Return to: Doctor of Education (EdD)–School of Education and Professional Licensure
Families, professionals, programs, and agencies that influence every aspect of children’s lives from prenatal development through age 8 are brought together in the early childhood field. In this specialization, early childhood education professionals are prepared to foster positive outcomes for young children and their families in a variety of career roles. Through their coursework, educators explore the complex family, cultural, societal, and developmental influences that affect child development and learning. Education professionals critically review current research in the field on topics such as child development, family partnerships, content knowledge, assessment, effective practices, leadership, advocacy, and professionalism. Using case studies drawn from the real world and innovative technology, educators also examine the quality of early childhood programs and policies, implement strategies to promote positive outcomes for young children, and evaluate the leadership characteristics necessary to implement effective change.
The advanced early childhood professional guidelines set forth by the National Association for the Education of Young Children are reflected in the coursework for this specialization. In the individual dissertation process, educators are allowed to pursue original research in an effort to effect positive social change for children, families, and the early childhood field.
At the end of this program, educator professionals will be able to:
- Evaluate practices/programs/policies in the areas of child development and learning.
- Engage in effective leadership practices, including collaboration and advocacy, to promote positive outcomes for young children and families.
- Evaluate responsible assessment practices to support healthy development and positive learning outcomes for young children.
- Demonstrate cultural responsiveness in interactions with children, families, community members, and early childhood professionals.
- Create effective solutions to authentic problems in the early childhood field by integrating professional resources, including technology.
- Synthesize a variety of perspectives that are knowledgeable, reflective, and critical to promote professional growth and positive social change in the early childhood field.
- Design research to address educational problems and contribute to the profession.
- Professional Development Plan and Program of Study
- Foundation course (5 cr.)
- Research courses (15 cr.)
- Specialization courses (30 cr.)
- Completion of Doctoral Study
- Doctoral support courses (6 cr.)
- Completing the Doctoral Capstone (5 cr. per term; taken continuously until completion)
- One face-to-face academic residency
Foundation Course (5 cr.)
Research Courses (15 cr.)
Specialization Courses (30 cr.)
- Complete the EdD required residency face-to-face by the end of Term 3.
- Optional: Complete an EdD Advanced residency face-to-face or virtual in Term 7 or later, including if you are enrolled in EDDD 8900 or EDDD 8990.
- Optional: Complete an EdD Doctoral Study Intensive retreat face-to-face during EDDD 8990. Contact Academic Advising to register.
Completion of the Doctoral Capstone
Doctoral Support Courses (6 cr.)
Completing the Doctoral Capstone (5 cr. per term for a minimum of 20 cr. until completion)
- EDDD 8990 - Completing the Doctoral Capstone
Students take this course for a minimum of four terms and are continuously enrolled until completion of their Doctoral Study with final Chief Academic Officer (CAO) approval.
To complete a doctoral study, students must obtain the academic approval of several independent evaluators including their committee, the University Research Reviewer, and the Institutional Review Board; pass the Form and Style Review; gain approval at the oral defense stage; and gain final approval by the Chief Academic Officer. Students must also publish their dissertation on ProQuest before their degree is conferred. Learn more about the dissertation process in the Dissertation Guidebook.
*Students take this course for a minimum of four terms and are continuously enrolled until completion of their Doctoral Capstone with final Chief Academic Officer (CAO) approval.
To complete a doctoral capstone, students must obtain the academic approval of several independent evaluators including their committee, the University Research Reviewer, and the Institutional Review Board; pass the Form and Style Review; gain approval at the oral defense stage; and gain final approval by the Chief Academic Officer. Students must also publish their dissertation on ProQuest before their degree is conferred. Learn more about the dissertation process in the Dissertation Guidebook.
Note on Teacher Licensure or Certification
This program does not lead to teacher licensure or certification. Teachers are advised to contact their individual school districts as to whether this program may qualify for salary advancement.
Prospective Alabama students: State Authorization to provide a program related to the preparation of teachers or other P–12 school/system personnel does not indicate eligibility for an Alabama professional educator or professional leadership certificate. Applicants who complete an educator preparation program at a non-Alabama institution must apply for an Alabama professional educator or professional leadership certificate through the Alabama Certificate Reciprocity Approach. Current requirements may be found at www.alsde.edu.