UT Tyler School of Education

Doctor of Education in School Improvement - Online

The UT Tyler Ed.D. in School Improvement will provide Texas educators the option to complete an online doctoral program that is a unique opportunity for educators to develop a deep understanding of change theory, foundations of school improvement, and issues of diversity. The program will facilitate the transfer of theoretical constructs and understanding to practice.  

Our primary method of delivery is in an online environment. Students will be required to attend an annual summer face-to-face seminar where they will have the opportunity to collaborate with their classmates and the Ed.D. faculty.

The goals of the Ed.D. in School Improvement are to:

  • Produce the next generation of educators who understand the philosophical and historical perspectives of school reform, diversity, learning opportunities for all, and can address educational issues using a variety of strategies. 
  • Develop critical reasoning and a deep understanding of improvement science and change theories to address challenges in school improvement contexts. This will include the skills to provide transformative leadership to schools that are failing, at risk of failing or are seeking ways to continuously improve to meet academic, social, and emotional standards.
  • Provide opportunities to develop doctoral students’ ability to approach challenges in innovative data-driven ways, including the use of interdisciplinary teams, as well as expand their problem solving, creative design, communication, and collaboration skills.
  • Conduct research of practice and responsiveness to improve teaching and learning experiences, counseling and support services, school leadership, educational organizations and structures, and all other educational disciplines.

Program Cost:

Based on the 2020-2021 tuition schedule for Texas residents, the total cost of the program is approximately $30,570. Once a student has completed the required 60 hours, including 12 hours of dissertation, the student must continue to enroll in 1 credit of dissertation until he/she completes the program. At this point, 1 doctoral credit (online) is about $988.

Degree Requirements:

All students must complete a total of 60 doctoral-level credits in the following component areas:

School Improvement Major - 30 hours
Research and Statistics - 15 hours
Dissertation in Practice - 12 hours
Summer Residency - 3 hours

A student may transfer a maximum of 12 semester hours of graduate credit in which a grade of "B" or better has been earned from approved institutions. Transfer credit must be approved by the Ed.D. Program Directors. Transfer credit cannot be approved unless an official transcript of all transfer work is on file in the Office of Graduate Studies. Transfer credit should be evaluated and approved prior to the completion of the degree plan.

Application Deadline:

The next available cohort start term is fall 2022.  The application for this cohort will be available August 1, 2021.

Completed applications, including the written prompt response, received by Tuesday, March 1, 2022 are guaranteed to be reviewed and considered by the admissions committee. There is no guarantee that applications submitted after the priority admission deadline will be reviewed. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed by the committee.

The committee will select and invite applicants to final interviews by March 15, 2022.

Interviews will take place the week of March 21, 2022.

Admission decisions will be made and communicated to the students by April 1, 2022.  

Students must commit to attend the face-to-face Ed.D. summer workshop to be eligible to enroll in the Fall 2022 cohort.  The dates of the workshop are to be determined.  Students who are not able to attend the workshop will be required to apply for the Fall 2023 cohort.

Admission Requirements:

To be admitted to the Ed.D. in School Improvement program, a prospective student must:

  • Hold a master’s degree in an education related field from a regionally or nationally accredited institution.
  • Have at least three years of experience in education (record of service)
  • Write and submit an essay related to a school improvement problem of practice limited to 1,000 words.
  • Submit a resume in .pdf or Word format.

Application Submission Process:

  • Complete the application for admission to a graduate program.
  • Submit a 750-1,000 word essay using the Qualtrics form that discusses one of the three following problems of practice:
    • Insufficient Time and Effectiveness of Professional Learning
    • Inadequate Academic Intervention or Differentiation for the Diverse Student Populations
    • Poor School Climate and Quality of Student and Teacher Relationship
  • PLEASE NOTE: Do not submit the essay until you have applied and have a student ID number.
  • Submit the following documents directly to the Office of Graduate Admissions at the address below:
    1. Official transcripts from undergraduate and graduate institutions attended
    2. Copy of the applicant’s complete service record

The Office of Graduate Admissions, STE 345
The University of Texas at Tyler
3900 University Blvd
Tyler Texas 75799

You may also email documents to ogs@uttyler.edu

Degree Requirements (60 credit hours):

School Improvement Courses (30 hours)

  • EDSI 6311 – Data-Driven Planning for School Improvement
  • EDSI 6312 – The Study and Application of Improvement Science  
  • EDSI 6313 – School Improvement & Accountability Models
  • EDSI 6314 – Research-Based Pedagogies for School Improvement
  • EDSI 6320 – Leading Critical Conversations for School Improvement 
  • EDSI 6321 – Support Systems for Job-Embedded Professional Learning
  • EDSI 6322 – Culturally Responsive Practices for School Improvement
  • EDSI 6323 – Effective Coaching Skills for School Improvement Teams
  • EDSI 6330 – School Culture & Community Engagement for School Improvement
  • EDSI 6331 – Educational Policy and School Improvement

Educational Research Methods (15 hours)

  • EDRM 6350 – Program Evaluation in the Education Setting
  • EDRM 6351 – Design-Based Implementation Research
  • EDRM 6352 – Quantitative Research Methods in the Education Setting
  • EDRM 6353 – Qualitative Methods in the Education Setting
  • EDRM 6354 – Design-Based Implementation Research II

School Improvement Summer Residency (3 hours)

  • EDSI 6370 – School Improvement Policy Residency (face to face)

Dissertation/Dissertation in Practice (12 hours)*

  • EDSI 6160 – Dissertation (2 hours)**
  • EDSI 6161 – Dissertation (3 hours)**
  • EDSI 6162 – Dissertation (1 hour)
  • EDSI 6360 – Dissertation (6 hours)

*Once students complete the required 12 credit hours of dissertation or dissertation in practice, the student will be required to register for 1-credit per semester until the successful completion of the dissertation.

**The summer dissertation sessions will be face-to-face and will be scheduled during the required annual summer workshop.  All other 1-credit dissertation courses will be online synchronous courses.

Additional Information

For program information, contact the program co-directors:

Dr. Michael Odell

Dr. Yanira Oliveras-Ortiz

Please Note:  Due to COVID-19, the best way to contact Dr. Oliveras-Ortiz is via email.

For admission information, contact the School of Education Graduate Admissions Coordinator at SOEgraduate@uttyler.edu.