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Choosing the EdD Specialization That’s Right for You

Align your career goals with your passion for education.

If you seek to be an influential leader in the field of education, you may be inspired to push yourself to new levels with a Doctor of Education (EdD) degree. It’s an achievement that will provide you with the insights and strategies you need to make an impact that extends beyond the classroom. To make the most of your doctorate, you can align your EdD degree with your passion through a specialization designed to help you differentiate yourself and your expertise.

The first step in choosing a specialization that supports your aspirations and career goals is to understand the differences between them. Here are some of the specializations you can find in your search for quality EdD programs:

Choosing the EdD Specialization That’s Right for You

  • Community College Leadership: Further your success in the community college arena or in a higher education business and policy development role. This EdD specialization focuses on a number of aspects of community college leadership including academic transfer programs, remedial education, student development, and community service.
  • Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment: This specialization is designed to provide the strategies you need to impact student achievement as a curriculum expert. You can also acquire the critical-thinking and research skills needed to shape schools and school systems in order to meet students’ diverse needs.
  • Early Childhood Education: Earning an EdD degree with a specialization in Early Childhood Education (i.e., education spanning from prenatal development to age 8) helps prepare you to lead and advocate effectively within this dynamic landscape, fostering positive outcomes for young children and their families. You’ll explore the complex family, cultural, social, and socioeconomic influences that affect child development and learning. You’ll also examine the history, ethics, and interdisciplinary nature of the field.
  • Educational Administration and Leadership: If you’re an administrator and want to increase your ability to influence and transform your educational organization, this specialization is a great choice. It provides the skills and competencies to build a more sustainable, collaborative organization.
  • Educational Technology: Technology dramatically affects student learning, creating a need for educators who can develop technology-based solutions to the challenges of K–12 classrooms. You can also earn a post-master’s certificate through this program.
  • Higher Education and Adult Learning: Designed for professionals who wish to design, develop, and lead adult learning programs, this EdD specialization examines adult learning theories, program planning and assessment, engaging and motivating adult learners, and more.
  • Higher Education Leadership and Management: This Doctor of Education specialization is designed for those in higher education who wish to enter an administrative, leadership, or management position. The curriculum incorporates the latest research-based methods and best practices, allowing you to develop the leadership skills and management principles necessary to lead change across your institution.
  • Higher Education, Self-Designed: This customizable specialization allows educators to examine 21st-century higher education solutions, evaluate current education models, and determine how to maximize efficiency and productivity within higher education settings.
  • P-20 Education (Self-Designed) – This specialization allows you to personalize your education and focus on the topics you’re most passionate about. With a P-20 focus, you will be able to gain insights into issues that affect students from pre-school through undergraduate postsecondary education.
  • Reading, Literacy, and Assessment: Recognizing literacy as a driving force in effecting positive social change, this EdD specialization can prepare you to lead literacy initiatives that engage educators within professional development programs and learning communities. You’ll explore strategies that can improve outcomes across the educational system—from classroom instruction to program design to policy development.
  • Special Education: With nearly 6 million students nationwide in need of special education, there is a growing demand for educators qualified to work with them. This EdD specialization’s curriculum is informed by the Council for Exceptional Children’s Advanced Preparation Standards and focuses on key issues in the field of special education, such as leadership and policy, program development and assessment, and ethical practice.

Regardless of which specialization you choose, accreditation is a crucial mark of quality. Whether you choose a traditional path or decide to earn your degree through an online university, make sure it is accredited by one of the six regional accrediting associations recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. Going a step further, if the school you choose for your Doctor of Education program is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), you can be assured of the program’s quality.