The Doctor of Education Program develops breadth of understanding about higher and postsecondary education, though with focus on an intellectual issue of professional activity (concentration or emphasis area). Breadth is assured through study within three curricular domains: academic and developmental analysis of higher and postsecondary education, organizational and institutional analysis of higher and postsecondary education, and social and comparative analysis of higher and postsecondary education. Working across these domains and beyond them (through related out-of-program courses), students will work with faculty advisors to develop emphasis areas, among them policy studies, diversity and access studies, studies in student learning and development, and studies of scholarly learning and careers. The Ed.D. requires in-depth study in processes/methods of inquiry appropriate to the area of concentration or emphasis, and reflecting substantial theoretical understanding of the area and approaches to inquiry within it.
Students who pursue the Ed.D. in Higher and Postsecondary Education question and explore the range of perspectives for understanding the enterprise- its educatonal and intellectual core, its institutional/organizational rubrics, and its social and comparative contextualizations. Thus, through their own research (situated within an emphasis area), they participate in reshaping current understandings of postsecondary education. Ed.D. students conclude their programs by writing a dissertation that, though focused on a particular research problem within higher and postsecondary education, reflects the tripartite aims of the curriculum, as well as deep understanding of knowledge structures underpinning their area of inquiry. They are positioned then to scrutinize prevailing views of what it means to engage in the "higher learning" and importantly, of what it means to reconstruct these views in the name of improvement and development.
Graduates of the Ed.D. program may become policy-makers and evaluation specialists in higher and postsecondary education; they may assume substantial leadership responsibilities, as through presidencies or other key administrative posts in colleges and universities or state systems; they may lead university- or college-wide instructional development centers and activities; they may become academic scholars and researchers.