The Doctorate of Education Degree (Ed.D.) in Educational Administration has been designed to meet the needs of aspiring administrators in urban and metropolitan school districts and colleges/universities.  There are two focus areas within the Ed.D. program:  PK-12 school administration and higher education administration.

Loyce Caruthers Contact Information, (816) 235-1044, (PK-12)
Michelle Maher Contact Information (816) 235-2325, (Higher Education)

Doctor of Education: Focus in PK-12 Administration

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the Pk-12 Education Administration Program, the student will:

  • Apply knowledge, skills, and dispositions related to human resources and organizational development, communication with media, and critical skills for professional success as indicated by the comprehensive exam in the area of 21st Century School Principal and the personal profile of educational leadership.
  • Demonstrate the ability to facilitate and engage in activities that use best practices and sound educational research to improve instructional programs with self-reflection on research and investigation of the opportunity gap.
  • Employ program evaluation theory, concepts, and standards within school and community settings by developing and implementing a program evaluation project.
  • Deconstruct educational theory formation and its relationship to curriculum and instruction.
  • Integrate theory and research related to human resources, organizational, and educational leadership in school practices as indicated by the comprehensive exam in the areas of 21st Century Principal and Instructional Leader.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of qualitative and/or quantitative methods to develop an applied research proposal that addresses problems or dilemmas within a district or school.
  • Design and successfully defend the final applied dissertation for selected research inquiry in a public arena as indicated by scores on the Final Dissertation Report submitted by the student’s dissertation committee.
  • Demonstrate knowledge, dispositions, and skills that relate to issues of social justice, fairness, and respect for others as indicated by the comprehensive exam in the areas of Democratic Education and 21st Century School Principal, Investigation of the Achievement Gap, and Personal Leadership Profile.

The Doctorate of Education in PK-12 Educational Administration program is designed to expand the content competencies and applied leadership skills of candidates in educational leadership careers in elementary, middle, and secondary school settings, as well as in central office administration. Curriculum focuses on current and future educational challenges to enhance the knowledge and skill development of public school leaders in their positions, incorporating strategic planning, collaborative problem solving, interpersonal and inter-group functioning, technological proficiency, and effective communication.

Criteria for Admission to PK-12 Focus

  1. Completed UMKCapplication.

  2. Official transcripts from each college attended.

  3. Master's degree or Educational Specialist degree or equivalent from an accredited institution with G.P.A. of at least 3.65 in Education Administration. (Master's in other fields may be provisionally accepted.)

  4. Graduate Record Examination within the last five years: verbal, quantitative, and analyticalwriting.

  5. Four professional or academic letters of reference.

  6. An autobiographical statement (500 words or less) that includes your professional goals and how the doctoral degree will help you in achieving these goals, and a description of some of your leadership accomplishments.

  7. A writing sample, which gives evidence of your writing ability. The sample may be a previous course paper, a chapter from thesis, a published article, etc. Sent copies of documents will not be returned.

  8. Successful completion of three hours or equivalent of EDUC-R&P 5505 -and- three hours or equivalent of EDUC-R&P 5508 with a grade of B or higher.


The Doctorate of Education program consists of 33 hours of inter-disciplinary course work and a 9 hour Applied Research Dissertation Project. The Doctoral Applied Research Study will include the identification of a study to be conducted that is grounded in educational policy in the public arena. A theoretical construct for the study will be developed including a research design, a review of the literature, and a presentation of the findings of the study in a public setting as well as to the doctoral committee. It is expected that students will complete    this program during a four year period of time.

Professional Standards for Educational Leaders

Standard 1. Mission, Vision, and Core  Values

Effective educational leaders develop, advocate, and enact a shared mission, vision, and core values of high-quality education and academic success and well-being  of each student.

Standard 2. Ethics and Professional Norms

Effective educational leaders act ethically and according to professional norms to promote each student's academic success and wellshy; being.

Standard 3. Equity and Cultural Responsiveness

Effective educational leaders strive for equity of educational opportunity and culturally responsive practices to promote each student's academic success and well-being.

Standard 4. Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment

Effective educational leaders develop and support intellectually rigorous and coherent systems of curriculum, instruction, and assessment to promote each student's academic success and well-being.

Standard 5. Community of Care and Support for Students

Effective educational leaders cultivate an inclusive, caring, and supportive school community that promotes the academic success and wellshy; being of each student.

Standard 6. Professional Capacity of School Personnel

Effective educational leaders develop the professional capacity and practice of school personnel to promote each student's academic success and well-being.

Standard 7. Professional Community for Teachers and  Staff

Effective educational leaders foster a professional community of teachers and other professional staff to promote each student's academic success and well-being.

Standard 8. Meaningful Engagement of Families and Community

Effective educational leaders engage families and the community in meaningful, reciprocal, and mutually beneficial ways to promote each

student's academic success and  well-being.

Standard 9. Operations and Management

Effective educational leaders manage school operations    and resources to promote each student's academic success and well-being.

Doctor of Education: Focus in Higher Education Administration

Student Learning Outcomes for Higher Education Administration

Upon completion of the Higher Education Administration program, the student will:

  • Have a thorough grounding of higher education/student affairs as a field of study
  • Understand organizational, management, leadership and supervision theories and issues
  • Understand developmental theories as they relate to college students
  • Understand professional requirements and ethics of the field
  • Develop self-awareness
  • Develop multicultural competencies
  • Improve communication skill
  • Develop skills to use technology to enhance the educational experience
  • Develop the ability to analyze and interpret current research in the field
  • Increase skills to apply research
  • Improve ability to integrate and synthesize information

The doctoral program with a focus in Higher Education Administration is designed to prepare administrative leaders for positions in community colleges and four-year colleges and universities.  The program may also be appropriate for individuals working in government agencies and business and industry.  Therefore, students may come to the program from a variety of fields, backgrounds, and types of higher education institutions.

Criteria for Admission to Higher Education Focus

Admission to the Higher Education doctoral program is a separate procedure from admission to the Graduate School and is based on successful acceptance into the University of Missouri-Kansas City graduate School and the Higher Education program.  This requires submission of the following:

  1. Completed UMKC application.
  2. Official transcripts from each college attended.
  3. Graduate Record Exam:  quantitative, verbal and writing portion
  4. A letter of intent including a statement of the reason for pursuing a doctoral degree in Higher Education and a brief discussion about the match between the applicant's needs and the program offering.
  5. A vita or resume providing a summary of leadership activities, work experiences, and scholarly activity.
  6. Three letters of recommendation (on forms provided in application packet) are required.  One letter may be from a personal reference; two letters must be professional references.
  7. An interview will be scheduled with at least two faculty members as the final step in the admission process.  Interview topics will be wide-ranging, including personal goals and objectives, current issues in education, and successful college experiences.  The interview is designed to acquire information concerning the applicant's oral skills and critical thinking skills.  The applicant will also have the opportunity to garner additional information about the program.


The program consists of 90 semester hours beyond the baccalaureate degree inclusive of the dissertation.  The Ed.D. is an applied degree designed for the advanced student who wishes to achieve a superior level of competency in his/her professional field with emphasis on practice and leadership in an urban setting.  The degree requires students to demonstrate proficiency in independent research in higher education and make original contributions to the body of knowledge related to higher education.  The program is structured on a cohort model with admission every three years.  Admitted students must agree to take courses as prescribed in order to complete all courses in a three year timeframe.