Saint Leo University is now offering two new doctoral degrees for a Doctorate in Education: School Leadership (EdD) and Doctorate in Criminal Justice (DCJ).

Both doctoral degrees require 60 credit hours of advanced study, which will be accomplished through a low-residency, blended format. A limited amount of classroom time is required during the residencies so that students admitted in a given year or semester will interact with each other and with faculty members in person.

The Doctorate in Education - EdD School Leadership residencies will be held annually for each new cohort for a week, during the summer, at University Campus in Central Florida, where Saint Leo was founded. The Doctorate in Criminal Justice residences of up to three days will rotate between University Campus and Saint Leo Education Centers in Georgia in the Atlanta suburbs and in Virginia in Newport News. Three residencies are required over the course of the DCJ. Students will accomplish the balance of the work through online classes and individual study.

Classes began in the fall 2018 semester, after approval by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Schools and Colleges.* Saint Leo University and its programs are accredited by this regional association so that the public can trust the quality of the academic offering and the underlying strength of the institution.

About Saint Leo University's Doctoral Programs

University leaders stressed that the new Saint Leo doctoral degrees have been designed for the needs of practitioners in the fields of education and criminal justice. This focus is in keeping with the determination Saint Leo made in offering the university's first doctoral program, the Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) in management, which was launched during the 2013-2014 academic year, and continues to reach to the needs of executives, owners, and consultants, rather than business or economic theorists.

"As a Catholic university focused on excellent teaching, Saint Leo has made a conscious decision to focus on the practical aspects of business organizations, school systems, and agencies founded to safeguard the public," said Dr. Jeffrey Senese, provost of Saint Leo University.

"We focus on combining instruction in the most advanced subject matter and providing forward-thinking students opportunities to complete applied research projects. We also have an emphasis on advanced instruction in principled leadership so that the next generation of leaders in these fields will have the intellectual, ethical, and practical grounding to succeed in highly complex positions and organizations. This practitioner-oriented and professional approach distinguishes the Saint Leo EdD, DCJ, and DBA from more traditional doctoral programs that are offered by other institutions of higher education and that are more typically focused on teaching only the research process. In addition, ours are the sort of doctoral degrees that our industry partners tell us are in demand."

Doctorate in Education

The Doctor of Education specializes in School Leadership and will help current or aspiring administrators who already hold a master's degree in education (or a related field) qualify for higher-level roles, such as school or district superintendent or instructional leader. The Doctorate in Education is suitable for educators in either public or private school systems. The credential also qualifies graduates to apply for college teaching positions. Degree candidates must have at least three years of related work experience to be admitted to the program. The dissertations that degree candidates produce will be based on challenges or issues within their current work spheres.

Doctorate in Criminal Justice

The Doctor of Criminal Justice degree offers two areas of concentration for degree candidates to consider. Those who already hold a master's degree may choose to pursue the Doctorate in Criminal Justice - Homeland Security concentration in preparation for work at executive-level positions in law enforcement agencies, juvenile justice agencies, various court systems, and corrections systems.

Alternately, degree candidates can opt for the Doctorate in Criminal Justice - Education concentration in preparation for careers in college teaching or training. Either degree specialization will qualify graduates to teach at the college level, but the education specialization requires courses that cover instructional quality, improving student achievement, and working effectively with technology. The per-credit hour fee for each course in the Doctorate in Education is $670 and $750 for the Doctorate in Criminal Justice.

Quality & Success

Dr. Susan Kinsella, dean of the Saint Leo School of Education and Social Services, said strong demand for the programs is anticipated in the both education and criminal justice fields.

"Saint Leo already possesses a strong reputation among Florida school districts for creating highly qualified classroom teachers, assistant principals, and principals," Dr. Kinsella said. "Similarly, we have a strong track record of producing graduates who have been promoted to leadership positions at local law enforcement agencies in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and Virginia, where Saint Leo operates Education Centers for adult learners. Our alumni and their organizations have justified confidence in our faculty and courses. Now we can offer these graduates and their organizations higher-level degree programs that will make administrators more expert in their fields, which are demanding ones. Saint Leo is happy to play a role in improving society in this way."