EPL Specialization

Curriculum


We support students' learning and engagement in the concepts outlined in the Specialization Overview through coursework and fellowship opportunities.

Core Courses

  • Organizational Leadership: Students in Ph.D. specialization take courses in policy analysis and organizational theory.
  • Academic Leadership: Students in the Ph.D. specialization take courses in designing learning environments and assessment and measurement of learning. Through these courses, students extend their knowledge of academic leadership by examining theories of learning and apply these theories to instruction and assessment design. Students critically investigate evidence supporting existing instructional assessment practices and apply their knowledge to decision making.
  • Information Leadership: Students in the Ph.D. specialization take courses in research design, statistics, and program evaluation. Through these courses, students learn how to design and implement experimental and quasi-experimental studies as well as program evaluations. Students learn analytic techniques needed to examine the outcomes of these studies to generate meaningful evidence to inform theory and practice. embedded in the coursework is emphasis on information and data management as well as communicating and interpreting information to make decisions.
  • Synthesis/Bridging Courses: Throughout the first and second academic year, students in the Ph.D. specialization will participate in a Synthesis/Bridging course designed to integrate learning experiences and domains across courses, cognates, and internship experiences.

Cognate: To extend students' awareness and understanding of variables that influence student achievement, students in the Ph.D. specialization will take three (3) graduate-level courses outside of the Simmons School of Education and Human Development. Students can organize their cognates by selecting one of the following pathways

  • Discipline Pathway: students may select cognate courses from one discipline such as psychology or business. All courses will be selected from this discipline such as psychology or business. All courses will be selected from this discipline. It is assumed that a faculty member from this discipline will continue working with the student on his/her dissertation.
  • Learning Objective Pathway: students may select cognate courses from multiple disciplines that support a broader learning objective articulated by the student. To approve this pathway, a clearly specified learning objective must e filed with the student's academic program. Graduate-level courses can be selected from 2-3 departments across campus.
  • Methodology Pathway: students may select cognate courses from multiple departments that support a methodological application. To approve this pathway, a clearly specified methodological goal must be filed with the student's academic program. Graduate-level courses can be selected from one or multiple departments across campus.

Fellowship: To provide opportunities for students to immediately apply learned knowledge, students will participate in research and practice fellowships. Research fellowships will be organized during the student's first academic year. Students will meaningfully engage in research opportunities with SMU faculty to gain direct experience applying research methods within a context. Practice fellowships will be organized during the student's second academic year in the program. Students and faculty will collaborate to arrange practice internships that provide a meaningful partnership with industry, school district, university, not-for-profit organization to gain direct experience applying leadership principles within practical contexts.