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The DELEJ program, was designed to prepare leaders in P-12 public schools and community colleges in partnership with Advisory Committee members from local institutions focused on the knowledge and skills needed by leaders in those organizations. The three year, three-semesters per year design with two 3-credit, 8-week non-overlapping online courses per semester, is designed for full-time working professionals. The annual one week on-campus summer residency will allow the cohort to bond together in-person during the working professional’s vacation. 

60 semester units are required to be eligible for the degree.

Pre-requisites for all courses below include admission to the program.

Leadership Foundations Core (18 units)

EDD 701 Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Accessibility, and Justice in Education (3 units)

EDD 702 Educational Leadership for Transformation and Change (3)

EDD 703 Complex Organizations Designed for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (3)

EDD 704 Leading Equitable Assessments and Program Evaluation for Accountability (3)

EDD 705 Policy and Practice for Educational Leaders (3)

EDD 706 Educational Reforms Designed for Equity (3)

Research Methodology Core (19 units)

EDD 711 Applied/Field-based Research for Equity (3)

EDD 712 Applied Qualitative Research Methods (3)

EDD 713 Applied Quantitative and Data Analysis Research Methods (3)

EDD 714 Data Collection, Visualization, and Analysis (3)

EDD 715 Writing and Presenting a Dissertation (3)

EDD 716 Writing for Publication: Getting Started (2)

EDD 717 Writing for Publication: Advanced (2)

Advancement to Candidacy (2 units)

EDD 720 Qualifying Examination and Dissertation Proposal Defense (2)

Leadership Specializations (9 units)

EDD 780T Topics in Educational Leadership (9) (Students select 3 courses with content determined by student’s area of specialization)

Specialization Courses (Three self-selected courses = 9 units) May be different from cohort to cohort. Upon establishment, each course will be prefixed with EDD 780T

A partial listing of courses that may be offered indicating what educational level will be emphasized:

Sample Specialization courses for P-12 Leadership

Advanced Curriculum (P-12)

Assessment and Accountability Leadership (P-12)

Disabilities Studies Leadership (P-12)

Early Childhood Education Leadership (P-12)

Human Resource Administration (P-12)

Leadership for Reading Instruction (P-12)

Resource Management and Fiscal Planning (P-12)

Social/Cultural, Political, Economic and Legal Contexts of Education (P-12)

Special Education Leadership (P-12)

Sample Specialization courses for P-12 and Community College Leadership

Special Education and Disability Law (P-12 and CC)

Critical Friends Groups as Communities of Practice (P-12 & CC)

Interpersonal Leadership and Conflict Resolution (P-12 & CC)

Leaders and Leadership (P-12 & CC)

Organizational Development for High-Performing Organizations (P-12 & CC)

Professional Ethics and Moral Issues in Education (P-12 & CC)

Technology in Education (P-12 & CC)

Sample Specialization courses for Community College Leadership

Community College Administration (CC)

Contemporary Issues in Post-Secondary Education (CC)

Post-Secondary Legal Aspects (CC)

Higher Education Resource and Fiscal Planning (CC)

Dissertation (12 units)

EDD 731 Dissertation Research I (3)

EDD 732 Dissertation Research II (3)

EDD 733 Dissertation Research III (3)

EDD 734 Dissertation Research IV (3)


The Doctorate in Educational Leadership for Equity and Justice’s (DELEJ) culminating experiences include:

(1) Passage of a qualifying examination by the end of the Fall semester of the second year.The qualifying exam will consist of an e-portfolio in which students demonstrate acquisition of program learning outcomes by documenting their scholar-practitioner performance on courses in the program that demonstrate equity and justice-focused leadership. Through reflection and self-assessment of growth in performances during the doctoral program, students will demonstrate acquisition of knowledge and preparedness to design research based on an existing problem of practice in equity or justice and conduct and produce a dissertation-in-practice. A committee of DELEJ core faculty will score the e-portfolio based on a task-specific, analytically scored rubric that will be provided to the students with the qualifying examination.

(2) Approval of an oral proposal defense before a committee of a dissertation chair and professors and/or other scholar-practitioners.

(3) Approval, by a dissertation committee, of a written dissertation that is a product of systematic, rigorous research on a significant professional issue. The dissertation is expected to contribute to an improvement in professional practices or policy. It shall evidence originality, critical and independent thinking, appropriate form and organization, and a rationale. The dissertation shall identify the research problem and question(s), state the major theoretical perspectives, explain the significance of the undertaking, relate it to the relevant scholarly and professional literature, set forth the appropriate sources for and methods of gathering and analyzing the data, and offer a conclusion or recommendation. The dissertation shall directly, or through explicit recommendations to practitioners or policymakers, impact a problem of practice toward more equitable and just outcomes. It shall include a written abstract that summarizes the significance of the work, objectives, methodology, and a conclusion or recommendation.

(4) Approval of an oral defense of the dissertation. A dissertation-in-practice studying an equity and/or social justice issue in education will be encouraged.


  1. Apply knowledge of equity, ethics, and social justice to bring about solutions to complex problems of practice by addressing issues of diversity, equity, and opportunity, including attention to special populations.
  2. Apply modern theories of management of complex organizations to education by constructing and applying knowledge to make a positive difference in the lives of individuals, families, organizations, and communities.
  3. Develop and demonstrate effective collaboration and communication skills to work with diverse communities and to build partnerships, by demonstrating leadership based on a shared vision of learning grounded in moral principles and ethical decision-making.
  4. Navigate political, legal, and historical contexts affecting local, state, and federal educational policy and decision-making by utilizing field-based opportunities to analyze problems of practice and using multiple frames to develop meaningful solutions.
  5. Develop a professional knowledge base that integrates both practical and research, which links theory with systemic and systematic inquiry for achieving reform and improvement within California's P-12 or community college/post-secondary education institutions.
  6. Generate, transform, and utilize professional knowledge and practice by demonstrating leadership based on a shared vision of learning grounded in moral principles and ethical decision-making.
  7. Design internal and external accountability processes and use them in data-driven planning by conducting research in relevant field settings, including collection, analysis, and use of original data as well as institutional research and other existing data to improve educational outcomes.
  8. Assess learning outcomes and use data for student interventions and program decision-making and improvement, by formulating researchable questions, collecting quantitative and qualitative data, designing statistical and qualitative analyses, and interpreting results to make equity-focused decisions.
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