We understand some students are returning to the classroom after a long career, and the online learning environment is new in concept. With these considerations in mind, ACE has a variety of resources for meeting our student needs:Writing Center: The Writing Center is available to assist students in developing scholarly writing skills, and to boost their enthusiasm and fluency as writers.
Writing Center staff provide assistance in the various steps of the writing process, including brainstorming and outlining, sentence structure and usage, APA formatting, and paper organization. Writing consultants do not edit papers—they provide meaningful feedback and support for enhancing writing and editing skills.
First, select an area that holds your passion – After all, you will study this topic throughout the program, and even afterward. Once you determine a research topic, consider any problems or issues you notice in that field, and think about solutions. Then, draft a question you would like to explore. The answer to your question could possibly add something new to your field or challenge a critical problem. Use this thought process to help choose a unique topic.
The short answer is no; This is a leadership degree, so the dissertation should reflect a general study of leadership and add to the body of literature within your field or industry. Learning is the focus for education regardless of the field.
At the end of the program, students who complete all requirements will receive a Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Leadership. Dissertation research should reflect a general study of leadership and aim to contribute to the body of literature of applied educational research. As our students pursue careers and leadership positions in a broad range of settings, research informs and impacts formal and informal educational settings in diverse industries such as schools, health care settings, correctional facilities, non-profit organizations, and businesses, among others.
The ACE program is unique. From the beginning of the program, each course can be applied directly to your doctoral dissertation (Ed.D.) or capstone (Ed.S.) project. You begin with the end result in mind, and we have designed the program to support your becoming an expert in your chosen area of study.
In your first course of the Ed.D. program, you will begin to generate ideas for your topic. As you move through other courses, you learn about leadership and its application in diverse settings, and explore literature appropriate to include in your dissertation that will apply research to practice. In the research courses, you will learn about qualitative, quantitative, and mixed research methods to determine the design you will use in your dissertation.
With our virtual platform, and in acknowledging that our students are located across the globe, you have more flexible options to defend your dissertation through web applications, or web or phone conferencing. You do not need to travel anywhere for your oral defense.
You will be required to present and defend your dissertation before your dissertation committee. You will prepare a PowerPoint or similar presentation of your findings to your committee who will ask questions regarding the topic, methodology, and results from your study. By this time, you will have become an expert on your chosen topic. A typical dissertation defense takes between one and two hours.
Initially, you will work with your course instructors to develop and refine your dissertation topic. You will create a concept paper outlining the problem you will address, the purpose of your research, guiding research questions, and proposed research strategy. Full-time Ed.D. students will typically complete their concept paper, which must be approved by faculty and the chair of the Department of Leadership, at the end of their second year. Students then apply for doctoral candidacy. The approval of your doctoral candidacy application triggers the appointment of your dissertation committee, comprised of a dissertation chair (your primary point of contact and one-on-one mentor) and two committee members.
See focus of study section.
No, the Ed.D. program is not currently designed to lead to licensure. This program takes a broader approach and does not contain the Educational Leadership curriculum or practicum/internship component. This program can support you, however, in meeting some of the criteria required for state Administrative and Principal Certification. Each state’s requirements vary for principal certification. We strongly suggest you check with your state’s department of education website to fully understand the requirements for the position matching your interests, and that you contact your state licensing body to confirm that ACE coursework will meet your state’s requirements for any certification, licensure, or other benefit you seek.