EdD in Educational and Professional Practice: Social Justice Leadership
Location: AU Distance and Extended Education
Credits for Degree: 60 semester credits
Standard Mode of Instruction: Low-residency
Standard time to completion: 36 months
The Ed.D. program is designed to prepare change-oriented professionals who use educational practice in the service of more just and inclusive schools, organizations, and communities. Through a transdisciplinary curriculum that includes shared seminars in a diverse learning community, and individualized work within the chosen specialization, students will enhance their ability to address issues of equity, ethics, and social justice.
Students specialize in one of the following transdisciplinary areas of inquiry: Critical Pedagogy; Environmental and Sustainability Education; Humane Education; Multicultural and Anti-Racist Education; Social Justice Leadership; Waldorf Education; or Self-Designed.
The specialization may be composed of seminars and individualized study. Students may also choose to take courses in other Antioch programs and to transfer in credits from previous graduate work, pursuant to program requirements. Each student’s dissertation topic will fall within the chosen specialization.
The program’s culminating project will be a Practice-Based Dissertation that establishes students’ standing among scholar-practitioners who seek workable solutions to complex issues in schools, communities, and national and global settings.
Social Justice Leadership Specialization
Students in the Social Justice Leadership specialization inquire into the theory and practice of leadership with an emphasis on enacting justice and equity in their educational practices whether in schools, non-profit or for-profit organizations, and community-based organizations. Students will read about leadership theories and reflect on their own practices in developing a philosophy that embraces a social justice orientation and employs systems thinking and analysis, relational practices, complexity principles, and mission-based advocacy. In addition to engaging with the challenges of taking leadership theory into practice, students in the specialization will explore diverse meanings of social justice, including classical western views of justice as well as contemporary perspectives produced by marginalized voices that reconceptualize meanings of justice. Scholar-practitioners in Social Justice Leadership will theorize and engage in the creation of socially just spaces through skilled leadership that involves educational practices. Students will investigate the intersection of leadership, power, ethics, morality, and justice, emphasizing ways in which marginalization and exclusionary processes and systems may be dismantled.
The specialization may be composed of seminars and individualized study. You may also choose to take courses in other Antioch programs and to transfer in credits from previous graduate work. Each student’s dissertation topic will fall within their chosen specialization.
The Ed.D. program is a 60-semester credit program operated on a trimester schedule. A new cohort enters the program each Summer and Spring term and students who proceed full-time may complete the program in a minimum of three years. The program is low-residency, with one in-person, four-day residency held each July at one of Antioch University’s campuses. Additionally, students attend virtual, synchronous sessions the first Saturday of each term and additional, virtual synchronous sessions and workshops throughout the program.
Five pedagogical strands are woven throughout the program. These five strands are core principles of the program with which each student must deeply engage. They link the Ed.D. program to the Antioch mission and legacy of socially engaged citizens who will have the expertise to use education as a means for social change in communities, organizations and schools.
The strands are embedded throughout each of the classes, as well as in the learning experiences that fall outside of official coursework. They are integral to the way the program is structured and the way participants are positioned as learners, scholars, and leaders in their fields. For that reason, rather than house each strand in specific courses or assignments, they are threaded across the program.
A foundation of the Ed.D. in Educational and Professional Practice is its emphasis on the integration of theory and practice. Students will achieve strong theoretical and scholarly foundations and will consistently be expected to apply those foundations to their professional settings and their fields of study. Throughout the program, students will develop the ability to connect literature, theory, and scholarship to the realities of their contexts.
Communities of Practice
Professionals learn best when learning from peers, making meaning of practice and new information together. Educators, like other professionals, are increasingly expected to work in teams in the service of a common goal. Throughout the program, students will be expected to develop communities of practice with their cohort peers.
Social Justice and Ethics
Justice, equity, and ethics undergird all areas of the Ed.D. As leaders in their fields, students will be asked to critically examine issues of educational equity and justice and will be pushed to unearth relations of power, privilege, and oppression that are present in their professional settings. Throughout the program, they will increase their awareness of these tensions and deepen their ability to analyze them, while also developing the knowledge and confidence to combat injustice and become agents of change.
Over the course of the Ed.D. program, students will engage in cycles of inquiry and reflection in order to gain insight into their practice and make meaning of their professional contexts. Across their courses and learning experiences, students will investigate current practices and structures in a deep, systematic way in order to better understand those phenomena and to suggest ways in which they might be altered. Students will employ reflective practice to inform action and create meaningful change in their own communities.
Communication and Advocacy
Over the course of the Ed.D. Program, students will become adept at cross-disciplinary communication. They will gain valuable practice articulating their own positions and describing the needs and intricacies of their particular contexts with a variety of constituencies both within and beyond the field of education. Students will have a number of opportunities to take complex issues and communicate them in a concise, clear way through verbal, visual, and technological means. Specifically, they will learn to use these communicative modalities for the purpose of advocacy on behalf of various stakeholders, including their students, their communities, and their organizations.
Antioch’s student population is richly diverse, which creates a learning climate unique to the degree. To be successful in this program, you must have a minimum of five years’ professional experience, either before or after your Master’s work. Regardless of your formal position, you must be able to envision yourself as an education change agent in whatever setting you work.
Although you must hold a Master’s degree, your degree does not need to be in Education. You should have an interest in using your Ed.D. to advance study about educational practice in your field and should be able to identify a specialty focus for your doctoral work. You may be able to transfer in up to 12 credits of prior Master’s or post-Master’s graduate study in that specialization, either from Antioch or another accredited university, if earned in excess of 30 credits applied toward a master’s degree and if approved by the program chair.
How to Apply
- Complete the online admissions Portfolio, which is comprised of the following elements:
- Online Application
- Official transcripts
- Three letters of reference
- Personal statement
- Work sample
- Submit a non-refundable $50 application fee.
- If selected, interview with an Ed.D. faculty member or director via phone or Skype.
The Ed.D. does not require the GRE or any other standardized test for admissions.
Students in this program participate in online learning activities organized within small- and large-group learning communities. The Antioch University Ed.D. is a 100% online learning environment, and therefore, in addition to having the traditional learning skills, students are expected to have basic technological skills, compatible computer hardware, operating system, and internet connectivity upon entrance into the program.
Current Tuition and Fees
University Tuition and Fees