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Doctor of Educational Leadership

Welcome to the innovative, three-year Doctor of Educational Leadership (DEL) in the College of Education at Michigan State University. In line with a national trend supporting practice-based doctoral degree options for advanced educational leaders, the Department of Educational Administration offers the Ed.D., a rigorous and relevant program conceptualized around the knowledge and skill demands for effective professional practice. Faculty and students will, together, address critical challenges to the education field.

The DEL program seeks to develop a strong network of senior leaders for Michigan schools, districts, community organizations and other education-related agencies. Graduates will be prepared to enact Michigan Central Office Administrator (COA) standards at high levels.

Students in the program will find their advanced leadership studies connected to critical education and social issues facing the state. After many years of economic decline, public discourses in Michigan are focused on how to redevelop core social and economic infrastructures, public schools chief among them. Excellent and equitable schools are critical to resilient communities and to a thriving state; the DEL perspective is that schools are integral to efforts to redevelop and re-spirit local communities. Toward that end, the program seeks an active role in key state level deliberations about the future of our schools.

Unique to Our DEL Program

Beyond compelling and challenging coursework, two defining characteristics of the program set the MSU Doctor of Educational Leadership apart from other state and national programs.

First, annual Summer Forums create arenas for public deliberation of leading issues and ideas, thus providing opportunities for multiple stakeholders to develop and disseminate strategies for improving schools and policies affecting schools.

Second, group Capstone Projects, carried out over the third year, engage students in action research or consultation projects targeting a substantive educational or community problem or challenge.

Who should consider a DEL program?

K-12 Educational Administration faculty welcome applicants from a wide variety of educational and professional backgrounds. We seek experienced leaders who aim to improve critical leadership capacities and who recognize the value of close collaboration with diverse community partners and stakeholders. Competitive applicants will hold a post-baccalaureate academic or professional degree.

The Doctor of Educational Leadership is designed for educators and other practitioners who have aspirations for improving their own leadership practice, for developing leadership capacity within their organizations and communities, and for making significant contributions to their local communities and to the future of Michigan. Graduates with this degree will be prepared to take up system level leadership in various education agencies, including local and regional school districts, state education agencies, and professional education associations. Graduates will also qualify for a range of teaching positions: in community colleges and regional universities or as adjunct or clinical professors in research universities. Leaders of other community-based or educationally-related organizations might also find the program appealing.