Ed.D. Community College Leadership


Our Community College Leadership Ed.D. program is designed to prepare higher education professionals to advance in a variety of administrative positions within the community college environment. This online degree emphasizes applied practice and action-based research, giving midcareer professionals the edge to move ahead. The Ed.D. program consists of 54 credit hours beyond the master's degree and is designed to be completed within three years. Students will take two courses per semester. Summer courses are blended format to foster connections with faculty and other students. Fall and spring courses are delivered online. The cumulating experience for the program is a Dissertation of Practice (12 credit hours) that takes an innovative practice-based problem approach to research.

Real-world Learning

In our program, you'll enjoy a community of practitioners and scholars actively pursuing educational research. You'll engage in learning opportunities through coursework focused on theory-to-practice and inquirybased educational practices.

Our Adult and Higher Education Community College Leadership Program admits students for summer only. Completed applications with all supporting credentials are due no later than March 1.

You'll need to submit an application, a written statement of goals, three letters of recommendation, official transcripts and a résumé/CV. No GRE required. Three years of professional experience is preferred.

Apply online

Are you ready to become a leader in community colleges? Are you eager to learn how to help others improve in their professional endeavors or to prepare for new roles in our world?

Apply Today!

Our practice-based curriculum is designed for higher education professionals seeking career advancement in various administrative positions across community colleges. Our program is ideal for all higher education professionals, working in a variety of areas across the institution, including:

  • Student Affairs
  • Academic Administration
  • Enrollment Management
  • Operations and Administration
  • Faculty and Instructors

Experience a flexible learning environment. Our online classes, combined with a one-week on-site course at NIU Naperville or University of Lake County each summer, allows you to earn your degree in three years. Each summer, you'll take two hybrid courses that require a one week face-to-face meeting.

The course will meet Monday-Friday from 8:30am-4:30pm with a one hour break. Build relationships throughout the program and beyond. Our program provides you with opportunities to network, collaborate and learn with a small cohort of fellow practitioners. When you graduate, you will join our strong alumni network, which includes top administrators at community colleges throughout our region.


Summer Term Fall Term Spring Term
Year 1

CAHE 770: The Administration of Higher Education

CAHE 503: U.S. College Students

CAHE 772: Financing of Higher Education

ETR 519: Applied Educational Research

CAHA 555: Seminar in Community Colleges

ETR 521: Educational Statistics I

Year 2

CAHA 570: Organization, Personnel Management, and Academic Administration

CAHA 740: Pedagogical Innovations & Student Learning

CAHE 704: Strategic Marketing and Enrollment Management

ETR 790: Community-Base and Participatory Action Research

CAHE 771: Legal Aspects in Higher Education 

CAHE 572: Assessment Methods in Higher Education

Year 3

CAHA 575: Public Policy Studies in Higher Education

CAHA 721: Applied Research Design

CAHA 799*:   Dissertation of Practice

CAHA 799*: Dissertation of Practice

*A minimum of 12 credits of CAHA 799 is needed to graduate.