ED.D. IN HIGHER EDUCATION

College administrative working together in a conference room with an African American woman in the foreground smiling at the camera.

The Doctorate in Education degree in higher education is designed as a highly personalized experience, focusing on each student’s specific needs and aspirations. It prepares students for a wide range of administrative and teaching roles in institutions of higher education by providing a thorough grounding in the major areas of knowledge relating to higher education as a field of study as well as a broad familiarity with the theory, practice, and scholarship of higher education. In addition to providing the necessary professional skills and knowledge, the faculty seeks to facilitate the development of students’ leadership potential and to inspire commitment and dedication to the field of higher and post-secondary education.


4 STEPS TO YOUR CAREER IN HIGHER EDUCATION

STEP 1:

Degree in Hand

To begin, you’ll need to have an undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.

Visit our Testing Services site for more information about the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).

Additional documented evidence of a student’s ability to succeed in graduate level work, research, or publications may be required.

STEP 4:

Apply Online

Fill out the online admissions application and submit the required materials to the Graduate School.


WHAT YOU’LL STUDY

Extreme close-up of a person using a laptop.

The curriculum may include both cognitive and experiential components as well as structured and independent coursework. A strong interdisciplinary element provides flexibility and a broad knowledge base. In many instances, students will complete some of their course work in other fields within or outside the Division of Education.


Admission Requirements

Graduate School Admission

  • Apply for admission to the UA Little Rock Graduate School.
  • $40 non-refundable application fee paid via the link in the initial application email or by contacting the Cashier’s Office.
  • Official transcripts from ALL previously attended colleges and universities (undergraduate and graduate).
    • International students must have their transcripts articulated. Transcripts that have not been articulated can be submitted for the application process; however, if a student is granted admission, WES-articulated transcripts must be submitted to the Graduate School before he or she can register for classes.
  • Proof of 2 MMR vaccines. Contact your program coordinator if you think you are eligible for a waiver. Students only in the UA Little Rock Online programs are exempt.
  • Proof of a grade point average of at least 2.7 on a 4.00 scale, including post-baccalaureate hours.
  • A copy of your government-issued photo ID.

International Student Admission

Required documents for international admission:

  • Tuberculosis screening
    • All applicants must provide proof of a Tuberculosis screening, which must be performed in the United States of America and can be done at the Health Services Center at UA Little Rock.
  • Health and accident insurance
    • All international students must purchase the health and accident insurance provided by UA Little Rock and maintain coverage year-round. Students will be billed at the beginning of each fall and spring semester. A student who enters in a summer semester will be billed for that semester as well, making the total number of times billed three instead of two. If you have any questions, please contact Health Services at 501-569-3188.
  • Transfer forms
    • Applicants transferring from another institution within the United States of America must also provide a Transfer and Visa form completed by the applicant’s International Student Services advisor from his or her current institution.
  • Financial statement (students with F and J visas only)
    • Before they can be accepted into the Graduate School, students must provide a financial statement showing that they are financially capable of pursuing a graduate education in the United States of America. For more information on this form, please contact the office of International Student Services at 501-683-7566.
  • All applicants must submit a copy of their visa.

Transfer Students

In some cases, students may wish to include in their programs a teaching cognate that is not offered by UA Little Rock. In those cases, it may be possible for students to earn those hours at another university where the cognate is offered and transfer them to UA Little Rock. Students may transfer as many as one-half of the classes required in the M.A. program. This means that no more than 18 of the 36 hours required for the program may be transferred from another university.
In order to transfer courses to UA Little Rock, grades of A or B must have been earned at a regionally accredited university. If the hours in the teaching cognate field were earned more than five years prior to enrolling in the UA Little Rock program, students are required to complete at least six additional hours in the cognate as part of the M.A. program.


Program Admission

Admission is based on a total profile of the applicant’s educational and professional background. It is expected that applicants have professional work experience. GRE requirements reflect the November 2011 Guide of the Use of Scores.

Regular Admission
  • Admission to the UA Little Rock Graduate School
  • A master’s degree from a regionally accredited institution with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.5 on a 4.0 scale
  • GRE scores:
    • A score of at least 450 (old GRE score)/153 (new GRE score) on the Verbal section
    • A score of at least 450 (old GRE score)/144 (new GRE score) on the Quantitative section
    • A score of at least 4.0 on the Analytical Writing section
  • Three years of successful professional experience, or equivalent, in an area related to the degree program
  • Biographical data form
  • Interview with and approval of the Higher Education faculty
Conditional Admission
  • A master’s degree from a regionally accredited institution with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.25 on a 4.0 scale (required standard)
  • GRE scores:
    • A score of 400 (old GRE score)/146 (new GRE score) or above on the Verbal section of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE)
    • A score of 450 (old GRE score)/141 (new GRE score) or above on the Quantitative section of the GRE
    • A score of 3.5 or above on the Analytical Writing section of the GRE

    Additional documented evidence of a student’s ability to succeed in graduate-level work, research, or publications may be required. Program faculty may request documentation, including the following:

    • official transcripts from all post-master’s studies,
    • successful graduate coursework from an accredited university,
    • examples of academic and professional work,
    • writing samples,
    • statements of purpose, and
    • letters of support from faculty members or others familiar with the applicant’s capability for doctoral-level work.

    The Higher Education Program Admissions Committee will review and evaluate the documentation. Conditionally admitted students will be allowed to enroll in up to 12 semester hours. Upon completion of 12 semester hours in the program, the Admissions Committee will review the work completed up to that point by the applicant as part of the overall admissions application to determine if the student will be granted regular admission to the program. Changing admission to regular status will be contingent upon the student successfully completing course work to be determined with Higher Education Program Advisor with a minimum 3.5 GPA.
    Conditional admission does not guarantee regular admission to the Ed.D. program in Higher Education. Students who are not granted regular admission to the doctoral program will not be permitted to enroll in Higher Education courses beyond the prescribed 12 hours of conditionally admitted coursework, but may be allowed admission to the M.A. in Higher Education.


    Retention Requirements

    The higher education doctorate degree requires a minimum of 99 graduate hours, usually 63 to 69 hours beyond the 36-hour master’s degree. Most students will complete more than the minimum 99 hours. The requirements include:

    • 21 core hours in research, education, and higher education competencies;
    • 27 specialization area hours;
    • 15 dissertation hours;
    • a comprehensive examination; and
    • fulfillment of the residency requirement.

    Students develop, with their committees, a program of study that addresses their individual interests and needs. Students are expected to develop a thorough grounding in the major divisions of knowledge relating to higher education as a field of study (e.g., history, administration, law, student affairs). In addition, they develop a broad familiarity with the theory, practice, and scholarship of higher education.

    The written comprehensive exam is taken after completion or during the final semester of coursework and is followed by an oral comprehensive exam. Following successful completion of both components of the comprehensive exam, students develop a proposal for their dissertation. The required dissertation and oral defense develops research capacity and a working familiarity with research in the student’s specialization area. Research competency and literacy are demonstrated in the design and conduct of a study that makes a substantive contribution to the field.


    Residency Plan

    All requirements for the doctoral degree must be completed within seven consecutive years of enrollment in the program. Each Ed.D. student must file a residency plan for fulfilling a residence requirement that demonstrates a commitment to the program through continuous and intensive enrollment at UA Little Rock.
    Students consult with their advisors to choose one of three residency options at least 20 class days before the end of the first semester of the planned residence period. Residency hours must be in degree-related graduate courses. Requirement options are:

    • 9 hours in each of two consecutive semesters, fall-spring or spring-fall
    • 9 hours in a spring or fall semester and 9 hours in adjacent summer terms
    • 6 hours minimum in each enrollment period over four consecutive semesters with 24 total hours over 24 consecutive months (summer enrollment is not required but if it is included the student must enroll in at least six hours of course credit.)

    Graduation Requirements

    • Cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 on an approved program of study
    • Successfully passing the comprehensive examinations
    • Successful completion and oral defense of an acceptable dissertation

    Curriculum

    Education/Higher Education Core (9 hours)

    • HIED 8301 History and Philosophy of Higher Education
    • HIED 8303 Leadership Theories in Higher Education
    • HIED 8399 Dissertation Seminar

    Research Core (12 hours)

    • EDFN 7304 Basic Statistics*
    • EDFN 8305 Intermediate Statistics
    • EDFN 8306 Advanced Research Methods and Techniques
    • EDFN 7373 Qualitative Research Methods
    * Students without a research course in their Master’s program must complete Educational Foundations 7303 first.

    Doctoral Concentration Areas

    Concentrations are offered in higher education administration, student affairs administration, two-year college leadership, and faculty leadership. Each student will be assigned to work with an advisor to design a plan of study that reflects previous studies and professional experience, while focusing on discrete areas of study that serve the student’s intellectual and professional needs and interests.

    Higher Education Administration Concentration (27 hours)
    • HIED 8340 Organizational Behavior in Higher and Postsecondary Education
    • HIED 8341 Financing of Colleges and Universities
    • HIED 8342 Governance and Policy Making in Higher Education
    • HIED 8343 Legal Aspects of Higher Education
    • Electives: 6 hours of general electives
    • Electives: 9 hours (Three hours each from each of the other three specialty areas)
    • Dissertation: 15 hours
    Two-Year College Leadership Concentration (27 hours)

    This program is offered 100% online.

    • HIED 8320 The Two-Year College in America
    • HIED 8321 Organization and Administration of Two-Year Colleges
    • HIED 8322 Issues and Challenges in Two-Year College Leadership
    • HIED 8340 Organizational Behavior in Higher and Postsecondary Education
    • HIED 8341 Financing of Colleges and Universities
    • HIED 8342 Governance and Policy Making in Higher Education
    • HIED 8343 Legal Aspects of Higher Education
    • Electives: 6 hours
    • Dissertation: 15 hours
    Student Affairs Administration Concentration (27 hours)*
    • HIED 8343 Legal Aspects of Higher Education
    • HIED 8345/ HIED 8357 Seminar: Topic in Student Affairs Administration
    • HIED 8350 The American College Student
    • HIED 8353 Assessment and Program Evaluation in Student Affairs
    • HIED 8358 Capstone Seminar in Student Affairs
    • Electives: 9 hours (Three hours each from each of the other three specialty areas)
    • Electives: 3 hours of general electives
    • Dissertation: 15 hours
    * Prerequisites (if master’s degree is not in Student Affairs):

    • HIED 7351 Foundations in College Student Affairs
    • HIED 7352 Student Development Theory
    Faculty Leadership Concentration (27 hours)
    • HIED 8330 College Teaching: Problems and Issues
    • HIED 8332 Curriculum Design in Higher Education
    • HIED 8341 Financing of Colleges and Universities
    • HIED 8342 Governance and Policy Making in Higher Education
    • Cognate courses: 6 hours (equivalent to UALR College of Education 7000-level or 8000-level courses)
    • Electives: 9 hours (7000-level or 8000-level courses in Higher Education or Educational Foundations)
    • Dissertation: 15 hours

    Course Descriptions

    Higher Education Courses

    HIED 7300 Higher Education in the United States: An Overview
    Prerequisite: graduate status. (Serves as introduction to the master’s program and is a requirement for the doctoral program for students lacking background and experience in higher education.) American system of higher education; problems, issues, trends. Three credit hours.

    HIED 7331 College Instruction
    Prerequisite: graduate status. Capstone college teaching experience. This course addresses the theory and practice of effective college teaching. Students examine learning styles, their assessment, and how to accommodate them in the classroom. Philosophies and methods of the professorate are studied. Three credit hours.

    HIED 7347 Practicum: Health Professions Teaching/Learning
    Prerequisites: HIED 7331, HIED 8332, EDFN 7313, EDFN 7370. Independent supervised teaching or research practicum for students in the Health Professions Education MA program concentration. Students will assist in teaching a credit-bearing course in the Health Professions or will complete and disseminate an original empirical research study on Health Professions education. Three credit hours.

    HIED 7348 Internship: Health Professions Teaching/Learning
    Prerequisites: HIED 7331, HIED 8332, EDFN 7313, EDFN 7370. Independent supervised teaching internship for students in the Health Professions Education MA program concentration. Students will have primary instructional responsibility for a credit-bearing course in the Health Professions and complete a teaching portfolio. Three credit hours.

    HIED 7349 Thesis: Health Professions Teaching/Learning
    Prerequisite: Completion of 3 hours of HIED degree requirement or consent of instructor. Masters students will demonstrate theoretical knowledge and methods of education research to complete and defend an original thesis project. Three credit hours.

    HIED 7351 Foundations in College Student Affairs
    Introduction to the student personnel profession/student affairs profession, the roles and functions of professionals in the field, the populations served, the college and university settings where the profession is practiced, the skills and competencies necessary to be a professional in the field, and awareness of current issues regarding students and student personnel in higher education. Three credit hours.

    HIED 7352 Student Development Theory
    Introduction to the theoretical framework that serves as a basis for the professional practice of student affairs in higher education. Developmental orientation that emphasizes the value and importance of individual major theories of student development, the role of student developmental theoretical perspectives. Three credit hours.

    HIED 7354 Programming and Management in Student Affairs Administration
    A capstone experience for the master’s track in student affairs. A forum for integration, synthesis, and application. Emphasis in clarifying student development for students and for a campus. Examines new issues and concepts (e.g. legal issues, budget and finance). Integrates previous coursework and practical experiences. Three credit hours.

    HIED 7360 Practicum in Higher Education
    Prerequisites: HIED 7300. Supervised professional experience in the various offices/agencies that comprise a total program of student personnel services within a post-secondary, college, or university setting. Integrates coursework with experience in a prearranged, structured setting in any number of student affairs/student service offices/agencies, two-year college instructional settings, or two- or four-year college or university administrative settings. Students complete either 150 or 300 hours of experience under both faculty and on-site supervision. Three credit hours.

    HIED 8145-8645 Seminar
    Prerequisite: graduate status. Specialized study of areas of significance in higher education; possible topics include student financial assistance, admission and records, academic advisement, residence life, institutional research, student center organizations, development and fundraising, current issues, etc. Three credit hours.

    HIED 8160, 8260, 8360 Practicum in Higher Education
    Prerequisite: graduate status, consent of advisor and practicum supervisor. Supervised work or study in an area the student has studied. Three credit hours.

    HIED 8161, 8261, 8361 Workshop
    Prerequisite: consent of instructor. Practical, concentrated (from a few hours to a week) consideration of selected topics of current interest to practitioners. Three credit hours.

    HIED 8301 History and Philosophy of Higher Education
    Prerequisite: Higher Education 8300 or consent of instructor. Development, evolution of higher education as a dynamic social, political institution; emphasis on past philosophies, assumptions that undergird diverse colleges, universities today. Three credit hours.

    HIED 8320 The Two-Year College in America
    Prerequisite: graduate status. An overview of the two-year college. Topics include the history and philosophy of the two-year college movement, students, curriculum, state and local campus governance, teaching, student personnel work, finance and issues, problems and trends. Three credit hours.

    HIED 8321 Organization and Administration of Two-Year Colleges
    Prerequisite: graduate status. Examination of the organizational patterns of and management practices within two-year colleges. Topics include leadership, organizational theories, and relations with external agencies; the operations of various administrative units such as the president’s office, business affairs, student services, instruction, personnel, and institutional research; and the management of college functions, such as recruitment assessment, planning, and performance appraisal. Three credit hours.

    HIED 8322 Issues and Challenges in Two-Year College Leadership
    Prerequisite: graduate status. Examines current issues facing the contemporary two-year college and the challenges that these issues present to two-year college leaders. Focuses attention on the analysis of an issue, the assessment of the potential impact of an issue, and the incorporation of information generated from issue analysis into institutional planning processes. Three credit hours.

    HIED 8330 College Teaching: Problems and Issues
    Prerequisite: EDFN 7373 and EDFN 8306. Examines faculty roles as teachers, scholars, and researchers; explores the existing theory, research, and practice on college teaching and applies it to problems and issues in college teaching; discusses contextual issues influencing teaching and learning. Three credit hours.

    HIED 8332 Curriculum Design in Higher Education
    Prerequisite: EDFN 7373 and EDFN 8306. This course will address curriculum issues in a variety of post-secondary settings, and the primary focus is undergraduate programs, including liberal, general, occupational, and professional education. The course is designed for faculty, administrators, and researchers who are interested in curriculum planning, evaluation and revision, instructional design, or academic staffing. Three credit hours.

    HIED 8333 College and University Faculty
    Prerequisite: EDFN 7373 and EDFN 8306. Exploration of the existing data and theory on college and university faculty. A chronological approach in considering how recruitment to the profession occurs, the socialization process is involved, the preparation of future professors takes place, and similar topics. Three credit hours.

    HIED 8340 Organizational Behavior in Higher and Postsecondary Education
    Prerequisite: graduate status. Management, leadership, administration of higher education institutions; literature about the administration of higher learning; may focus individual study on two- or four-year public or private institutions. Three credit hours.

    HIED 8341 Financing of Colleges and Universities
    Prerequisite: EDFN 8306 and EDFN 7373. Processes, policies, and issues in higher education funding; funding sources and use, revenue and expenditure categories; budget priorities, development and analysis, and financial management reporting; roles and authorities of institutions, states, and federal government in financing higher education. Three credit hours.

    HIED 8342 Governance and Policy Making in Higher Education
    Prerequisite: EDFN 8306 and EDFN 7373. Shared governance, roles, and authorities of internal and external governance participants; policy analysis and development, policy making for higher education at the institutional, state, and federal levels; unique character of lay governance in the roles and authorities of lay governing and coordinating boards in the U.S. Three credit hours.

    HIED 8343 Legal Aspects of Higher Education
    Prerequisite: graduate status. Legal rights, responsibilities of faculty, students, staff, administrators, governing board members. Three credit hours.

    HIED 8344 Legal Aspects of Teaching
    Prerequisite: graduate status. Examines the legal issues of interest to higher education faculty members. Areas of focus include academic integrity, student rights and responsibilities, intellectual property rights, fair employment, due process, tenure, affirmative action, and legal liability. Court cases, statutes, the Constitution, and regulations serve as the basis for discussion. Three credit hours.

    HIED 8350 The American College Student
    Examination of the nature and characteristics of contemporary and historical college student populations in American post-secondary and higher education. Explores the effects of different institutional environments on student outcomes and psychological development, as well as a variety of research methods. Three credit hours.

    HIED 8353 Assessment and Program Evaluation in Student Affairs
    An overview of evaluation as an inquiry process and will examine the philosophy and practice of assessment and evaluation in higher education. Examines the usefulness and appropriateness of various program evaluation methodologies (quantitative and qualitative), theories of evaluation practice and use, and theories of valuing in college student affairs. Explores these and other issues shaping contemporary evaluation practices. Three credit hours.

    HIED 8358 Capstone Seminar in Student Affairs
    Enhances student understanding of administrative leadership through the examination of questions and issues related to the management of student affairs. Broadens student perspective through discussion and debate. Increases the degree to which student experiences, knowledge, and values are effectively integrated, and to allow students to personally examine ideas, test assumptions, express opinions, and recognize the accountability associated with presentation. Three credit hours.

    HIED 8370 Policy and Politics in Higher Education
    Prerequisites:doctoral Status. This course focuses on the relationship between higher education institutions and public policy. Issues to be addressed include legal, academic, financial, and governance accountability to local, state, federal, and other external agencies. Students will consider examples of how the political process impacts higher education policy making and how higher education institutions influence the political process. Three credit hours.

    HIED 8390 Research Practicum in Higher Education
    Prerequisites: HIED 8311, EDFN 8383 and EDFN 8308. Supervised independent study for students in the Higher Education doctoral program. Students will conduct an original empirical research study, submit a manuscript for major peer-reviewed journal review, and prepare a research proposal for national conference presentation. Three credit hours.

    HIED 8397, 8697 Internship
    Prerequisite: graduate status, consent of instructor and internship supervisor. Supervised field experience in college or university setting provides work experience putting theory into practice. Three credit hours.

    HIED 8399 Dissertation Seminar
    Prerequisite: consent of instructor, student’s doctoral chair. (Open only to doctoral students.) Formulation of topic for dissertation research; development of dissertation prospectus in form satisfactory to student’s doctoral committee. Three credit hours.

    HIED 9199-9999 Dissertation
    Prerequisites: consent of committee chair. Development of doctoral-level research paper or field-based project. Three credit hours.

    HIED 9390 Dissertation Colloquium
    Prerequisite: dissertation prospectus approved. Development of various components of doctoral-level dissertation. Three credit hours.

    Educational Foundation Courses

    EDFN 7303 Introduction to Educational Research
    Prerequisite: graduate standing. Introduction to applied research in education across the major quantitative, qualitative, and action research traditions. Focus is on understanding the research process and its integrated components and evaluating published research reports from the perspective of a critical consumer. Topics include scientific reasoning, types of variables and hypotheses; sampling; data collection and instrumentation; control procedures; common experimental, non-experimental, qualitative, and mixed methods research designs; data analysis; and research critiques and proposals. Three credit hours.

    EDFN 7304 Basic Statistics
    Introduction to descriptive and inferential statistics used in education and data-driven decision making. Topics include commonly used descriptive statistics, exploratory data analysis, standardized scores, inferential reasoning, hypothesis testing, and parametric and nonparametric procedures and their assumptions including t-tests, one-way analysis of variance, correlation coefficients, bivariate regression, and chi-square. Emphasis is on understanding the logical bases of statistical tests of significance, selecting appropriate data analysis techniques, and using statistical software and interpreting its output. Three credit hours.

    EDFN 7373 Qualitative Research Methods
    Prerequisite: EDFN 7303. This course has primarily a twofold purpose: to expose students to the knowledge base, tradition, and theory of qualitative research. While introductory in nature, this course allows students to explore theoretical underpinnings as well as consider methodological strategies in preparation for designing a research project and writing it up for presentation. Three credit hours.

    EDFN 8305 Intermediate Statistics
    Prerequisite: EDFN 7304. A second course in statistics that covers the more complex analyses used in education and data- driven decision making. Topics include simple and multiple linear regression, one- and two-factor fixed factor analysis of variance, random and mixed model analysis of variance, randomized block, hierarchical analysis of variance, and analysis of covariance. Emphasis is on further understanding the logical bases of statistical tests of significance, selecting appropriate data analysis techniques, and using statistical software and interpreting its output. Three credit hours.

    EDFN 8306 Advanced Educational Research
    Prerequisites: EDFN 7303, EDFN 7304. A second course in quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods research designs commonly used in education. Topics include the philosophy of science, research problems, control procedures, sampling designs, measurement procedures, data collection strategies, and approaches to data analysis. Focus is on complex designs across the research traditions, writing critical reviews, and writing research proposals that include sound methodology. Three credit hours.


    MEET OUR FACULTY

    Portrait of Dr. John Kuykendall

    John A. Kuykendall, Ph.D.

    Director of CEHP School of Education

    Contact Information

    Portrait of Dr. Greg Barrett

    Thomas Gregory Barrett, Ph.D.

    Professor

    Contact Information

    Portrait of Dr. Jim Vander Putten

    Jim Vander Putten, Ph.D.

    Associate Professor

    Contact Information


    HAVE QUESTIONS? ASK AN ADVISOR.

    We’re always happy to answer any questions you might have about our available programs. Use the form below to submit your inquiries to the College of Education and Health Professions Advising & Support Center advisors.

    • What questions do you have for the advising staff?
    • What semester term do you have questions about?
    • What year do you have questions about?
      Which program do you have questions about?