Ranked #14 in Education Administration by US News and World Report
The Department of Educational Policy Studies (EDPS) offers two doctoral programs focused on educational leadership and policy in urban environments—the Education, Leadership, and Policy (ELP) concentration of the PhD Policy Studies in Urban Education program, and the EdD Urban Education Leadership program. The EdD program prepares and develops principals and school leaders. The ELP concentration prepares and develops students who are interested in pursuing careers in educational research on leadership and policy. Graduates of the PhD in ELP have taken positions as faculty and researchers at colleges of universities and leaders of educational policy organizations.
The PhD concentration in ELP is specifically dedicated to the study of policy creation and implementation in urban educational contexts, the role of leadership in promoting equity and improving schools, and the preparation and development of leadership in and for urban schools. This PhD concentration supports students’ research from a range of perspectives, including policy formation and implementation, organizational and leadership theories, and improving equity in schools. ELP also focuses on helping students learn how to use and combine a range of different methods to conduct research, including quantitative, qualitative, historical, and legal methods.
ELP presents unique opportunities for students to learn about policy and leadership specifically in urban settings. Because of its location in the heart of Chicago and affiliation with a nationally-recognized principal preparation program whose graduates are administrators leading dozens of schools and district offices, ELP students have access to urban research sites of significant interest in Chicago and in the region. ELP faculty co-founded, and are all affiliates of, the Center for Urban Educational Leadership, which researches the best ways to prepare leaders for high-need urban schools, advocates for quality models of principal preparation at local, state, and national policy levels, and serves as a hub for information dissemination to other researchers and the public on advancements in school leader development. In addition, ELP faculty work closely with the Research on Urban Education Policy Initiative, which helps education policy stakeholders, including policymakers, the media, and the public, better understand urban education policy by providing timely analysis and recommendations that are grounded in the best available evidence. ELP faculty also have a strong commitment to securing externally funded research, which provides strong research assistantship opportunities for students.
ELP faculty members have a deep commitment to working with doctoral students as advisors and mentors. Faculty members have a strong record of helping ELP students connect with prestigious national opportunities and leading scholars in the field around their research interests. For example, several ELP students have been named UCEA Barbara L. Jackson Scholars as part of a program to develop future faculty of color for the field of educational leadership policy, and have participated in the UCEA David L. Clark National Research Seminar in Educational Administration and Policy, which brings together emerging educational administration and policy scholars with established researchers. ELP students’ dissertations have also earned national awards and recognition.