Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) with a concentration in Charter School Administration

Overview

The Doctor of Education with a concentration in Charter School Administration Program is a practical, directed independent study program which emphasizes course work in educational leadership and management with a focus on charter school operations. The Program is of interest to school administrators and individuals with public or private school teaching experience who are interested in advancing to higher levels of administration – particularly in the charter school arena.

Charter schools are unique public schools that are allowed the freedom to be more innovative while being held accountable for advancing student achievement. Because they are public schools, they are:

  • Open to all children;
  • Do not charge tuition; and
  • Do not have special entrance requirements.

Charter schools were created to help improve our nation’s public school system and offer parents another public school option to better meet their child’s specific needs. The core of the charter school model is the belief that public schools should be held accountable for student learning. In exchange for this accountability, school leaders should be given freedom to do whatever it takes to help students achieve and should share what works with the broader public school system so that all students benefit.

From school year 1999–2000 to 2012–13, the percentage of all public schools that were public charter schools increased from 1.7 to 6.2 percent. During the most recent period from 2011–12 to 2012–13, the total number of public charter schools increased from 5,700 to 6,100. In addition to increasing in number, charter schools have generally increased in enrollment size over time. (Source: National Center for Education Statistics)

With the growing dissatisfaction of public school education in general, these numbers are expected to materially increase in the next decade. This projected growth will require many more administrators trained and experienced in charter school operation.

The objectives of the Program are:

1. To offer a program of coursework and practical exercises in educational leadership, management, and instruction that will enhance the professional and personal lives of its students;
2. To prepare professional educators and administrators to serve the needs of both public and private institutions from the elementary to postsecondary level in their community and beyond; and
3. To enable educational leaders to make meaningful contributions to the foundation of knowledge in charter school issues and operations.

Successful graduates of the Program will be able to:

  • Apply best practices, current concepts, theories, and research about educational technology, effective teaching, learning, and administration to improve one’s professional practice as a teacher or administrator.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the administrative, legal, funding, budgeting and marketing issues unique to charter school operations.
  • Employ effective and appropriate technology and leadership techniques that support educational and administrative objectives.
  • Evaluate ethical issues, recognize administrative, legal and regulatory issues, and make appropriate decisions and recommendations based on sound research reasoning and analysis with sensitivity to stakeholder interests.
  • Communicate effectively with authorizers, learners, their families, and other professionals in ways appropriate to purpose and content.
  • Author a properly formatted and presented Dissertation that represents a substantive research topic of original work.

Successful students should demonstrate high quality communication and writing skills, become more critical of the status quo, and be well prepared to initiate school and process improvement based on solid reasoning backed by valid research. Graduates of the Program will emerge with a recognized degree and a set of diverse and relevant skills that are applicable in the pursuit of administration, and advanced level positions in education fields.

The University acts to fulfill the purposes of the Doctor of Education program through appropriate coursework, coupled with continuing direction, evaluation of student progress, and regular assessment of student learning outcomes, supervised and administered by qualified faculty.

The Doctor of Education degree program is designed to service a national market and does not purport to provide licensure or credential certification in any particular state and/or school district. Applicants interested in licensure, credential certification, and/or salary advancement are encouraged to contact the relevant licensing body(ies) and their respective human resources department before enrollment.

Applicants are encouraged to contact the admissions office if they have questions regarding the curriculum and their individual professional backgrounds.

Testimonials

“My studies at Taft University were rewarding personally and professionally. The research I conducted as a part of my program led to a new career in higher education and multiple public presentations on a state, national, and international level.”

Sam Stewart, Ed.D.
Associate Chair and CAEP Coordinator
Department of Teacher Education
Abilene Christian University

“Taft University allowed me to pursue a Doctorate in Education while balancing the demands of the Superintendency and family responsibilities to my wife and four children. The program was flexible and the Taft experience helped me grow both as a professional and as a person. The coursework was rigorous and relevant and the dissertation was challenging. Positive administrative support accompanied all phases of the program, I would recommend Taft University to those seeking professional advancement without reservation.”

Dr. Michael J. McCarthy
Superintendent, Mechanicville City Schools
Mechanicville, New York

“As I complete my last course in the Ed.D. program I wanted to express how this journey has continued to be a wonderful experience. All my instructors have been responsive, supportive and insightful. I had serious doubts that at 67 years old, I was up to the task. I can report that these studies have made me feel younger, more engaged, and have opened new vistas to me.”

Robert Minott, Ed.D. student

Presentation

The University’s Directed Independent Study modality recognizes that education is an individual process where individuals with different learning needs and study schedules can be accommodated. It emphasizes learning that is meaningful, where individuals enjoy the learning process, and acquire knowledge to better understand and manage their own careers.

The Program’s Faculty Members support the student’s independent-study learning role by guiding and stimulating the learning process in one-on-one interaction. Our faculty mentors recognize individual learning styles and emphasize the relevance of the material to the individual’s situation.

Each course in the Program contains a series of lesson assignments generally consisting of reading requirements and research projects. Students are evaluated through examinations and/or research assignments which are submitted for faculty evaluation.

All assignments are submitted electronically. As set forth in the University’s General Catalog, Internet access and minimum computer requirements and skills are required as a condition of admittance.

The first three courses in the curriculum are known as qualifying courses. A student must take and pass a Qualifying Examination before a student can earn academic credit for a core course. The Qualifying Examination is a three hour proctored test that covers material covered in the qualifying courses. It consists of a combination of objective and subjective questions.

Curriculum

To earn the Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) degree, a student must complete the courses outlined below in good academic standing, pass a Comprehensive Examination, and present a successful oral defense of the dissertation, all with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.00. The requirements may be completed in as little as 27 months. All requirements must be completed within seven years from the date of initial enrollment.

The following courses are required for the  Doctor of Education with a concentration in Charter School Administration Program.

Qualifying Courses
(12 units)

EDU501

Educational Administration

4 units

EDU503

Leadership in Institutional Settings

4 units

EDU507

Educational Finance

4 units

Qualifying Exam

pass/no pass

Core Courses
(32 units)

EDU505

The Laws and Politics of Education

4 units

EDU506

Organizational Behavior in the Educational Setting

4 units

EDU508

Principles of Curriculum Development

4 units

EDU509

Societal Diversity

4 units

EDU512

Social and Philosophical Foundations of Education

3 units

EDU514

Educational Psychology

3 units

EDU590

Charter School Marketing Management

3 units

EDU591

Charter School Governance and Administration

3 units

EDU511

Research Methods

4 units

Comprehensive Exam and Dissertation
(16 Units)

EDU700

Comprehensive Examination

1 unit

DIS701

Dissertation Proposal

3 units

DIS702

Dissertation

12 units

Total Semester Units Required for Graduation: 60

Admission Policies and Requirements

To be admitted to the Program, applicants must possess a master’s degree (or a bachelor’s degree plus 30 graduate-level credit hours) from appropriately accredited institutions. In addition, the applicant must have a minimum of two years of teaching or administrative experience in an educational setting from elementary through higher education or be presently employed in a leadership position at a properly authorized public charter school. Other factors affecting admission include the strength of the applicant’s personal statement (the importance of demonstrating graduate level writing skills cannot be over emphasized), references, record of involvement in professional organizations and associations, an aptitude for leadership based in part on employment and educational background.

An applicant may be conditionally admitted into the Program based on a completed Application for Admission, receipt of the $75.00 Application Fee, student copies of transcripts reflecting the applicant’s highest relevant degree, documentation of the applicant’s professional work experience, and the receipt of two Professional Reference Letters. Official copies of all relevant college level credits received directly from the institution of origin will be required within 60 days of enrollment.

The vast majority of the institution’s applicants are mature adults working in a variety of professional settings. Many have not attended college for several years. Consequently, prior class rank and grade point average are not significant factors in the admission process.

Should additional information be required the applicant will be contacted.

All payments must be payable in U.S. dollars. Payments may be made by MasterCard®,Visa®, American Express® or Discover®.

Foreign Applicants and Applicants with International Credentials

It may be necessary for applicants who have attended colleges or universities outside of the United States to obtain an evaluation of their education from a credential evaluation service approved by the University. Upon request, the Admissions Office will provide a list of approved evaluators. In addition, applicants who do not possess a degree from a postsecondary institution where English is the principal language of instruction must receive a minimum score of 550 on the paper-based Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL PBT) or 80 on the Internet Based Test (iBT) or 6.5 on the International English Language Test (IELTS).

For more information on TOEFL visit the website: www.ets.org/toefl.

Transfer Credit

The acceptance of transfer credits between academic institutions lies within the discretion of the receiving college or university. Credits earned at William Howard Taft University may or may not be accepted by another institution depending upon its own programs, policies, and regulations.

The University does not accept Transfer Credit or credit for experiential learning (Portfolio Credit) in the Doctor of Education programs.

Financial Information

Tuition is billed at the rate of $420.00 per month during the term of enrollment. The obligation of students to pay tuition shall continue until the earliest of the following events:

  1. satisfaction of all degree requirements;
  2. 48 billing months (four years);
  3. withdrawal from the Program;
  4. academic dismissal from the Program.

Additional information on financial aid and tuition financing can be found under Tuition, Financial Aid and Financing.

The cost of books and materials, other than each course syllabus, is not included in the tuition. The University does not sell books or materials. Most books and materials may be purchased at local colleges, retail bookstores, directly from publishers or over the Internet. The cost is estimated to average approximately $150.00 per course. Students are always provided with a mail or Internet source for acquiring all required materials.

FEE SCHEDULE

Application Fee

$75

Registration and Orientation Fee

This one-time fee is charged at the time of a student’s initial enrollment and is related to the costs associated with setting-up the student’s file and developing a Degree Completion Plan.

$100

Dissertation Defense Fee

(Payable when the oral defense is scheduled)

$450

Dissertation Fee

(Payable after the oral defense)

$350

Continuation Fee (Per Month)

Students who have not completed all degree requirements after four full years of active enrollment in the Program will be assessed a monthly continuation fee for the balance of the enrollment period or until they have satisfied all degree requirements. (This is in lieu of tuition.)

$125

Graduation Check/Diploma Fee

$75

Transcript Fee (Two Provided at No Cost)

$10

Late Payment Fee 

(Returned Check/Declined Credit Card/ACH) (Per Item)

$25

How to Enroll

If the applicant is accepted for admission to the Program, a formal enrollment agreement will be prepared and sent to the applicant for review and signature. Students may elect to begin the Program on the 1st day of any month. All payments submitted for tuition and fees must be payable in U.S. dollars. Payments may be made by MasterCard® / Visa® / American Express® or Discover®.

Applicants are encouraged to call the Admissions Office if there are any questions regarding enrollment procedures.

Course Descriptions

  • EDU501 - Educational Administration (4 Units)
  • EDU503 - Leadership in Institutional Settings (4 Units)
  • EDU505 - The Laws and Politics of Education (4 Units)
  • EDU506 - Organizational Behavior in the Educational Setting (4 Units)
  • EDU507 - Educational Finance (4 Units)
  • EDU508 - Principles of Curriculum Development (4 Units)
  • EDU509 - Societal Diversity (4 Units)
  • EDU511 - Research Methods (4 Units)
  • EDU512 - Social and Philosophical Foundations of Education (3 Units)
  • EDU514 - Educational Psychology (3 Units)
  • EDU590 - Charter School Marketing Management (3 Units)
  • EDU591 - Charter School Governance and Administration (3 Units)
  • EDU700 - Comprehensive Examination (1 Unit)
  • DIS701 - Dissertation Proposal (3 Units)
  • DIS702 - Dissertation (12 Units)

EDU501 - Educational Administration (4 Units)

The objectives of the course are based upon assisting students to enhance and expand their knowledge, skills, and conceptual awareness as related to current and future leadership roles. Course objectives underscore a belief in the value of informed “reflection on practice” both individually and collectively.
Prerequisites: None.

EDU503 - Leadership in Institutional Settings (4 Units)

This course explores concepts of leadership and leadership styles in the context of educational administration. Students examine the role of institutional leader, as well as factors that influence decision making, initiating change, psychological constraints, and techniques for establishing and maintaining a unique culture in the institutional setting.
Prerequisites: None.

EDU505 - The Laws and Politics of Education (4 Units)

This course provides an overview of the legal and political framework of education in the nation. Emphasis is on current issues and how they affect the learning environment.
Prerequisites: Completion of Qualifying Courses

EDU506 - Organizational Behavior in the Educational Setting (4 Units)

This course studies theory, strategies and techniques of effective organizational behavior in educational/institutional settings. Intervention techniques will be studied to improve organization effectiveness.
Prerequisites: Completion of Qualifying Courses

EDU507 - Educational Finance (4 Units)

This course explores the economic theories of institutional finance. Emphasis on the management and evaluation of fiscal operations in an institutional setting.
Prerequisites: None.

EDU508 - Principles of Curriculum Development (4 Units)

This course provides an analysis of the influences of curriculum and instruction from a philosophical, psychological and sociological perspective. Various approaches to the design and evaluation of curriculum and instruction will be examined.
Prerequisites: Completion of Qualifying Courses

EDU509 - Societal Diversity (4 Units)

This course examines diversity in society and in schools. Emphasis is on understanding the similarities and differences in culture, economic backgrounds and academic diversity. It will prepare teachers for the wide diversity of students that they are certain to meet in their classrooms, schools, and communities. It provides an updated and broad treatment of the various forms of human diversity found in today’s schools including nationality, ethnicity, race, religion, gender, class, language, sexual orientation, and ability levels – highlighting the need for differentiation of instruction.
Prerequisites: Completion of Qualifying Courses

EDU511 - Research Methods (4 Units)

This course emphasizes the types of research designs and the skills needed to develop and organize research studies in institutional settings.
Prerequisites: Completion of all other Core Courses. This will be the last course prior to the Dissertation phase.

EDU512 - Social and Philosophical Foundations of Education (3 Units)

This course deals with systematic philosophies, with attention to individual philosophers who developed important philosophical and educational ideas and with a critique of each philosophy to present its strengths and weaknesses. We also review major social influences as they are applied to current movements in educational instruction, research and curriculum.
Prerequisites: Completion of Qualifying Courses.

EDU514 - Educational Psychology (3 Units)

This core course studies psychological principles as related to learning. Learning theories, motivation and quantitative methods will be explored.
Prerequisites: Completion of Qualifying Courses

EDU590 - Charter School Marketing Management (3 Units)

This course examines strategic marketing and branding, and their contribution to effective charter school recruitment and operations. Topics include marketing strategy development, marketing research, communications, media relations, building partnerships, public relations, and fund raising.
Prerequisites: Completion of Qualifying Courses

EDU591 - Charter School Governance and Administration (3 Units)

This course explores the administrative workings of charter school operations. Topics include facilities location, staffing, sourcing and reporting revenue, budgeting, auxiliary services, legal issues, and safety and security. The course also examines the practical skills necessary to work effectively with authorizers, the charter school board, and other groups that are critical to the success of the charter school, as well as the legal framework of charter school education at the national, state, and local levels.
Prerequisites: Completion of Qualifying Courses

EDU700 - Comprehensive Examination (1 Unit)

This proctored examination, which can be taken anytime between the completion of the core courses and the Dissertation Proposal, is designed to measure a student’s knowledge and understanding of the curriculum content that has been covered in the Program. Students must pass the examination prior to advancement to candidacy.
Prerequisites: Successful Completion of all Required Courses.

DIS701 - Dissertation Proposal (3 Units)

This course assists students through the process of organization and design of a formal proposal including a substantive research topic of original work. An accepted proposal constitutes the framework for the Statement of the Problem (Chapter 1), Review of the Literature (Chapter 2), and Research Methodology (Chapter 3).
Prerequisites: Successful Completion of the Comprehensive Examination (EDU700).

DIS702 - Dissertation (12 Units)

The successful completion of a dissertation results in a quality research effort, documented and written following American Psychological Association, (APA) guidelines, an oral defense consisting of a PowerPoint presentation presented to the student’s dissertation committee, and written in a format ready for publication. The completed dissertation document is a five-chapter dissertation beginning with the Introduction to the Problem, Chapter 1; Review of the Literature, Chapter 2; Research Methodology, Chapter 3; Research Findings, Chapter 4; and the Summary, Conclusions, and Recommendations of the Researcher, Chapter 5. In addition, the final document will include the frontal pages as described in the University’s Dissertation Handbook, as well as necessary appendices, references, and other appropriate documents.
Prerequisites: Approval of Dissertation Proposal (DIS701).

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