Earn your Doctorate of Education of Leadership in Higher Education – online
The online Doctorate of Education (Ed.D.) of Leadership in Higher Education is designed to provide the skills and experience required for success in the rapidly changing world of higher education administration. Completed in as little as 39 months, students in this program gain the knowledge, skills, and abilities to identify critical issues facing today’s higher education institutions and to examine and define approaches to comprehensively address those challenges creatively.
Leveraging dynamic online learning technologies and innovative course design, St. Edward’s University’s online Ed.D. of Leadership in Higher Education was created to meet the needs of individuals interested in completing a doctoral degree while still working full-time. Designed to be completed in 39 months, students gain the knowledge, skills, and abilities to identify critical leadership issues facing higher education institutions. Students will also focus on using data effectively to make decisions as well as learning theory for traditional and adult learners. For more information, please call 512.387.3110 or email edd [at] stedwards.edu.
Introducing the Program Leadership
Dr. Glenda Ballard began her tenure at St. Edward's University this fall, Dr. Glenda Ballard brings her 33 years in education to lead the School of Education. Dr. Ballard holds a Doctorate of Education in Adult and Continuing Education from Virginia Tech. A certified Texas teacher, she also has her MS in counseling and K-12 counselor certifications. Hailing from Texas A&M University - Texarkana, she served for eight years as dean of the College of Education and Liberal Arts and associate professor of adult education. Under her leadership there, the College of Liberal Arts expanded to include 16 academic programs, taught by 42 full-time faculty and 80 adjuncts.
Dr. Tom Sechrest has had a long career in leadership development as an entrepreneur, in the public sector, in the private sector, in the non-profit sector, and in higher education. He started his career as an entrepreneur in educational & industrial television, creating training films, documentaries, commercials, and music videos for Don Kirshner's Rock Concerts. He then worked as a television producer for the U.S. Department of Labor and led a national leadership development project. He worked in corporate leadership & succession planning for AMD, then served as Faculty Chair for Leadership Austin before joining the faculty at St. Edward's.
For detailed descriptions, please request a Program Overview.
The online Ed.D. of Leadership in Higher Education is a 60-credit hour program, designed to be completed in 39 months while working full time. The program allows students to start two times a year, in the Fall or Spring.
The program curriculum includes:
- 8 CORE courses (24 credit hours)
- 5 RESEARCH courses (15 credit hours)
- 7 CONCENTRATION courses (21 credit hours) in one of two concentration areas: Higher Education or Organizational Leadership & Change.
Courses are offered in a 7-week accelerated format, with two 7-week terms roughly equaling the length of a traditional semester.
- Leadership in the 21st Century: Current Trends, Emerging Possibilities
- Demystifying Doctoral Research & Writing
- Introduction to Digital Learning Environments
- Discerning the Past & Leading the Future of Education
- Ethical Decision-making: Global Issues, Frameworks & Approaches
- Managing Resources: Economic & Financial Issues
- Socially-Conscious Leadership
- Predictive Analytics in Higher Education & Leadership
- Action Research I: Preparing & Proposing the Culminating Experience
- Empirical Methods: Introduction to Statistics for Research
- Qualitative Research Methods
- Practical Application of Research Methodologies
- Action Research II: Implementation, Analysis, Defense
Concentration Courses - Higher Education
- Design Thinking: Creativity & Innovation
- Leading Strategically in Higher Education
- Systemic Inquiry: Leading in Crisis & Complexity
- The Legal, Ethical & Moral Responsibilities of Universities
- The Adult Learner: Foundations, Implications, Practice
- Strategic Communications in Higher Education
- Special Topics (when need or opportunity arises)
Cognitive Courses - Leadership & Change
- Design Thinking: Creativity & Innovation
- Principles & Practices of Organizational Change
- Systemic Inquiry: Leading in Crisis & Complexity
- Mentoring & Coaching for Leadership Success
- Conflict Analysis & Resolution
- Organizational Diagnosis, Design, Development
- Leading High Performance Teams
- Special Topics (when need or opportunity arises)
All graduates of the online Ed.D. program will acquire skills specialized for application, such as:
- Critically examine innovative ways to lead within the context of higher education;
- Use data analytics in a leadership capacity in order to solve complex issues facing education organizations;
- Demonstrate capacity to lead complex, adaptive systems in a constantly-changing world;
- Provide theoretically-informed solutions for complex issues through the lens of social justice.
- Develop strategies that address practical issues through field-based action research.
- Demonstrate both oral and written communication skills key for leaders in education organizations
The career outlook for post-secondary education administrators is strong, with faster than average growth (10%) compared to other professions, and a national median salary of $90,760 (BLS, 2018). This means that 18,200 of new jobs will be created and need skilled professionals to advance these institutions.
The Ed.D. degree allows higher education administrators, change management experts, training professionals, and all those who straddle the worlds of teaching and training to specialize in leadership in Higher Education to broaden their knowledge and increase the scope of their skills and professional network.
Meet the Faculty
The online Doctorate of Education (Ed.D.) of Leadership in Higher Education was designed by Dr. Glenda Ballard, the dean of the School of Human Development and Education and Dr. Tom Sechrest who also leads the Master of Science in Leadership & Change (MSLC) Program. Dr. Ballard and Dr. Sechrest have assembled an experienced team of educators with years of higher education leadership and teaching knowledge as the faculty for this program — each faculty member brings their unique teaching and higher education experience to the program.
Tony Alvarado, JD is on the faculty at the Bill Munday School of Business, St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas where he teaches courses in Entrepreneurship, Business Negotiation, Legal Environment of Business and Digital Law. Tony has taught the Business Negotiation course in the MBA program at St. Edward’s University since 2010, for which he has developed several unique role play negotiation scenarios and in class exercises. He maintains a limited solo private practice in Austin, Texas serving business clients. He is a member of the State Bar of Texas (SBOT) and the American Bar Association.
Dr. Glenda Ballard is the Associate Vice President for Graduate and Professional Studies at St. Edward’s. She holds a Doctorate of Education in Adult and Continuing Education from Virginia Tech. A certified Texas teacher, she also has her MS in counseling and K-12 counselor certifications. Dr. Ballard served as Dean of the College of Education and Liberal Arts at Texas A&M University-Texarkana for eight years, where she also taught as associate professor of adult education. Under her leadership there, the College of Liberal Arts expanded to include 16 academic programs, taught by 42 full-time faculty and 80 adjuncts.
Dr. Rebecca Frost Davis is the Associate Vice President for Digital Learning at St. Edward’s University in Austin, TX whose works focuses on the intersections of digital pedagogy and liberal education. She teaches about digital learning environments in the university's Doctorate of Education (Ed.D.) of Leadership in Higher Education.
Dr. Sara Gibson specialized in the tax and accounting aspects of retirement plans and worked in several venues such as bank trust departments and accounting firms including eight years with Ernst & Young. Sara completed her PhD in human and organizational systems in 2011. Her dissertation research focused on the psychology of adult learners and a group process known as Action Learning. She has taught a number of university-level courses over the last several years including Career Development, Principles of Ethics, Human Resources Management, Building Ethical Organizations, Critical Thinking, Design and Delivery of Training, Strategic Planning, Adult Development, Organizational Communication, Global Ethics and Responsibility, Leadership and Team Development, and Creativity and Innovation.
Dr. Ralph Gohring has over 35 years of experience consulting with executives, managers, and work groups at all levels on strategic, business and operational planning. He has extensive experience in the leadership and management of organization development functional areas and of organization development programs at major universities, a Fortune 500 company, a 12,000-employee public-sector organization, and as an independent performance consultant.
Dr. Lisa Kirkpatrick is Vice President for Student Affairs. She reports to the university president and serves on the president’s cabinet, while providing supervision to the associate vice president and director for Athletics, associate vice president for Student Affairs, directors of Residential Education and Housing, director of Health & Counseling Center, and Dean of Students. Additional areas in her portfolio include Student Activities, Student Transitions and Family Engagement, Diversity and Inclusion, and Recreation & Wellness. She served in the Associate Vice President role since 2008, Dean of Students since 1998, and continues to serve as Title IX Coordinator since 2012.
Dr. Kimberly Kvaal, Ed.D. is the Vice President for Finance & Administration at St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas since August 2014 and has over 24 years of experience in the higher education industry at two previous institutions. Her areas of responsibility include finance, facilities, human resources, auxiliaries, campus safety, and compliance and risk management. She serves as a member of the President’s Cabinet and is responsible for an annual operating budget of approximately $110M and an endowment of $115M.
Dr. John Loucks is Professor of Management in The Bill Munday School of Business. He earned his BBA in Management Science at University of New Mexico and his MBA and PhD in Operations Management at Indiana University. During his 25-plus years at St. Edward’s, he has taught a host of quantitatively oriented courses for undergraduates, master’s students in several different programs, and now doctoral candidates. His administrative roles at the University include graduate program director and department chairperson.
Dr. Ellen Melton is an assistant professor of counseling. Ellen has been a professor in psychology and counselor educator for over 20 years. She is a Psychologist, a Licensed Professional Counselor and a Licensed Professional Counselor Supervisor. Ellen maintains a private practice where she sees clients with a wide range of psychological and emotional issues and concerns. In addition, she also supervises LPC-Interns during the completion of their licensing journey.
Dr. NguyenVoges is an Associate Professor of Education and the Director of the Masters of Arts Program in College Student Development with more than 10 years of teaching experience in adult and higher education contexts. Her research explores the practice of adult learning theory targeting experiential learning, narrative, critical reflection, and sociocultural influences on study abroad participation.
Dr. Lori West Peterson received her Ph.D. in Communication Studies from the University of South Florida, and is currently an associate professor at St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas. Her interest in the study of human communication arose from her earlier career as a social worker, where she witnessed how empathic listening and compassionate responding could transform lives. Dr. Peterson served as Associate Vice President for Faculty Development and Academic Programs from 2015-2018, where she was responsible for coordinating training and development for faculty across five schools.
Dr. Tom Sechrest has had a long career in leadership development as an entrepreneur, in the public sector, in the private sector, in the non-profit sector, and in higher education. He started his career as an entrepreneur in educational & industrial television, creating training films, documentaries, commercials, and music videos for Don Kirshner's Rock Concerts. He then worked as a television producer for the U.S. Department of Labor and led a national leadership development project. He worked in corporate leadership & succession planning for AMD, then served as Faculty Chair for Leadership Austin before joining the faculty at St. Edward's, where he has served as Associate Dean and Interim Dean of the Business School, and Director of the Master’s Program in Leadership & Change.
Dr. Kris Sloan is an Associate Professor in the School of Human Development & Education at St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas. He is the Director of the Master of Arts in Global Development Practice program. He teaches courses on culture, curriculum, pedagogy, leadership, ethics, and educational policy at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. Dr. Sloan has published works on anti-oppressive pedagogy, educational policy, teacher education and assessment literacy. He has worked as a professional curriculum designer and has taught in the United States and abroad.
Dr. Teri Lynn Varner is an Associate Professor of Communication at St. Edward’s University (Austin, TX). She holds a Ph.D. in Communication with an emphasis in Performance Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. She teaches basic courses in communication, communication theory, nonverbal communication, public speaking, and active listening.
How to Apply
To apply for the online Doctorate of Education (Ed.D.) of Leadership in Higher Education program, students are required to have a master’s degree from an accredited university and completion/submission of the following application materials.
1. St. Edward’s University application for admission
The admissions application for the online Doctorate (Ed.D.) of Education of Leadership in Higher Education program can be completed online HERE. You will need to create and validate an account, before beginning the application.
2. A nonrefundable application fee, or fee waiver
Note there is a $50 application fee to apply.
3. Official transcripts from all institutions attended
St. Edward’s University prefers transcripts submitted electronically. If your undergraduate institution does not provide electronic transcripts, please have official transcripts mailed to:
St. Edward’s University
Office of Admissions
3001 South Congress
Austin, TX 78704-6489
4. A resume or C.V.
5. A letter of intent
The applicant is to write a 2-3 page document that clearly describes the following:
- Why you want this degree
- What background experiences, knowledge, skills, etc. you will bring to the program and your studies
- Why our program
- How we will experience you as a student
6. Two letters of recommendation
The applicant must secure and have sent to the admissions staff two (2) letters of recommendation from professional references. It is advised that these letters address academic prowess, professionalism, leadership, and research/writing skills. These letters must be from professionals who have worked with the applicant within the last three years and are not family or friends.
7. A writing sample (please see instructions below)
The applicant is to submit a 6-8 page academic paper on one of the following topics:
- Current issues in post-baccalaureate higher education leadership
- Current issues in leadership and change in a diverse world
- Challenges and solutions to leading future leaders
- Using social justice as the means by which to lead
8. A copy of a government issued ID
- Driver’s License
- State ID
Additional Requirements for International Students or permanent resident applicants
- Official foreign credential evaluation of foreign credits.
- TOEFL score of at least 79 or an IELTS score of 6.0
- Copy of Permanent Resident Card (if applicable)
Once this information is submitted, the School of Human Development and Education at St. Edward’s University uses a rolling admissions process to evaluate each candidate. Prospective students should expect to be contacted within two business days of their finalized application regarding next steps. After that, the application will be presented to the Admissions Committee, and students should expect to hear back within two weeks on their acceptance to online Doctorate of Education (Ed.D.) of Leadership in Higher Education program.
Apply for the 39-month online program or talk to a counselor today. Call 512-387-3110 or email us directly at edd [at] stedwards.edu.
Are you interested in speaking with an enrollment counselor to find out more about the online Doctorate of Education (Ed.D.) of Leadership in Higher Education program?