Policy, Planning, and Administration
Program of Study
This Ed.D. program prepares regional professionals in all aspects of educational leadership. As a major PreK-16+ partner to the school districts, the College of Education and Social Work developed the program to equip practicing educators with the knowledge and skills to conduct relevant research while enhancing their instructional skills. This professional doctorate offers a practical, research-based, and clinically oriented terminal degree that builds on the strong, dynamic programs that West Chester University has offered throughout the years. The program provides professional educators in a variety of settings the skills necessary to identify challenges/questions in their practice and develop action research agendas to inform possible solutions and initiatives.
The Ed.D. in Policy, Planning, and Administration consists of five main components:
- Professional Core
Addresses applied research within the context of eight program goals.
- Research Methods
Prepares candidates in both quantitative and qualitative research methodologies to study their practice in intentional, deliberate ways.
- Area of Concentration
Affords candidates the opportunity for in-depth study in an area of interest and associated educational settings.
- Comprehensive Exam
Provides candidates the opportunity to demonstrate knowledge across educational domains and research methodologies and the intersection of this knowledge with their Areas of Concentration.
- Capstone Experience
Offers a supervised research opportunity to identify site-specific challenges/questions, develop an action research plan, and collect and analyze data to inform solutions.
After successfully completing the Ed.D. program, candidates will be able to:
- Understand the process and usefulness of applied research in the contemporary education environment
- Enhance the capacity to strategically plan and organize pursuits to affect successful outcomes and policy formation
- Exhibit a sense of integrity, purpose, fairness, and ethical behavior
- Possess the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to positively impact the learning of all students
- Conduct applied research to produce reliable findings to advance one’s ability to make informed decisions, produce effective planning, and contribute to the development of relevant educational policy
- Appreciate the value of working collaboratively with others, recognizing the diversity of the talent and skills of all, while providing leadership as appropriate
- Understand current trends in education that affect multiple stakeholders across varying contexts
- Effectively communicate critical issues in education to various audiences
Doctoral Programs in Education
All applicants to one of West Chester University’s graduate programs will be held to the graduate admissions requirements. When applicable, additional requirements for admission into specific department program(s) may be listed below.
The Admissions Committee will consider the following data points in making an admissions recommendation:
- Master's degree, from a regionally accredited college or university
- GRE Requirement: Needed for all individuals with a master’s GPA lower than 3.85
- Three letters of recommendation from education professionals
- Professional writing demonstration at the time of application (waived for applicants who present a GRE analytical writing score of 4.5 or higher)
- Professional Goals Statement
- Resume or vita
- Interview (upon committee request)
Requirements for Admission to Degree Candidacy for the Doctor of Education in Policy, Planning, and Administration
Application for degree candidacy must be made when the following have been successfully completed:
- Professional Core Courses (18 credits)
- Research Methods Courses (12 credits)
- Area of Concentration Courses (12 credits)
- Comprehensive Exams
All graduate students are held to the academic policies and procedures outlined in the graduate catalog. Students are encouraged to review departmental handbooks for program tips, suggested course sequences, and explanations of procedures. When applicable, additional policies for specific department programs may be listed below.
- Comprehensive Exam Requirement
- Professional Dispositions Recommendations
- Capstone Experience
Professional Dispositions Recommendations
Candidates must obtain professional disposition recommendations from three on-site professional education representatives before beginning the research experience sequence (EDD 801 - EDD 804). Recommendations should include reference to related experiences and professional dispositions (see College of Education and Social Work Professional Dispositions Expectations) necessary to conduct applied research in the educational setting of interest.
EDD 700. Doctoral Seminar in Educational Studies. 3 Credits.
The doctoral seminar explores the elements and purpose of the doctorate in Education Policy, Planning and Administration and provides students with an introductory survey of philosophical and historical foundations of education. The seminar serves as an introduction to applied doctoral studies and doctoral-level scholarship in Education, with a specific emphasis on each student's development as a critically reflective scholar.
EDD 701. Social and Ethical Foundations of Education Policy Research. 3 Credits.
This course is intended to help students think critically about debates, research, and frameworks in contemporary education policy in the United States, with an emphasis on the interplay between local, state and federal policy contexts. Throughout the semester, we will explore the tensions between key policy goals such as access and equality, accountability, the purposes of public vs. private education, and funding of public education, as well as the consequences (intended and unintended) of those tensions.
EDD 702. Innovation in Curriculum Development and Evaluation. 3 Credits.
An investigation of curriculum development, implementation and evaluation through historical, theoretical, political and cultural lenses, with examination of contemporary curriculum frameworks, the use of large and small scale data for evaluation and an examination of curriculum planning, processes and management of resources toward improved teaching and learning.
EDD 703. Educating All Students in a Diverse Society. 3 Credits.
This course examines the unique role Education leaders play in the formation and implementation of school policy, planning and administration relating to educating students from a variety of backgrounds and environments. The course supports candidates as they advance their knowledge and skills as decision-makers who understand and embrace the complexities of social and cultural diversity, and can help maximize positive outcomes for all students.
EDD 704. Political and Legal Trends in Educational Policy. 3 Credits.
Schools are impacted by diverse factors, not the least of which is law and political interests. This course provides an introduction to school law and the complex and often contested field of politics and education. The purpose of the course is to provide students with an understanding of the forces that have shaped, and continue to shape, educational policy, with an emphasis on governance structures, stakeholders, public engagement, and current policy issues and political contexts. Within this context, this course seeks to examine the legal and governmental aspects, which increasingly influence public school policy, planning and administration.
EDD 705. Critical Issues in Special Education. 3 Credits.
Special Education is the intersection of policy and evidenced-based practice. This course provides students the opportunity for in-depth analysis of current problems and issues in the field of Special Education. Topics to be included (but not limited to): over- and under-representation; response to intervention; high-stakes testing; teacher shortages; adult outcomes/transitions; trends in recreation and leisure; gifted education; co-morbidity; teaming; funding; policy and law; positive behavior supports; and addressing fads/fallacies. Each issue will be addressed from several perspectives including historical, legal, and theoretical.
EDD 720. Educational Research Design and Measurement. 3 Credits.
This course provides individuals the opportunity to master basic competencies in understanding and evaluating educational research as well as planning and conducting original research. The course provides a framework for evaluating existing research including quantitative and qualitative research methods, research designs, sample selection, data collection, experimental research, and data analysis.
Typically offered in Spring.
EDD 721. Educational Statistics. 3 Credits.
This course introduces statistical theories and techniques commonly used by Education professionals in data analysis and program evaluation. Topics include major statistical techniques and the fundamentals of quantitative analysis. Included will be an introduction to frequently used Nonparametrics.
EDD 722. Qualitative Methods for Educational Researchers. 3 Credits.
This course examines important theories and practices in planning and designing qualitative research in educational environments. Students will develop proper qualitative techniques for implementing educational leadership practices, school policies, administrative actions and evaluation within diverse settings. Topics include action research, narrative, case studies, interviewing, focus groups, participant observations, ethnography, and evaluation of qualitative research.
EDD 723. Quantitative Methods for Educational Researchers. 3 Credits.
This course focuses on advanced quantitative methods commonly used by Education professionals in data analysis and program evaluation. Topics include the Scientific Method, variations on Experimental Design, variations on Correlational Design, and the use of statistical inference, advanced statistical techniques such as multivariate regression, regression with limited dependent variables, time-series analysis, and nonparametric statistics. The practice and use of these statistical tools will be applied to the development of authentic research problems.
EDD 801. Education Research Experience I: Research Questions/ Literature Review. 3 Credits.
The EdD Capstone Experience is a series of four courses whereby students demonstrate mastery of required competencies through the completion of a final culminating independent applied research project. Education Research Seminar I is designed to guide and support students in the identification of a research topic, the development of the research question(s), and the investigation of relevant professional literature to be used to inform their work as education researchers.
EDD 802. Education Research Experience II: Instrumentation and Data Collection. 3 Credits.
The EdD Capstone Experience is a series of four courses whereby students demonstrate mastery of required competencies through the completion of a final culminating independent applied research project. Education Research Seminar II is designed to guide and support students in the development of an appropriate research design (selection of participants, data collection planning, instrumentation), following from the development of the students' research and the investigation of relevant professional literature and in the collection of data period.
EDD 803. Education Research Experience III: Quantitative and Qualitative Analysis. 3 Credits.
The EdD Capstone Experience is a series of four courses whereby students demonstrate mastery of required competencies through the completion of a final culminating independent applied research project. Education Research Seminar III is designed to guide and support students in the identification of and use of appropriate qualitative and/or quantitative data analysis methodologies following data collection.
EDD 804. Education Research Experience IV: Findings and Conclusions. 3 Credits.
The EdD Capstone Experience is a series of four courses whereby students demonstrate mastery of required competencies through the completion of a final culminating independent applied research project. Education Research Seminar IV is designed to guide and support students in formulating findings and conclusions and identifying implications/recommendations/action planning for their setting or other educational settings.