Doctorate of Education in Curriculum and Instruction

Program Description

The Doctorate of Education in Curriculum and Instruction (Ed.D. in C&I) prepares master teachers to become instructional leaders and curriculum specialists at the school and/or school system levels and who wish to develop expertise in the following areas:

  • Advocacy for equity in teaching and learning
  • Curriculum theory and development
  • Pedagogical leadership

The Ed.D. in C&I is a rigorous, collaborative, interdisciplinary degree that includes the Department of Middle and Secondary Education, College of Education and Human Development, Department of Art Education, Ernest G. Welch School of Art & Design, and the School of Music, College of the Arts.  This degree offers an interdisciplinary approach across Secondary levels in multiple content areas, Art, Language and Literacy, Mathematics, Middle Level, World Languages, Music, Science, and Social Studies Education.

The degree is designed for curriculum leaders who hold roles in schools such as assistant principals, classroom teachers, coaches, curriculum developers, department chairs, principals, subject/content area coordinators at the school or county level, and clinical faculty. Graduates from this degree program will be employed by public and private schools, school systems, and other educational entities in the Atlanta metro area, the state of Georgia, and in national and international schools and education organizations.

The program is a three-year, flexible cohort model, which is characteristic of nationally recognized exemplary professional doctorate programs (see Carnegie Foundation).  The program consists of 45 hours of course work and 9 hours of dissertation work for a total of 54 hours.  The majority of the program will be offered through evening classes at the downtown campus throughout the year in the fall, spring, and summer semesters.

Degree requirements include coursework, school-based residency requirement embedded in cohort courses (to include engagement in the professional community such as conference presentations, professional development delivery and/or publications), a qualifying paper, a prospectus presentation, and a dissertation using the approved dissertation format in the Georgia State University College of Education and Human Development.  The dissertation will consist of a research study contextualized in the PK-12 school or family setting.  A committee consisting of three faculty members, including a minimum of two College of Education graduate faculty members will support the student including review of the qualifying paper, comprehensive exams, and dissertation prospectus and defense.

The Ed.D. in C&I is designed in light of the Curriculum and Instruction certification rules and graduates of this program will be eligible to obtain the Curriculum and Instruction service certificate at the S7 level and potential salary increase (which is determined by individual school systems).  Students holding a valid Clear Renewable, Level 4 or higher Georgia Teaching (T), Service (S), Technical Specialist (TS), or Leadership (L or PL) certificate at time of admission in their field of study would be eligible to add the Curriculum and Instruction certificate upon completion of the Ed.D. in Curriculum and Instruction program and completion of the Georgia state approved content assessment.

Program Philosophy                                                

The Doctorate of Education (Ed.D.) in Curriculum and Instruction (C&I) promotes an understanding of the complex dynamics among theory, research, and practice.  We, the faculty, believe in preparing empowered scholar-educators who advocate for social justice and educational equity at the classroom, school, district, and state levels.  Grounded in rigorous and relevant research, our interdisciplinary courses offer students the opportunity to conceptualize, theorize, dialogue, problem-pose, problem-solve, create, and evaluate a wide range of educational theories, practices, and policies as related to Curriculum and Instruction.

Principles of social justice are embedded within the Ed.D. in C&I which emphasize innovation, diversity, and advocacy in PK-12 settings.  Committed to our metropolitan community while simultaneously extending our influence nationally and globally, we focus on excelling in three areas, 1) conducting leading research on culture, learning, and human development;  2) preparing high quality education and human development professionals in critical need areas; and 3) serving the community.

Learning Objectives for the Ed.D. in C&I

  • Knowledge of Urban Education. Graduates will demonstrate advanced knowledge of urban education to promote social justice and educational equity at the classroom, school, district, and state levels.
  • Knowledge of Curriculum. Graduates will demonstrate advanced ability to design, implement, and evaluate curriculum that promotes student learning.
  • Knowledge of Instruction. Graduates will demonstrate advanced ability to plan, implement, and evaluate instruction to facilitate student learning.
  • Knowledge of Content. Graduates will demonstrate advanced depth and breadth of knowledge and skills in their academic discipline and pedagogy.
  • Knowledge of Students. Graduates will demonstrate advanced knowledge of the student as influenced by cognitive, physical, emotional, social, cultural, environmental, and economic factors.
  • Knowledge of Research. Graduates will demonstrate the ability to use research to promote student learning and to contribute to the teaching profession.
  • Knowledge of Assessment. Graduates will demonstrate advanced knowledge of assessment and the ability to use multiple sources of assessment for maximizing student learning.
  • Professional Practices. Graduates will demonstrate high standards for professional practice including ability to work productively with colleagues and other adults, demonstrate teacher supervisory and coaching skills.