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Explore our Reading, Literacy, and Assessment specialization

Literacy is a driving force in effecting positive student learning and broader social change. The Reading, Literacy, and Assessment specialization is for educators who wish to influence growth in reading and literacy and gain expertise in the latest research and best practices in reading, literacy, curriculum design and instruction, teacher professional development, and program evaluation and assessment.

In this EdD specialization, you will develop skills and strategies that can improve reading and curriculum outcomes across the educational spectrum, including classroom instruction, program design, and policy implementation. Explore sociopolitical, cultural, and economic influences on literacy, curriculum, assessment, and instruction for diverse learners; changing definitions of literacy; best practices in literacy; and program design and evaluation. This specialization is designed for classroom teachers, lead teachers, reading specialists, literacy coaches, department chairs, curriculum specialists, and any instructor who wants a deeper understanding of reading and literacy practices.

PROGRAM SAVINGS

Receive your first course at no cost if you reside in the U.S. and start this program on November 30, 2020. Contact one of our enrollment specialists to learn more.

Get Started Now

Curriculum

Minimum Degree Requirements

  • 79 quarter credits*
  • 1 face-to-face residency
  • Doctoral Writing Assessment (0 cr.)


To satisfy these completion requirements, you must have access to a group of students in a formal learning environment.

Walden students have up to 8 years to complete their doctoral program unless they petition for an extension.

In general, students are continuously registered in the dissertation/doctoral study course until they complete their capstone project and it is approved. This usually takes longer than the minimum required terms in the dissertation/doctoral study course shell.

To complete a doctoral dissertation/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/doctoral study process in the Dissertation Guidebook.

This sequence represents the minimum time to completion. For a personalized estimate of the number of your transfer credits that Walden would accept, call an Enrollment Specialist at 855-646-5286.

Courses

Course Code Title Credits

FOUNDATION COURSE

Choose one course from the following two courses:

EDDD 8002

Leading the Future of Education

As an advanced graduate student, you are about to embark on one of the most exciting journeys of your life. This practical course provides meaningful skills you will need to select your path, complete your degree, and become a successful leader of educational change in the 21st century. Networking and research skills, scholarly writing, critical thinking, use of Walden resources, and the three advanced graduate paths (e.g., PhD, EdD, EdS)—this course addresses all of these in a manner that provides a solid foundation of skill sets upon which to base your journey. You will find a balance of assignments (e.g., case studies, discussions, application assignments) that will ignite your passion for learning, allow you to collaborate with others, and guide your current and future work. This course is designed to reflect Walden's social change mission and provide you with meaningful tools for success as an advanced graduate student.

(5 cr.)
EDDD 8006

Leading the Future of Education

As an advanced graduate student, you are about to embark on one of the most exciting journeys of your life. This practical course provides meaningful skills you will need to select your path, complete your degree, and become a successful leader of educational change in the 21st century. Networking and research skills, scholarly writing, critical thinking, use of Walden resources, and the three advanced graduate paths (e.g., PhD, EdD, EdS)—this course addresses all of these in a manner that provides a solid foundation of skill sets upon which to base your journey. You will find a balance of assignments (e.g., case studies, discussions, application assignments) that will ignite your passion for learning, allow you to collaborate with others, and guide your current and future work. This course is designed to reflect Walden's social change mission and provide you with meaningful tools for success as an advanced graduate student.

(5 cr.)

CORE COURSES

EDDD 8060

Issues and Trends in Reading and Literacy

Literacy may be understood in multiple ways across various settings and populations. In this course, a foundation will be laid for educators to define literacy based on historical and contemporary perspectives, the sociopolitical landscape, the influence of social media and technological innovation, and influences coming from national, state, local, and Common Core standards. Educators will examine ways to overcome barriers to student literacy learning and develop techniques to improve communication and increase community and family involvement. Based on what they learn in this course and drawing on professional reading and curriculum standards, education professionals will develop a plan to gain stakeholder support for the improvement of curriculum and literacy programming at the systems level.

(5 cr.)
EDDD 8101

Learner-Centered Curriculum

Designing curricula with rigor, relevance, and results requires broad understanding of the key concepts behind each of these attributes and a clear focus on how best to maximize the learning and potential of PreK–12 learners. In this course, education professionals examine what it means to design a learner-centered curriculum that enhances student engagement and involvement, provides a transformative experience for students, and creates conditions that facilitate deep learning. Education professionals examine the alignment of content standards and design models as well as the role of collaboration and community building, power sharing to foster learner autonomy, problem solving, material that is socially relevant, and ongoing assessment to meet the needs of an increasingly diverse student population. Authentic case-study scenarios provide opportunities for educators to see curriculum design in practice, use existing data to redesign and adapt curriculum, and create learning spaces that accommodate multiple learning needs.

(5 cr.)
RSCH 8110

Research Theory, Design, and Methods

In this research course, students are provided with core knowledge and skills for understanding, analyzing, and designing research at the graduate level. Students explore the philosophy of science, the role of theory, and research processes. Quantitative, qualitative, and mixed-methods research designs and data collection methods are introduced. The alignment of research components is emphasized. Students also explore ethical and social change implications of designing and conducting research. Students demonstrate their knowledge and skills by developing an annotated bibliography. (Prerequisite(s): RESI 8401.)

(5 cr.)
EDDD 8113

Tools for Doctoral Research Success

Education professionals seeking the Doctor of Education (EdD) degree are required to make an original contribution to the field of education. The purpose of this course is to help educators begin that process by introducing them to the steps for developing the components of the dissertation—its timeline and available resources. Education professionals examine and analyze selected research to identify questions addressing a specific gap in the existing research literature, the framework and methodology, and other key components necessary to create scholarly research. They also explore resources such as the Writing Center and library, as well as specific tools they can use to complete the dissertation.

(3 cr.)
EDDD 8102

Promoting the Success of Diverse Learners

Student diversity comes in many different forms (e.g., linguistic, cultural, socioeconomic, academic, emotional, aesthetic), and effective educators have the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to value the richness this diversity brings and enhance learning in their education setting. By applying strategies and evaluating programs and initiatives to meet the diverse needs of all learners, educators can demonstrate an awareness of students' prior learning, language, culture, family, and community values to improve teaching and learning. Through real-world scenarios and applications, educators will assess strategies for promoting equitable access to high-quality learning experiences while recognizing their own personal beliefs and biases. Education professionals will also explore current and effective practices for working with diverse learners and providing productive learning environments for all students. Through the use of appropriate materials and technologies, educators will evaluate curriculum, instruction, and assessment, promoting learning for all students. 

(5 cr.)
RSCH 8210

Quantitative Reasoning and Analysis

In this research course, students are provided with the opportunity to develop core knowledge and skills for designing and carrying out quantitative research at the doctoral level, including the application of statistical concepts and techniques. Students explore classical common statistical tests, the importance of the logic of inference, and social change implications of conducting quantitative research and producing knowledge. Students approach statistics from a problem-solving perspective with emphasis on selecting appropriate statistical tests for a research design. Students use statistical software to derive statistics from quantitative data and interpret and present results. (Prerequisite(s): RSCH 8110 or RSCH 7110 or RSCH 6110, and RESI 8401.)

(5 cr.)
EDDD 8061

Assessment and Data Analysis to Support Effective Literacy Programs

Designing literacy programs that effectively promote and support high levels of literacy proficiency requires the use of data that accurately describe the status of student, teacher, and school performance. Education professionals in this course can examine a variety of assessment tools and validity issues for addressing individual and classroom needs as well as district and state mandates. Topics include a focus on data analysis for tiered intervention decision making and the interpretation of data to drive recommendations at a systemic level. Educators will develop skills to facilitate collaboration and stakeholder inclusion.

(5 cr.)
EDDD 8062

Collaborative Approach to Literacy Across the Content Areas

Making academic content accessible and comprehensible for all learners requires specific strategies PreK–12 teachers need to know and be able to demonstrate. By focusing on academic language, content acquisition, and the appropriate use of technology, education professionals add to their repertoire of strategies to meet content standards for all students, including those with diverse needs, learning styles, and abilities. Education professionals can plan ways to collaborate and share knowledge with other educators within their professional setting and review and evaluate research to inform effective practices. Through this course, educators also address ways to develop programs that integrate both content and literacy objectives to better enhance the development of all learners throughout the content areas.

(5 cr.)
RSCH 8310

Qualitative Reasoning and Analysis

Students in this research course are provided with the opportunity to develop basic knowledge and skills for conducting qualitative research at the doctoral level. Students explore the nature of qualitative inquiry, how theory and theoretical and conceptual frameworks uniquely apply to qualitative research, data collection procedures and analysis strategy, and how the role of the researcher is expressed in the ethical and rigorous conduct of qualitative research. Students practice collecting, organizing, analyzing, and presenting data, and they develop a detailed research topic for conducting a qualitative study. (Prerequisite(s): RSCH 8110 or RSCH 7110 or RSCH 6110, and RESI 8401.)

(5 cr.)
EDDD 8114

Demystifying Doctoral Writing for Research

Education professionals expand their knowledge of the dissertation process by reviewing tools, resources, and sample dissertations as they focus on the alignment among the identified problem, purpose, framework, research question(s), and study design. Education professionals use tools, including the appropriate rubrics and checklists, to narrow the focus of their research topic, plan a comprehensive literature review, and begin to develop their prospectus.

(3 cr.)
EDDD 8106

Program Evaluation for Continuous Improvement

Effective educational leaders must have the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to evaluate programs and make data-driven decisions to promote continuous improvement for all learners. In this course, education professionals use available data points and tools to evaluate the design, implementation, and program outcomes to determine a program's impact on the learner, family, and community. The results of the program evaluation may lead educational professionals to develop action plans that include the development of community outreach programs, grants, legislation/policy reform, professional development plans, or technology solutions. In this course, education professionals determine whether to recommend an improvement plan on an existing program or propose a new program or initiative.

(5 cr.)
EDDD 8910

Completing the Prospectus

Nearly all doctoral-level programs require capstone projects that necessitate knowledge of conducting research, including how to develop an appropriate research plan. In this course, educators utilize knowledge from previous courses to develop their prospectus—a brief document that provides preliminary information about their capstone research to serve as a plan for developing the research proposal. They engage in a logical progression from topic conception to prospectus completion. They learn how to take their individualized topic and identify the research problem, purpose of their study, conceptual framework, and appropriate research design, while also examining the concepts of feasibility and overall alignment of study components. Educators will practice evaluating their work using the same guides and rubrics used by faculty.

(3 cr.)
EDDD 8990

Completing the Doctoral Capstone

Nearly all doctoral-level programs require capstone projects that necessitate independent application of requisite knowledge on conducting research based on close interaction with, guidance from, and supervision by an institution-approved committee. Students in each EdD program specialization are supported in the completion of their doctoral capstone in this course. The EdD doctoral study process is composed of several stages and requires levels of approval—prospectus, proposal, IRB, final study, form and style, and chief academic officer (CAO). Students develop and support a doctoral-level research problem and review related literature to develop a framework for the study. They learn how to move from a research problem to the purpose of the study, the framework, and then an appropriate design while examining the concepts of feasibility and overall alignment of study components. Students consider ethical feasibility issues as related to their capstone development and proceed to data collection and analysis. They finalize the capstone with an oral defense, appropriately presenting results and outcomes of the research, as well as implications for positive social change.Students take this course for a minimum of four quarters and are continuously enrolled until completion of their dissertation with final chief academic officer (CAO) approval.To complete a dissertation, 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.

(5 cr. per term for a minimum of 4 quarters until completion)
EDDD 8990

Completing the Doctoral Capstone

Nearly all doctoral-level programs require capstone projects that necessitate independent application of requisite knowledge on conducting research based on close interaction with, guidance from, and supervision by an institution-approved committee. Students in each EdD program specialization are supported in the completion of their doctoral capstone in this course. The EdD doctoral study process is composed of several stages and requires levels of approval—prospectus, proposal, IRB, final study, form and style, and chief academic officer (CAO). Students develop and support a doctoral-level research problem and review related literature to develop a framework for the study. They learn how to move from a research problem to the purpose of the study, the framework, and then an appropriate design while examining the concepts of feasibility and overall alignment of study components. Students consider ethical feasibility issues as related to their capstone development and proceed to data collection and analysis. They finalize the capstone with an oral defense, appropriately presenting results and outcomes of the research, as well as implications for positive social change.Students take this course for a minimum of four quarters and are continuously enrolled until completion of their dissertation with final chief academic officer (CAO) approval.To complete a dissertation, 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.

(5 cr. per term for a minimum of 4 quarters until completion)
EDDD 8990

Completing the Doctoral Capstone

Nearly all doctoral-level programs require capstone projects that necessitate independent application of requisite knowledge on conducting research based on close interaction with, guidance from, and supervision by an institution-approved committee. Students in each EdD program specialization are supported in the completion of their doctoral capstone in this course. The EdD doctoral study process is composed of several stages and requires levels of approval—prospectus, proposal, IRB, final study, form and style, and chief academic officer (CAO). Students develop and support a doctoral-level research problem and review related literature to develop a framework for the study. They learn how to move from a research problem to the purpose of the study, the framework, and then an appropriate design while examining the concepts of feasibility and overall alignment of study components. Students consider ethical feasibility issues as related to their capstone development and proceed to data collection and analysis. They finalize the capstone with an oral defense, appropriately presenting results and outcomes of the research, as well as implications for positive social change.Students take this course for a minimum of four quarters and are continuously enrolled until completion of their dissertation with final chief academic officer (CAO) approval.To complete a dissertation, 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.

(5 cr. per term for a minimum of 4 quarters until completion)
EDDD 8990

Completing the Doctoral Capstone

Nearly all doctoral-level programs require capstone projects that necessitate independent application of requisite knowledge on conducting research based on close interaction with, guidance from, and supervision by an institution-approved committee. Students in each EdD program specialization are supported in the completion of their doctoral capstone in this course. The EdD doctoral study process is composed of several stages and requires levels of approval—prospectus, proposal, IRB, final study, form and style, and chief academic officer (CAO). Students develop and support a doctoral-level research problem and review related literature to develop a framework for the study. They learn how to move from a research problem to the purpose of the study, the framework, and then an appropriate design while examining the concepts of feasibility and overall alignment of study components. Students consider ethical feasibility issues as related to their capstone development and proceed to data collection and analysis. They finalize the capstone with an oral defense, appropriately presenting results and outcomes of the research, as well as implications for positive social change.Students take this course for a minimum of four quarters and are continuously enrolled until completion of their dissertation with final chief academic officer (CAO) approval.To complete a dissertation, 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.

(5 cr. per term for a minimum of 4 quarters until completion)

DOCTORAL WRITING ASSESSMENT

DRWA 8880

Doctoral Writing Assessment

This course is part of Walden's commitment to help prepare students to meet the university's expectations for writing in courses at the doctoral level. In this course, students write a short academic essay that will be scored by a team of writing assessors. Based on the essay score, students will complete or be exempted from additional required writing support needed to meet writing proficiency standards. This required assessment course is free. Students will be enrolled automatically in it at the beginning of their doctoral program.

(0 cr.)
VIEW ALL COURSES Less Courses

Note: Time to completion and cost are not estimates of individual experience and will vary based on individual factors applicable to the student. Factors may be programmatic or academic, such as tuition and fee increases; transfer credits accepted by Walden; program or specialization changes; unsuccessful course completion; credit load per term; part-time vs. full-time enrollment; writing, research, and editing skills; use of external data for the doctoral study/dissertation; and individual progress in the program. Other factors may include personal issues such as the student’s employment obligations, caregiving responsibilities, or health issues; leaves of absence; or other personal circumstances.

Tuition and Fees

CurriculuM Requirements Cost Total *
Tuition-Coursework - Flat Rate Courses:  3 courses $1,210 each $3,630^
Tuition-Course Work - Per Credit Courses:  50 quarter credits $605 per credit coursework and dissertation/doctoral study credits $30,250^
Tuition - Dissertation/Doctoral Study:  20–125 quarter credits  $605 per quarter hour for dissertation/doctoral study credits $12,100–$75,625*
Technology Fee $160 per quarter $1,750–$5,120*
Residency Fee One Residency $1,175 each (virtual)
$1,275 each (in-person: travel, lodging and other expenses are additional)
$1,175–$1,275
Estimated Range:     2.75-Year 8-Year
 
$48,905
$115,900*+
(assuming completion in a 2.75-year time frame) (assuming completion in an 8-year time frame)

These are ranges of what a student can expect in terms of time and tuition cost to complete a degree. It does not include other fees, nor is it adjusted for tuition increases over time. Walden faculty has concluded that generally students who do not complete their program in eight years are unlikely to complete and only allow students to exceed that time frame when a student petitions for an extension and provides good reason for the delay and assurances that obstacles to completion can be overcome. Time is calculated using the time allowed for each semester or unit that the student completes. Students are encouraged to work continuously during the program so as not to extend the time needed to complete the degree as work can become stale and students lose focus. Students who earn two grades of “Unsatisfactory,” who repeatedly drop a course before a semester or unit has been completed, or are unable to complete in the eight year time frame, should expect that they may be dismissed from the program. Walden believes that it is in the best interest of a student who is unable to complete the degree in the stated ranges to strongly consider withdrawal or obtaining a lesser degree.

Time to completion and cost are not estimates of individual experience and will vary based on individual factors applicable to the student. Factors may be programmatic or academic such as tuition and fee increases and/or the student’s transfer credits accepted by Walden; program or specialization changes; unsuccessful course completion; credit load per term; writing, research and editing skills; use of external data for their doctoral study/dissertation; and/or individual progress in the program. Other factors may include personal issues such as the student’s employment obligations; care giving responsibilities or health issues; part-time vs. full-time enrollment; leaves of absence; and/or other personal circumstances.

Tuition and fees are subject to change. Books and materials are not included. Students may incur additional costs for remedial writing assistance, if necessary.

† Based on a 2.75-year minimum completion requirement and an 8-year maximum timeframe as outlined in Walden academic policy.

^This assumes students successfully complete their coursework on the first attempt.

*Tuition and fees will be higher if students petition to extend the 8-year maximum timeframe or choose to take more expensive elective courses.

+Tuition and time to complete may be reduced if transfer credits are accepted, or if you receive grants, scholarships or other tuition discounts. For a personalized estimate of the number of your transfer credits that Walden would accept, call an Enrollment Specialist at 855-979-6580.

FINANCIAL AID

Many Walden degree-seeking students—67%—receive some form of financial aid.* Create a customized plan that makes sense for you.

*Source: Walden University’s Office of Financial Aid. Data reports as of 2018.

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PROGRAM SAVINGS

Receive your first course at no cost if you reside in the U.S. and start this program on November 30, 2020. Contact one of our enrollment specialists to learn more.

Get Started Now

Admission Requirements

To be considered for this doctoral program, you must have a master’s degree from an accredited college or university and meet the general admissions requirements. All applicants must submit a completed online application and transcripts. Depending on program specialization, additional requirements may apply. More information for international applicants.

Learning Outcomes

As a graduate of this program, you will be prepared to:

  • Analyze the components of reading curriculum in the 21st century including influences from the sociopolitical landscape, social media, technological innovations, family and community involvement, and influences from applicable education standards.
  • Improve literacy curriculum and programming with stakeholder support at the systems level by drawing on professional reading and curriculum standards.
  • Analyze the challenges faced in improving teaching and learning in literacy curriculum across all content areas, including prior student learning, language, culture, family, and community values.
  • Evaluate literacy curriculum based on information about literacy assessments used at the national, state, and local levels.
  • Develop literacy programs that enhance student learning and support professional development for teachers.
  • Integrate concepts of positive social change in leadership, assessment, professional development, literacy curriculum, and literacy instruction activities.
  • Practice ethically in the profession.
  • Design research to address educational problems and contribute to the profession.

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