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All About Carson-Newman University’s Ed.D. Educational Leadership with Curriculum and Instruction Concentration Program

What does the Ed.D. Educational Leadership with Curriculum and Instruction Concentration program encompass?

The Carson-Newman University Curriculum and Instruction Concentration is focused on developing leadership skills and extending research expertise within the context of curriculum and instruction pedagogy. It is designed for the teaching practitioner, instructional coach, lead teacher, and others who wish to work in educational leadership capacities related to curriculum development or assessment. The Curriculum and Instruction Concentration offers both the Educational Specialist and Doctorate in Education degrees.

The program presents multiple courses that emphasize organizational leadership, ethical principles, diversity and exceptionality practice and theory, assessment and evaluation, leadership theory, and curriculum and instruction current topics and strategies. By expanding research expertise, this program equips educators with the highest levels of leadership in education.

Designed for full-time educators who already have a master’s degree, the Curriculum and Instruction Concentration at Carson-Newman is based on the student’s previous education and experience. With an emphasis on analyzing theory and research findings in various educational settings, the program also explores the practical application of research and development of leadership skills.

Assignments are completed in an asynchronous, 100% online format, with participation offered in online discussions and group activities. One three credit course every eight weeks is completed during fall and spring terms, and four courses are completed during the summer. This format allows students to take two courses during the fall and spring terms but not concurrently. One course is offered in term A and the second one in term B, so they are not taught simultaneously.

What differentiates Carson-Newman University’s Ed.D. Educational Leadership with Curriculum and Instruction Concentration program from other schools that offer similar programs?

This program is unique in several ways. If enrolled in the Doctorate in Education track of the program, an Educational Specialist degree is obtained after all coursework has been completed before going to the dissertation stage. A student enrolled in the Educational Specialist track may continue to the Doctorate in Education track with minimal course adjustments. Additionally, the Carson-Newman University program is faith-based, and courses reflect that aspect through coursework emphasizing ethical, social, and spiritual leadership policies. Also, the program was formulated and is taught by, educational practitioners with experience in public and private schools. This experience helps develop an empathetic understanding of the working environment that educators experience on a daily basis. Personal attention is given to each student throughout the program.

Upon entering the program, each student is assigned a mentor professor who is available throughout the program. The mentor serves as a guide, coach, and facilitator, providing motivation, emotional support, and role modeling. This reduces anxiety levels for students and encourages them beyond course experiences.

How will this program help educators during this time of COVID and post-COVID teaching? How will it better prepare them for today’s education challenges?

The Curriculum and Instruction track is especially beneficial for educators as they navigate the issues presented by the COVID and post-COVID eras. Instructors understand the difficulties faced by educators in their daily work circumstances. The COVID-19 pandemic has added stress and uncertainty to their instructional and leadership situations.

Courses in the program suggest alternative instructional strategies through virtual learning. Professors explicitly understand when illness impacts students personally and professionally. The use of virtual learning for this online program has added to the repertoire of educators in virtual education.

What career opportunities are available to students who graduate from the program? 

Graduates of the program are intentionally prepared for leadership opportunities in various career capacities regarding leadership. Many graduates already hold leadership positions like lead teachers, curriculum interventionists, curriculum supervisors, RTI coordinators, and others. This program provides upward mobility for those seeking higher levels of responsibilities, including central office supervisory opportunities. Educators who teach in a Pre-K to 16 setting may wish to remain in that role and with this degree become educational leaders within that capacity.

Why should a prospective student choose this program? Why should they choose Carson-Newman University?

Carson-Newman University provides rigorous expectations leading to theoretical and practical learning experiences. Attributes of the program are student-centered, focusing on student needs. The program’s asynchronous, online instruction provides opportunities for degree completion within a three-year timeframe while continuing to have a full-time career.

Students develop advanced skills in analyzing curriculum theory and research as they focus on the development of research skills that apply to practitioner needs. Carson-Newman University provides the support needed to reach professional goals and continue to grow within the educational profession.