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The College of St. Scholastica

St. Scholastica’s Doctorate in Educational Leadership (EdD) program is designed to support current and aspiring leaders in recognizing inequities in their professional settings and create a plan of action to address them. The Inclusive environment will stimulate the best development of innovative thinking to solve today’s complex social problems.

We welcome and invite students from different professional experiences, social organizations and diverse backgrounds to join us in this intentionally intersectional program. Starting with the first course, students will work with others who care about creating change, equity and social justice and have a commitment to improving the lives of individuals, innovating within organizations and transforming communities. leadership development and innovative organizational strategies.

The program is grounded in and informed by, the School of Education’s conceptual framework centered around ‘Leaders and Learners’ and is aligned with the College’s Benedictine values. Innovation, critical reflection and continuous improvement are embedded in the program.

Fast Facts

  • Grounded in leadership, social justice and equity
  • Designed for leaders across industries such as education, healthcare, government and social work
  • Cohort model providing a dedicated learning community to meet the needs of professional adult learners
  • Online format with limited annual residency* and live synchronous sessions to provide opportunities for student engagement
  • Flexible individualized internship, plus international experience opportunities
  • 60 total credits, including 12 credits of program concentration electives
  • Complete in four years
  • Program begins in June; priority application deadline is March 15

*Each year, the EdD residency takes place in conjunction with the department’s Teaching and Learning Conference in June. The summer residency for 2022 is scheduled for the week of June 12.

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Degree Details


Tuition: $45,000/full program* ($750/credit)

* Tuition rates are for the 2021-22 academic year. Additional fees and costs for course materials may apply. Total program cost and completion time varies depending on transfer credits and individual program plans. Tuition rates are subject to change.

Program Overview

Problem of Practice (Dissertation in Practice) Starts Early with Faculty Support

From the onset, students will identify a problem of practice in their professional setting that becomes the foundation for the final capstone project.

Students will be in a supportive learning community with dedicated faculty to begin working through the capstone project and ensures that students are working on problems that matter to them and their communities. This support will ensure you finish the program and earn your degree on time.

International Experience Option

We believe international experiences provide unique and compelling opportunities for aspiring leaders. These experiences allow for growth, learning and enhance an individual’s knowledge, skills and understanding of different cultures. The international experiences will be designed with graduate students in mind and will also be offered in collaboration with other college education abroad trips.

Cohort Model and Program Advisor

Online learning isn’t independent learning at St. Scholastica. You will become part of a special learning community that will ensure your success. With our cohort model you’ll move through the program with the same group of colleagues. You will also have support from the very beginning of the program from a dedicated advisor and faculty.

Excellent Online Education

We are not new to online learning and we know how to do it well. St. Scholastica’s education programs have a long history of offering programs in innovative ways that engage students and support their learning. Our philosophy is that “online learning should not mean you are alone.”

The same faculty that developed our nationally-recognized Master of Education program designed the new online Ed.D. program.


The EdD program was designed with student success in mind. The program is practitioner-based and designed to focus on meeting the needs of professional adults who work in a variety of social sectors. The program’s required 48 credits are focused on foundations, research and scholarly writing. The 12 credits of elective specialization will be chosen from a variety of coursework, including master’s level and graduate certificates.

Phase 1: Foundations – Years 1 and 2

Phase 1 focuses on building learners’ skills in understanding major research ideas, issues, trends in leadership, equity, learning science, education, technology and other social trends. Students will work early to consider ideas for their problem of practice topics.

Phase 2: Dissertation in Practice (DIP) Focus – Years 3 and 4

Students continue with scholarly learning communities (SLC) with seminars focused on students’ dissertation/problem of practice. Students complete elective and research courses.

Concentration Options

Students will choose a 12-credit elective concentration to meet their professional and personal goals. The concentrations are created from certificates or individual courses across programs and schools.

  • Certificate in Culturally Responsive Practice
  • Certificate in Computer Science Education
  • Certificate in Educational Technology
  • Certificate in Literacy Instruction
  • Certificate in Special Education
  • Certificate in Chemistry
  • Certificate in Project Management
  • Certificate in Applied Data Analytics
  • Certificate in Health Informatics
  • Courses offered by MBA in Leadership and Change
  • Courses offered by the Master of Education and graduate certificates

Course Descriptions

All courses are three credits. Here are samples of course titles and descriptions:

Foundations for Equitable Leadership: Provides an opportunity for students to explore the constructs, implications, and responsibilities of the practitioner scholar and the professional doctorate. Examines the relationship of intersecting identities, positionality, and impacts on inclusive leadership and professional and academic mission, vision, and goals. Students identify and explore the complexities of problems of practice, Design Thinking, and stakeholders for research considerations.

Equity and Social Justice in Action: Examines the role educational leaders play in shaping policy and practice to support equity and social justice in their spheres of influence. Students evaluate systemic problems within particular communities related to inequity and propose solutions for social organizations. Provides students with an ability to partner with communities to support the advancement of equity initiatives and examine and evaluate their impact on individuals and organizations.

Educational Philosophy, Learning Theory and Contemporary Learning Science: Explores the philosophical and theoretical underpinnings of education while focusing on current educational research and brain science related to teaching and learning. Throughout the course, students will examine systems (as outcomes of particular philosophies and learning theories) that have caused inequities in educational contexts.

Leadership for Social Change: Considers leadership change theories, logical models for change and theories of action. Leverages systems theories as a context for leadership that seeks social change. Examines a leader’s role in supporting inclusive innovation through a human-centered approach.

Individualized Internship Experience: Provides an opportunity for students to design and participate in an individualized experiential learning opportunity aligned with the student’s professional and research goals. Students will work with a faculty advisor to identify a setting and mentor, as well as create goals and an action plan. Provides students with an opportunity to research and design solutions aligned with their problem of practices.

Systems Thinking and Innovation for Social Sector Organizations: Examines systems thinking as an approach to understanding the complex issues and variables that impact social sector organizations. Provides students with an opportunity to examine and apply tested approaches such as “Design Thinking” to support inclusive, innovative solutions in organizational settings. Students will consider the application of these approaches in order to understand and apply continuous cycles of improvement for improved practice.

Technology for Impact: Trends, Policies and Practice: Examines the digital landscape and trends and their impact on organizations and communities. Provides opportunities for effective digital policies and practices to support effective communication, marketing and learning integration. Examines critical issues that impact strategies for supporting effective change and innovation through research and tested approaches such as the “Diffusions of Innovations Theory.”

Research – 15 credits

Research for Change 1: Explore and examine research methodologies and other ways of knowing in relation to the problem of practice using a lens of social justice. Provides a deep dive into understanding how positionality influences and impacts problems of practice. Students will critically examine, inquire, investigate and expand ways of knowing. Collaborating with stakeholders will be an essential focus as students ask critical questions to investigate and address complex problems of practice.

Research for Change 2: Building on Research for Change 1, students apply research methodology and theory to practice and analysis. Students will focus on pragmatic facets of data collection within selected research paradigms and begin aligning methodology with a particular problem of practice.

Research for Change 3: Prepares students to employ strategies from previous research courses in a specific context. This includes Institutional Review Board application(s), pilot-testing instruments, developing strategic institutional and community partnerships and making final adjustments to problems of practice language.

Research for Change 4: Prepares students to collect and analyze data. Students will examine coding and analysis techniques to organize and synthesize information and best-practices for communicating findings with stakeholders. Students will author critical elements and generate solutions for their problems of practice.

Research for Change 5: In this final research course, students will participate in ongoing consultation with their capstone advisor and complete a review of the data as well as author a discussion and conclusion related to their problem of practice and the related research findings.


To assist doctoral students in meeting their professional and personal goals, the program has designed an internship course that allows students to create a flexible individualized experience where they can apply the effective strategies learned in the program.

Sample internships:

  • Serve as a teaching assistant in a college course to improve your skills at a new level
  • Work closely with a respected leader who can serve as a mentor
  • Support the efforts of a grant writing office as you learn new skills for fundraising
  • Intern at a social service agency to learn more about effective strategies for improving the lives of clients


AAQEP logoThe Teacher Education program at the College of St. Scholastica is accredited by the Association for Advancing Quality in Educator Preparation (AAQEP) for a period of 7 years, from July 2019 to July 2026. The accreditation does not include individual education courses that the Educator Preparation Program offers to P-12 educators for professional development, re-licensure, or other purposes.

Click to see Performance Data of Candidates in the College of St. Scholastica Teacher Education Program

Minnesota Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board (PELSB)

The fully accredited Teacher Education Program is assessed according to the requirements and standards of the Minnesota Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board (PELSB). The teacher education program has full continuing unit and program approval through June 30, 2024.

Admission Information

Visit our admissions page for information about transcripts, online application, international admissions and financing.

Application Deadlines

Priority application deadline: March 15. Applications submitted after March 15 will be reviewed on a rolling basis if space is available.

The EdD program has an annual program start date in June. Applicants can start the program fall or spring semester by working on their specializations or elective credits before the start of the program.

Program space is limited and applicants are encouraged to apply early.


The following requirements must be met in order for an applicant to be considered for admittance into the program:

  • Master’s degree (or equivalent) from an accredited institution with a GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • 2 professional recommendations
  • Personal essay and writing samples
  • Resume or CV
  • 1-3 years of professional work experience is preferred

Note: Meeting minimum entrance requirements does not guarantee admission.


Please order the following official transcripts:

  • Bachelor’s degree transcript showing degree conferred
  • Master’s degree transcript showing degree conferred
  • Any additional college transcripts
  • International transcripts: Please see the International Admissions page for additional requirements

Transcripts must be received on or before the application deadline. Order early in the application process!

Email official transcripts to Electronic transcripts must be from a certified electronic official transcript provider such as ParchmentDocufideScrip SafeNational Clearinghouse or other certified, online transcript services.

Mailed transcripts must be in the original sealed envelope from the school. Mail to:

The College of St. Scholastica
Transcript Processing
1200 Kenwood Avenue
Duluth, MN 55811

Meet Our Faculty

Experienced, Dedicated and Distinguished Educators

Expect to be heard, to be challenged and to be involved. St. Scholastica faculty are world-class scholars and experts in their field who bring their deep experience to online and on-campus classrooms. Our values of community, respect, stewardship and love of learning reflect our faculty’s commitment to lifting up others and celebrating our common humanity.