Program Overview

Become a thought leader and implement meaningful change in education with Aurora University’s online Doctor of Education degree. This immersive online doctorate in education program combines academic rigor, practical application, and current research to prepare you for the next step in your career. It includes two strand options to specialize your studies for your chosen professional path:

  • Instructional Leadership: Coaching and Mentoring
  • Leadership in Adult Learning and Higher Education

Featuring a cohort design, this program trains you to address current issues and challenges in education as you work with your peers and build a strong network in districts and institutions across Illinois and beyond. It features three starts per year in January, May, and August.

The online doctorate in education connects theory and practice to provide a comprehensive view of K-12 instructional leadership and higher education. Graduates can apply their studies to solve complex problems, carry out forward-thinking initiatives, and transform their workplaces.

No matter which doctorate in education strand you choose, you’ll gain advanced skills for the next step in your education career. Discover why over 130 school districts, universities, and agencies in Illinois employ AU EdD graduates. Learn more about our flexible online EdD today.

Curriculum Overview

As a generalist program, the online doctorate in education focuses on both classroom and administrative approaches. You will complete an internship at your current place of employment to gain hands-on experience. In addition, all students orally defend and publish a final dissertation on an approved topic. AU students have a dissertation pass rate of 70–80%, surpassing the national average.

Our EdD online courses are taught by experienced faculty who are experts in the education field. An optional, synchronous writing retreat opportunity is available but not required.

Aurora University School of Education programs are approved by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE).

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Available Concentrations

Instructional Leadership: Coaching and Mentoring

This strand is designed for teachers, curriculum instruction educators, and principals who are ready to become curriculum directors and teacher educators. You will study topics such as teacher development, program evaluation, data analysis for school improvement, and instructional practices.

Leadership in Adult Learning and Higher Education

This strand prepares professionals for leadership roles as college and university administrators, professors at the community college and university levels, or learning leaders in corporate, nonprofit, or governmental settings. Topics of study include strategic planning, adult learning philosophies, and historical foundations of higher education.

Program Details

  • Next Start Date:August 23, 2021
  • Est. Program Length:3 to 6 years
  • Credit Hours:60
  • Course Length:8-16 weeks
  • Cost Per Credit:$650

Instructional Leadership: Coaching and Mentoring Strand

Year One Courses (19 credits)

  • EDU7133 Organizational Theory and Change Management (4)
  • EDU7310 Proseminar in Educational Research (4)
  • EDU7325 Curriculum and Assessment for K-12 Regular Education (3)
  • EDU7410 Instructional Coaching and Adult Learning in the Profession (5)
  • EDU8170 Equity, Diversity, and Justice in Education (3)
  • Milestone: Qualifying Self-Assessment

Year Two Courses (20 credits)

  • EDU7355 Curriculum and Assessment for Special Populations (3)
  • EDU7500 Effective Principles of Mentoring and Professional Conversations (3)
  • EDU8010 Introduction to Educational Research Designs (4)
  • EDU8100 Quantitative Research (4)
  • EDU8163 Curriculum Internship: Clinical Supervision and Teacher Development (2)
  • EDU8460 Instructional Practices and Learning Theories for School Improvement (4)
  • Milestone: Comprehensive Exams

Year Three Courses (21 credits)

  • EDU8190 Qualitative Research (4)
  • EDU8255 Program Evaluation and Data Analysis for School Improvement (3)
  • EDU8420 Dissertation Seminar (4)
  • EDU8800 Dissertation (10)
  • Milestone: Dissertation Defense

Leadership in Adult Learning and Higher Education Strand

Year One Courses (19 credits)

  • EDU7133 Organizational Theory and Change Management (4)
  • EDU7310 Proseminar in Educational Research (4)
  • EDU7410 Instructional Coaching and Adult Learning in the Professions (5)
  • EDU8170 Equity, Diversity, and Justice in Education (3)
  • EDU8530 Historical Foundations of Higher Education (3)
  • Milestone: Qualifying Self-Assessment

Year Two Courses (20 credits)

  • EDU7165 Ethical and Legal Issues of Adult Learning Contexts (4)
  • EDU8010 Introduction to Educational Research Designs (4)
  • EDU8100 Quantitative Research (4)
  • EDU8300 Strategic Planning: Evaluation, Assessment, Budgeting, and Reporting (3)
  • EDU8315 Adult Learning and Higher Education Internship (2)
  • EDU8520 Seminar in Higher Education Administration (3)
  • Milestone: Comprehensive Exams

Year Three Courses (21 credits)

  • EDU8190 Qualitative Research (4)
  • EDU8225 Philosophies of Adult Learning (3)
  • EDU8420 Dissertation Seminar (4)
  • EDU8800 Dissertation (10)
  • Milestone: Dissertation Defense

Applicants to the online doctorate in education program must hold a master’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university. Required content for the admission portfolio includes:

  • A completed Graduate Application for Admission.
  • Transcripts (official, sealed in envelope) showing completion of an appropriate master’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university. Aurora University accepts official electronic transcripts at AU-Etranscripts@aurora.edu.
  • The names and addresses of at least two references. Possible references to consider include:
    • A person familiar with your academic work/previous master’s program professor.
    • A person familiar with your professional work, such as a principal, department chair, etc. (not the same person as below).
    • A person representing your school district or employer who can assess your leadership potential.
  • A curriculum vitae or detailed resume that includes your work experience, educational background, professional experience, professional activities, honors, professional publications and/or presentations, and other relevant information relating to your leadership background.
  • A personal statement, approximately 1,000 to 2,000 words in length, describing your present goals and interests and showing their connection to prior experiences and to the EdD program.

Upon submission of a completed admissions portfolio, applicants must complete an interview with members of the School of Education faculty and submit a timed writing proficiency.

Transferable course credit is considered on a case-by-case basis. Please contact an enrollment counselor for more details.

AU Online’s Transfer Policy

Online Doctor of Education Career Outcomes

Professionals with an online EdD are qualified to work in a broad range of fields from K-12 and higher education to nonprofits, business, government, health care, and the military.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, postsecondary education administrators earn an average of $95,410 per year. In addition, job outlook for postsecondary educators is growing much faster than the national average for all occupations at 9%. Possible roles include:

  • College and university administrator
  • College and university faculty member
  • Curriculum director
  • Educational consultant
  • Instructional coach
  • Student affairs director

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