EdD/PhD in Leadership: Early Childhood Education Specialization

Concordia University Chicago

Program Description

EdD/PhD in Leadership: Early Childhood Education Specialization

Concordia University Chicago

The Concordia University Chicago doctoral program in leadership with a specialization in early childhood education focuses on the preparation of confident and competent leaders who can provide the voice for young children and who will dedicate themselves to ensuring all young children have access to equitable, appropriate and quality opportunities for care and learning at every age and in every environment.

The degree is built upon the candidate’s prior work in the field. The program provides a theoretical and practical framework for advanced work and leadership in the field of early childhood with an emphasis on current research.

The EdD/ Ph.D. program provides the opportunity for current and future leaders in the field to extend knowledge in early childhood education and develop understandings of current and future issues in the field. These opportunities are organized into coursework, practical experiences in the field and research.

The program will enable candidates to:

  • Strengthen theoretical understandings of early childhood education.
  • Increase knowledge of child development and learning and development, with emphasis on the young child.
  • Strengthen expertise in the developmental effective approaches and content knowledge to build meaningful curriculum in early childhood education.
  • Develop skills in administration, advocacy, and organization of early childhood education programs.
  • Increase awareness and advocacy of support services to families of young children.
  • Develop greater knowledge through research and analysis skills that will further and support current knowledge in the field.
  • Prepare future practitioners in two- and four-year institutions.

Learning Objectives and Competencies

Upon completion of all coursework and dissertation requirements, candidates will have a theoretical and practical knowledge and skills in the following:

  • Leadership and advocacy skills in early childhood education that will support the ongoing development of the field.
  • An understanding of the methodology and appropriate practices, and problems in public and private early childhood programs with an emphasis on communicating new knowledge and skills within the field and to policymakers and business leaders who collaborate with early childhood professionals in effecting positive change.
  • Application of child development of early childhood education to current practice and research.
  • Analysis of contemporary early education issues across the country with the goal of identifying research and advocacy needs in the field that will lead to ongoing solutions and best practices.
  • Rich experience in ongoing educational research that will further the development and maturation of early childhood education as an important educational field.
  • Synthesis of early childhood curriculum, teaching, and pedagogy into effective teacher leadership across the range of early childhood policy and practice.
  • Design and implementation of appropriate strategies for improved teaching and leadership practice that will then be communicated to the next generation of early childhood professionals through teacher education, advocacy, and policy development.
  • Development of professional habits and sense of responsibility for reflective practice, providing a model for that reflection to colleagues and community and society.

Throughout the program, candidates will be required to reflect on their beliefs and practices as they relate to early education. That reflection will emphasize the development of competency and servant leadership within the context of integrity and Christian values.


*INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS: In addition to the base program curriculum listed below, international students attending face-to-face classes on the CUC campus are required to take the Seminar in Higher Education, a 3-credit course.

Doctoral Specialization: Early Childhood Education

  • Child Development and the Educational Process
  • The Leadership/Supervision of Early Childhood Centers and Programs
  • Trends, Issues, and Research in Early Childhood Education
  • Cultural and Socioeconomic Influences Affecting Diverse Learners
  • Models of Assessment
  • Curriculum Models in Early Childhood Education
  • Language, Literacy, and Reading Instruction in Early Childhood Education
  • Legal Issues in Early Childhood Education
  • Family and Community Relationships and Advocacy
  • Early Childhood Education Internship


  • Philosophy of Scientific Knowledge (Ph.D. only)
  • Philosophical and Theoretical Foundations of Leadership (EdD only)
  • Organizational Change
  • Policy Analysis

Select one:

  • Ethics for Educational Leaders
  • Leadership: Politics, Power and Applied Ethics

Research and Statistics for the EdD, Practitioner Track

  • Research Design

Select two:

  • Survey Research
  • Quantitative Research
  • Qualitative Research
  • Methods of Action Research Inquiry

Research and Statistics for the Ph.D., Researcher Track

  • Research Design
  • Quantitative Research
  • Qualitative Research

Select two:

  • Mixed Methods Research
  • Advanced Topics in Qualitative Analysis
  • Advanced Topics in Statistics
  • Survey Research

Early Childhood Education Electives (Optional)

  • Edu-Entrepreneurial Skills, Tools, and Techniques
  • Moral, Ethical, Spiritual Formation in Early Childhood Education
  • Instructional Models and Delivery System for Early Childhood Education

Comprehensive Exam and Dissertation

  • Comprehensive Exam
  • Dissertation
  • Dissertation Supervision


The focus of this program is to prepare early childhood professionals to assume leadership roles in three major areas:

  • Higher education (including teaching, service, and research)
  • Leadership and administration of organizations
  • Policy, advocacy, and politics

Recent graduates of the program have become early childhood leaders in universities, multisite programs, educational planning, and governance and management.

The coursework provides the opportunity to receive a high-quality educational program that encourages the development of skills and competencies needed throughout the candidate's professional career as an accomplished early childhood educator, administrator, researcher, policy, and advocacy specialist or other leadership roles.

*Please note, Concordia University Chicago does not offer full or partial scholarships or tuition to any interested student or applicant.

This school offers programs in:
  • English

Last updated June 13, 2018
Duration & Price
This course is
Campus based
Start Date
Start date
July 2019
Sept. 2019
Full time
USA - Chicago, Illinois
Start date : Sept. 2019
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
USA - River Forest, Illinois
Start date : July 2019
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
July 2019
USA - River Forest, Illinois
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
Sept. 2019
USA - Chicago, Illinois
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info