2018-2019 Catalog

Publication date June 2018

Student Affairs Administration and Leadership - Doctor of Education


To prepare student affairs professionals for advanced leadership positions in institutions of higher education


  1. Knowledge: To develop competent and expert SA professionals;
  2. Management and Leadership: To develop innovative SA managers and leaders;
  3. Assessment, Evaluation and Research: To develop scholar practitioners who advance research-informed decision making;
  4. Equity, Diversity and Inclusion: To develop ambassadors of diversity, social justice, and globalization;
  5. Interpersonal Relationships: To develop ethical and people-focused leaders;

Learning Outcomes

  1. Through knowledge acquired in this program, graduates will be able to:
    1. Demonstrate mastery of student affairs and higher education content;
    2. Synthesize information from a range of sources to analyze issues and apply solutions to professional practice.
  2. Through management and leadership skills acquired in this program, graduates will be able to:
    1. Develop a vision for a division, considering complexities of institutional culture and resources;
    2. Effectively justify decisions, judgments and recommendations, weighing competing evidence and making connections to the values and beliefs of the institution.
  3. Through assessment, evaluation and research skills acquired in this program, graduates will be able to:
    1. Use assessment, evaluation and research methods to inform practice;
    2. Defend data informed decision making in professional practice.
  4. Through an understanding of equity, diversity and inclusion skills acquired in this program, graduates will be able to:
    1. Challenge the manifestations of privilege and assess implications for practice;
    2. Examine the diversity of students and colleagues within social and cultural context in which they live.
  5. Through the development of exceptional interpersonal relationship skills acquired in this program, graduates will be able to:
    1. Demonstrate respectful collaboration while seeking alternate points of view;
    2. Defend practices that promote the worth, dignity, potential, and uniqueness of each person.


Admission to the Doctor in Education in Student Affairs Administration and Leadership Program is competitive and requires:

  1. A master's degree in student affairs, higher education, or related field;
  2. A minimum of three years professional experience in a post-secondary educational institution;
  3. Current employment in a student affairs related professional position in a post-secondary educational institution or related setting with the expectation of continuing that employment while in the SAA Ed.D. Program;
  4. An application essay in response to a prompt provided by the SAA Department;
  5. A professional resume or vitae;
  6. The names and contact information of three professional references;
  7. Official transcripts of all post-secondary work.

Candidates may be asked to submit additional application materials and/or participate in an interview process.


54 credits

SAA 80021st Century Learners3
SAA 805Organization and Governance3
SAA 808Enrollment Management3
SAA 810Philosophical and Theoretical Foundations of Leadership in Education3
SAA 820Critical Analysis of Systemic Inequities: Challenges of Social Justice3
SAA 825Finance and Budgeting3
SAA 830Qualitative Research Methods3
SAA 835Assessment and Program Evaluation3
SAA 840Supervision and Human Resource Management3
SAA 845Quantitative Research Methods3
SAA 855Specialized Study3
SAA 865Strategic Planning and Managing Change3
SAA 870Policy and Regulatory Compliance3
SAA 875Organizational Communication3
SAA 930Dissertation Planning Workshop 12-3
SAA 950Dissertation Seminar3
SAA 990Dissertation I3
SAA 995Dissertation II3
Total Credits54

Graduate degree requirements

After being admitted to the program of one's choice, candidates for a graduate degree must:

  1. Complete any preliminary course work and deficiencies.
  2. Complete all courses and other program requirements, including residence requirements prescribed for the degree desired in the respective school or college within a seven-year period from the date of initial enrollment.
  3. Earn a minimum of 30 credits for a master's degree; 54 credits for a doctorate or post-master's degree. Earn at least one-half of the minimum number of credits required in the program in graduate-only level courses (700, 800, 900, and non-slash 600 level courses).
  4. Earn a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.00.
  5. Satisfy dissertation, thesis, seminar paper, terminal/graduate projects and internships, or comprehensive examination, where applicable. A dissertation or thesis approved by the committee must be submitted to the Director of Graduate Studies for approval at least two weeks before commencement. Ordinarily, a seminar paper or project report does not have to be approved by the Director of Graduate Studies. However, if the seminar paper or project report is to be archived in Murphy Library, the student must follow the same rules as they apply to the dissertation/thesis requiring approval from the Director of Graduate Studies. For further research/dissertation/thesis guidelines, see the Office of Graduate Studies.
  6. File a completed "Intent to Graduate" form online via the WINGS Student Center immediately following registration for the final semester or summer term in residence. December graduates and winter intersession should file by May 1. May and summer graduates should file by December 1.
  7. Pay the graduation fee and remove all other indebtedness to the university. Payment of graduation fees does not imply readiness for graduation and does not take the place of applying for graduation.
  8. Complete all requirements within 30 days after the official ending date of a term in order for a degree to be awarded for that term. (See #5 above for separate deadline for written capstone experience.)
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