Mar 28, 2023  
ACE Catalog - Volume 42 
ACE Catalog - Volume 42

Second Language Instruction, Ed.D.

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Program Description

The Ed.D. in Second Language Instruction provides an in-depth approach to research-based methods of second language learning and instructional methods for a wide range of educational environments. 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 second language learners. Students completing the Ed.D. will gain experience as a scholar practitioner with the necessary skills to utilize innovative curriculum, current technology, and instruction methods relevant to second language learners’ educational needs in a variety of professional settings. The focus of study options allow students to select an additional concentration that will support their professional goals and combine the second language instruction content into a specialized area. Students will engage in scholarly research throughout the coursework to support their final dissertation or professional capstone at the end of their program.

Program Outcomes

  1. Apply in-depth, research-supported knowledge of language development and acquisition, current technology, and cultural and linguistic diversity to design and implement curriculum and instruction for second language learners. 
  2. Utilize researched-based academic theory, standards, and frameworks to guide the selection of content, delivery of evidence-based instruction, enhancement of critical thinking and inquiry, and the development of original research.
  3. Analyze assessment instruments, create materials, and evaluate data to enhance the academic and social development of second language learners.
  4. Establish a culturally relevant environment by incorporating evidenced-based instructional resources, materials, and technology.
  5. Demonstrate and participate in multiple strategies to establish and maintain partnerships among school, family, and community, and advocate for the academic and social growth of English learners.
  6. Engage in ongoing learning and leadership communities to analyze data and instructional practices and conduct research to enhance understanding of new language learners and their academic and social needs across diverse settings.
  7. Participate in opportunities to grow as a professional and leader in the educational field. 
  8. Apply, analyze, and promote best practices in leadership.
  9. Demonstrate competence in the application of multiple research methods.

Mission Statement

The mission of the Ed. D. in Second Language Instruction is to provide students with an in-depth knowledge of research-based theories of language acquisition, assessment and instructional methods, strategies that promote cultural understanding, and current best practices to meet the needs of second language learners across diverse educational settings. This program enhances real-world application of knowledge and skills to lead second language classrooms and organizations.

Focus of Study Options

Curriculum and Instruction  

The Curriculum and Instruction focus of study prepares students for today’s educational environments.  Today’s learning environments require understanding critical aspects of how learning happens for a diverse population spanning multiple ages.  This focus of study examines how standards shape assessment while building needed skills in content areas each strengthen by the ability to read well.    

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. 

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.  

Instructional Technology  

The Instructional Technology 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.  


The Leadership 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.

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. 

STEM Education

The STEM Education 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 Six-Course Focus of Study (18 Semester Credits)

General Track

Any six courses selected from above.

Additional Courses (if required or desired)

Support courses to aid in dissertation completion for Ed.D. students. Courses may be required if progression is not achieved in courses OR students can elect to take courses to support their progress. If an Ed.D. student is required to take either the Research or Dissertation Boot Camp (RES6223 or RES6233) course, they will be charged for the tuition and fees associated with the Boot Camp course and not the tuition and fees associated with the dissertation sequence course they are retaking with the boot camp (RES6512, RES6521, RES6531, RES6541, or RES6551). 

CITI Training

All students pursuing advanced degrees are required to have completed a certificate of completion for the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) in Human Subjects Research. There will be no additional fee. This is strongly recommended for students who anticipate conducting dissertation research involving human subjects. The CITI offers training modules for a Social-Behavioral-Educational (SBE) track, as well as additional modules of interest. More information can be found in Student Commons.  Scroll down under Doc Program Resources where you will find the CITI Program Guide.

This program also offers two additional pathways for students transferring in a completed Ed.S. degree or entering as an “All But Dissertation” (ABD) student.

A student with a confirmed 3.0 GPA in an Ed.S. program or has been confirmed to have completed all Ed.D. work besides their dissertation (ABD) at a 3.0 GPA are eligible to transfer their prior coursework/degree to ACE in its entirety and complete. Please see the Ed.S. or ABD to Ed.D. Pathway option. 


  • 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 Online Degrees & Courses page of the ACE website.

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