Characterizing the Touchstones of Educational Leadership: An Analysis of Distinguished Applied Doctorate Programs
Academic Leadership - Online Journal,
Vol. 9 No. 4 (2008): Vol-9-Issue-4-April-2008
Doctorate programs in educational leadership have been criticized in recent years for failing to prepare
their graduates to effectively serve as instructional leaders in the nation’s schools. Criticisms have
included ambiguity of purpose and research foci, weak admission and graduation requirements,
irrelevant curriculum, and the lack of applied practice. The purpose of this study was to analyze specific
characteristics of thirteen highly ranked applied doctorate programs in educational leadership.
Findings revealed that touchstone doctorate programs display many of the features that have been
criticized, and that they are largely similar in structure and foci to lower ranked programs. (98 words)
“The more complex society gets, the more sophisticated leadership must become.” (Fullan, 2001, p.