Ed.D. Doctoral Research Overview

The Sage Colleges’ program leading to the doctorate in Educational Leadership requires each doctoral candidate to develop as a researcher, both individually and as a member of a research team. As members of a collaborative research team, the candidates conceptualize and conduct a research that critically and comprehensively examines a problem of practice (POP), makes a contribution to the field and to the specific district or organization(s) involved, addresses the Sage conceptual framework, and advances professional knowledge and skill.  Doctoral research problems are selected by the program faculty in consultation with the leadership of the partnership educational organizations, executive coaches and the Director of Research.

The doctoral research experience serves two important and related purposes:

  • Each candidate develops and demonstrates a set of research skills appropriate for the awarding of an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership and
  • Field leaders gain valuable information and insight about  a current problem of practice through the efforts of the individual Sage doctoral candidate research and benefit from a more comprehensive study presented by the doctoral research team.

Doctoral candidates are given the opportunity to express interest in one or more of the selected research problems of practice prior to the identification of doctoral research teams.

Once assigned to a doctoral research problem, team members collaboratively develop a plan for the overall research effort.  In that plan the specific research to be conducted by each team member is explicitly identified. After the successful individual defenses occur, research teams present their research at a colloquium of faculty, executive coaches and invited school district and state policy leaders. Subsequent publication and presentations are also encouraged.

 The annual Research Colloquium is the culminating activity in the EdD program.   In this way, the Sage doctoral candidates fulfill the individual and team research requirements for the Ed.D. in Educational Leadership and contribute in a significant way to the field as well as the more general literature on educational leadership. The Research Colloquium supports the Sage model of school district- university cooperation in leadership development and research.