The focus of the program is on understanding and leading change. At the heart of study is the student’s own practice in professional life. The program enables student learners to continuously reflect on and integrate their professional experience, intellectual learning and methods of inquiry. The emphasis focuses on the student learner as the initiator of the learning process and the faculty member as the mentor-collaborator in facilitating the student’s reflection.

Some of the program’s most distinguishing characteristics are as follows:

  • A core curriculum that reflects an interdisciplinary approach to the study of leading change that integrates research, theory, reflection and practice primarily but not exclusively from the fields of education, the social sciences and management
  • An educational model attuned to the needs of adult learners that emphasizes short-term intensive residencies, cohort and individualized learning and ongoing technologically enabled interaction with faculty and students
  • The assessment of student learning through the demonstration of doctoral-level learning
  • The integration of theory and practice, as exemplified by the design and implementation of a change project that includes an in-depth reflection on the student’s own leadership intervention
  • An individualized program that emphasizes mentoring relationships based on students’ areas of expertise and learning styles
  • Opportunities for reflection on the convergence of personal values, professional practice and critical theoretical orientations with the purpose of fostering personal and professional development as leaders
  • A research-based Doctoral dissertation that contributes knowledge to leading change in one’s field of practice
  • Assessment of student learning is integrated, continuous, and developmental with students receiving narrative evaluations of learning as opposed to grades