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EdD - Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership

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Funnel your ideas and passions for learning by diving into new research to make a difference in education on a societal and academic level.

The Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (EdD-EL) from Florida Southern prepares teachers and administrators to grow both intellectually and professionally for professional advancement in the field of education.

This degree will increase your knowledge and build your skills to become exceptional leaders in primary education to grade 12 administration, school districts, policy development, or public, private or college/university teaching. Students engage in research and collaborative projects, providing a rigorous academic program geared toward enriching leadership, management, and motivational abilities. Outstanding and passionate faculty bring a wealth of research and practical experience to courses, preparing you to navigate today’s most complex and challenging issues in education.


Education Information Session

April 1

An on-campus information session for prospective students interested in adult undergraduate, graduate, or doctoral programs within the School of Education at Florida Southern College. This event is designed to present an overview of our education programs and to provide an opportunity to connect at Florida Southern with faculty.

Apply today to start next term
Monday, May 15, 2023

Students are advised to submit applications as early as possible to assure optimal admission consideration.

Top Reasons to choose EdD - Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership at florida southern college

P-12 Focus

With a requirement of students possessing a Master of Education or full professional teaching certificate, this program focuses on the P-12 sector and learner.

Outstanding Faculty

Composed of credentialed professors and scholars whose research and practitioner experience delve straight into today’s most complex and important issues in education. These faculty members are attentive, available, and committed to your academic success.

Nationally Recognized

Florida Southern College ranked as the No. 1 Regional College in the state of Florida by the prestigious college guidebook U.S. News & World Report.

Engaged Learning

You will experience unparalleled robust, active, and hands-on faculty-led collaborative projects that provide a rigorous academic program geared toward enriching your leadership, management, and motivational abilities.

Early Option

After completion of 20 doctoral credit hours, students are given an option to complete ta concept paper at this time to enter dissertation credits of one-hour increments.


Florida Southern College is accredited by the Southern Association of Schools and Colleges

Employment Outlook

Demand for teachers (P-12, and post-secondary) is supposed to grow by an average of 9% by 2028.
Robust Median Salary (P-12, and post-secondary)

Examine the role of today’s leader

EDU 7010 Educational Leadership and Theory Through the investigation of different aspects of leadership, this course provides an in-depth study of educational leadership to include traits, characteristics, models, and dimensions of leadership. The course examines the role of today’s leader. It also explores theoretical frameworks related to leadership, organizational behavior, change, and sustainability.

View Academic Catalog

Small Classes

Coursework is made up of twelve classes of 4 credits each. Classes are offered face-to-face and online. There are seven face-to-face classes and five online classes. Most classes are made up of cohort members of less than 15 class members. When ready to move to dissertation credits, all students are required to complete a concept paper. Coursework prepares students with a strong academic foundation for writing this concept paper. The concept paper is rigorous paper students are required to complete to show competency in skills needed to being dissertation work. A School of Education committee does a blind review of each student’s concept paper looking for what theories contribute to a student’s area of interest. They are also looking for valid methodologies that are used and what applications of theory and research that can assist tin working with problems in a certain area identified by the student. Finally, the last step in the concept paper is to help in identifying a good fit between the student’s research topic and a chair for the doctoral student.

Cohort Groups

Students move with an established cohort group during the 12 hours of doctoral coursework. Each assignment has been vetted by professional scholar-practitioners to deliver the knowledge, content, and credible evidence-based learning required for successful alignment. Being linked to members in a cohort group serve to build collaboration among student to student and serve as a support group for one another in their specialized fields.

The Passion To Get Ahead

Dr. Howard Hepburn '20, Instructional Superintendent, School District of Palm Beach County, explains why Florida Southern was the right school for him to advance his passion for education and professional goals.

Meet Our Mocs

Lana Tatom

Lana Tatom

I am passionate about growing the next generation of teachers and leaders! Florida Southern College provides teachers and leaders the opportunity to pursue their personal and professional goals. I am thankful for all the professors that are guiding me on my journey to pursue my Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership degree. Each of them has helped me grow in my journey; to keep growing, learning and changing. We are all on this journey together to make a difference in the lives of our children, staff, and families.

Amy Weingarth

Amy Weingarth

I have thoroughly enjoyed working on my Doctorate in Educational Leadership at Florida Southern College. The doctoral program at Florida Southern College provides a course sequence that is tailored to working professional leaders. As a Principal, I utilize the research skills and practices from this program to build systems that will have a positive impact on student achievement. A huge benefit of the doctoral program at Florida Southern College is the relationships developed with colleagues and faculty. The faculty members support and guide doctoral students through coursework and the dissertation process. Florida Southern College has helped me work towards my personal and professional goals.

Timothy Warren

Timothy Warren

Principal, Polk County Public Schools, M.A. Educational Leadership

The Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership program at Florida Southern College provides students with rigorous coursework facilitated by experienced and knowledgeable professors. In addition, the EdD-EL program challenges me to surpass my perceived limits as an educator. I reach new depths of knowledge and ability during each session with my professor, and the experience allows me to contribute to the field of education, starting with increasing my effectiveness as a school-based principal.

Lacey Jurnigan

Lacey Jurnigan

My learning experience at Florida Southern College has thoroughly prepared me to advance in my career with not only the knowledge but also the confidence to succeed. My professors and dissertation committee members were always a phone call or email away to support me through this challenging journey. This process has made me not only a better educator but a better person.

Elizabeth Russum

Elizabeth Russum

The Doctorate of Education in Educational Leadership at Florida Southern College provided me with an invaluable experience in the development of professional academic skills. The faculty facilitated my learning by broadening my perspective, challenging my thinking, and preparing me to face the demands of a leadership position. The accomplishment of this life-goal has given me the necessary skills to lead with confidence in the field of education.

Beth Livesay

Beth Livesay

The Ed.D. in Educational Leadership program has changed my life. My professional skills have been sharpened, my educational philosophy has been challenged and refined, and my commitment to making an excellent education attainable for all students has been strengthened. Personally, I have learned to think more deeply and listen to others more carefully.

Camaran Cella, MEd

Karen Peck

The experiences I had while enrolled in the Doctor of Education - Educational Leadership program was incredible. The coursework helped me relate my school administration position to scholarly content, and I was able to use my daily work experience to contribute to class discussions and assignments. It was a pleasure working with my dissertation committee and the professors. Their efforts in assisting me with balancing work, home, and being a doctoral student was evident as they lead me to the final defense and then to graduation. I graduated from the Doctor of Educational Leadership program and was promoted from assistant principal to principal as a result of receiving my doctoral degree from Florida Southern College. I highly recommend the program!

Monifia Neal

The rigorous content, skills, and leadership development gained in the Doctorate of Education - Educational Leadership Program program provided by Florida Southern College, will further prepare me for my career advancement within a school, district, or higher education institution. The support from my advisors and professors, have all helped to make this rewarding journey possible.

Caitlin Byrne, Ph.D.
- Assistant Professor of Education

FSC’s doctoral program in educational leadership offers a degree to change lives together by linking cohorts of students, providing a curriculum staffed by globally qualified doctoral professors, and creating opportunities to learn from and with field-expert professors. Geared to maximize students’ personal and professional potential through a wide range of experiences, students will examine evolving educational issues to facilitate positive change in their organizations and communities. This degree is designed to help you manage organizational effectiveness in many educational settings for a life-changing and rewarding career.

Read More about Caitlin Byrne, Ph.D.Meet Our Faculty
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Program Details

A full-time schedule is comprised of two courses per semester.


A combination of online and in-class courses are offered to meet the needs of your busy schedule. By enrolling in our EdD full-time, you will complete all of your coursework in two years, plus a dissertation.

  • An earned baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution of higher education as verified by an official transcript from the conferring institution
  • An earned graduate degree from a regionally accredited institution of higher education as verified by an official transcript from the conferring institution
  • Earned grade point average of 3.0 in accredited master’s degree program*
  • Applicants to Florida Southern College's Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership program are required to submit a personal statement as part of their application materials. In no more than 500 words, students should address the following in their personal statement:
    1. How will the pursuit of a doctoral degree help you in achieving your personal and professional goals?
    2. Why are you pursuing a doctoral degree at Florida Southern College?
    3. Describe any related research experience, professional presentations, or major projects you have completed
  • Recommendation Form or Letter of Reference
  • Current Résumé
  • Valid Florida Professional Teaching Certificate or an earned Master of Education
  • Official Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores taken within last five years**
  • Personal Interview

* If you do not have at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA from your graduate degree, please submit official Graduate Record Exam (GRE) score.

** If you have at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA from your graduate degree, then you meet the requirements for a Graduate Record Exam (GRE) exemption.

Additional International Requirements

  • Official Translated Transcripts With Course By Course Evaluation**
  • Bank Letter Verifying Funds of Sponsor***
  • Sponsor's Guarantee Form
  • Valid Passport
  • Official TOEFL/IELTS Score****

** SpanTran (discount available), Academic Evaluation Services, Inc., Josef Silny, or World Education Services or another similar approved transcript evaluation agency.

*** A bank letter is a written statement on bank letterhead and signed by a bank official.

**** Must have completed an English language training program or at least one year at an English speaking institution to waive the TOEFL/IELTS testing requirement.

Course descriptions are available in the academic catalog.

Academic Catalog
Course Number Course Name
EDU 7010 Educational Leadership and Theory
EDU 7020 Curriculum, Learning and Instruction
EDU 7040 Organizational Theory and Behavior
EDU 7050 Educational Politics, Policy and Current Issues
EDU 7060 K-12 Law and Governance
EDU 7070 Curriculum Analysis
EDU 7080 Finance and Resource Allocation
EDU 7090 Quantitative Analysis
EDU 7093 Advanced Quantitative Research
EDU 7120 Qualitative Methods of Inquiry
EDU 7123 Advanced Applications of Qualitative Research
EDU 7130 Policy Analysis, Implementation and Evaluation
EDU 7138 Dissertation Seminar A (2-credit hour course)
EDU 7139 Dissertation Seminar B (1-credit hour course)
EDU 7140 Dissertation (9 hours)
  *Courses 7010-7130 are four credit hours each.

Florida Southern College reserves the right to revise fee schedules. $250 Non-Refundable Enrollment Deposit (Upon acceptance and applied toward your first-semester tuition balance.)


Base Required Fees Cost
Tuition Per Credit Hour $500
Technology fee per semester is based on credit hours enrolled $25 to $100

$250 Non-Refundable Enrollment Deposit (Upon acceptance and applied toward your first semester tuition balance)

*Tuition will be billed prior to the beginning of each semester based on credit hours. Tuition must be paid by the first day of class.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the program delivery?

Our program uses a cohort model wherein students move through the program with the same group of students throughout the two years of coursework. Courses are delivered via a hybrid model where a typical semester is comprised of one face-to-face class typically meeting every other Saturday and one online class each semester. Summer courses meet for 7 consecutive weeks. During your first summer term you have the opportunity to make meaningful connections with other students in your cohort by meeting face-to-face for 7 consecutive weeks. One class meets every Saturday (8:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M.) and the other meets every Monday and Wednesday (5:00 P.M. to 9:00 P.M.). Students’ first summer term is the only term that students enroll simultaneously in two in-person courses.

What are the hours of the Saturday classes?

Classes are scheduled every other Saturday in the Fall and Spring from 8:00 A.M. – 5:00 P.M. In the Summer, classes are 8:00 A.M. – 5:00 P.M. every Saturday for the 7-week B term.

Is financial aid available?

Students seeking financial aid should complete the FAFSA to determine eligibility.

What is the cost of textbooks?

Textbook costs vary each semester, by course, and by professor.

How many classes is considered full time?

At the doctoral level, you are considered full time when you are enrolled in 8 credit hours.

Download Full Frequently Asked Questions PDF

Program Contact

Kenley VanValkenburg

Admission Counselor and Advisor

Melanie Fowler, Ed.D.

Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership Program Coordinator