Graduate Education Resources

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This list provided includes some of the most well-known doctoral programs. This list is in no way meant to be exhaustive. To evaluate a graduate program factors to be considered include but are not limited to: geography, curriculum, graduate program completion rates, cost of study, and the cohort versus independent model.

Ferris State University

Established in 1884, Ferris State University, a comprehensive state university, has a long tradition of community college partnerships. The DCCL program is designed to “empower graduates to advance community colleges toward excellence. . .through exemplary leadership” (DCCL Mission). Program distinctions include a practitioner focus (vs. research); relevant content (case-based); expert engagement; active learning; and convenience. Courses in this blended program are guided by current, experienced community college leaders. There is a face-to-face component for each 7.5-week course and one week each summer with virtual participation options.

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National American University

The Doctor of Education in Community College Leadership is designed for senior administrators and aspiring leaders who opt for a doctorate to be well trained for leadership in community and technical colleges. The program is intentionally designed to help the doctoral student develop and hone a well-rounded portfolio of leadership knowledge, skills and abilities along with a systemic perspective of the institution, its constituencies, and context. Regional cohorts throughout the U.S. are comprised of approximately 20 to 22 students per cohort. Instruction and engagement include a combination of face-to-face and online sessions with community college experts, national leaders, observation of leaders and governing boards, a practicum and capstone course to address emerging issues. Students complete a dissertation addressing issues and opportunities facing American community colleges, with a clear focus on applied research.

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North Carolina State University

Through a problem-solving action-oriented approach the Higher Education and Community College Leadership concentration in the Department of Leadership Studies, School of Education at North Carolina A & T State University will prepare professionals for senior management roles in the community college and other higher education institutions. Community colleges have evolved from “junior colleges” which were mostly the first two years of a four year degree, to the comprehensive multifaceted and often multi-campus institutions.

Old Dominion University

ODU’s PhD in Community College Leadership is known for its practitioner-scholar approach which stresses the practical application of coursework and research with the goal of preparing leaders to assume executive-level positions in community colleges across the U.S., work for state-level coordinating boards, or work in regional, national, and discipline-specific accrediting bodies. Live, synchronous online classes are offered in the evening to accommodate the schedules of working professionals living throughout the United States. Our annual Summer Institute features a guest scholar who engages with students and presents on issues relevant to leaders. All students pay in-state tuition.

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Oregon State University

Oregon State University’s College of Education and ECampus offer a doctor of education with concentration in community college leadership, preparing faculty and administrators for leadership roles in technical and community colleges, higher education settings and similar organizations. Classes are two weekends per term in the Portland metropolitan area. Students meet and study with their cohort at these locations as well as online for the first two years of this program. Participants are working professionals in higher education settings from Oregon, Washington, California and a variety of Western states. Graduates include presidents and senior leaders in many of the two-year colleges throughout the United States.

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University of Maryland University College

The Doctor of Management (DM) in Community College Policy and Administration is a program designed for college faculty and administrators who aspire to lead effectively, progress and advance in administrative careers. Designed for busy working professionals, the interactive DM in Community College Policy and Administration program offers maximum flexibility and convenience as well as the practical knowledge and application necessary to excel in today’s community college environment. A hybrid program, the DM in Community College Policy and Administration is predominantly distance learning with nine on-site residencies, which typically last two to three days, one during each semester of study. The program requires the completion of 48 credits of coursework and successful completion of comprehensive exams and a dissertation. Included is an embedded career coaching component, developed and led by current and former community college presidents and senior executives.  Students work with the coach to apply course content and leadership assessment tools to their own practice and to prepare for and succeed in moving to the next step in their careers after the doctorate is earned.

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The University of Texas at Austin

The Program in Higher Education Leadership (PHEL) at The University of Texas at Austin is devoted to the scholarly study of higher education, its students and institutions, and their places in society. Students completing the doctoral programs (Ph.D. or Ed.D.) are prepared for careers in academia, leadership, and administration. PHEL prepares students for leadership careers in a variety of college and university settings and is oriented toward the application of theory and knowledge development through research. There are two concentrations in PHEL: Community College concentration and Higher Education concentration.

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Rowan University

The Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Educational Leadership program at Rowan University focuses on developing leaders who are capable for reflective decision making, working collaboratively, initiating or responding to innovative change, and who have management and administrative skills.

By integrating academic instruction with opportunities to apply leadership theory to actual workplace problems, the program helps students:

  • understand the relationship between theory and practice;
  • understand the context in which school, colleges and other institutions operate;
  • apply theory and contextual knowledge to educational problem solving;
  • develop analytical and communication skills required for successful leadership; and
  • foster and sustain excellence.

Every other year (in odd years) the program admits students to a unique Community College Leadership (CCLI) track. This special cohort is designed for those working in the community college sector and who are looking to gain advanced knowledge in the field with a special focus on community colleges. The cohort benefits from faculty whose focus is on community college research; New Jersey community college presidents who teach in the program and serve on dissertation committees; access to senior educational and policy leaders within the State; and a growing network of successful and innovative community college leaders who are graduates of the program.

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