Doctoral (Ed.D) Program Goals:       

Ed.D. Program in Cognitive Diversity in Education

Program Philosophy and Guiding Principles 

To achieve this mission the design of the Ed.D. Program is guided by five principles based on the Professional Doctorate in Education (Carnegie Project, 2000), which focuses on equity, ethics, and social justice to bring about solutions to complex problems of practice. Our hope is to create scholar-practitioners who:

  1. Construct and apply knowledge to make a positive difference in the lives of cognitively/neurodiverse individuals, their families, and the organizations and communities in which they live and work.
  2. Develop and demonstrate collaboration and communication skills that allow them to work with diverse communities and to advocate for neurodiversity within their communities with the understanding that cognitive diversity is the cornerstone for innovation and productivity in all organizations.
  3. Use relevant pedagogical skills, educational psychology, and knowledge in the planning, development, delivery, and assessment of professional services in support of relevant educational and professional goals, reflecting a strength-based, talent-focused philosophy. 
  4. Creatively solve problems in field-based situations to analyze problems of practice and use multiple frames to develop meaningful solutions.
  5. Are grounded in research and committed to develop a professional knowledge base that integrates both practical and research knowledge and links theory with systemic and systematic inquiry.

Pursuit of  Ideas

  • In-depth inquiry within a discipline or field
  • Synthesis of concepts and principles across disciplines and fields
  • Openness to new ideas that are beyond one’s perspectives, languages, and cultures

Development of Expertise

  • As designers of new research, policy, and practice
  • As negotiators in areas of complexity, uncertainty, and diversity
  • As communicators among diverse audiences

Cultivation Commitments

  • To expand intellectual pursuits
  • To ensure professional ethics and responsibility
  • To address evolving issues in the education of underserved learners

Engagement of  Imagination

  • To identify novel ideas and important questions that shape the field
  • To generate innovative methods, practices, and solutions
  • To visualize future directions 

Program Goals and  Outcomes

The Doctorate in Education Program focuses on the development of knowledge, skills, and expertise in understanding, supporting, and advocating for persons with unique skills and abilities whose cognitive/neurodiversity creates certain limitations. To this end, the program identifies these outcomes for each of the candidates. Candidates will:

A. Take a leadership role in recognizing, celebrating, and promoting positive education in response to the unique needs of cognitively/neurodiverse (twice-exceptional) learners.

1. Provide expertise recognizing the unique profiles of cognitively diverse learners, especially for twice exceptional (high ability with specific learning disabilities, attention deficits, behavior and social challenges), focusing on how they learn, and how they view the world.
2. Design innovative learning environments and curriculum based on theories of positive education and talent development to promote intellectual, social, and emotional growth.              
3. Acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to effectively advocate for the needs of cognitively diverse learners.
4. Communicate through publications, professional development workshops, and conference presentations.

B. Facilitate a paradigm shift from remediation to talent development as an educational approach, especially for diverse learners, based on theoretical paradigms and research support.

1. Create innovative learning environments based on theories of positive education and talent development to promote intellectual, social, and emotional growth.
2. Effect positive change in diverse educational contexts by applying advanced theoretical perspectives to problems of practice.

C. Lead multi-disciplinary teams to collect evidence and creatively problem solve approaches to meet the needs of cognitively/neuro diverse students.

1. Lead team meetings to analyze data to create meaningful and personalized strength-based, talent-focused plans for cognitively diverse persons.
2. Employ creative problem solving practices and skills to develop innovative solutions to support diverse learning styles and cognitive profiles.
3. Participate with colleagues in broadening perspectives and improve educational outcomes for neurodiverse learners through a positive lens.

D. Critique, understand, and conduct high quality education research and link it to policy and practice.           

1. Use systematic inquiry to evaluate the effectiveness of innovative approaches and address problems of practice.
2. Identify issues of social justice and fairness within a learning environment and conduct inquiry to examine causes and suggest strategies for improvement.
3. Develop policy to support strength-based, talent-focused approaches to education. 
4. Empower a community of professionals to effect innovative change for institutions that serve cognitively/neurodiverse learners.

  • Submit grant proposals to sponsor research and program development.

All Program Outcomes align to Professional Standards of National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC), Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), CA Professional Standards for Education Leaders (CPSEL)

Plan of Study: Ed.D. 

Plan of Study Ed.D. - Cohorts 1 -3

Plan of Study Ed.D. - Cohorts 4 - current

Graduation Requirements:

– Completion of all coursework (minimum of 60 credits) with a GPA no lower than a 3.0 with no individual course grade lower than a “B-.”

– Comprehensive Exams passed.

– Problem of practice – Applied Dissertation completed and defended.