Ed.D. in Leadership and Learning

Further the conversation about leadership and learning within the field of education while contributing new theories, models, and constructs for teaching and learning.

Why Earn Your Ed.D. at Rivier?

The field of education is increasingly complex—with social, cultural, economic and political influences at play. It needs leaders who are armed with professional experience as well as up-to-date knowledge of the forces that contribute to this ever-evolving field of study.

Advance your knowledge and your degree with this program that prepares leaders to generate policies, practices, and interventions. Backed by current research, this program will provide you with the skills you need to enhance your leadership in learning and teaching. Our doctoral program will equip leaders across a range of educational roles with knowledge of educational practices and policies shown to effectively improve students’ learning opportunities.

Program Overview

The Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Leadership and Learning is designed to enable students to complete coursework and examinations in three years, begin their dissertation advisement and research in the fourth year, and conduct and complete original research on a topic of local, regional, and national significance. The Ed.D. program is structured to allow students to engage in doctoral study in their current employment while developing their career goals, meeting their personal aspirations, and expanding their professional networks.

Designed for working professionals, the Ed.D in Leadership and Learning courses are held one Saturday per month or weekday evenings. In the cohort model, you will take a prescribed sequence of courses together as a group to form a learning community—benefitting from collaborative learning from other professionals in a variety of fields. Courses are offered in 7-week or 14-week terms. There are a total of six 7-week terms per year (two terms in each of the fall, spring, and summer semesters). 14-week terms are offered once per semester in the fall, spring, and summer.

Nursing Education Specialization

A specific variant on the Ed.D in Leadership and Learning, this program is designed for working professionals who hold a master’s degree in nursing, and who have an interest in learning, researching, and advancing their knowledge about leadership in teaching and learning, human growth and development, and the policies and practices that enhance learning.

My best experiences were the times spent with the members of my cohort—individuals from all different backgrounds with varied life and career experiences. We learned a great deal from one another and continue to keep in touch and support each other.

Serving Professionals in a Variety of Fields

Rivier’s Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) addresses the needs of professionals in many educational fields:

  • School administrators, principals, and superintendents
  • College and university faculty
  • Administrative and service professionals in colleges and universities
  • Corporate development and training personnel
  • Local, state, and federal policy leaders
  • Leaders responsible for spiritual formation in religious organizations
  • Nursing and allied health care providers
  • Counseling and mental health care professionals

Program Goals

The purpose of the Doctor of Education in Leadership and Learning at Rivier University is to extend the research on what is known about leadership and learning in the current context of education to educators, administrators, and other professionals in leadership and educational roles in the social sciences, applied fields of social service, and training and development within organizations, institutions, and systems. The program:

  • Extends the ongoing conversation about leadership and learning to many disciplines and fields of study in order to identify what is common in our knowledge, experience, and practices
  • Engages professionals from the counseling professions in the discussion of leadership, learning, and research
  • Enables professionals to contribute new theories, models, constructs for teaching and learning, interventions, and enlightened programs and services
  • Considers the social, political, cultural, technological, and economic influences in our homes, schools, and communities from a variety of perspectives and disciplines in order to understand the impact to our institutions, organizations, and services
  • Examines what is actually happening in the lives of others in order to begin a reform of our own approaches, practices, interventions, and services
  • Researches human growth and development, the acts of teaching and learning, and the nature of support, help and intervention across a variety of disciplines and professions in order to formulate an informed understanding of policy reforms
  • Allows Rivier University, with its heritage and mission, to provide a unique forum and perspective for a discussion of transformational leadership, learning, and research to improve the lives of others—especially the poor, the vulnerable, and those in need

Engage With Accomplished Faculty

Distinguished faculty from a variety of disciplines bring rich experience in leadership, strategic decision-making, educational policy, research design, data gathering and results analysis. Our faculty have backgrounds in the areas of scholarship, teaching, and service and focus curriculum on:

  • Human growth and development
  • Leadership, administration, and supervision
  • Teaching and learning theories, processes, and applications
  • Psychology, counseling, mental health, and social services
  • Cognitive and behavioral interventions and practices
  • Curriculum, pedagogy, and practices
  • Policy analysis, development, and implementation

Dr. Michael McCutcheon already had a distinguished career as a patrol sergeant when he entered the Ed.D. program. He earned his doctorate to become a professional educator and to his share knowledge with future generations of police officers. In addition to maintaining his full-time position on the Londonderry, NH, police force, he travels around the country providing hands-on forensics training to other law enforcement professionals, as well as college students. Earning his doctorate has opened doors to a second career, incorporating the work that he loves.


Office of Graduate and Professional Studies Admissions

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Extend the research on what is known about leadership and learning in the current context of education.