Jul 18, 2024  
ACE Catalog - Volume 29 
ACE Catalog - Volume 29 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Curriculum and Instruction, Ed.D.

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The Ed.D. in Curriculum and Instruction provides an in-depth approach to research-based methods of curriculum development and instructional methods for a wide range of educational fields. The degree emphasizes the use of theoretical foundations and current real-world practices to support the development of relevant curriculum to meet the needs of diverse populations of learners. Students completing the Ed.D. will gain experience as a scholar practitioner with the necessary skills to utilize innovative curriculum and instruction methods relevant to current educational needs in a variety of professional settings. The focus of study allows students to select an additional concentration which will support their professional goals and combine the curriculum and instruction content into a specialized area. Students will engage in scholarly research throughout the coursework to support their final dissertation.  

Program Outcomes 

  1. Design developmentally and culturally appropriate curricula and instructional units to improve equity and academic success for diverse learners utilizing current strategies and technology.  

  1. Utilize researched based academic theory, standards, and frameworks to support the selection of content, delivery of evidence-based instruction, enhancement of critical thinking and inquiry, and the development of original research. 

  1. Design, implement and evaluate assessment plans and methods to support to the continuous improvement of student success grounded in research and theory. 

  1. Examine and evaluate data to support instruction to enhance social emotional development, critical thinking and student driven inquiry through professional research.  

  1. Develop strategies to support a positive student-centered learning environment which supports communicate and collaboration between the educator, learner, community and stakeholders.   

  1. Participate in opportunities to grow as a professional and leader in the educational field.   

  1. Apply research-based instructional strategies to develop competency in multiple literacies and knowledge and skills across diverse content areas.  

Focus of Study Options

Adult and Continuing Education  

The Adult and Continuing Education focus of study is designed to help professionals gain the necessary knowledge in the area of adult learning and continuing education. It provides a framework focused on the major theories of adult education, instructional strategies for the adult learner, critical analysis of instructional programs, and assessment of the adult learner. 

Early Childhood Education  

The Early Childhood Education focus of study will provide an in-depth exploration of theory, research, and practical applications relevant to professionals working in the early childhood field. Students will gain advanced knowledge of developmental theories and modern early childhood practices which influence children, educators, families, stakeholders, and public policy. 

Educational and Community Organizations 

The Educational and Community Organizations focus of study prepares individuals to lead in diverse settings, to handle transition and change, and effectively communicate to stakeholders. These skills are essential for sustainable growth, enhanced functionality and use of emerging technologies.  As an effective executive, approaches to motivate and ways to influence others are considered on a corporate and individual level.  Knowledgeable leadership creates high-performing individuals who support the mission and goals of an organization. 

Health and Wellness  

The Health and Wellness focus of study provides students with the information necessary to expand their knowledge in the health and wellness field.  The program provides content that includes not only the fundamentals of health and wellness, but also the theories, systems, and policies.  Students enrolled in this focus of study will be provided the opportunity to learn foundational leadership skills in health education.  

Higher Education  

The Higher Education focus of study is intended to prepare administrators in acquiring or enhancing necessary skills to successfully lead higher education institutions. The courses offer a broad perspective of critical issues facing higher education, emphasizing the complexity of student concerns while balancing the demands of outside constituents, e.g. accreditors, state and federal regulators, community, students, and faculty. Designed to complement and support professional agendas, individual studies prepare leadership to understand the integrated aspects of complex systems influenced by modern societal issues.  

Instructional Leadership  

The Instructional Leadership focus of study prepares instructional students to assist their schools, organizations, and communities in moving away from less effective traditional views of teaching and learning by embracing a more proactive approach of using formative assessment data to build curriculum, design instructional delivery, and teach with the future in mind instead of solely relying on summative evaluations measuring only what has already been taught in the past. Educational and organizational leaders can then make informed decisions and learner-centered adjustments much earlier in the process, maximize all available resources, and ultimately, foster higher levels of achievement and performance within their schools or organizations.  

International Education  

This International Education focus of study is intended to prepare and equip leaders with skills, knowledge and a theoretical foundation to address international education and transnational dimensions of learning. It is well suited to those aspiring to work in the field of international education, spanning international schools, institutions of higher education, international organizations, international aid agencies, global foundations, and non-profit organizations among others. Designed to complement and support professional agendas, the course provides a broad overview of international dimensions of education, introducing students to international development policy, international aid, refugee education, international organizations, global foundations, cross-national studies of education, international migration, and global pedagogy and curricula. Students will also learn strategies and gain experience in conducting comparative research and cross-national policy analysis. 


The Focus of Study supports candidates who seek to serve in leadership positions or grow in their leadership practice. Students expand their knowledge in key areas such as ethics, resource management, coaching, strategic planning and organizational culture to become more confident in their advanced leadership practice throughout diverse organizational settings. 


The Literacy focus of study provides students with a detailed examination of best practices in literacy education. Students will gain advanced knowledge of curriculum design, assessment, and leadership skills relevant to literacy education. The courses will provide the foundation to become educational leaders in the field of literacy.

Online Education  

The Online Education focus of study supports candidates who seek to serve as technology leaders and emphasizes new ways of thinking about technology and the integration of applications. Learning how to design environments which enhance and support organizational goals are considered to maximize learning for both individual and corporate purposes.  

Second Language Instruction 

The Second Language Instruction focus of study provides students with information to work with second language learners in a variety of settings. The program provides content addressing key foundational theories and research-based strategies to support the educational or instructional needs of diverse learners. Students enrolled in this focus of study can select courses which address instructional methods applicable to traditional classroom settings or they may select courses which support working with second language learners through a leadership role.   

Special Education

The Special Education focus of study will provide an in-depth exploration of theory, research, and practical applications relevant to professionals working in the special education field. Students will gain advanced knowledge of developmental theories and instructional strategies which influence children, educators, families, laws, and public policy. 


The STEM focus of study utilizes digital resources to foster the innovative engagement of diverse learners associated with the integrated contents of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The courses offer a holistic overview of historical and current issues and trends impacting integrated science education while cultivating research-based strategies to improve learning and leadership in the field. 

Course List (64 Total Semester Credits) 

Leadership Courses (3 Semester Credits)

Choose a 6 course Focus of Study (18 Semester Credits)

Customize this degree by choosing a six-course focus of study to fulfill the remaining 18 semester credits

General Track

Any six courses selected from above


  • This program is neither designed nor approved (as of the publication date of this Catalog) to prepare students for licensure, certification, or endorsement in any state. 
  • Check availability in your state on the Programs by State section of the ACE website.

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