Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Educational Leadership

NKU’s Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Educational Leadership is unique in focus, format, and delivery.

Our Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership program is designed to create transformational leaders who work in various settings. Our current students (whom we call learning associates) come from a range of professional backgrounds, including:

  • Higher Education Teaching and Administration
  • Principals and Superintendents in K-12 school systems
  • Non-profits
  • Public Sector
  • Healthcare
  • Consulting
  • Corporate Training

The NKU Doctor of Education (Ed. D.) in Educational Leadership Program, now entering its ninth year, is designed to enhance leadership skills for instructional and administrative leaders in P-20 settings and other human services areas.  It is a practitioner-scholar degree designed to meet a set of “best practice” competencies/outcomes integrated with individual career and personal goals for leaders with significant professional leadership experience.  Northern Kentucky University is a proud member of the Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate (CPED).  Key elements of our program include:

  1. Practitioner-scholar focus designed to prepare leaders who can construct and apply knowledge to make a positive difference in the lives of individuals, families, organizations, and communities;
  2. A cohort model that provides opportunities for learning associates (what we call our students) to develop and demonstrate collaboration and communication skills to work with diverse communities and to build partnerships;
  3. Emphasis on enhancing existing leadership skills by integrating theory and practice through job-embedded and “puzzles of practice” learning experiences;
  4. Focus on the knowledge and skills component necessary for effective practitioners as well as on the human or dispositional qualities associated with transformational leadership;
  5. A set of “best practice” competencies/outcomes that integrates both practical and research knowledge and links theory with systemic and systematic inquiry;
  6. Civic engagement elements focusing on contemporary community challenges, often framed around questions of equity, ethics, and social justice to bring about solutions to complex problems of practice;
  7. Action research dissertation in practice (DiP) emphasizing the generation, transformation, and use of professional knowledge and practice.

The program generally admits one cohort of learning associates each fall. They discover that the cohort model creates a strong support system, helping each member balance work, family life, and coursework.

Learning in our Ed.D. program is approached through a hybrid instructional model. The learning associates experience their courses through a rich blend of face to face and online learning settings. Typically our learning associates attend face to face sessions one weekend per month with the balance of coursework online.

Want more information?  Please visit the links on the left of the page.  You may also e-mail us at or call (859) 572-7899.

The EDD Program will be hosting an open house on Thursday, November 5.  For more information please click here.