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Department Chair

Charles Vergon
4103 Beeghly College of Education
(330) 941-1574

Program Coordinator

Charles Vergon
4103 Beeghly College of Education
(330) 941-1574

Program Description

The Doctor of Education program in educational leadership provides terminal professional preparation for administrators in public and nonpublic schools and health and human service organizations, especially, but not exclusively, those working in the northeastern Ohio and western Pennsylvania areas served by the University. Professionals currently occupying leadership positions in other settings may also be considered for admission when space in the cohort permits. The program is also open to health-professionals for whom no terminal degree is available in their field but who desire a rigorous program of research and leadership studies. The program is designed to build the capacity of individuals to provide effective educational leadership in such organizational settings, with particular attention to enhancing efficiency, equity, and excellence.

The program focuses on the preparation of professionally committed practitioners who reflect the current state of knowledge and best practice in educational leadership. Central to the prepa­ration of such professionals are the refinement and transmission of competencies in the areas of scholarship, instruction, leadership, management, external relations, and personal development. The program is cohort-based and delivered in mixed-mode format with monthly campus meetings and other instruction accomplished through web-based modules.

The doctor of education program is administered by the Department of Educational Founda­tions, Research, Technology, and Leadership in the Beeghly College of Education.


The Ed.D. program in educational leadership is nationally recognized by the Educational Leadership Constituent Council. Education programs at Youngstown State University are accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education.

Application Procedure

Program information may be obtained from the Department of Educational Foundations, Re­search, Technology, and Leadership. Application and financial aid information may be obtained from Graduate Admissions in Coffelt Hall. All application materials must be sent to Graduate Admissions. Please confirm all deadlines with Graduate Admissions. Because application deadlines and the professional mix in cohorts may vary from year to year, those interested in the program are encouraged to contact the department in advance of initiating the application process.

Admission Requirements

Acceptance into the Ed.D. program reflects superior qualifications. Admission is by cohort, based upon a competitive evaluation of applications by the doctoral program faculty of the De­partment of Educational Foundations, Research, Technology, and Leadership. Diversity among students in terms of race, gender, disability, geography, and professional discipline is desirable. In addition to the admission requirements of the College of Graduate Studies, applicants will be evaluated holistically for their likely success in the program based on the following weighted criteria:

Professional Qualifications and Experience

  • Possession or qualification for licensure, if it exists for their profession, in the state in which they wish to practice
  • Completion of three or more years of professional experience in their field
  • Completion of two or more years of administrative experience or demonstration of excep­tional leadership skills
  • Submission of a detailed resume

High Academic Achievement

  • Completion of an accredited master’s degree program in educational administration or in health and human services with a minimum grade point average in graduate study of 3.5 or master’s degree in another field with extensive experience in a senior leadership capacity in such an organization.
  • Combined score of 900 or more (or 290 or more on revised scale) on the general tests of the Graduate Record Examination. This test must have been completed within the past five years. Applicants must plan to register for this examination in advance. Provisional admission may be granted to other­wise outstanding applicants who fail to achieve the cutoff score.

Professional References

Presentation of three letters of reference attesting to the applicant’s good moral character, leadership and management potential, professional plans, success in teaching, profes­sional commitment, interpersonal skills, and special professional capabilities.

Personal Goals and Leadership Vision

  • Submission of a statement of interest
  • Submission of two 500- to 750-word essays: one personal essay and one essay on their leadership vision

Faculty Interview

  • At the request of the doctoral faculty, a personal interview may be required when the initial screening based upon the standards previously listed warrants further assessment of the applicant’s likely success in the program.
  • Approval of the applicant by the doctoral faculty

Degree Requirements

Admission to the doctoral program is made on a cohort basis. Students are expected to enroll for two doctoral core courses per term for Fall, Spring, and Summer terms. Students who fail to progress with their cohorts will have to await the normal core course rotation to enroll in missed courses. Students who are inactive for more than three terms will have to be readmitted to the program upon the Doctoral Admission Committee’s recommendation.


Concentrated effort, continuing peer and faculty interaction, and scholarly reflection relatively free from distraction are needed if the student is to develop a considered and mature vision of the profession. Each student is required to meet a minimum residency requirement of enrollment for 18 semester hours during the period of three consecutive semesters, including summer session(s). No Ed.D. student may enroll for more than six semester hours unless his or her advisor approves such enrollment. Dissertation credits may not be used to satisfy the residency requirement.

Special Notes

Departmental policies and procedures governing the operation of the Ed.D. program are set out in the program Administrative Handbook and Student Handbook.

All students who successfully complete a doctoral comprehensive examination will be required to enroll in every semester of their candidacy until graduation.

Graduate Studies policies concerning transfer credits, time limits, and other academic mat­ters must be followed. See the General Information of the Graduate Catalog, the College of Graduate Studies Academic Policy Book, and graduate faculty minutes for current information.

With appropriate selection of concentration courses, this program may provide licensure in either principal­ship or superintendency or both in Ohio and/or Pennsylvania for educators that satisfy other requirements established by the university and the respective state departments of education.

Jane Beese, Ed.D., Associate Professor
Organizational leadership; economics of education; program evaluation

Karen H. Larwin, Ph.D., Associate Professor
Assessment; research design and methodology; statistics

Charles B. Vergon, J.D., Professor
Education law; policy development; educational change

The credit hours required for the Ed.D. in educational leadership consists of a minimum of 61 semester hours beyond the master’s degree. These include:

  • 30 semester hours of doctoral core courses,
  • 18 hours of electives,
  • a 3-hour leadership internship or clinical practice, and
  • 10 hours of dissertation studies.

A minimum of 39 se­mester hours of graduate credit beyond the master’s degree, exclusive of dissertation credits, must be earned at YSU. Students can transfer up to 18 semester hours of post-master’s work that satisfy program elective requirements into the doctoral program from other institutions. Transfer credits may be accepted upon recommendation of the Ed.D. program and approval of the Graduate College within the policies of the College of Graduate Studies.

See the Courses section of this catalog for required prerequisite study for each course. Certain courses reflect the particular vision of the YSU program and are to be completed at YSU. This information is noted in parentheses.

Educational Leadership Core
EDAD 8122Leadership in Education3
EDAD 8125Educational Politics and Policymaking in the United States3
EDAD 8130Learning Processes and the Instructional Leader3
EDAD 8140Seminar in Administrative Theory3
EDAD 8155Seminar in Current Educational Issues3
FOUN 8102Perspectives on Leadership Among Diverse Populations3
Educational Research Core
EDAD 8185Seminar in Educational Research/Dissertation Proposal3
FOUN 8104Research Strategies in Educational Administration3
FOUN 8111Advanced Research Design and Statistics3
FOUN 8112Qualitative Research for Educators3
Total Semester Hours30

Select 18 s.h. minimum from leadership in public and non-public schools or leadership in health and human service organizations and approved by advisor from candidate’s primary professional discipline.

Leadership in Public and Non-Public Schools

Select 12 s.h. of educational leadership electives.12
Select 6 s.h. of teaching and learning electives6
Total Semester Hours18

Leadership in Health and Human Service Organizations

Select of 18 s.h. of educational leadership and HHS concentration area courses18
Total Semester Hours18

Clinical Practice in educational Leadership

Select one of the following:3
Field Experience (Elementary 7022E; Middle 7022M; or Secondary 7022S)
Clinical Practice for the Administrative Specialist
Clinical Experience: Superintendency
Total Semester Hours3

Dissertation study

Dissertation Study
Total Semester Hours10

Comprehensive Examinations

Comprehensive examinations consist of a written examination covering six competencies and an oral examination assessing the overall suitability of the individual as a leader in schools or school systems. Satisfactory completion of these examinations qualifies the student as a candidate for the Ed.D. degree and signifies readiness to begin the dissertation study.

Learning Outcomes

In the Doctoral Program, candidate performance is assessed across the following objectives with focus at the district-wide or systems level.

  1. Candidates will be able to facilitate the development, articulation, implementation, and stewardship of a school system-wide vision of learning that is supported by the school community.
  2. Candidates will be able to promote a positive school System culture, provide an effective instructional program at the district level, apply best practice to student learning, and design comprehensive professional growth plans for school district staff.
  3. Candidates will be able to manage school district organization, operations, and resources in a way that promotes a safe, efficient, and effective learning environment.
  4. Candidates will be able to collaborate with families and other community members, respond to diverse community interests and needs, and mobilize community resources.
  5. Candidates will be able to act with integrity, fairly, and in an ethical manner in carrying out systems level leadership responsibilities.
  6. Candidates will be able to influence the larger political, social, economic, legal, and cultural context.
  7. Candidates will be able to synthesize and apply the above outcomes through substantial, sustained, standards-based work in real school system level settings in their choice of post-master’s licensure programs-Ohio Superintendent Licensure and Pennsylvania Superintendent Letter of Eligibility Certification.