3 years| Credit Hours: 60

The online Ed.D. program in School Improvement offers a unique  opportunity for educators looking for an interdisciplinary, inquiry-based doctoral program that prepares graduates to become the next generation of change agents. Our mission is to develop educational professionals who initiate systemic and sustainable improvement in schools. 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.

Two things make the Ed.D. in School Improvement unique (1) the program provides for students to develop a specialized "Area of Concentration" and (2) students work on their dissertations simultaneously with their coursework. Students can complete their dissertation by the end of their coursework.

For more information, please see the Academic Catalog.

  • Overview
  • Cost
  • Courses
  • Faculty
  • Admissions
  • Dates
  • Objectives
  • Overview

    The doctoral program in School Improvement is challenging, rigorous, interdisciplinary, and focuses on developing skills in three areas that comprise our core curriculum: Teaching and Learning Leadership for Change Research and Effective Use of Data In addition to our core curriculum, students customize an area of concentration, based on individual needs and interests, to provide a focus for their doctoral studies. Moreover, we have designed the program so that we assist our students in conducting and completing their dissertations from day one. Through a unique synergy of dissertation classes, workshops, and faculty mentoring, students will complete their dissertations simultaneously with coursework. Our faculty are nationally recognized, committed to school improvement, understand your needs as an adult online learner, and make the successful completion of your dissertation a priority. This program is a cohort model that only admits students in the summer semester. This program is designed to take three years to complete. The Doctorate In School Improvement Program Website includes a directory of instructors and their credentials, as well as other vital information.

    It is extremely important that prospective students review the department's accompanying website where many additional Frequently Asked Questions are answered: http://www.westga.edu/eddsi/

    Email: eddsi@westga.edu

    Program Location

    Online

    Method of Delivery

    Coursework is available 100% online; one orientation is required on the Carrollton campus and one on-campus dissertation. However, the on campus sessions are scheduled over one long symposium, for travel convenience. 

    Accreditation

    The University of West Georgia is accredited by The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

    This program is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).

    Credit and transfer

    Total semester hours required: 60
    A transfer credit evaluation will be completed by the UWG Transfer Team (transfer@westga.edu). Course application to a program is subject to review by the department.

  • Cost

    This program is offered entirely online. Though a student may choose to sign-up for a face-to-face elective or core course, one can earn this degree completely online.

    Save money

    UWG is often ranked as one of the most affordable accredited university of its kind, regardless of the method of delivery chosen. In addition, online courses and programs can mean a huge cost-savings in many non-evident ways: No more high gas charges. No childcare needed. The flexibility can allow one to maintain a job while attending school. Regardless of state residency, out-of-state non-resident students are not charged non-resident tuition for online course credit hours.

    Details

    • Total tuition costs and fees may vary, depending on the instructional method of the courses in which the student chooses to enroll.
    • The more courses a student takes in a single term, the more they will typically save in fees and total cost.
    • Face-to-Face or partially online courses are charged at the general tuition rate and all mandatory campus fees, based on the student's residency (non-residents are charged at a higher rate).
    • Fully or entirely online courses are charged at the general tuition rate plus an eTuition rate BUT with fewer fees and no extra charges to non-Residents.
    • Together this means that GA residents pay about the same if they take all face-to-face or partially online courses as they do if they take only fully online courses exclusively; while non-residents save money by taking fully online courses.
    • One word of caution: If a student takes a combination of face-to-face and online courses in a single term, they will pay both all mandatory campus fees and the higher eTuition rate.
    • For the cost information, as well as payment deadlines, see the Bursar's Office website

    There are a variety of financial assistance options for students, including scholarships and work study programs. Visit the Office of Financial Aid for more information.

  • Courses

    Coursework

    Through a unique synergy of dissertation classes, workshops, and faculty mentoring, students will complete their dissertations simultaneously with coursework.

    This program is a cohort model that only admits students in the summer semester and is designed to take three years to complete.

    The Areas of Concentration (or AoC) in the School Improvement program are 12 credit hours of electives that comprise a student's focus within the program. Specific AoC's are developed in conjunction with various departments within the College of Education at the University of West Georgia. Currently, the available AoC's include:

    Another option available to students is to develop a customized AoC. At a minimum, an individualized AoC must meet the following criteria:

    • It must have a thematic, cohesive foundation.
    • It must consist of a minimum of 12 semester hours of credit.
    • The coursework must be post-Masters level.
    • It must be approved by the Director of the Ed.D. Program in School Improvement.
    • It must have been completed within seven years of the date of admission to the Ed.D. degree program.
    • A grade of B or higher must have been earned in the coursework.

    A customized AoC does not have to be taken only at our University. If you want a specialized, unique Area of Concentration, you can "assemble" one from another institution (either online or face-to-face), provided it meets the minimum criteria listed above AND that the hours were completed at an accredited institution. These hours could then be transferred into the program.

    Please note that any customized AoC must be pre-approved by the Program Director. Please contact the Director with any questions about this policy.

    General

    • EDSI-9171 - Program Evaluation

      This course focuses on the theories, concepts, and processes involved in planning and managing evaluations. Students will engage in evaluations in specific education situations (individual, group, organizational) using focus groups, key stakeholder interviews, survey design, data gathering, analysis and/or other methods as appropriate and analyze outcomes to make recommendations for development and/or remediation.

      View Instructors, Syllabi and Other Details

    • EDSI-9901 - Dissertation Mentoring I

      The purpose of this course is to begin the process of assisting candidates with moving from the role of student to that of emerging scholar and researcher through making steady progress toward completing the dissertation process. Students will understand the dissertation process and create a plan for the direction of their program of study including selecting topics of concentration, conducting research, and writing multiple dissertation plans based on a variety of research methods and approaches.

      View Instructors, Syllabi and Other Details

    • EDSI-9902 - Dissertation Mentoring Section 2

      The purpose of this course is to continue the process of assisting candidates with moving from the role of student to that of emerging scholar and researcher through making steady progress toward completing the dissertation process. Students will understand the dissertation process and create a plan for the direction of their program of study including selecting topics of concentration, conducting research, and writing multiple dissertation plans based on a variety of research methods and approaches.

      View Instructors, Syllabi and Other Details

    • EDSI-9903 - Dissertation Mentoring Section 3

      The purpose of this course is to continue the process of assisting candidates with moving from the role of student to that of emerging scholar and researcher through making steady progress toward completing the dissertation process. Students will understand the dissertation process and create a plan for the direction of their program of study including selecting topics of concentration, conducting research, and writing multiple dissertation plans based on a variety of research methods and approaches.

      View Instructors, Syllabi and Other Details

    • EDSI-9923 - Leadership for Diversity in the 21st Century

      This course will encourage a culturally pluralistic and global perspective on the equitable education of culturally and linguistically diverse student populations. Students in the course will investigate the philosophical, theoretical, and historical foundations of multicultural education; the values inherent in cross-cultural communication; and relationships between verbal and nonverbal communication systems. Interpersonal skills for encouraging harmony between the dominant culture and culturally and linguistically diverse populations will be topics for investigation.

      View Instructors, Syllabi and Other Details

    • EDSI-9925 - Policy Analysis for School Improvement

      This course is an advanced study of policy and its impact on the field of education broadly, and school improvement specifically. There is a specific emphasis on policy development and analysis. The course is designed to enable educators to become knowledgeable, effective, and responsible actors within the political and policy arenas of schooling.

      View Instructors, Syllabi and Other Details

    • EDSI-9933 - Leadership for Change

      This course addresses the theories and processes of change in societies, cultures, and organizations with particular emphasis on change within the educational systems. Completion of this course will enable students to effectively use theories and processes in their role as change agents within their own educational environments. Change strategies that lead to school improvement are emphasized.

      View Instructors, Syllabi and Other Details

    • EDSI-9941 - Models of School Improvement and Reform

      This course overviews nationally recognized models for school improvement, the forces and factors that influence school improvement and reform, the barriers to change and reform, and how change can be instigated within educational settings. Students build and value a conceptual understanding of the knowledge base in school improvement. Students develop foundational skills in different styles of writing required throughout the doctoral program.

      View Instructors, Syllabi and Other Details

    • EDSI-9942 - Instructional Leadership That Facilitates School Improvement

      This course prepares students to be instructional leaders in their educational settings. The knowledge base in effective teaching, motivation and learning, clinical supervision and professional development are explored and analyzed as vehicles for school improvement.

      View Instructors, Syllabi and Other Details

    • EDSI-9943 - Models of Professional Development

      This course identifies current research and theory in principles and models of professional development in the context of school improvement. Students will examine pedagogies of professional development, structures that support teacher and adult learning, models of profession development, issues that influence and define teacher learning, and evaluation of professional development.

      View Instructors, Syllabi and Other Details

    • EDSI-9960 - Research Design

      This course provides an overview of quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods research designs. Students will learn the fundamental components of research design including developing research questions, reviewing scholarly literature, exploring theory and theoretical frameworks, and the role of ethics in educational research.

      View Instructors, Syllabi and Other Details

    • EDSI-9961 - Quantitative Research Methods

      This course introduces the graduate student to basic methods of empirical inquiry used in education, nursing, and related social sciences. Quantitative research designs commonly used in these disciplines are emphasized. Students will learn how to select samples, identify appropriate measurement instruments, analyze data descriptively, and apply a variety of inferential statistical tests to answer research questions.

      View Instructors, Syllabi and Other Details

    • EDSI-9962 - Qualitative Research Methods

      This course focuses on the use of qualitative methods of research, including theoretical perspectives and methods of collection and analysis of qualitative data sources in educational studies. It emphasizes analysis of work samples, observations, inquiry data, artifacts, and other sources of data. Students become skilled at using methods of qualitative research to evaluate school improvement issues. In addition, students examine strategies for thematic and other forms of analysis of observational and inquiry data. Throughout the course students collect and analyze school improvement data.

      View Instructors, Syllabi and Other Details

    • EDSI-9964 - Advanced Research Seminar

      In this course students will strategically begin data collection and analysis processes for their individual research studies. Students will learn how to interpret and write results, discussions, and implications for their studies related to existing literature and theoretical frameworks.

      View Instructors, Syllabi and Other Details

    • EDSI-9998 - Research for Doctoral Dissertation

      Students develop and carry out an independent research project in school improvement. A minimum of nine semester hours in this course is required for graduation. Continuous enrollment is required while working on the dissertation project. Prerequisites: Consent of dissertation chairperson and admission to candidacy.

      View Instructors, Syllabi and Other Details

  • Faculty
  • Admissions

    Guidelines for Admittance

    • All graduate applicants must complete the online Grad Application. A one-time application fee of $40 is required.
    • International applicants are subject to additional requirements and application deadlines. See Procedures for International Students.
    • Earned Masters degree from a regionally or nationally accredited institution.

    Program Specific Admittance Guidelines

    Applications and all documents must be received by 5 pm EST on Monday January 15, 2018.

    Application Process for Cohort 19 (Beginning Summer, 2018)

    Thanks for your interest in the University of West Georgia. Admission to the Doctor of School Improvement Degree is competitive; consequently students are urged to submit the strongest possible application materials. All applicants, including previous UWG students, must complete all steps of the application process as outlined below. Only applications completed by the deadline will be considered.

    Step 1–Online Application, Official GRE Scores, and International Students

    (A) Complete the online application for graduate studies. The online application requires a $40.00 non-refundable application fee.

    (B) Send official GRE scores to the University of West Georgia via ETS. Scores must be no more than 5 years old. No Exceptions.

    (C) International applicants must follow additional procedures of the UWG International Office.

    Step 2- Submit supplemental items

    Any mailed items should be sent to: 

    UWG Graduate Admissions
    Mandeville Hall
    1601 Maple Street
    Carrollton, GA 30118

    What is be submitted?

    (A) Three Letters of Recommendation: Electronic request forms will be available after your application has been submitted. At least one of the letters must be from a current or past supervisor.

    (B) Vitae: A vitae listing education and employment history, experience with school improvement, and awards and recognitions. Provide your current and complete contact information, including an active e-mail address.

    (C) Official Transcripts: Request official transcripts from all institution(s) that you have attended both undergraduate and graduate, to be sent to Graduate Admissions. Electronic official transcripts may be sent to graduate@westga.edu

    (D) Essay: Complete a 750-1,000 word essay that discusses your personal goals related to school improvement.  In your essay, include any literature (e.g., research article) that has informed your professional practice or otherwise influenced you. (Include appropriate APA citations.)

    Incomplete applications will not be considered.

    Finalists will be selected for a telephone or virtual interview.

    Thanks again for your interest and best of luck!

    Application Deadlines

    Graduate Application Deadlines: Click Here

    The Ed.D. in School Improvement is a cohort program that only admits once a year, each Summer.

    Contact

    Graduate Admissions
    graduate@westga.edu
    678-839-1394

    College of Education, School Improvement
    eddsi@westga.edu

    The Doctorate In School Improvement Program Website includes a directory of instructors and their credentials, as well as other vital information.

  • Dates

    This program ONLY admits for summer term.

    Summer 2017 Admission Deadline: January 16, 2017

  • Objectives
    • School Improvement and Reform: Students will move schools and stakeholders in directions that enhance student learning and social development and ultimately benefit society.
    • Leadership: Students will influence others toward a shared commitment to a common purpose
    • Teaching and Learning: Students will understand and use the knowledge based on effective teaching and learning to initiate teacher development and school improvement.
    • Research and the Effective Use of Data: Students will understand, conduct, and apply impactful research in school improvement and reform
    • Scholarly Persuasion: Students will engage in rational discussion informed by and grounded in the knowledge base and research in eduation and school improvement.