Doctor of Educational Leadership (Ed.D.)
Beginning July 2017

Doctor of Educational Leadership (Ed.D.)
Beginning July 2017

Do you seek a definitive and transformational doctoral experience that will prepare you to meaningfully contribute to the field of education at a new level of engagement? Rider University’s Doctor of Educational Leadership focuses on developing scholar-leader practitioners with the critical problem-solving skills needed to positively influence the course of educational practice in our classrooms, communities and beyond.


About the Ed.D. Program

Rider’s Doctor of Educational Leadership brings together passionate and experienced educators to collaboratively study the complex and pressing issues facing students and teachers today — and to develop practical, evidence-based solutions to respond to those issues through action research.

The 36-month, 51-credit program involves two years of coursework and a year of dissertation research and analysis. Hybrid (online and on-campus) studies and summer residencies enable education professionals to pursue the degree without career interruption.

The goal of Rider’s Ed.D. program is to prepare skilled professionals who use research and scholarship to inform their leadership and decision making. Through the required coursework, you will develop a greater understanding and sense of context for today’s major educational challenges, including:

  • Educational reform
  • Instructional leadership
  • Educational accountability and assessment
  • Research methods and data analysis
  • Social context of education
  • Politics and governance
  • Teachers and teaching
  • Resource allocation and deployment

Much of the program’s coursework will relate to issues facing your own school, district or college, giving you practical knowledge and insights that you can apply every day to your work. Early in the program, you will learn how action research can be used to determine needs and options, and begin working with members of the doctoral faculty to identify a potential problem, issue or opportunity of interest to you. You will then implement and evaluate your own dissertation change project.


Standards-Based Studies

The curriculum is built around the National Policy Board for Educational Administration’s student-centric 2015 Professional Standards for Educational Leaders (formerly known as the ISLLC Standards).

Prepared for and by educational leaders, the standards focus on 10 high-impact areas that drive and measure excellence in professional practice:

  1. Mission, Vision and Core Values
  2. Ethics and Professional Norms
  3. Equity and Cultural Responsiveness
  4. Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment
  5. Community of Care and Support for Students
  1. Professional Capacity of School Personnel
  2. Professional Community for Teachers and Staff
  3. Meaningful Engagement of Families and Community
  4. Operations and Management
  5. School Improvement

Program Format

A defining element of this innovative doctoral program is its cohort model of 10 to 12 students. This design creates a highly supportive and interactive learning environment that promotes peer-to-peer learning and networking, as well as close mentoring relationships between faculty and students. The coursework is progressive, with each class building the knowledge base.

Program Features

  • Flexibly designed around the schedules of working professional educators
  • Asynchronous online classes throughout each semester
  • Three on-campus Saturday sessions (9 a.m. – 4 p.m.) each fall and spring semester
  • 8-day summer residencies in July (2 consecutive weeks, Monday through Thursday)

The Online Experience

Your online courses will be asynchronous, enabling you to complete most of your course assignments and activities at the time and place that’s best for you. For example, discussion board question responses can be posted and assignments submitted at a time that is convenient (as long as the activity is completed by the stated due date).

Real-time, interactive e-sessions will be scheduled periodically. Over the course of your studies, peer-to-peer and faculty interactions will include such activities as team projects and special presentations. (Note: Web cam access will be needed for these sessions.)

One-to-one access to our doctoral faculty is a critical part of the program. Your professors will be available for meetings on-campus, as well as by phone or streaming video. Each semester, your professors will interact with you by phone and email, participate actively in discussion boards and webinars, and provide feedback on assignments.

You will be assisted in all your scheduling and registration needs, as well as planning your coursework and maintaining academic progress based on your goals (a minimum 3.0 GPA is required for the doctoral program). You also will have full access to services and resources of the University.


For questions about the Doctor in Educational Leadership program, please contact: