Most students are able to complete an online doctorate program in educational leadership in 1-3 years. Some online programs are offered in cohort format, allowing a certain group of students to proceed throughout the entire program together. Entrance requirements vary by program, but they usually include a master's degree in a field related to education and valid state teaching certification. Some programs require a practicum or dissertation defense.
Degrees and Specializations
Some of the most common doctorate degrees awarded in educational leadership are the following:
- Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
- Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
- Education Specialist (Ed.S.)
Some students choose to focus their efforts on learning about educational leadership for a particular school level, such as:
- Community college
- Elementary school
- Secondary school
Most of the coursework included in online doctorate programs in educational leadership focuses on developing students' management skills and understanding of advanced educational theories. Required classes in online doctorate programs in educational leadership usually cover subjects like those listed below:
- Advanced educational theories
- Special education
- Human resources management
- Business management skills
- Educational decision-making
- Theories of professional development
- Curriculum design
- Behavior management theories
Residency and Field Components
Some doctoral degree programs include a practicum, which students are responsible for arranging. Additionally, certain schools may require students to visit the campus a couple of times throughout the program, perhaps at the start of the program for an orientation, then at the end for defense of the student's dissertation.
Some teachers decide to earn a doctorate degree in educational leadership in order to better understand their own jobs or to become eligible for promotions into administrative roles. Those who hold a doctorate degree in educational leadership could undertake duties lobbying the government, shaping policy and consulting with schools or districts to enact new educational standards.
A doctorate degree in educational leadership qualifies people for positions in the following:
- Individual schools (all levels)
- School districts
- Government agencies
- Private consulting firms
The degree is especially useful for people who want to become one of the following:
- School principals
- School district superintendents
- College deans
- Other education administrators
Individuals seeking an educational leadership degree program have the ability to complete a doctoral program entirely online where they study management skills and advanced educational theories. Graduates may be prepared for roles as school principals, district superintendents or college deans.