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Enhance your educational leadership expertise with a doctoral degree focused on addressing real-world challenges and opportunities in the field of education. This degree program serves learners seeking a post-master’s graduate experience that emphasizes both practice and scholarship.

Outcome goals and graduates' proficiency levels

Each doctoral program and specialization is designed around expected learning outcomes (see Expected Program Outcomes below). End of program performance is determined during the comprehensive exam and dissertation process. Because the work is unique to each learner's dissertation or research topic and the criteria for evaluation are aligned to that work, we do not collect data on proficiency levels for doctoral programs.

Doctor of Education (EdD) specializations

  • Adult Education and Leadership2
  • Curriculum and Instruction2
  • Educational Leadership and Management
  • Performance Improvement Leadership
  • Personalized and Competency Based Instruction
  • Reading and Literacy1, 2
  • Teacher Leader in Digital Transformation
  • Teacher Leader in K-12 Studies

Quality and Professional Relevance

  • The Educational Leadership and Management specialization is designed around the standards of a number of respected P–12 organizations, including the Competencies for Community College Leaders developed by the American Association of Community Colleges.
  • The Reading and Literacy curriculum is designed around national reading and literacy education standards.
  • Capella is one of very few universities to offer an online EdD specialization in Reading and Literacy.

Expected Program Outcomes

  1. Content Knowledge: Has content expertise in the subject matter or discipline of one's profession as a teacher, administrator, counselor, or school psychologist.
  2. Pedagogical Content Knowledge: Understands concepts, theories, and research about effective teaching and learning and the interaction of subject matter and pedagogy; uses multiple strategies to help students learn subject matter.
  3. Professional Knowledge and Skills: Understands the context of schools, education, and learning; designs and delivers assessment-driven standards-based curriculum, instruction, training, or administrative practices.
  4. Data-Informed Planning: Uses data, especially about learners, to plan instructional, administrative, counseling, or consultative strategies and activities.
  5. Information Technology: Uses information technology effectively to improve learning, productivity, and professional practice.
  6. Diversity: Has the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to work successfully with diverse learners, their families, and professionals who differ in ethnicity, race, socioeconomic status, gender, exceptionalities, language, religion, sexual orientation, and geography
  7. Impact On P-12 Learners: Assesses and documents that one's professional activities as a teacher, administrator, counselor, or school psychologist have a positive impact on P-12 learners.
  8. Use of Current Knowledge: As a practitioner-scholar, applies current theory, research, and best practice to improve one's professional practice as a teacher, administrator, counselor, or school psychologist.
  9. Generation of New Knowledge: As a scholar-practitioner, conducts field-based research to advance and improve one's professional practice as a teacher, administrator, counselor, or school psychologist.
  10. Communication Skills: Writes and speaks clearly; communicates effectively with learners, their families, and other professionals in ways appropriate to purpose and content.
  11. Critical Thinking: Engages in critical thinking, analysis, and problem solving that reflect scholarly intellectual standards and incorporate sound reasoning.
  12. Reflective Practice: Engages in reflective practice that leads to continuous professional growth and improvement.
  13. Collaboration: Collaborates successfully with families, other professionals, and community members to mobilize resources for both learners and one's own professional growth.
  14. Professional Dispositions: Has professional attitudes, values, and beliefs that support student learning and development.
  15. Vision and Leadership: Demonstrates the vision and skills necessary to lead and manage classrooms and schools as complex, adaptive systems in a changing world.

1North Carolina residents are currently not eligible to enroll in this specialization.

2This specialization does not satisfy licensure requirements for P-12 public school teachers or administrators.

Doctor of Education Degree Program Graduates

Data from graduates of the Doctor of Education degree program have been combined for these Career Outcomes results.

The graphs below show some key findings from Capella's Alumni Outcomes Survey. We use this information to help improve our courses, programs and services and to give you an idea of how alumni are using their degrees.

Career Preparation
Doctor of Education Graduates

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Career Preparation
Doctor of Education Graduates

The skills and knowledge have been immediately applicable to my career: 75%

My degree has positioned me to achieve my professional ambitions: 65%

Capella's competency based curriculum has prepared me for the needs of my profession: 75%

Percentage of respondents who answered "strongly agree" or "agree"
Source: Responses to the Alumni Outcomes Survey one year after graduation. The data were collected during Q3 2017 - Q1 2018.

Career & Professional Accomplishments
Doctor of Education Graduates

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Career and Professional Accomplishments
Doctor of Education Graduates

Made a significant contribution to my profession: 45%

Successfully changed jobs and-or-careers: 40%

Assumed leadership responsibilities: 48%

Received a salary increase: 40%

Received a promotion: 53%

Multiple factors, including prior experience, age, geography, and degree field, affect career outcomes, and Capella does not guarantee a job, promotion, salary increase, or other career growth.

Percentage of respondents who indicated they had accomplished each item.

Source: Responses to the Alumni Outcomes Survey one year after graduation. The data were collected during Q3 2017 – Q1 2018.

Doctor of Education Degree Program Graduates

Data from graduates across all Doctor of Education Degree Program  have been combined for these Student Experience results.

The graphs below show some key findings from Capella's Alumni Outcomes Survey. We use this information to help improve our courses, programs and services and to give you an idea of how alumni feel about Capella and what general skills and abilities they gained.

Satisfaction With Capella
Doctor of Education Graduates

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Satisfaction with Capella
Doctor of Education Graduates

I have or intend to recommend Capella : 70%

I am satisfied with my Capella education : 94%

Capella gave me the most efficient direct path to completing my degree : 75%

Percentage of respondents who answered affirmatively.
Source: Responses to the Alumni Outcomes Survey one year after graduation. The data were collected during Q3 2017 – Q1 2018.

Skills & Abilities
Doctor of Education Graduates

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Skills and Abilities
Doctor of Education Graduates

Write clearly, accurately, and professionally; use sources appropriately : 77%

Communicate thoughts and ideas in varied settings : 98%

Show ethical conduct reflecting values and beliefs of discipline : 98%

Show knowledge of field; respect contributions of other fields : 94%

Analyze theoretical issues or investigate real-world phenomena, create knowledge : 98%

Locate, evaluate and communicate information; address legal, professional, other issues : 98%

Critically examine, analyze, and evaluate thinking using intellectual standards and creativity : 100%

Critically evaluate, select, and use discipline-appropriate technology : 100%

Show appreciation for group and individual differences : 100%

Demonstrate effective leadership in diverse environments : 98%

Apply the specialized knowledge associated with professional practice area : 94%

Percentage of respondents who rated themselves as "proficient" or "exceptional" on ability to demonstrate the skill or ability on the job.
Source: Responses to the Alumni Outcomes Survey one year after graduation. The data were collected during Q3 2017 – Q2 2018.

Expense, completion, & career information (Gainful Employment)

Capella believes in being clear about the real cost, time, and value of a Capella degree The Gainful Employment disclosures, required by the US Department of Education (ED) (under 34 CFR 688.6), provide some information about completion, expenses, and occupations. Most of our students are part-time so they might not take a full course load or attend all 4 quarters each year. We took that into account in calculating these data. For example, we define program length for certificates and master's and doctoral degrees as the number of calendar quarters it takes a typical student to complete a program. The ED has defined time to complete for a bachelor's degree as 4 years. Program cost is based on the specific pricing structure for each program which is either a cost per credit or a cost per active quarter.

Other related information may be found on the Learning Outcomes, Career Outcomes, and Student Experience tabs on this page.

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Earn Your Doctoral Degree

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Become an expert in your field. Enroll in an online PhD, PsyD, or EdD program at Capella.

"I feel that I can now help shape higher education in the 21st century, while achieving one of the most important goals in my life."

Generosa  Lopez-Molina, PhD

2008 Graduate

School of Education

Specialization in Leadership for Higher Education