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Online Doctor of Education in Curriculum and Assessment

About the Online Ed.D. Program

The online Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Curriculum and Assessment is designed for professionals aspiring to be assessment and institutional effectiveness experts who can affect the institution's success and achievement through purpose, scholarship, and community. This non-certification Ed.D. prepares professionals for high-stakes careers in nonprofit professions, technical colleges, public and private K-12 institutions, and institutional accountability.

The student will gain scholarly expertise in the latest innovative research and best practices in learner-centered curriculum and instructional design, instructional strategies, program evaluation, and student assessment. Using real-life settings, the student will learn to think critically about ways to drive innovation and change at the systemic level and apply ethical strategies that can effect quantifiable improvement. The student will thrive in a connected body of learners.

Why Curriculum and Assessment instead of Curriculum and Instruction

Most Ed.D. degrees at the doctoral level across the nation concentrate on leadership or curriculum and instruction. While there are several education doctoral programs available in curriculum and instruction, there are very few in the nation that concentrate on assessment as a main theme of the degree. This emphasis on assessment will concentrate on teaching and learning through assessment along with determining quantitative and qualitative outcomes that can improve strategies and programs. Assessment training is desperately needed in today’s outcomes-based climate, creating job market demand for these skills.

Dissertation Process

Unlike many doctoral programs where learners are expected to complete all courses prior to beginning their dissertation, you will begin the dissertation process at the start of your program of study. In research courses and residencies, milestones are established and you will receive faculty advisement to allow you to progress through your dissertation development, research, and defense through your program.

Summer Residencies

While almost all courses are offered fully online, students are required to be on campus for a one-week summer residency course during three summers. Each one-week residency will include classes and other curriculum activities focused around developing the student's dissertation. On-campus apartment-style housing is available for summer residencies.

Southern Wesleyan does not advise students on what will or will not be accepted by their state departments of education. Students are encouraged to contact their state department of education to ensure the degree offered by Southern Wesleyan University meets state requirements.

Those who might be interested

  • Charter School Faculty and Staff
  • College/Tech School Faculty and Staff
  • Government services leaders
  • K-12 Educators
  • Nonprofit/ministry leaders

This Ed.D. program is pending approval by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. If approved, classes will begin in Fall 2018.

Please fill out our request info form if you are interested so you can be the first to know when we will be accepting applications. The first cohort will be capped at 25 students.

Request Info


At a Glance

Admission Requirements

  • Submission of a completed application
  • $25 application fee
  • An earned master degree in education or related field from an institution that is fully accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency recognized by the United States Department of Education or a comparable degree from an international institution with a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 on a 4-point scale. Masters in related field must be approved by the School of Education Graduate Review Committee.
  • Be in good standing at all previous institutions of higher learning. Students who, for academic or disciplinary reasons, are not eligible to register in the college or university last attended will not be admitted for graduate study.
  • A score on a nationally standardized graduate admissions test, the Miller Analogies Test (MAT). Test scores must be no more than five years old. The requirements are a minimum MAT score of 350. An equivalent Graduate Record Exam score will be accepted.
  • Official transcripts from all colleges or universities attended
  • International transcripts must be evaluated by an approved agency. American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers can do this evaluation, and National Association of Credential Evaluation Services provides a list of approved agencies. From the NACES list, Southern Wesleyan recommends using World Education Services or Josef Silny.
  • Applicants for whom English is a second language must meet the official TOEFL score of at least 550 (paper test), 213 (computer test), or demonstrate equivalent evidence of proficiency in English, such as an overall band score of 6.0 or higher on the IELTS test.
  • Submission of two professional references.

Ed.D. Curriculum

EDUC 7003 - Ethics in Curriculum and Assessment

This course will explore the various types of curriculum that exist within organizations as well as goals and philosophical orientations to education. Students will delve into the ethical considerations regarding who controls the curriculum and assessment, how that control is exerted, how curricular decisions impact student learning and how you can ethically lead curricular change. 3 credits.

EDUC 7013 - Foundations of Curriculum

The Foundations of Curriculum and Instruction course focuses on applying curricular theory related to best practices in the 21st century classroom setting. Planning for instruction and evaluation of learning are the two focal points of this experience. This course is designed as an introduction to the systematic process of planning for effective classroom instruction and assessment as these tasks relate to contemporary curricular concepts. Political considerations for curriculum will be considered. 3 credits.

EDUC 7023 - Research Tools

This course will provide an opportunity for participants to establish or advance their understanding of research through critical exploration of research language, ethics, and research approaches. The course introduces the language of research, ethical principles and challenges, and the elements of the research process within quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods approaches. Emphasis will be placed on library and online resources. 3 credits.

EDUC 7033 - Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment

This course examines curriculum, instruction, and assessment in the context of standards based education. It explores theories, methods, and procedures underlying the development and design of curriculum and instruction, the interrelationships among curriculum, instruction, and assessment. 3 credits.

EDUC 7043 - Curriculum and Assessment for the Diverse Learner

This course provides students with knowledge of current concepts and issues in the area of assessment in special education and other special needs populations, with knowledge and practice in administering a standardized assessment as well as curriculum based assessments. The history of curriculum development and evaluation; the importance of aligning learning theory and learner variables; and removal of barriers to student achievement are discussed. Current issues in assessment such as assessing students from diverse backgrounds will be covered. 3 credits.

EDUC 7053 - Quantitative Research and Analysis I

This course addresses the intermediate qualitative and quantitative research methods. Qualitatively, the course addresses forming research questions, writing field notes, and collecting, organizing, and analyzing a variety of data. The design issues of triangulation subjectivity and trustworthiness are explored. Ethics and ethical issues in qualitative research are presented. Quantitatively, the course addresses the logic of statistical inference and hypothesis testing, and provides study of analysis of variance and multiple regression, with a computer oriented approach. 3 credits.

EDUC 7063 - Data-Driven Instruction

This course is designed to provide an understanding of accountability systems, basic data analysis procedures, data management, data interpretation, and application. It is centered on understanding data as a means for improving school performance by guiding instructional and programming decisions, including the decision making processes surrounding curriculum and program evaluation. The meaning of the data to inform instruction and curricular change is the focus. 3 credits.

EDUC 7073 - Curriculum Design

This course investigates curricular models and their features, with a focus on how curricular design promotes learning. Special emphasis is placed on technology-enabled curricula, designing for learning environments, blended learning, and curricular roles in innovation. 3 credits.

EDUC 7093 - Program Evaluation for Improvement with Practicum

All programs and organizations need information about what is working or not working in order to improve. But how do individuals and organizations learn to engage in continuous improvement, where improvement happens with frequency and depth across the whole system?

This course is designed to introduce students to key concepts in improvement science and formative evaluation as a way to support learning from real-life attempts at improvement. It is meant for students who will be working or leading in educational settings where they will be asked to collect and use information to build organizational capacity and affect change, as well as for students interested in an introduction to the practice of evaluation. Students will acquire a practical set of skills, such as communicating with key stakeholders, and generating relevant evaluation questions and methods of collecting related data. Students will practice these skills in an authentic setting during a required 25 hour practicum. 3 credits.

EDUC 7103 - Issues and Models in Curriculum

This course is designed to assist students in developing those skills essential for curriculum restructuring, planning, and implementation at the school site. Three essential processes, curriculum development, assessment, and instruction will be considered with respect to relevant theory, research, and practice. Emphasis is placed on the role of responsible leadership in assuring that these processes function effectively. Critical issues in curriculum will be examined in your own settings with a focus on deciding on a curriculum intervention. 3 credits.

EDUC 7113 - Quantitative Research and Analysis II

This course addresses the advanced qualitative and quantitative research methods. This course is a continuation of Quantitative Research and Analysis I. Qualitatively, the course continues forming research questions, writing field notes, collecting, organizing, and analyzing a variety of data. Advanced methods including sampling strategies, observational and interview techniques, questionnaire construction, and data analysis are also addressed. Ethics and ethical issues in qualitative research are presented. Quantitatively, the course addresses the logic of statistical inference and hypothesis testing, and provides a study of analysis of variance and multiple regression, with a computer oriented approach. The design of multi-variable studies, multivariate data analysis, and other advanced methods using statistics computer programs will be examined. 3 credits.

EDUC 7203 - Leadership and Values in Diverse Org

This course is a study of basic principles and practices of leaders consisting of defining leadership, recognizing and applying Christian professional ethics and integrity, identifying best practices in supervision, assessment and evaluation, developing and working with “learning communities,” and improving teaching and student learning. Included in the study are principles and methods to evaluate and help motivate teachers by learning to utilize current research and data to improve school programs and instruction. Concepts of biblical leadership will be integrated throughout the course of study with discussion on how leaders who are Christians can make application of their biblical worldview regardless of where they serve. 3 credits.

EDUC 8006 - Dissertation I - Research Design

During the first summer session students will have a week-long residence program on the main campus where they will work with professors on their research design. The students will work the rest of the summer term online and submit the draft designs for critique and approval by the primary professor. 6 credits.

EDUC 8106 - Dissertation II - Methods

During the second summer session students will have a week-long residence program on the main campus were they will work with professors on their Dissertation Committee on their methodology. They will work the rest of the summer term online and submit the draft methodology for critique and approval by the primary professor. 6 credits.

EDUC 8206 - Dissertation III

During the third summer session students will have a week-long residence program on the main campus were they will work with professors on their Dissertation Committee on their Results and Conclusions. They will work the rest of the summer term online and submit the draft methodology for critique and approval by the primary professor. 6 credits.


Extra Courses (not required for graduation)

EDUC 8306 - Doctoral Dissertation Continuation

After completion of the core curriculum, students must be continuously enrolled until the completion and successful defense of the dissertation. Course is designed to provide students additional time and mentoring to complete his or her dissertation. Not required for graduation. 6 credits.

EDUC 831 - Dissertation Advising

If students are struggling to finish his or her dissertation and students have complete all course bearing courses, students can enroll in the advising course. The advising course allows students to maintain advising contact with SWU faculty and maintain access to SWU resources. Not required for graduation. Non-credit bearing.