COE: EdD: Educational Leadership for Character and Citizenship
Contact UMSL

Have you ever asked yourself any of these questions?

  • What does it mean to “educate the whole child”?
  • What does it mean to be a “virtuous” individual?
  • What ideally characterizes a citizen in a democratic republic?
  • How do we promote respectful dialogue on difficult issues?
  • How can school leaders build ethical learning communities?
  • What does it mean to be a servant leader?
  • How do you shape school culture?
  • How can I make a difference in the lives of students?

If so, you are in good company. These are questions educators have been wrestling with for thousands of years and they are questions we have been exploring at UMSL and the Center for Character and Citizenship Education for decades. Building on this research, Dr. Marvin W. Berkowitz, the Sanford N. McDonnell Endowed Professor of Character Education and Co-Director of the Center for Character and Citizenship Education at UMSL, released PRIMED for Character Education: Six Design Principles for School Improvement in 2021. His book provides a framework for building schools that don't just say they educate the “whole child,” but schools that actually do it. It is a framework we use in this program for better understanding of how to build ethical learning communities.

In this doctoral program, you will join a cohort of like-minded individuals who believe the purpose of education is more than just teaching students to read, write, and calculate. It is about helping students become their best selves, an ethical human being.

The Educational Leadership Learning Community is designed for educators who want to engage with colleagues and take a deep-dive into the development of school-wide systems of character education. Participants in this program will develop the skills and dispositions necessary to be an effective leader of an educational organization that promotes the comprehensive development and learning of all its stakeholders.

This program is not aligned to state certification standards. Individuals seeking either principal or superintendent certification would be wise to explore our M.Ed. and Ed.S. offerings in educational administration. Students who currently hold administrative or leadership degrees are strongly encouraged to apply, though all students who possess a master's degree and are interested in Educational Leadership for Character and Citizenship will be considered.

Doctor of Education, Educational Practice (EdD)

Student Support Specialist:

Alexandra Gresick

203 Education Administration Building (EAB)
p: (314) 516-5107

Application deadline extended to:
April 1st, 2023

 Students seeking the Ed.D. degree are expected to meet the Graduate School’s relevant practitioner doctoral degree requirements and procedures.

Degree requirements

1. Learning Community of Practice Seminars15-20
EDUC 7600
Learning Community of Practice I
EDUC 7610
Learning Community of Practice II
EDUC 7620
Learning Community of Practice III
EDUC 7630
Learning Community of Practice IV
EDUC 7640
Learning Community of Practice V
EDUC 7650
Learning Community of Practice VI
2. Laboratory of Practice
EDUC 7889Laboratory of Practice3
3. Required Common Courses
EDUC 7215Data Analysis for Educational Practitioners3
EDUC 7395Research and Technical Writing for Educational Practitioners2
EDUC 7615
EDUC 7625Building Socially Just and Ethical Educational Communities3
EDUC 7710Research Methods and Design for Educational Practitioners 3
ED REM 7781Qualitative Methods in Educational Research I3
4. Tools Courses
EDUC 7310Integrating Technology in Learning for Educational1
EDUC 7325Grant Writing for Educational Practitioners1
5. Specialization30-60
Courses in an area of specialization (can include Master’s or Education Specialist work)
6. Dissertation in Practice
EDUC 7998Dissertation in Practice Research8

 Total: minimum 80 hours, post-bacclaureate

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Marvin W. Berkowitz, Ph.D.
Sanford N. McDonnell Endowed Professor in Character Education

Dr. Marvin W. Berkowitz is the inaugural Sanford N. McDonnell Endowed Professor of Character Education, and Co-Director of the Center for Character and Citizenship at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, and University of Missouri President’s Thomas Jefferson Professor. He has also served as the inaugural Ambassador H.H. Coors Professor of C...
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James Shuls, Ph.D.
Associate Professor

James V. Shuls earned his Ph.D. in education policy from the University of Arkansas. His work has been featured in numerous media outlets, including: Phi Delta Kappan, Social Science Quarterly, The Rural Educator, Educational Policy, Education Economics, and the Journal of School Choice: Internationa...
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Melinda Bier, Ph.D.
Co-Director Center for Character and CItizenship

Melinda C. Bier is currently the Associate Director for the Center for Character and Citizenship (CCC), College of Education, University of Missouri, St. Louis. Bier’s expertise spans the fields of Character Education, teacher preparation and professional development, and the design and use of instructional technology for enhanced teaching and learning.
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Thomas Hoerr, Ph.D.
Scholar In Residence

Tom Hoerr led schools for 37 years, taught for eight years, and worked for two years as an intern in the SLPS Division of Evaluation and Research. He has written five books and 140 articles/chapters. His most recent book is The Principal As Chief Empathy Officer: Creating A Culture Where Everyone Grows. He has presented around th...