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EdD, Adult Education

School of Public Service and Education

The Doctor of Education (EdD) specialization in Adult Education is designed to prepare professionals to provide effective leadership in a variety of adult education settings, including colleges, universities, corporations, and nonprofit and governmental educational organizations using a foundation of traditional and contemporary theory and practices. Throughout the specialization, learners focus on the leadership and management competencies successful professionals in the specialized field of adult education should demonstrate, integrating best practices in adult education and learning as defined by the Commission of Professors of Adult Education (CPAE) Standards for Graduate Programs in Adult Education.  Learners also examine the current policy landscape when planning and implementing adult education programs in domestic and global contexts. The curriculum is based on current industry knowledge and standards and provides learners with the opportunity to strengthen their inquiry, analysis, communication, decision-making, and leadership skills and then use them to address critical, real-world problems. These specialization requirements are not designed or intended to meet professional licensure requirements for the education profession.

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Core courses:

Foundations of Doctoral Studies in Education

In this course, learners gain understanding of the EdD program and insights into how cycles of inquiry and systems thinking are utilized to address problems of practice. Additionally, learners engage in critical thinking and communication while reflecting on their own personal learning and growth. Must be taken during the learner's first quarter.  Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits
The Dynamics of Organizational Improvement

This course provides an introduction to fundamental systems principles and skills of leadership in organizations with a focus on continuous organizational learning and improvement processes. Learners apply personal values and behaviors and those of organizations. Learners use basic principles of systems thinking, systems mapping, and approaches to inquiry cycles in relation to leadership processes and organizational change. In addition, learners apply disciplines of learning organizations and a change model to a problem of practice to real-world leadership challenges.  Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits
EDD8030 *
Investigating Problems of Practice

In this course, learners examine continuous improvement models, engage in an inquiry cycle, develop skills of data and information literacy, and collaborate with stakeholders to assess organizational needs and dynamics. Learners identify an organizational issue, collect and analyze relevant data, and develop valid inferences. Learners document the process utilized to tell the story of their research as a way to effectively share with stakeholders. This course requires obtaining an organizational site and completing site-based-related assignments.  Prerequisite(s): EDD8010, EDD8020. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits
EDD8040 *
Research Design for Practitioners

In this course, learners are introduced to research approaches, designs, and methods with a focus on the needs of educational leaders. Learners assess conceptual and theoretical foundations of quantitative, qualitative, and action research designs and analyze a variety of research literature and journal articles through the lens of a practitioner. Learners acquire the knowledge necessary to assess the applicability of research and theoretical literature to practice and become critical consumers of research. Learners apply course concepts to the design of an action research study relevant to the learner’s organization.  Prerequisite(s): EDD8030. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits
EDD8050 *
Data Literacy for Leaders

In this course, learners apply the data literacy skills required by leaders for effective organizational planning, decision making, and communication with stakeholders. Learners examine skills such as data interpretation, data aggregation and disaggregation, transformation of data, use of multiple data sources, analysis, statistical techniques, and selection of appropriate metrics for the intended purpose. Learners also utilize technology to process data and present and communicate results. Prerequisite(s): EDD8040.  Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits

Specialization courses:

Adult Learning Theory and Professional Practice

This course provides an overview of learning theories, models, and principles, and their application to instructional processes for adult learners. Learners examine the social contexts in which adults learn and develop as well as the influences of race, class, gender, and culture. The course addresses the nature of adult development; issues and trends in the field; theories of adult growth and development; changes in young, middle, and older adulthood; and implications for instruction and learning for adults informed by the historical and philosophical foundation of adult education.  Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits
EDD8502 *
Designing Adult Learning Experiences

In this course, learners develop a knowledge base of methods and materials for designing learning experiences and their assessments for adult students. Learners determine a learning need in their work environment and develop a learning experience and subsequent assessment to meet that need.  Prerequisite(s): EDD8020, EDD8500.  Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits
EDD8504 *
Leading in Adult Learning Settings and Contexts

This course explores the concept of leadership in contemporary adult education settings, with specific focus on the connections between leadership and adult learning and development. Learners analyze theory and practices in effective leadership and administration in diverse and equitable adult education settings, both domestic and global. Learners examine managerial activities such as program planning and development, leadership, organizational change, and evaluation.  Prerequisite(s): EDD8030, EDD8502.  Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits
EDD8506 *
Adult Education Administration

Learners in this course analyze the theories, policies, and procedures involved in administering adult education environments. Learners distinguish between leadership and management and examine the knowledge and skills needed to address adult education administrative challenges.  Prerequisite(s): EDD8040, EDD8504.  Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits
EDD8508 *
Program Planning and Evaluation for Adult Education

This course presents underlying theories, current practices, and techniques for designing and evaluating educational programs for learners in a variety of adult education settings. In this course, learners identify and assess needs; establish objectives; and design and evaluate a program in adult education. Learners examine their own practice to help develop an informed and insightful practice for effective adult program development and evaluation.  Prerequisite(s): EDD8050; completion or concurrent registration in EDD8506. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits

Upon completion of all required coursework:

EDD9951 *
EdD Doctoral Project 1

In this course, learners collaborate with stakeholders at their doctoral project sites to collect evidence and share relevant literature to identify and frame a chosen problem of practice. Learners demonstrate inquiry, analysis, communication, and leadership skills as well as the ability to evaluate and interpret organizational data to determine performance gaps and root causes. Learners increase knowledge and understanding of a problem and the factors that impact it in order to develop a problem statement for their doctoral project. Learners also secure the commitment of their project site to conduct their applied improvement project. Grading for this course is S/NS. Prerequisite(s): EDD8050; ED7675 or EDD8508 or EDD8518 or EDD8528 or EDD8548. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits
EDD9952 *
EdD Doctoral Project 2

In this course, learners collaborate with stakeholders at their doctoral project site to begin to develop a potential intervention that addresses a problem of practice. Learners develop an in-depth literature review that synthesizes relevant theory and best practices pertaining to the problem and the proposed solution and begin to develop an implementation plan to address a problem of practice.  Grading for this course is S/NS. Prerequisite(s): EDD9951. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits
EDD9953 *
EdD Doctoral Project 3

In this course, learners continue to collaborate with stakeholders at their doctoral project site to develop a potential intervention that addresses a problem of practice and develop a detailed implementation plan. Learners complete and submit IRB applications for approval. Grading for this course is S/NS. Prerequisite(s): EDD9952. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits
EDD9954 *
EdD Doctoral Project 4

In this course, learners collect and evaluate doctoral project data, applying appropriate quantitative and qualitative analysis tools. Learners make valid inferences from the data in relation to the goals of the intervention and the implementation process. Learners incorporate written and visual formats to effectively communicate their results in preparation for developing their written report in EDD9955.  Grading for this course is S/NS. Prerequisite(s): EDD9953. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits
EDD9955 *
EdD Doctoral Project 5

In this course, learners synthesize their findings, key learnings, and next steps in relation to their doctoral project in a written report that includes learner reflections on the applied improvement project experience, and provides the basis for the doctoral project presentation learners develop in EDD9956.  Grading for this course is S/NS. Prerequisite(s): EDD9954.  Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits
EDD9956 *
EdD Doctoral Project 6

In this course, learners complete their doctoral project by developing a presentation on the problem, intervention, results, and sharing with stakeholders. In addition, learners submit a portfolio of their signature assignments related to their doctoral project.  Grading for this course is S/NS. Prerequisite(s): EDD9955.  Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits






At least 64 quarter credits

* Denotes courses that have prerequisite(s). Refer to the descriptions for further details.

Learners who do not complete all program requirements within quarter credit/program point minimums will be required to accrue such additional quarter credits/program points as are associated with any additional or repeat coursework necessary for successful completion of program requirements.

This specialization is not designed to lead to license, endorsement, other professional credential, or salary advancement. Contact your school district for a determination on qualifications for salary advancement.