Ed.D. in School Improvement
Education Center • 678-839-6062
The College of Education is reorganizing and departmental names and locations will be changed during the 2010-2011 academic year. Please check the College of Education web site for updates.
Faculty who support the doctoral program through teaching and serving on dissertation committees come from all colleges and units within the University of West Georgia.
The mission is to develop educators who initiate sustainable and systemic improvements in P-12 education. Graduates will strategically and collaboratively plan, design, implement, and document the impact of educational improvements that promote and increase the academic achievement and social development of all students.
The Ed.D. in School Improvement focuses on preparing teachers, school administrators, and other educational practitioners who can initiate and model effective teaching and learning and who can effect and sustain change in schools. The major strands of study, expanded knowledge about teaching and learning for a diverse student population, effective use of research data and student assessments, and the development of leadership abilities, will result in the ability to design, implement, and evaluate school improvement projects.
The hallmarks of graduates of this program will be as follows: 1) the use of research findings to stimulate educational renewal, 2) a relentless commitment to collaboration within schools to discover new ways to enhance student learning, 3) a tireless commitment to use both research and collaboration to help all students achieve high standards of learning, and 4) the selective use of technology to discover new and evolving strategies for enhancing student learning.
This 60-hour program is designed for school personnel who will complete the program in the evenings, on weekends, and during the summer through various delivery systems. A variety of assessments will measure candidates' progress in achieving the required competencies, including the development and presentation of a portfolio and a school-based dissertation.
Formal policies and procedures for filing written student complaints can be found in Connection and Student Handbook, Appendices A through F.
Documentation of the following is required as part of the application process.
- Applicants must have a graduate degree in Education from an accredited institution and Level 5 certification or equivalent.
- A cumulative minimum graduate grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
- A minimum composite score on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) of 1000 with at least 450 on the verbal section and 450 on the quantitative or analytical section is required for tests taken before October 2002. Tests taken after October 2002 require verbal and quantitative scores.
- A 500-750 word essay that indicates the applicant's personal goals and suitability for the Ed.D. program.
- Three strong recommendations on the Ed.D. recommendation form from individuals who can speak to the applicant's work in school improvement.
- At least three years of experience in private or public schools.
- A vitae listing contact information, educational background, employment history, experiences with school improvement, awards and recognitions, presentations, etc.
- Documentation of their supervisor's support for their doctoral studies and related activities.
- A signed acknowledgement of the Ed.D. in School Improvement mission statement.
- Satisfactory Certificate of Immunization is required for new students only.
All application documents should be sent directly to the Graduate School. Please contact the Graduate School or check the Ed.D. in School Improvement web site at www/westga.edu/eddsi/ for important dates and application deadlines. After the complete application has been received by the Graduate School, it is sent to the Director of the Ed.D. program. Applicants are invited to campus for a required orientation session and asked to complete a writing sample responding to a school improvement prompt. Selected applicants will be invited back for interviews. Cohorts are finalized in April, and course work begins during Summer session.
Teaching and Learning (12 hours)
- Models of School Improvement and Reform
- State and Local Applications of School Improvement
- Instructional Leadership that Facilitates School Improvement
- Doctoral Seminar I: Examination of Change
Leadership for School Improvement (12 hours)
- Leadership for Change
- Leadership for Diversity in the 21st Century
- Principals of Legal and Ethical Leadership
- Doctoral Seminar II: Examination of Leadership
Research and the Effective Use of Data (10 hours)
- Research Processes for Change
- Collecting and Analyzing Data for Change
- Applying the Research Cycle for Change
Specialty Content Courses (15 hours)
- Up to nine hours beyond the masters degree may be applied toward the Ed.D. degree, with approval.
- Coursework to be applied toward the Ed.D. degree must have been completed within ten years of admission to the Ed.D. degree program, must have been applicable toward a graduate degree at the institution where the credit was earned, and must have been awarded a grade of B or higher.
- At least three of the 15 hours must be taken from the College of Arts & Sciences and/or College of Business.
- All 15 hours must be approved in advance by the program Director.
Dissertation (11 hours minimum)
The Doctoral Program in School Improvement utilizes six strands in the Core Competencies, which are linked to the College of Education Conceptual Framework, to articulate the knowledge, skills, and dispositions graduates of the program will evidence.
- School Improvement and Reform Moving schools and stakeholders in directions that enhance student learning and social development and ultimately benefit society
- Leadership Influencing others toward a shared commitment to a common purpose
- Understanding and using the knowledge base on effective teaching and learning to initiate teacher development and school improvement
- Research and the Effective Use of Data Understanding, conducting, and applying impactful research in school improvement and reform
- Scholarly Persuasion Engaging in rational discussion informed by and grounded in the knowledge base and research in education and school improvement
- Technology Developing sound technological literacy that impacts professional competence and school improvement