what is the doctorate of education in leadership

With consumer demand ever-evolving in the marketplace, industry leaders are forced to embrace innovation more than ever. 

But there is hope. And it comes in the form of interprofessional collaboration.

To maintain a competitive edge, business leaders and healthcare providers must work together. In fact, those that refuse to collaborate with others don’t stand a chance in the marketplace.

That’s why we created our Doctorate of Education (Ed.D.) in Leadership in Innovation and Continuous Improvement (LICI)—to solve real-world issues. Our goal is to help individuals from various industries work together to tackle issues through the use of innovation and continuous improvement science.  

What is the Doctorate of Education in Leadership?

Collaborative Learning Environment

Our LICI program focuses on interprofessional application. Each cohort is made up of a diverse group of students from business, education, and health professions.

“I think one reason [this program] works at Concordia is that we’re a very collaborative community and we learn from each other,” said Dr. James Pingel, program director and Dean of the School of Education. “We have some great leadership in all our schools—they don’t just talk about collaboration, they live by it.”

The goal is to build a true environment of interprofessional learning. Students get to connect with peers from different industries to solve problems together. They also learn from a range of professors spanning multiple industries.

“They learn from one another,” Dr. Pingel said. “There’s knowledge and skills that each field can learn from one another.”

Creating Real Impact for Learners

Some doctorate programs focus just on leadership development, the study of continuous improvement, or how to be an agent of innovation. However, our Ed.D. combines all three to fully equip students to create a real impact in their careers.

The program has a core of three pillars:

  • Leadership core
  • Innovation and improvement science core
  • Research core

Students also get the chance to customize their experience by choosing between business or education emphasis electives. Throughout the coursework, students can practice everything they learn in either their dissertations or ongoing projects in their workplace.

“It is a project-based philosophy,” Dr. Pingel said. “They need to apply some of the continuous improvement best practices to a project they’re working on at work. Using these practices, they can improve efficiency or enhance their organization. It’s very pragmatic in its approach where [students] will be doing real-world projects, real-world scenarios.”    

A Unique Dissertation Approach

Building off of the project-based mindset of the curriculum, the program also takes a unique approach to the dissertation. Traditional doctorate programs wait to begin the process until students are a few years into the coursework. However, with this program, students begin their dissertation work in the first month. This approach builds on the project-based learning structure, giving students the ability to apply lessons and projects directly to their dissertations.

“We know people are busy, they’re working, but they want to climb the ladder and achieve more wherever they’re at or for some future job,” Dr. Pingel said. “We want this to be a transformational experience for them. One that they can not only apply what they’ve learned but also feel good that they’ve got that diploma in hand.”

Along the way, program participants are encouraged to consider all the theories they learn and projects they complete through the lens of faith.

“We’re very excited that we can offer this program from a Christ-centered perspective,” Pingel said. “We welcome students from all faith backgrounds. But it’s our chance to certainly shed a light, share, and expose people to God’s word in our own noncoercive yet upfront way.”  

Learning in an Online, Asynchronous Environment

We know that earning your doctorate is a true commitment of your time and resources. Therefore, we built our LICI program with the value of flexibility in mind. You’ll have the ability to do asynchronous online learning. From the courses to group discussions and meetings with faculty, you can complete it all online as you pursue your degree.

Asynchronous? What does that mean? Asynchronous describes online learning where the course material is continuously present (always there, ready and waiting for you). As a student, you have the convenience of doing your coursework at times that fit your schedule. For asynchronous learning, you can do your online lesson on a weekend morning, or maybe you work better later on weeknights. It’s more focused on meeting your learning needs and the optimal time for you to learn.

Ready to embrace innovation and continuous improvement?

Regardless of the industry you’re in or the title of your position, you can achieve success through the use of innovation and continuous improvement. As Dr. Pingel says, “It’s intense. It’s tough. But it’s worth it.”

If you’ve been trying to figure out what the next step forward is toward accomplishing your career goals, consider this your invitation to explore the Ed.D. program.

This blog was originally published on 12/06/2018. It has been updated to reflect current information.