Jul 24, 2024  
2016-2017 CSU East Bay Catalog 
2016-2017 CSU East Bay Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Educational Leadership for Social Justice, Ed.D.

Educational Leadership for Social Justice (Ed.D.) 90 units

Program Description

Recent legislation has authorized the California State University system to award the Doctor of Education (Ed. D.) degree in Educational Leadership. Offered by the Department of Educational Leadership, CSUEB began enrolling students in the Ed.D. program, Educational Leadership for Social Justice, summer 2008. Designed for educators who are employed in full-time positions, the program enrolls one cohort of educational leaders each year. Expected time to complete the degree, including writing the dissertation, is three calendar years, including summers.

The mission of the Doctoral Program, Educational Leadership for Social Justice (ELSJ), is to work with PK-12 educators and those in other agencies to prepare them to assume positions of leadership informed by a commitment to social justice. In particular, a primary objective of the ELSJ program is to prepare educators who will contribute to outcomes of educational equity by dismantling the academic opportunity gap between white students and populations of color. The program provides a blend of theory, research, and practice, in learning communities with faculty and other professionals and peers. Student develop a deeper understanding of themselves as educators, leaders, policy makers, and policy advocates as they develop the knowledge, skills and habits of mind necessary to improve the quality of student learning by enacting bold, socially responsible leadership.

These educators further develop their abilities to engage members of city governments, school boards, businesses, political and parental communities in joint efforts to create policy and make strategic decisions designed to radically improve the life chances of all children.  Leaders forge and sustain cultures of change through collaboration, advocacy, and institutional transformation.

The Ed.D. represents the highest level of formal preparation in the discipline of Educational Leadership. Recipients of the degree join a community of individuals who represent not only the attainment of distinction in preparation and practice but who will also serve as stewards of public education, as leaders who will contribute to a vision of education for the public good.

Student Learning Outcomes

The Ed.D. program, Educational Leadership for Social Justice, is organized around the following set of goals:

  1. Reflective Practice
    To develop reflective leaders who can use self-analysis, inquiry and purposeful reflection to continually improve their own practice, model and encourage these habits with staff, and create communities of practice that promote high achievement for all students.
  2. Equity and Cultural Competency
    To develop culturally competent practitioner-advocates who purposefully work for equity and to dismantle systems of cultural and racial domination/oppression.
  3. Systems Thinking
    To develop skillful leaders who understand the dynamics of educational systems and who are able to leverage those systems in coherent, aligned strategies for educational change by creating democratic learning communities that promote high achievement for all students.
  4. Accountability for Equitable Student Performance
    To develop instructional leaders who possess the knowledge and ability to ensure that all students are producing high quality work and achieving at optimum levels by fostering effective curricular programs, student-centered learning environments, and accountable school cultures that reflect high expectations for student outcomes.
  5. Instructional Leadership
    To develop instructional leaders who inspire a shared vision and commitment to high student achievement informed by best practices by developing structures and processes fostering collaboration and inquiry for continuous instructional improvement.
  6. Leadership Capacity/Organizational Management
    To develop leaders who assess, organize and allocate resources that build and sustain organizational culture, leadership, and change processes that move school systems toward meeting student achievement goals.
  7. Policy/Politics
    To develop leaders who understand the dynamic nature of school systems and educational politics in order to influence politics and policies at multiple levels in ways that support goals of inclusion and equity for all constituents, especially underrepresented groups.
  8. Research
    To develop leaders who are practitioner-researchers who purposefully engage in inquiry and construct knowledge that promotes equity in education and advances the public good.

Career Opportunities

Graduates with a doctoral degree in Educational Leadership serve in many different arenas that impact education. One career path for graduates is to become an executive leader in a school district or county office of education. Such positions include superintendents, assistant superintendents or directors of curriculum, programs or human relations. Other professionals obtaining the Ed.D. degree serve as policy makers in state and national departments of education, credentialing agencies or as staff for elected officials. A third group works with local, state or national educational foundations, school reform agencies, research organizations, or publishing companies. Many others direct grants or consult with schools or districts. Finally, people with Ed.D.s teach or serve in leadership roles in colleges and universities.


Core faculty members for the Educational Leadership for Social Justice (ELSJ) Program are drawn from the Department of Educational Leadership and other Colleges from CSUEB. ELSJ core faculty members are active scholars who meet or exceed leadership and publication standards for their disciplines. This core faculty is deeply committed to improving pre-K to 12 education for the least served students. This commitment is deep, and includes participation in public discourse in the region and the State of California as well as formal research publications in national journals.

The core faculty strives for engaging research and theoretical work that leads directly to both, illuminating the issues schools face and designing initiatives for change. They have published in different journals covering a wide range of fields and study areas. In the field of education these journals include the following areas: teacher education, planning, leadership, administration, multicultural education, staff development, elementary, middle and high schooling, literacy, educational research, school reform, childhood, and adolescence. Additionally, core faculty scholarship extends to the fields of anthropology, sociology, psychiatry, religion, mathematics; and the area studies of women, race and ethnicity, gender, Latino studies, social justice, queer studies, and black studies.

Special Features

  • Use of a cohort structure that will create and maintain a network of educators with shared goals and purposes; allow for individual interests and needs to enrich the dialogue among cohort members; establish conditions of safety for full exploration of ideas, including competing views; and establish and reinforce norms associated with doctoral level intellectual and professional work.
  • Deliberate use of the Summer Quarter as a means for intense “front loading” of content, information, and skills essential to the work that will follow. The first summer will include an induction into doctoral habits of mind, including our focus on equity and reflective practice. In the second summer, students will synthesize survey courses from the first year of curriculum within the context of their own professional interests and begin to identify and explore possible dissertation topics. The third summer will focus on the development, review and approval of the dissertation proposal including clarification of research methodology, development of data instruments and preparation of Institutional Review Board (IRB) submission so that the last year is focused primarily on dissertation work.
  • A combination of course formats, including (but not limited to) summer and weekend intensives, standard face-to-face weekly evening courses; online studies; hybrid courses that combine online work with face-to-face seminars; some on-the job site-or district-based practice where theory and practice meet, and individualized studies associated with completion of the dissertation.

Admission Requirements

To be considered for admission to the ELSJ program (1) an applicant must have educational leadership experience in PK-12, alternative education, or other agency settings that serve PK-14 students and be (2) committed to continuing as a public school administrator who will influence excellence and equity.

To be admitted to the ELSJ program, applicants must meet the academic requirements as well as demonstrate professional experiences and academic skills that suggest a strong potential for success as doctoral candidates and as bold, socially responsible educational leaders. Meeting the minimum requirements qualifies an individual for consideration, but does not guarantee admission to the ELSJ program. Admission will be granted on a competitive basis and limited to 20 candidates on an annual basis. The ELSJ program will not include a foreign language requirement.

The ELSJ program requires the following of all applicants for admission to the doctoral program:

  • an earned baccalaureate degree and master’s degree from accredited institutions of higher education with a GPA in graduate study of 3.0 or above;
  • submission of Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores from within the last five years; GRE(r) General Test Overview;
  • demonstrated leadership skills and abilities in PK-12 schools or closely related fields (e.g., school reform networks, policy institutions);
  • demonstrated and documented professional or personal commitment to equity and social justice;
  • demonstrated academic excellence;
  • professional experiences which demonstrate problem-solving ability and an interest in critically assessing current educational policies and practices;
  • three confidential recommendation forms attesting to the leadership ability, equity commitment and capacity of the candidate to undertake doctoral-level work;
  • professional resume;
  • a written response to a writing prompt concerning issues of school effectiveness and the challenges facing leaders in bringing about sustained change that will result in equitable outcomes for all students in California;
  • a portfolio of at least one, and no more than three, samples of work that demonstrate how the candidate’s leadership has made a difference in student learning outcomes - for each item, include a brief paragraph that identifies the issue represented by the item, the desired goal, and what the item illustrates about the candidate’s competencies;
  • Employer/District Support Agreement stating support for the candidate’s doctoral studies from her/his employer or, in the cases where this is not provided, an individual plan for meeting the demands of the program and his/her professional responsibilities, including support systems that the individual expects to access.

Application and Admissions Procedures

The process of applying and being admitted to the ELSJ program is a two-step procedure:

The first step requires that you apply for admission to the Department of Educational Leadership. If you are a successful applicant and you are admitted into the ELSJ program by the department, then you will be authorized to submit your application in order to be officially admitted to the university.

Applications and more information are available on the program website.

Ed.D. Degree Requirements

1. The degree requires a minimum of 90 quarter units of approved doctoral level work including 12 units for dissertation studies all to be completed within a three-year period. Students must take classes at a CSUEB facility for no less than two quarters each year of the program.
2. A 3.0 GPA or better in all 90 quarter units offered as satisfying the requirements of the degree.
3. Satisfactory performance on two qualifying examinations and approval of dissertation prospectus.
4. Completion and defense of dissertation.

Academic Residence
At least 42 semester units shall be completed in residence at California State University at East Bay in order to meet requirements for obtaining an Ed.D. degree.

Transfer of Units
Nine quarter units (equal to six semester units) of advanced level coursework (beyond the Master’s degree) as a matriculated student from an accredited institution may be transferred into the doctoral program, subject to the approval of the Director of the ELSJ Program. The coursework must be deemed equivalent to ELSJ coursework. Students must have earned a grade of B or better in the transferred course. Transfer courses may not have been taken more than 7 years prior to anticipated graduation from the ELSJ Program.

Curricular Requirements

Schedule of courses for full cycle of program: Courses take place all four quarters of the school year. Each cohort begins summer quarter and enrolls for a total of 12 quarters.

Additional Recommended Course

This elective course is for students who may require additional study related to elements of dissertation work (e.g., identification of researchable questions, preparation of literature reviews, study design, proposal development, Institutional Review Board process, and academic writing). This course, which may be taken for 2-4 units and repeated once, will be recommended by faculty advisors. Units for this course will not be counted toward the total units required for the degree

Professional Residency

Students will engage in many field-based activities and assessments in their various courses and dissertation work. These field experiences will be designed to meet the specific interests and needs of students with respect to their mastery of goals and learning outcomes as well as with respect to their proposed dissertation studies.

Course Descriptions

Use this link to see all Course Descriptions  available throughout this catalog.

Other Graduate & Post-Baccalaureate Degree Requirements

In addition to departmental requirements, every student must also satisfy the university requirements for graduation as described in the Graduate/Post-Baccalaureate Admission and Degree Information  chapter in this catalog. These include the 32-unit residence requirement, the five year rule on currency of subject matter, the minimum number of units of 6000-level courses, the 3.00 grade point average, and the University Writing Skills Requirement. For information on meeting the University Writing Skills Requirement, see the Testing Office website at www.csueastbay.edu/testing or call 510.885.3661.