Students in the Global Executive EdD program must be able to communicate effectively and dynamically with peers and faculty through online video-conferencing. Although innovative and effective, it may limit support for non-verbal cues, such as gestures and facial expressions. However, through technology and world-renowned faculty, students complete the program well equipped to succeed in a fast-paced and technology driven world.

The curriculum equips students to:

  • Understand global trends and the implications of those trends for their work
  • Utilize evidence and theory-based approaches in problem solving
  • Use complex data effectively in decision-making
  • Develop, understand and assess educational policy

The program is designed to increase students’ capacity to:

  • Understand the context in which educational systems operate, including:

    • How systems define the purposes of education
    • How education systems have historically functioned and
    • The trends shaping educational policy and practice around the world
  • Measure where an educational institution or system is and where it needs to be by:

    • Asking the right questions about performance
    • Knowing how to measure organizational and educational effectiveness
  • Utilize a deep understanding of how people of all ages learn, meaning:

    • The research-based, technical aspects of learning
    • The application of that research to managing organizations and
    • The consequences of policy on learning outcomes
  • Mobilize human, fiscal, physical and technological resources to facilitate change


The curriculum is comprised of three concurrent streams along with the dissertation project, each of which focuses on a critical aspect of educational leadership. The streams are:

Fostering creativity and innovation in decision-making

The ability to employ data and information effectively is the hallmark of a successful leader. This course sequence enables students to:

  • Refine fundamental decision-making skills
  • Understand elements of creativity and innovation
  • Think critically about the interaction between decision-making, organizational culture and outcomes

Problem solving

Diagnosing and solving performance problems for individuals, groups, and organizations are essential leadership skills. This course sequence:

  • Establishes a foundation for problem solving through an overview of contemporary perspectives on learning and motivation; and
  • An understanding of the tools needed for identifying, diagnosing, and solving learning and motivational challenges.

Policy making, analysis and implementation

High-level leaders need a strong basis for developing, understanding, implementing and assessing educational policy at a system level. By identifying a problem and following it through the stages of the policy process, this sequence of courses:

  • Develops students’ abilities to anticipate and assess global trends and innovations,
  • Harness resources to implement policy, and
  • Utilize data to assess policy impact at the institutional, system, national and multi-national (global) levels.

This sequence of courses utilizes an evolving case study linked to the Dissertation of Practice as a means of tracking the policy process and developing research-based policy recommendations

Dissertation of Practice

Students are expected to complete the dissertation during the 25 months of the program. Building on the foundation established by coursework, all students complete a Dissertation of Practice, which researches, diagnoses, and develops recommendations for a field-based educational problem. The problem may be one the student brings from his or her region, or may be one provided by one of the program’s partner organizations.

The Dissertation of Practice results in an original and unique work of scholarship from each student, which must address an essential aspect of the topic and apply research and scholarship to clarify or solve a problem. The Dissertation of Practice is closely integrated into the coursework throughout the program to streamline completion of the degree.

The Dissertation of Practice is very deeply integrated into the curriculum and a student’s timely completion of the degree is contingent on participating in the thematic dissertation groups that are a hallmark of the program. These groups bring together a small number of students working on closely-related topics, or utilizing a common methodological approach. In this way, students benefit from a highly collaborative environment while still completing their own, individual dissertation. The program will make every effort to design these themes in such a way as to accommodate the broadest possible range of interests within the student cohort, and to place students in the group of their choice. The efficiency and supportive nature of this approach may, however, limit the range of potential dissertation topics in the interest of maximizing collaboration and integration of the research process into the rest of the curriculum.