions. Provide your current and complete contact information, including an active e-mail address.

(D) Official Transcripts: Request official transcripts from institution(s) that you have attended. Place the transcripts in this packet in their original, sealed envelopes (it cannot be treated as official if it has been opened).

(E) Essay: Complete a 750-1,000 word essay that discusses your personal goals related to school improvement.  In your essay, include any literature (e.g., research article) that has informed your professional practice or otherwise influenced you. (Include appropriate APA citations.)

You will receive notice upon receipt of your mailed packet. Incomplete packets will be returned to sender and will not be considered.

Finalists will be selected for a telephone or Skype interview.

Thanks again for your interest and best of luck!

Application Deadlines

Application deadline for the summer 2015 cohort is February, 1, 2015.

The Ed.D. in School Improvement is a cohort program that only admits once a year, each Summer.

Admission Process Checklist

  • Complete online application and pay $40 non-refundable application fee
  • Official GRE scores (must be no more than 5 years old) which include Verbal & Quantitative reasoning
  • Signed Mission Statement (must use official form)
  • Three Letters of Recommendation (must use official form)
  • Vitae listing education and employement history
  • Official Transcripts (must be included in packet)
  • 750-1000 word Essay that discusses personal goals & suitability for the School Improvement Degree

Contact

The Doctorate In School Improvement Program Website includes a directory of instructors and their credentials, as well as other vital information.

Contact
Margaret Parrish (Pre-enrollment advisor) parrishm@westga.edu 678-839-6062

Dates

This program ONLY admits for summer term.

Summer 2015 Admission Deadline: February 1, 2015

Specific dates for Admissions (Undergraduate Only), Financial Aid, Fee Payment, Registration, Start/End of Term Dates, Final Exams, etc. are available in THE SCOOP at http://www.westga.edu/registrar/766.php.

Specific Graduate Admissions Deadlines: 

Learning Objectives

  • School Improvement and Reform: Students will move schools and stakeholders in directions that enhance student learning and social development and ultimately benefit society
  • Leadership: Students will influence others toward a shared commitment to a common purpose
  • Teaching and Learning: Students will understand and use the knowledge based on effective teaching and learning to initiate teacher development and school improvement
  • Research and the Effective Use of Data: Students will understand, conduct, and apply impactful research in school improvement and reform
  • Scholarly Persuasion: Students will engage in rational discussion informed by and grounded in the knowledge base and research in education and school improvement