EdD in Educational Leadership & Policy Studies

Specialization: Leadership in Early Childhood Education–Grade 12

The Doctor of Education (EdD) in Educational Leadership & Policy Studies, with a specialization in Leadership in Early Childhood Education–Grade 12, at BU Wheelock College of Education & Human Development, is designed for current early childhood through Grade 12 school and district leaders. Students admitted to the program will join a cohort of that includes organizational leadership peers, including superintendents, principals, assistant principals, department chairs, deans, program directors, and curriculum leaders.

Collaborative learning and fieldwork are at the heart of this program. Students apply their learning to practice through projects based in their home schools and districts. Students will work collaboratively to test, refine, and monitor innovative solutions to real problems, driving student, teacher, and leader growth in their own educational communities.

Program Requirements for the EdD in Educational Leadership & Policy Studies

The program of study for the EdD in Educational Leadership & Policy Studies, with a specialization in Leadership in Early Childhood Education–Grade 12, includes 14 core courses and a series of three Leadership Seminars entitled “Cultivating a Leadership Disposition.” Students will work in cross-district teams and benefit from credit-bearing dissertation support and job-embedded coaching. Coursework takes place in a two-week summer institute and on eight weekends throughout the academic year, with faculty who are current or former school and district practitioners.

By the second year of the program, student teams will have begun development and implementation of a major capstone collaborative project, grounded in problems of practice specific to their own schools and districts. Through this project, teams will address fundamental challenges in our schools, such as:

  • Developing and sustaining inclusive and collaborative governance structures for our schools and school systems, and cultures that reflect a “we/not I” ethos
  • Developing progress-monitoring tools aligned to PARCC/MCAS 2.0 for early intervention
  • Using technology to support learning in our classrooms
  • Aligning school and school system core values and goals with our policies, practices, and budgets
  • Preparing for and managing crises
  • Providing alternatives to special education in math and literacy
  • Integrating high-impact strategies for behavioral/social/emotional development and intervention
  • Developing and implementing effective communication strategies within our schools and school systems
  • Having difficult conversations with educators in need of improvement
  • Empowering district and school-based leadership teams to develop their own professional learning

Field Experience

Students are mentored and supported by peers from similar socioeconomic educational settings (public schools and districts, charter schools, private, and international schools). The program’s field director recruits and develops these student teams, and provides direct support as they seek to connect and apply course learning to the real world of their schools and school districts.


The program culminates in a dissertation of the practice, grounded in the specific problem of practice each student’s team chooses to address. Written individually, the dissertation will build upon the collective thinking and analysis essential to the project, and will use data from the student’s own community to create new knowledge and improve practice.

Visit the BU Bulletin for more information on the early childhood graduate program’s academic requirements.

Learning Outcomes for the EdD in Educational Leadership & Policy Studies

 Students who join our EdD in Educational Leadership & Policy Studies, with a specialization in Leadership in Early Childhood Education–Grade 12 will:

  • Learn to build strong collaborative and entrepreneurial cultures that feature formal, dynamic, and inclusive governance structures
  • Become proficient in recruiting, nurturing, supervising, and retaining high-quality colleagues
  • Acquire skills in performance-based instructional leadership
  •  Commit to the development of every student within an ethos and culture of equity
  • Work collaboratively to build strong relationships with all stakeholders
  • Use oral, written, and technology-based communication skills to keep their communities informed
  • Prepare for effective crisis management
  • Develop creative, high-level school finance skills
  • Understand the relationship between school and community, particularly in relation to the child within their context and issues of race, gender, language, and socioeconomic status

Program Faculty

Next Steps in the EdD in Educational Leadership & Policy Studies

Connect with BU Wheelock to learn more about our EdD in Educational Leadership & Policy Studies.

Contact Info

Faculty Contact Information: Dr. Bob Weintraub, rjtraub@bu.edu, 617-353-3519
Graduate Admissions Contact Information: whegrad@bu.edu, 617-353-4237