The Ed.D. Program in Educational Leadership at San José State University is dedicated to developing outstanding education leaders who are well prepared to meet the demands and challenges of schools, today and in the future. The program builds on the following two basic principles: (1) schools are learner-centered organizations; and (2) educational leaders serve in human-care systems. The expected role of educational leaders involves creating a learning community that promotes collaboration and shared decision making. The Ed.D. Program is designed so that it may be completed in nine semesters over three years. This time frame allows for the completion of all coursework, pre proposal/literature review, dissertation proposal, and completion of the dissertation. The program begins with an intensive on-campus five-week summer session that meets three days per week. Fall and spring semester classes are scheduled as hybrid classes and meet on evenings, weekends, and online during the semester. The second summer requires a global component that includes a two-week educational and cultural experience outside of the United States. It is anticipated that students will concurrently be working full time as they pursue their doctoral studies.
Additional information is available in the Educational Leadership (EdD) Program Office or website: www.sjsu.edu/edd.
Candidates must meet all university and Ed.D. Program admission requirements. The university-level graduate application is separate from the application that is sent to the Ed.D. Program. Minimum requirements for the program include a master’s degree from an accredited institution and a 3.0 grade point average (B or better) in the last 60 semester units completed. In exceptional cases, experience and service will be considered in lieu of the Master’s degree requirement.
In addition to the university admissions requirements as outlined in this catalog, applicants must meet the Ed.D. Program requirements below.
- Three letters of recommendation attesting leadership ability and potential for success in a doctoral program. One of the letters should be from a school district employer indicating support for participation in the doctoral program. Recommendation forms are available on the Ed.D. Leadership Program webpage at www.sjsu.edu/edd. Recommendation letters should be submitted directly from the person writing the recommendation letter to email@example.com.
- Current professional resume or curriculum vitae that includes leadership experience and/or leadership strengths as indicated through job experiences, administrative credentials, and/or other evidence of leadership capacity and practice. Resumes or vitae should not exceed 4 pages.
- A written statement of purpose that explains the reasons for pursuing doctoral studies in educational leadership. The statement should include relevant personal and professional history and background, some of the core commitments and principles that drive one’s career goals, and challenges facing education and educational leadership in California, nationally, and globally. Statements should not exceed 3 pages, single-spaced.
- A recent writing sample (last 5 years) of an individually authored paper, research projects, or reports (maximum of 20 pages). All writing samples should be single-authored and include citations and references. The writing sample is intended to demonstrate the ability to construct a meaningful argument on an education-related topic and to cite research/literature to support one’s views. A PowerPoint presentation is not acceptable.
Requirements for Advancement to Graduate Candidacy
Students who have completed matriculation and have achieved classified standing in the Ed.D. Program curriculum will advance to candidacy for the Ed.D. degree. Students advance to candidacy after completing a minimum of 9 units of letter-graded work that is acceptable to the Ed.D. Program and fulfilling other university requirements for advancement to candidacy as detailed in the Graduate Policies and Procedures section. Candidacy includes the successful completion of the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR).
Requirements for Graduation
University Graduation Requirements
Students must complete all residency, curriculum, unit, and GPA requirements as outlined in the Graduation Requirements section of the Graduate Policies and Procedures.
Ed.D. Leadership Program Graduation Requirements
To be eligible for graduation, the candidate shall have completed all coursework and global out-of-country (or equivalent) requirements, pre-proposal/literature review, the dissertation proposal, IRB, and the doctoral dissertation. Students are required to complete the dissertation proposal in two attempts in order to proceed with the dissertation.
- The Ed.D. dissertation is expected to contribute to an improvement in education practice and/ or education policy in the context of a particular educational institution. It is expected that the dissertation will show evidence of originality, critical and independent thinking, appropriate form and organization, and a rationale for the examined research problem or question.
- The dissertation must meet all university requirements as stipulated in this catalog and in the SJSU Master’s Thesis and Doctoral Dissertation Guidelines. It will be written under the guidance of the candidate’s thesis committee chair with assistance from two other members of the dissertation committee. The Dissertation Committee consists of three members, one who serves as the committee chair (or in some cases, two co-chairs can be identified). Two members of the dissertation committee must be tenured or tenure-track members of the San Jose State University faculty. The third member of the committee is expected to be employed at a local school or school district and have achieved the terminal degree (e.g., Ed.D., J.D., Ph.D.).
- All students must enroll in a total of 12 units of dissertation credit during the final year of the program: 6 units in the fall semester and 6 units in the spring semester of Year 3 of the program. Once the candidate has enrolled in 12 dissertation units, the maximum allowable, continuous enrollment must be maintained until the dissertation is approved and filed and the degree is awarded.
- All students are expected to produce a dissertation that consists of five chapters, namely Introduction, Literature Review, Methodology, Results/Analysis, and Conclusions/ Recommendations. This is typically followed by a References section and relevant appendices. Alternatives to the traditional dissertation format will be considered, with approval by the faculty advisor/dissertation committee, within accepted norms of research, scholarship, and creative activities. The Lurie College of Education uses APA style for research and the SJSU Graduate Studies division provides additional formatting/style guidelines for theses and dissertations. An exception to the traditional five-chapter dissertation will be made on a case by case basis.
- After completing the dissertation proposal defense and obtaining IRB approval, students carry out the research plan described in the approved proposal, collect and analyze data, and continue writing the dissertation. The Dissertation Committee Chair and committee members will guide the students to ensure their dissertation conveys scholarly work that results from an appropriate research study and contributes to the understanding and/or improvement of educational practice.
- All students are expected to submit drafts of their dissertation to their committee members in the appropriate word-processed form. The completed final draft also includes the Abstract, Copyright Page, Title Page, Acknowledgments, Table of Contents, List of Tables, List of Figures, References, and Appendices. The students submit the final draft manuscript to committee members for a final reading and approval. The final dissertation may take a variety of forms depending upon the type of research undertaken. The conventional five-chapter dissertation may be revised to reflect a specific design and purpose.
- Dissertation Examination: Every candidate for the Ed.D. degree must successfully pass a final oral examination based on the dissertation. At the final oral defense, the candidate will make a public presentation of his or her dissertation research. The final oral defense is conducted as an open forum led by the candidate and guided by the Committee Chair and the two other members of the Dissertation Committee. The purposes of this formal meeting are to (1) examine and assess the quality of the dissertation; (2) evaluate the ability of the student to present research; and (3) provide an opportunity to share the research with the campus community. Unanimous agreement of the Dissertation Committee is required for approval of the dissertation and recommendation that the Ed.D. degree be conferred on the candidate.
Doctorate Requirements (60 units)
Educational Leadership and Education Policy (12 units)
Organizational Behavior and Adult Learning (9 units)
Contexts for Educational Leadership (12 units)
Research Methodology: Tools for the Scholar-Practitioner (15 units)
Culminating Experience (12 units)
Total Units Required (60 units)
Satisfactory Academic Progress
All students are expected to make satisfactory progress in accordance with the Ed.D. cohort structure and program of study through the time of advancement to candidacy. The normal expectation is that students will attend and participate in all required program components. In the event that a lack of attendance/participation would cause a student to fail to maintain a grade point average of 3.0, the student would be notified and counseled regarding requirements for satisfactory progress toward the degree in the time specified by program faculty.
A student must earn a grade of “C” or better in all required classes in the doctoral program, with all “sub-C” grades considered as failure; those classes would have to be repeated, and students would have one additional chance to do so. Failure to achieve the “C” grade in two chances would result in a recommendation for administrative academic disqualification. All students are expected to achieve a grade point average of 3.0 or above in all semesters of coursework. In addition to the university requirements for minimal grade point average and academic disqualification, the Ed.D. Program requires that all students achieve a minimum grade point average of 3.0 or above in every semester of coursework. A student who achieves less than a 3.0 GPA in a given semester will be required to attend a meeting with the Ed.D. Director, the student’s advisor (if an advisor has been assigned), and the faculty member teaching the course (s) in which a grade below a “B” has been assigned. Possible outcomes of this meeting include (1) a recommendation for a remediation plan for the student, (2) academic probation in the Ed.D. Program with the recommendation of disqualification if achieved GPA falls below 3.0 in a subsequent semester, or (3) a recommendation that the student be immediately disqualified from taking further coursework in the doctoral program.
Additionally, satisfactory progress pertains to doctoral students’ adherence to the high standards of professional ethics. Students must adhere to scholarly and ethical standards in all courses, fieldwork, and research endeavors. Such standards are defined by the faculty, the professional accrediting bodies, policies of the university and the CSU, and relevant statutes of federal, state, and local governments. Students may be placed on probation or disqualified based on unsatisfactory scholastic progress or failure to adhere to professional and ethical standards.
We note that, according to university policy, a student who falls below a 3.0 GPA in an academic term will be notified in writing that he/she has been placed on academic probation. When the student’s overall GPA is below 3.0, failure to achieve a term GPA of 3.0 in any subsequent semester results in academic disqualification.
In all cases, a disqualified student will not be allowed to continue in the program, enroll in doctoral-level courses, or register in the doctoral program. The disqualification will be communicated to the student in writing through certified mail. A disqualified student will be permitted to apply for reinstatement into the Ed.D. Program; consideration of the student’s application for reinstatement will occur along with consideration for all new applications into the program in a given year.
Students who need to make up assignments must work with the faculty member teaching a particular class, and it is up to each individual faculty member how best to negotiate missed assignments and/or requests for a grade of Incomplete. In the event that lack of attendance/participation causes a student to fail to maintain a GPA of 3.0, the student will be notified of academic probation and counseled regarding requirements for satisfactory progress toward the degree.
Any student may request a leave of absence from the Ed.D. Program for up to one year through a written request to the Ed.D. Director and a formal petition to the university. To be considered, the student should explain the reasons for the request and any mitigating circumstances involved. The request may be approved or denied by the Director in consultation with the Ed.D. Program faculty. If approved, the approval will stipulate the timeline and conditions or options for returning to the doctoral program. One possible option is for the student to join a later cohort and resume taking the classes that were missed.