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Leadership Courses

The interdisciplinary curriculum of the Doctor of Education in Leadership is meticulously designed to help students add to building blocks of knowledge as they move throughout the program. It consists of 60 semester hours. Students must complete 21 hours of core courses, 15 hours of electives, 15 hours of research and dissertation, as well as 6 hours of seminars and 3 learning practicum hours. Qualified students have the option of earning the K-12 Administrator (Superintendent) Certification.1

There are two required residencies at our campus in Omaha, Nebraska: an orientation at the beginning of the program (ILD 808) and the dissertation defense at the end (ILD 810).

A master's degree or equivalent professional degree is required.

Core Courses (21 hours)

ILD 801 Leadership Styles and Reflective Practice (3 credits)
This course introduces students to the knowledge, skills, and values of reflective practice. Students will examine various theories and leadership styles from a historical and contemporary point of view and then identify specific leaders and styles as examples. Special emphasis will be placed on leaders engaging in reflective practice. Through readings and exercises focusing on leadership styles and reflective practice, students will develop a greater knowledge of self and will begin the deliberate, life-long practice of reflective thinking. For the final activity, students will develop a clear personal philosophy of their leadership style.

ILD 802 Leadership and Applied Ethics (3 credits)
Consistent with the ideal that leadership is not just a way of acting but a way of being, this course will explore the ethical foundations of personal and professional leadership practices. Students will examine ethical theories and concepts applied to leadership challenges in real world situations. Emphasis will be placed on ethical leadership for social and organizational change as well as the leader's and organization's role as a moral agent in society.

ILD 803 Strategic Planning and Management (3 credits)
This course integrates systems theory and problem solving with strategic thinking. Students will engage in deep exploration of all aspects of strategic planning processes, including the following:

  • Development of an organization's mission and vision statements within social, political, and economic environments
  • Creation of a strategic plan through trend analysis, systems analysis, and environmental analysis
  • Discernment of goals, objectives, and performance outcome measures
  • Execution and monitoring of strategic management

Principles related to how organizations and institutions operate in the context of a system guided by a strategic plan will be studied and applied to respective institutions and organizations.

ILD 804 Organizational Theory and Behavior (3 credits)
This course explores the most important theories and models that explain the behaviors and attitudes of individuals (micro OB), teams and other groups (meso OB), and entire organizations (macro OB). The course covers critical topics from the field of organization theory and behavior, including the relationship of environment, size, and technology to organization structure; organization culture; motivating followers; recognizing individual differences; decision making; creativity; building and leading groups and teams; exercising power; managing conflict; and job satisfaction and other work attitudes.

ILD 805 Administrative and Policy Leadership Issues (3 credits)
This course examines the research on administrative issues and political power in decision making and the role of leaders in policy development. It will address the social, political, and economic influences on administration and policy development and the relationship between leadership and governance. Students will review and critique public policy analytic frameworks and their application to contemporary policy issues. Administrative and policy leadership issues in the context of community relations and governing boards will also be considered.

ILD 806 Change Theory and Practice (3 credits)
Confronted with profound, rapid, and dynamic changes in the nature of their work and organizations, individuals are entering a "permanence of change." Therefore, leaders must develop their understanding of and skills necessary to lead and/or facilitate complex organizational change. Students will explore organizational change theory, analyze research on the elements of change, how change can promote a learning organization, and apply what they have learned regarding organizational structure and decision making within and across organizations.

ILD 807 Financial and Legal Leadership Issues (3 credits)
Focuses on the leadership skills related to the management of the financial and legal issues in organizations and institutions. Specific attention will be given to theories of economic and finance, financial planning, sources and uses of financial support, budgeting, the American legal system, institutions as legal entities, authority for governance and administration, employee rights and responsibilities, client/student rights, and responsibilities and liabilities applicable to business, education and health organizations and institutions. Students are expected to have a basic understanding of and experience with business, education, or health organizations.

Core Seminars and Practicum (9 credit hours)

ILD 808 Leadership Seminar I: Orientation and Formulation of Learning Community (2 credits)
Students will be required to be present on campus for a Learning Community meeting that will provide an overview of the program as well as an opportunity for relationships and community building among students and faculty. The relationships established during this residency will be important as students progress through their program.

Students will be assigned a provisional advisor and will work together to develop an Individualized Professional Development Plan (IPDP), where professional and personal goals are identified and plans are made to assist the student in meeting each of the goals/objectives. A permanent advisor (either through re-affirmation of the provisional advisor or assignment of a new advisor) will be determined once the student has completed their IPDP.

ILD 809 Leadership Seminar II: Mid-Program Reflection and Dissertation Design (2 credits)
The second formal seminar is a formative, structured experience for students. The seminar and faculty guidance provide a structural tool to assist students in moving forward with their portfolios and planning for their dissertations. Students will discuss the preparation of their portfolios, compare the process they are using to prepare their dissertation, share information about job responsibilities or opportunities, and cover other appropriate topics. This second formal seminar emphasizes the interdisciplinary aspect of the program by providing a venue and structure for students to share across the areas of business, education, and health. In addition, the Program Director or advisors will be able to share information about the program and its progress.

ILD 810 Leadership Seminar III: Portfolio Review and Dissertation Defense (2 credits)
This seminar will be the concluding requirement of the program and will be held on campus. Students will present their portfolio to their supervisory committee, present their reflective journal, review a final self analysis, and share future professional goals and plans. The oral defense of the dissertation will be conducted at this time. Students will be given an opportunity to provide feedback to the committee about the Ed.D program and share any suggestions on how to improve the program.

ILD 811 Interdisciplinary Practicum (3 credits)
Students will arrange a practical field experience to further develop their skills and abilities in a professional or organizational setting where they will be engaged in interdisciplinary leadership in action. This could include working with another person on a major project or exploring an area outside the student's own field (business, education, or health). The student will gain an understanding of researching issues related to personnel, policy, politics, economics, finance, governing relationships, elements of change, or other influences that challenge leadership, and then apply or recommend an innovative solution. The practicum experience will be arranged with the practicum advisor.

Electives (15 credit hours)

ILD 820 Jesuit and Ignatian Traditions (3 credits)
Jesuit education stems from philosophical values rooted in the humanistic tradition of Renaissance culture. This course will explore the historical backdrop that sparked the formation of organized Jesuit schools, including the unique style of social leadership that has sustained the Ignatian tradition for over 450 years. To enhance learning, students will engage in critical self-reflection on personal values, attitudes, ethics, and moral development in relation to societal expectations and norms.

ILD 821 Quality and Accountability Issues (3 credits)
This course introduces students to concepts of program quality and assessment. Students are encouraged to apply what they learn about quality, accreditation, accountability, and standards to their organization and experiences. Attention will be given to strategic alignment, the role of values and propositions, and the use of several known systems for assessing quality.

ILD 822 Human Resources Leadership and Management (3 credits)
This course examines Human Resources Development (HRD) and the organizational setting in which it occurs. Topics include the design and development of education and training programs; how change occurs in organizations; how career development can optimize the match between individual and organizational goals and needs; how to improve performance in organizations by analyzing performance opportunities; and designing employee training to address these opportunities. Students apply knowledge of Human Resource principles, practices, policies, and procedures to the identification and solution of case problems.

ILD 823 Leadership in a Global Society (3 credits)
In the ever-shrinking world of the new millennium, leaders are frequently challenged to work with and develop international teams. Building on the Ignatian leadership paradigm, this course will facilitate the formation of leadership skills for a rapidly changing global landscape. Students will study the international market forces and technological changes that influence the global workplace and will develop and practice communication skills that are required in a diverse, multicultural workplace.

ILD 825 Women and Leadership (3 Credits)
This elective course will explore women's leadership, leadership styles, and contributions to social change from an interdisciplinary perspective. Students will examine the barriers and challenges facing women in different types of careers and their possible causes. Readings will include books and scientific articles on the structural, cultural, psychological, institutional, organizational, political, personal, economical, and financial issues facing women leaders today. Students will reflect on their own experiences and how gender influences their leadership style and perceptions of leadership.

ILD 826 Applied Development Analysis (3 Credits)
This course is focused on understanding theories of development, and examines a variety of international development projects using the Institutional Analysis and Development (IAD) framework. The IAD framework, developed by Nobel laureate Elinor Ostrom, is a useful tool for thinking about how individuals and institutions interact within the context of projects.

Despite our conceptions about development, it is clear that this framework can be used in any context where leaders wish to uncover how a large project involving many people and organizations works, and what intentional and unintended consequences may result. This course will guide the student through the identification of problems, and will subsequently apply the IAD framework to develop a potential development project.

ILD 831 Technology and Leadership (3 credits)
This course introduces students to an overview of the impact of technology in general and the internet in particular on organizations. Through this examination, students will explore how leadership is or should adapt to a changing world. In the past decade, the internet has become a part of life and work. The internet has moved from a virtual space where people went to find information to an active place that is open, social and participatory. This shift has profound implications on leadership. How does a leader manage information when the sum of all human knowledge is available to anyone in her or his organization from their smartphone? How is communication evolving? What are ethical issues associated with networked employees, students, or patients? What is on the horizon? This course gives students the opportunity to explore.

ILD 832 Planning Programs for Adult Learners (3 credits)
This course is designed for novice or experienced leaders who plan or manage educational and training programs for adults in a variety of settings. It is for students who have or aspire to leadership positions in adult education, training, staff development, human resources development, or performance improvement with staff.

ILD 833 Writing for Scholarly Publication (3 credits)
This course prepares students to write manuscripts for scholarly publication. Course topics include: writing as conversation; topic identification; conversants; exemplars; the components of a scholarly paper; presentations; and editing.

ILD 834 Catholic Social Teaching (3 credits)
In the contemporary era, the promotion of justice has become a staple thread of identity in Jesuit education. This course will (1) provide an overview of the conceptual background to this commitment, as contained in official Catholic Social Teaching on justice, (2) highlight the early history and theory of Jesuit education, and (3) consider a particular perspective on Ignatian pedagogy for justice in higher education. In dialogue with one another and the instructor, students will engage these perspectives in light of their own faith perspectives, understandings of justice, and leadership responsibilities and goals.

ILD 835 Sustainability Leadership (3 credits)
This course explores the interdisciplinary, interdependent and integrated complexity of the sustainability movement. Because planet sustainability is a global issue, a systems perspective is appropriate for the examination of the relationships between local, regional, national and international solutions. A three-pillared concept-environment, economics, and social equity-serves as a foundation to study the history of the movement, its key leaders and thinkers, innovative environmental policy, strategies for change that include clear goals and measurable indicators, stewardship and conservation measures, and social responsibility principles.

ILD 836 Leadership, Public Relations, and Stakeholder Engagement (3 credits)
This elective course will examine leadership, public relations, and stakeholder engagement from an interdisciplinary perspective. Students will explore the notion of transparent communication, and the impact this communication has on creating an open and ethical organization. Students will identify the opportunities and challenges of stakeholder engagement with internal, external and global audiences, through the news media, social media, crisis communication, and corporate social responsibility. Readings will come from books, scholarly articles, and current events to offer students practical as well as theoretical perspectives of public relations and stakeholder engagement. Students will reflect on their own experiences concerning leadership and stakeholder engagement in their own work environment.

ILD 827-830 K-12 Administrator (Superintendent) Certification1
This part of the degree program is designed for individuals who are interested in obtaining a K-12 Administrator (Superintendent) certificate. Individuals wishing to pursue this certification will need to work closely with their respective State Department of Education regarding specific requirements. Individuals who wish to pursue this option must have the Principal's Certification. Typically, 12-15 credit hours beyond the Principal's Certificate are required.

This option may require coursework beyond the minimum 60 hour requirement. The following are examples of courses that could be included in a state's requirements. Research and Dissertation (15 credit hours)

ILD 827 Leadership in School Improvement
ILD 828 Policies, Politics, and School Boards
ILD 830 Superintendent Practicum

Research and Dissertation (15 credit hours)

ILD 812 Research Design and Professional Inquiry (3 credits)
Students will learn steps involved in modern social science research process and identify promising topics, puzzles, and create research questions. The course will focus on developing falsifiable theories, the process of drawing testable hypotheses from theory, social science writing techniques, APA formatting and insights regarding qualitative and quantitative methods of inquiry.

ILD 850 Quantitative Research Design and Methods (3 credits)
The course will examine theory and practice in the design, conduct, analysis, and interpretation of experimental, quasi-experimental, and descriptive methods for research and evaluation. Students will review basic core concepts of statistics. Methods of assessing credibility of published research will also be discussed.

ILD 851 Qualitative Research Design and Methods (3 credits)
The course will examine theory and practice in the design, conduct, analysis, and interpretation of the broad approaches to qualitative research methods used for social and behavioral research. Methods of applying concepts through both critique and planning one's own research are emphasized.

ILD 852 Mixed Methods Research (3 credits)
Mixed method designs provide researchers across disciplines with a rigorous approach to addressing multi-dimensional research questions. The purpose of this class is to provide an introduction to mixed methods research, to discuss the steps involved in designing and conducting this form of inquiry, and to focus on the types of mixed methods designs.

ILD 853 Scholarship Project Methodologies (3 credits)
The course focuses on methodologies applicable for a systematic, planned, evidence-based scholarly project from an interdisciplinary leadership perspective. Students will be required to develop, organize, and plan an implementation and evaluation of a major, complex project in preparation for a scholarly dissertation.

ILD 899 Dissertation Research (9 credits)
The dissertation addresses real world problems or issues in applied settings related to leadership in the professional world. Students will use their workplace or practice setting as a laboratory for development of the dissertation, which will provide the structure for the student to examine his or her practice in a thoughtful and systematic way.

Have questions about the online Doctor of Education in Leadership curriculum? Call us at 866.717.6365 to speak to an Admissions Representative or request more information today.


1If you are a student seeking an Iowa educator license, please click here.