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Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership

The Higher Education Pathway

*This program is taught online

In partnership with Putnam | Northern Westchester BOCES, our Higher Education Leadership Pathway* to the EdD is designed for practicing and aspiring leaders seeking to further develop their skills to meet the challenges facing two-year, four-year, and graduate colleges and universities, and to help shape higher educational institutions in the future. The Manhattanville University higher education leadership concentration is the only program in the region that decisively addresses what higher education leaders need to know to navigate challenges and opportunities in today’s climate of change. 
This state-approved concentration is designed for those who already are working or want to work in higher education, whether at two-year colleges or four-year colleges and universities.  The six-course core curriculum provides the theoretical, conceptual, and practical knowledge needed for serving as a leader in a higher education environment. It also helps you to work effectively with faculty, staff, and students in addressing critical financial, economic, legal, political, and sociological components of higher education institutions.
Since the Higher Ed concentration was launched in 2016, doctoral students representing most institutions of higher learning from across the region have initiated their studies.

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Students delve into the history and administrative oversight of higher education, study key participants in higher education (faculty and students), and) and learn about financial and legal issues related to higher education. Students who complete this concentration will understand the landscape of higher education (e.g., political, economic, historical, social, and organizational) and have the theoretical and research foundation needed to participate more fully in communities of practice as engaged practitioner-scholars in higher education and other related fields. 

The doctoral program is organized around five themes:  

  • Developing self and others 
  • Facilitating responsive education programs 
  • Becoming a sophisticated practitioner-scholar  
  • Leading learning organizations  
  • Participating in professional and policy-making communities 

These five themes serve as a way of organizing the many experiences in the doctoral program into a meaningful conceptual whole, and are evident in students' ePortfolios.   Find additional details on each theme

The course of study for students enrolled in the Higher Education Leadership Pathway consists of 59 credits, usually completed over three years. Following is a typical course plan:

Year 1, Fall term: 

EDAD 8050 Leadership: Self Assessment & Self Management (3 credits) 

EDAD 8230 The College Student Experience (3 credits) 

Year 1, Winter term: 

EDAD 8181   Pro -seminar: Extended orientation (1 credit) 


Year 1, Spring term: 

EDAD 8210 The Administration of Colleges and Universities (3 credits) 

EDAD 8300   Professional and Scholarly Communication: Writing the Lit Review (3 credits) 

Year 1, Summer term: 

EDAD 8053   Introduction to Quantitative Research I (3 credits) 

EDAD 8200 The History of U.S. Higher Education (3 credits) 

EDAD 8170 Capstone1 Experience (1 -credit) 


Year 2, Fall term: 

EDAD 8057 Intro to Qualitative Research   (3 -credits) 

EDAD 8250 Legal Issues in Higher Education (3 credits) 


Year 2, Winter Term: OPTIONAL 

EDAD 8181 Pro -seminar: APA & Dissertation Formatting (1 credit, elective)  

Year 2, Spring term: 

EDAD 8220 The Professoriate (3 credits) 

Plus choice of one: 

EDAD 8055   Advanced Qualitative Research (3 credits) 

EDAD 8059    Advanced Quantitative Research (3 -credits) 

Year 2, Summer term: 

EDAD 8171 Capstone2 Experience (1 -credit) 

EDAD 8183   Dissertation Seminar (3 credits) 

EDAD 8240 Financing Higher Education (3 credits) 


Year 3: 

EDAD 8190   Dissertation Supervision (9-12 credits) 

Transfer courses or electives (9-12 credits):

EDAD 8030 Using Information Technologies in Leadership & Scholarship (3 credits) 

EDAD 8035 Theories of Social Capital (3 credits) 

EDAD 8052 Professional and Scholarly Communication (2 credits) 

EDAD 8054 Developing Human Resources and Teams (3 credits) 

EDAD 8051 Developing & Influencing Education Policy (3 credits) 

EDAD 8056 Leading Educational Change: Critical Issues (3 credits) 

EDAD 8058 Community Relations and Education (3 credits)  

EDAD 8152 Professional and Scholarly Communication 2 (2 credits) 

EDAD 8181 Dissertation Pro seminar (1 credit) *This course can be repeated for up to 3 credits 

EDAD 8182 Dissertation Pro -seminar (2 credits) 

EDAD 8195 Emerging Financial Issues in Education (3 credits) 

EDAD 8295 Emerging Legal Issues in Education (3 credits) 

EDAD 8895 Independent Study (1-3 credits) 

The Higher Education Leadership curriculum is designed for practicing and aspiring leaders seeking to further develop their skills to meet the varied challenges facing two-year, four-year and graduate institutions and communities today.

This degree offering aligns with Manhattanville University's mission “to educate students to become ethically and socially responsible leaders for the global community” by preparing change agents who can lead higher-education communities during challenging socio-political times.  

The 59-credit program of study is mapped over three years, with students drafting their dissertation proposal during the first two years, concurrent with coursework. In the third year, as students complete coursework, their focus shifts toward finishing their dissertation. For the Higher Education Leadership concentration, students must complete these six core courses (18 credits total): 

EDAD 8200 History of Higher Education 

This course explores the history of American higher education. Two primary themes are examined: 1) The changing relationship between higher education and the larger social, political, and economic order in which it resides. 2) The ways in which higher education has shaped, and been shaped by, this complex and historically contingent web of relationships. Students will develop a historically grounded conception of the institution, a deeper understanding of the key policies and policymakers that created it, and a richer map of the ways in which going to college has evolved (and stayed the same) over the last 400 years. 

EDAD 8210 The Administration of Colleges and Universities 

This course addresses the organizational, governmental, administrative, and financial underpinnings of colleges and universities in the United States. The course examines how colleges and universities emerged as one of the nation’s most respected societal institutions; why decisions are made, and by whom; what challenges confront institutions and organizations; and how colleges and universities can be made more effective and productive. Students learn about the core governance structures and processes of postsecondary education institutions, as well as classical and contemporary theories on higher- education governance. 

EDAD 8220 The Professoriate 

This course focuses on the structure of the American academic profession with particular attention concentrating on institutional and disciplinary differences among college and university faculty. Students will examine the teaching and research performance of college and university faculty as well as the various psychological, sociological, and organizational forces that shape the performance of these professional roles. Additional topics include the assessment of teaching and research activities of college and university faculty members. 

EDAD 8230 The College Student Experience   

In this course, students study the college student in contemporary society with a focus on characteristics of admitted and retained students, the impact of college on the student, student values, and peer-group influence. A theoretical and research-based understanding of this experience is fundamental to effective leadership and day-to-day practice at colleges and universities. 

EDAD 8240 Financing Higher Education 

This course provides an introduction to the economics and finance of higher education, presents an overview of federal and state policies related to the funding of colleges and universities, and provides an introduction to finance and budgeting issues at the institutional level. Current issues such as privatization, ratio analysis, and federal and institutional financial aid policies are also examined so that campus administrators are able to understand and appreciate issues of budgeting and finance. 

EDAD 8250 Legal Issues in Higher Education 

This course provides an overview of areas of law that are particularly relevant to higher education and the leadership of higher-education institutions. Students will be introduced to methods of legal analysis and decision-making so they can identify and anticipate legal problems as higher-education administrators.  Students will also learn to access court cases, regulations, and statutes to understand the legal relationships among these various sources of law.  

A student is officially a candidate for the doctoral degree once certain milestones have been achieved. These include completion of two-thirds of coursework, ePortfolio, and successful defense of ones dissertation proposal, among other requirements. A full description of advancing to candidacy can be found HERE.  

The ePortfolio is one of the requirements for students in the Higher Education Leadership Pathway to advance to candidacy. Students will begin developing their ePortfolio during the first academic year, using Digication, the college’s platform for portfolio development. In addition to the basic information below, students receive detailed instruction on how to use Digication during the first year of coursework. 

The Dissertation is the culminating product of the curriculum. Doctoral students graduate once they have completed a successful defense of their final dissertation. Students can apply for graduation three times a year (January, May, and August) with commencement taking place in May.  

Students apply for graduation through their Servicehub account.



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