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Where Do I Go for an Online PhD in Educational Leadership?

written by: BMeredith•edited by: Donna Cosmato•updated: 6/1/2010

This is the final part of a three part series on pursuing an online PhD in educational leadership. This is a combination of informational websites, personal observations, and general discussion designed to help the reader gather the necessary information to be successful in their doctoral pursuit.

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    Where to Pursue a Doctorate Degree in Educational Leadership

    There are, of course, a wealth of opportunities out there. It is a fact that ninety-five percent of the colleges and universities offer online learning, so the challenge will be how to narrow down the search. So, where to begin?

    First, finding which institutions offer specific online graduate programs is accomplished by finding search engines that will lead you to a collection of schools and their offerings. You have probably already seen pop-up adds for the University of Phoenix or Capella as well as countless others. One search place to start is ONLINE Graduate Schools. This website provides an alphabetical list of online universities offering doctorates in many different disciplines. From here you should select two or three to investigate. You will find several choices here with hyperlinks to their respective institutions. This will allow you the opportunity to research each of them. This writer encourages you to look at their course requirements as well as course room delivery (WebCT or Blackboard) because some schools might present some less than user-friendly platforms that will frustrate and create unnecessary stress.

    Next, before making a final decision there are specific websites where you can check on the accreditation of the school including The Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs. Here you can type in the name and city of the school in question, and the site will tell you not only its accreditation status but will explain in detail what it means. Accreditation is vital for those pursuing a license from a specific state or entity. Once accreditation is established, it is simply a matter of contacting the specific state entity to verify its status with the state. It is important that you understand that this is your responsibility and not the institutions' as they are held harmless in this process.

    The final step is the decision itself. As stated earlier, finding several schools to choose from and making the necessary inquiries concerning accreditation and licensure where applicable are of the utmost importance. However, the final piece is the cost itself. In comparison to most master's degrees, the cost of a doctorate can range between 38 and 48 thousand dollars. Make sure that tuition costs are explicitly understood, and take the opportunity to talk directly to the financial aid departments of your chosen schools. Much of what you do will be formatted and filled out online, but a simple phone call to find out what is available will go a long way in helping you understand this sometimes confusing process. If you are being charged by the class, you will find other places that charge by the session. The difference can be important from a financial standpoint. For instance, at Capella University, the tuition is roughly $4,100 per session regardless of how many classes you take. The normal load is two classes, but, whether you take one two or three, the cost is the same. It is important to compare this information when in the midst of a final decision.

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    Conclusion

    So, there it is. A wealth of information about pursuing an online PhD in Educational Leadership is always right there at your fingertips. The web and the information glut it has created has now made it more convenient than ever to do a wealth of study before making a decision. There is probably nothing here that you would not have figured out on your own. However, moving forward in any endeavor means gathering as much information and as many opinions as possible. The better the work and the information, the better the chances for a successful outcome.

    Thomas L. Friedman writes in his book The World Is Flat that technology has moved us towards greater globalization through technology. A large part of this will be the continued advancement of online learning environments and their place in an ever-evolving educational environment. Pursuit of any degree at this level requires careful study, intentional planning, and a commitment to the goals and objectives you set for yourself. Gee, that almost sounds like the traditional school I attended back in...well, let's just skip that for now. I hope this series of articles on pursuing a doctorate degree online in educational leadership helps, and my best wishes on your future endeavors.