Community College Leadership Program

Doctor of Education in Adult and Higher Education


The Community College Leadership Ed.D. program at Northern Illinois University (NIU) is designed to prepare students to advance in a variety of administrative positions within the community college environment.  The Ed.D. program consists of 60 credit hours beyond the master’s degree program that is designed to be completed within three years.  Students will take two courses per semester.  Each summer, students take two hybrid courses that require a one week face-to-face meeting at either NIU Naperville or University Center at Lake County based on the cohort they apply for at time of application.  The course will meet Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. with a one hour break.  Fall and Spring courses are delivered online.  The cumulating experience for the program is a Dissertation of Practice (15 credits) that takes an innovative practice-based problem approach to research.

A dissertation of practice is a model of a dissertation that is broadly understood as a scholarly endeavor focused on the applications, practices, and knowledge within educational contexts.  Specifically, the dissertation of practice focuses on addressing problems of practice that doctoral students are familiar with or are currently experiencing.  Often understood as a type of action research, dissertations of practice models are designed to help connect theory to practice within the education field in order find solutions and strengthen communities.


CCLP Course Rotation


Summer Term

Fall Term

Spring Term

Year 1


CAHE 770: The Administration of Higher Education

CAHE 503: U.S. College Students

CAHE 772: Financing of Higher Education

ETR 519: Applied Educational Research

CAHA 555: Seminar in Community Colleges

ETR 521: Educational Statistics I

Year 2


CAHA 570: Organization, Personnel Management, and Academic Administration

CAHA 740: Pedagogical Innovations & Student Learning

CAHE 704: Strategic Marketing and Enrollment Management

ETR 790: Community-Base and Participatory Action Research

CAHE 771: Legal Aspects in Higher Education 

ETR 531: Program Evaluation in Education

Year 3


CAHA 575: Public Policy Studies in Higher Education

CAHA 721: Applied Research Design

CAHA 799*: Dissertation of Practice

CAHA 799*: Dissertation of Practice

* CAHA 799 is a variable credit course.  Need minimum of 12 credits to graduate.

Admissions Requirements                                                                  

  • Application for Admissions to the Graduate School                                                       
  • Official Transcripts                                                                       
  • Statement of Goals                                                                        
  • Three Letters of Recommendation                                                                   
  • Resume/CV   
  • Minimum of 3 years of professional experience within higher education (preferred)

 Application Due Date: Rolling until April 15, 2018.  The priority consideration deadline is Feburary 1st          

Start your application here:

*NOTE: The CCLP cohort begins summer 2018 and in the application system you will select the Ed.D. in Adult and Higher Education-Community College Leadership and the term summer 2018. If you have any questions about the application system, please email

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