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School of Professional Studies

Education : Doctor of Education in Instructional Leadership

Doctor of Education in Instructional Leadership

About the Program

WestConn’s EdD program in Instructional Leadership is the only doctorate of its kind in Connecticut and is one of only a few doctoral programs in the country to focus on instructional leadership. The dynamic curriculum prepares educators, such as teachers, curriculum specialists, counselors, school psychologists, and administrators to create innovative learning environments; to respond to reform at the national, state and local levels; and to transform educational organizations. Therefore, program experiences were designed to strengthen the knowledge, skills, and dispositions of Candidates as they lead educational reform efforts.

The EdD Program is organized to accept a new Cohort of students every other year, beginning in fall 2003. The cohort model provides a peer group for students as they progress through the program together. With a total of approximately 20 participants per Cohort, members of the first Cohort graduated in May 2008. The program faculty members also strive to maintain a strong commitment to both the community and to the students by consistently examining and updating the program where appropriate. 

Purpose of the Program

This program is for educators who are interested in exploring issues related to leadership in schools, curriculum and instruction, reflective practice, and methods of inquiry related to school settings. Graduates of this program will be able to apply advanced curricular systems and strategies in classrooms and schools. The program will prepare teachers to be instructional leaders within their districts, able to assist with many decisions related to academics and assessment.

Handouts from our Annual Instructional Leadership Conference


All university and associated programs are accredited through the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). Additionally, this Doctor of Education degree program is approved the Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE). The program to obtain a Certificate in Intermediate Administration and Supervision (Endorsement #092), which is available for students who are admitted to the Ed.D. in Instructional Leadership, also is accredited by the CSDE.

Objectives of the Doctor of Education in Instructional Leadership

The objectives of WestConn’s proposed Ed.D. in Instructional Leadership are varied and vital to the professional development of classroom educators and for the improvement of student achievement. The program is designed to prepare K-12 educators to:

  1. assume roles of leadership in the conceptualization, initiation, assessment and redesign of instructional strategies.
  2. become lifelong consumers and producers of scholarly inquiry by conducting meaningful site-based inquiry pertaining to student achievement, program assessment, and other measures of educational success.
  3. develop and implement innovative curricula that focus on excellence and equity in education.
  4. implement school-wide professional development activities utilizing applied research, instructional technology, and best practices in K-12 schools.
  5. implement school-wide professional development activities consistent with emerging national standards as articulated by relevant professional specialty associations.

WestConn’s Ed.D. in Instructional Leadership is founded on the belief that instructional leaders should be a major human resource in every educational system. The effectiveness of K-12 schools and other educational settings is determined in great part by the quality of teaching as evidenced by outstanding teachers.

The infusion of technology, curricula restructuring, school management and assessment only succeed if they are supported, embraced, internalized and owned by teachers. The vast reservoir of talent, energy and experience of teachers can be released and realized through this program.

Applications for Admission

Please contact the Division of Graduate Studies to obtain specific admissions requirements. All applications will be reviewed for overall quality.

Admissions Policies

Graduate students in the Doctor of Education in Instructional Leadership Program must complete the requirements for the degree within the 6-year period immediately preceding the awarding of the degree. An appeal process through WestConn's Graduate Council is available if a student needs to apply for an extension beyond this period of time.

Transfer of Credits

Doctoral students can transfer up to 9 credit hours of doctoral level coursework provided the credits represent equivalent courses described in the program of study and pending approval by the program coordinator.

Academic Planning

Each candidate must meet with the Doctor of Education in Instructional Leadership's Program Coordinator to discuss the academic program and the doctoral advisement process. Course sequencing is predetermined and all students participate in a cohort model in order to complete the program.