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The Doctor of Education degree in Instructional Leadership from Freed-Hardeman University is supported by two tenets linked to 1) a call by state leaders for increased leadership capacity to better prepare effective school leaders and 2) prior successes of Freed-Hardeman University's education programs.
FHU's Doctor of Education degree program in Instructional Leadership will prepare instructional leaders who will not only lead in management and teaching; but most importantly will prepare individuals who will become visionary instructional leaders capable of effecting profound change that produces improved student achievement in a supportive environment.
This program is created specifically for practicing teachers, educational leaders, and district and site administrators in public and nonpublic schools and school systems. The degree program fosters the development of leadership skills associated with visionary leadership and change management coupled with traditional instructional tasks such as goal setting, resource allocation, curriculum management, and analysis of instructional content and design. Through self-reflection, analysis, and practical application of best practices, doctoral students will utilize these skills to solve real problems in the workplace. In addition, the program focuses on developing school and teacher leaders with the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to transform educational organizations by creating professional development programs that emphasize data-driven decision making for improved instruction in schools.
Dr. Aarek Farmer
Graduate Admissions Counselor
FHU's Doctor of Education program is designed to serve non-traditional students. The program is an innovative, flexible program that utilizes the latest technology in its delivery system. The program allows the non-traditional student to complete the degree while continuing his/her full-time employment. Most specifically, it is designed to develop advanced instructional leaders who will meet the academic and accountability needs of schools, school districts, and educational agencies throughout Tennessee.
FHU's program is unique in that it is currently the only Doctor of Education degree in Instructional Leadership in the state of Tennessee.
Doctor of Education Degree in Instructional Leadership, concentration in Administration and Supervision
A program leading to a Doctor of Education Degree with a license in administration and supervision.
Doctor of Education Degree in Instructional Leadership, concentration in Teacher Leadership
A program leading to a non-licensure Doctor of Education Degree with a concentration in teacher leadership.
**Students who elect to pursue the Instructional Leadership program will enroll first in EDU 601.
To be officially admitted to the program, students must successfully meet the following requirements for candidacy; the official declaration of the major:
Upon acceptance, students must enroll in EDU 601 Foundations of School Administration and Supervision during their first semester.
*For students for whom English is a secondary language, official scores for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) are required. Minimum scores: 500 on the paper-based exam, 173 on the computer-based exam, or 61 on the internet-based exam.
Total: 57 hours
*If students are note graduated after completing all coursework, which includes EDU 773, EDU774, and EDU 775, students will be considered ABD (all but dissertation) status. ABD students must maintain continuous enrollment each fall, spring, and summer semesters until graduation. ABD students must enroll in EDU 776 or EDU 777 to maintain continuous enrollment until graduation. Students must enroll in EDU 776 first, as it is a prerequisite to EDU 777. Students are still required to complete all program requirements within six (6) years.
Candidacy for TILS Licensure
Students who aspire to become a candidate for the Tennessee Instructional Leadership Licensure (ILL-B) and enroll in EDU 601 will complete the following process:
1. While enrolled in EDU 601, students will be interviewed by one full-time P–12 instructional leader and an FHU ILL faculty member. Interview questions will be aligned to the following areas:
1) Implementation of innovative learning strategies in their classrooms
2) Evidence of good communications, human relations, and organizational skills
3) Use of student data and work samples to make instructional decisions
4) Demonstration of high ethical standards
2. Each student will present a portfolio demonstrating his/her potential as an instructional leader. In accordance with the 2015 Tennessee Learning Centered Leadership Policy, aspiring instructional leaders will present a portfolio that includes artifacts as follows:
a) Latest composite teacher evaluations to include Tennessee Department of Education TVAAS scores. Candidates from out-of-state or teaching at an independent school will submit their latest composite professional evaluation for assessment by the program director.
b) Current Professional Development Plan.
c) Evidence of ability to improve student achievement and also demonstration of leadership in coaching other teachers to raise student achievement.
d) A personal statement of career goals and how the preparation program would assist the candidate in reaching stated goals.
e) Evidence of knowledge about curriculum, instruction, and assessment.
f) Evidence that describes qualities of collaboration, cooperation, and relationship building.
g) Evidence of challenging students through rigorous, standards-based teaching.
h) Evidence of integrating technology into daily teaching.
i) Evidence of working collaboratively on teaching/learning issues with teaching teams.
j) Evidence of analyzed research applied to practice.
k) Aspiring instructional leaders will be required to complete an "on-demand" writing sample. This writing sample will be assessed by the Instructional Leadership candidate selection committee.
l) Demonstration of leadership in the larger community, including civic and faith-based organizations.
m) Demonstration of the ability to articulate and implement a vision.
n) Evidence of shown commitment to continuous improvement.
***If students desiring to obtain an Ed.D. in Administration and Supervision (Licensure) do not meet the necessary requirements, they may crossover to the Ed.D. Teacher Leadership (non-licensure) program or the Ed.S. program. Students will then be required to meet all the exit requirements within their new program of study.
Total 57 hours
*If students are not graduated after completing all coursework, which includes EDU 773, EDU 774, and EDU 775, students will be considered ABD (all but dissertation) status. ABD students must maintain continuous enrollment each fall, spring, and summer semesters until graduation. ABD students must enroll in EDU 776 or EDU 777 to maintain continuous enrollment until graduation. Students must enroll in EDU 776 first, as it is a prerequisite to EDU 777. Students are still required to complete all program requirements within six (6) calendar years.
***If students desiring to obtain an Ed.D. Teacher Leadership (non-licensure) do not meet the necessary requirements, they may crossover to the Ed.D. in Administration and Supervision (Licensure) program or the Ed.S. program. Students will then be required to meet all the exit requirements within their new program of study.
All necessary forms for the Ed.D. program can be found here: Forms for the Ed. D. Program
What courses are required for all Ed.D. students?
All students are required to follow the program of studies for which they are enrolled. Students who have completed an Education Specialist degree at Freed-Hardeman University may transfer up to thirty-six (36) hours from their previous Ed.S. coursework into the Ed.D. program. Students who fall under this specific circumstance and are accepted into the Ed.D. program will be required to complete the following course load to complete their Ed.D.
What do I need to know about Comprehensive Exams?
The comprehensive examination consists of two parts. The leadership exam is taken after the student has successfully completed all of the core courses in their program of studies. The statistics exam is completed after the student has successfully completed EDU 671. The purpose of the examination is to demonstrate substantial progress in meeting the Student Learning Outcomes of the program. The comprehensive exam includes a written and an oral portion. The written portion contains questions provided by the comprehensive exam committee. The oral portion consists of an oral defense of the written materials. The student will discuss highlights of their submissions and respond to questions from their comprehensive exam committee. Students must pass both the written and oral portion of the exam. Once the student passes all examinations, a selection committee will determine if they will be chosen for the next cohort.
*The PRAXIS 6011 exam can be used in lieu of the leadership exam for students enrolled in the administration and supervision track.
The comprehensive exam committee will review and score the comprehensive exam. The comprehensive exam committee will consist of three persons, appointed from among core and affiliated faculty by the Program Director. By passing the comprehensive exam, a candidate demonstrates the readiness and competence needed to complete remaining courses successfully and undertake dissertation level research and writing. Students may not take any 700 level courses until the comprehensive examination has been completed. Comprehensive exams will usually be completed the first weekend of every April and November. Students will be notified if data changes occur.
What is candidacy?
A student may apply for candidacy after he/she
A student must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.5 to remain in good academic standing. The student must complete all courses and examinations and advance to candidacy within the time period specified by the program. Students whose grade point average falls below a 3.5 will be placed on academic probation. Students must not have a grade point average below 3.5 in two successive semesters. Those who fail to make satisfactory academic progress will be officially disqualified upon recommendation of the Doctoral Unit and in accordance with University policy. Once candidacy has been obtained, students may enroll in 700 level courses.
What do I need to know about the dissertation process?
All students in the Ed.D. program will complete a rigorous research-based dissertation that integrates theory and research in the study of instructional leadership. The primary goal of the Ed.D. dissertation is to generate knowledge that contributes to the understanding of instructional educational practices, policies, or reforms. The Ed.D. dissertation is a significant scholarly work that uses rigorous research methods in the study of educational problems and practices and the application of problem-solving strategies. The dissertation is expected to be based on one or more theoretical frameworks and to include a comprehensive review of relevant literature in which the research question or questions are situated. The dissertation typically involves collection of empirical data, qualitative and/or quantitative analysis of these data, interpretation of the findings, a discussion of their significance and implications, and an indication of important areas for action or further study. Outcomes of the doctoral program will address significant topics related to systemic reform efforts in P12 schools.
What do I need to know about the Final Examination - Oral Defense of Dissertation?
The student must defend the dissertation in a final oral examination before the doctoral committee. No defense shall be scheduled until the doctoral committee chair and members have signified that in their judgment the dissertation is acceptable and thus warrants a defense and final examination. Students intending to defend the dissertation must file an Application for Dissertation Defense with the Ed.D. Program Coordinator.
The Defense Examination is an important event in that sustained student and faculty effort and critical thinking have gone into the research project. Generally, the Defense Examination consists of two major parts:
What about transfer courses?
Students may transfer a maximum of twenty-one (21) hours of prior coursework from a regionally accredited institution(s). Students who have completed an Education Specialist degree at Freed-Hardeman University may transfer up to thirty-six (36) hours of coursework from their Ed.S. program.
Freed-Hardeman University will extend up to 18 hours of graduate credit for students that successfully complete the NISL program and who are admitted into and begin FHU's Ed.S. or Ed.D. degree programs in Instructional Leadership. Credit will be awarded for the following courses:
EDU 621 - Advanced Educational Leadership
EDU 630 - Professionalism and Ethics
EDU 637 - Data Analysis for School Improvement
EDU 638 - Instructional Design and Improvement
EDU 639 - Development of Professional Learning Communities
EDU 686 - Group Leadership, Processes, and Team Building in Education
Potential FHU applicants desiring to receive credit for NISL completion are required to submit a copy of their NISL certificate and transcript to the Office of Graduate Studies (158 East Main Street, Henderson, TN 38340). Upon request, NISL will provide FHU a confirmation of NISL completers in order to confirm a student in question of successful completion. Ed.D. students awarded credit for any of the above classes will still be required to successfully complete FHU's Comprehensive Exam.
*Transfer credit counted toward the Ed.D. may not have been taken more than six (6) years prior to graduation from the program.
What information is included in the Student Handbook, and where can I find it?
Student guidelines are fully outlined in the Student Handbook for the Doctorate of Education degree in Instructional Leadership. The handbook outlines the process from admission to graduation. The Ed.D. Student Handbook can be obtained by contacting Dr. Aarek Farmer at email@example.com
What is the difference between an Ed.S. and an Ed.D.?
a. The Ed.S. is an Education Specialist degree. It is a post-master’s degree attractive for those working in educational leadership. Typically this degree is valued within P-12 settings, but we have adapted the degree and created the bridge to Ed.D. so that those interested in instructional leadership as a school administrator or teacher leader may also find this to be an attractive option. The Ed.S. is a 36 credit program, which culminates with a final research prospectus.
b. The Ed.D. is a Doctor of Education degree. This degree is particularly attractive to those who wish to work in P-12 administration, P-12 central office administration, or at the state level as an instructional leader. This is a 54-credit program, which culminates with a dissertation and research article.
What does the application process consist of and are their enrollment deadlines?
Students may begin in the fall, spring, or summer. Students who desire to enroll should have a completed file in the Office of Graduate Studies by January 1 (spring enrollment), May 1 (summer enrollment), or August 1 (fall enrollment). The completed file will then be delivered to the Program Director, the selection committee will determine if an applicant will receive an interview, and applicants will be notified. During the interview process an applicant will be expected to
Is financial aid available?
a. You may be eligible for financial aid.
b. Students need to be enrolled in at least six credits per semester to receive aid.
c. To learn more about financial assistance, please visit www.fhu.edu/GradEducation and follow the link for "Financial Information."
Where will I attend class?
a. All courses are planned for Henderson, TN, Memphis, TN, or Dickson, TN. If a course is offered only in one location, students may web-conference from another campus.
b. Coursework will include traditional, web-conferencing, online, and hybrid courses.
Where can I find necessary Ed.D forms?
All necessary forms for the Ed.D. program can be obtained by contacting Dr. Aarek Farmer, the Director of the Ed.D. in Instructional Leadership, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 731-989-6513.
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