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Fisher Reimagines Executive Leadership Doctoral Program

January 9, 2023

In summer 2023, candidates enrolling in St. John Fisher University’s Doctor of Education in Executive Leadership (Ed.D.) program will experience a reimagined curriculum delivered in a hybrid format.

A graduate of the Ed.D. program crosses the stage at Commencement.

The Ed.D. program—administered by the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. School of Education—is designed for managers and executives working in a variety of sectors, including P-12 and higher education, health care, business, public administration, non-profit, and law enforcement. The 28-month program is an accelerated, rigorous, and highly supportive course-of-study that incorporates cutting-edge learning technologies, innovative teaching, applied research, and customized student services. Future cohorts of students will experience a model that blends the depth of face-to-face learning with the flexible, digital delivery of course materials, creating an accessible program for the working professional.

“Since its founding, it has been the program’s mission to provide a unique, collaborative experience that will prepare our candidates to be successful in their executive roles and to be leaders in the community in which they work and live,” said Dr. Shannon Cleverley-Thompson, department chair. “Our curriculum, which is rooted in the philosophy of social justice and leadership for the public good, delivers individualized learning that meets the leadership interests of our candidates and fosters their personal and professional growth.”

The redesigned curriculum offers candidates opportunities to actively advance their leadership through hands-on experience and experimentation in small groups and in the larger cohort. Courses focus on leadership competencies and best practices, offering a deep-dive into topics including ethics, organizational development and change, governance, diversity, strategic planning, finance, public policy, communication, and data-driven, informed decision-making. The program also integrates coursework and dissertation research across the curriculum—candidates begin their dissertation work in the first course—to support the accelerated program design.

Launched in 2006, the Ed.D. was Fisher’s first doctoral program, and three years later, opened an extension site in Westchester County, now housed at Iona University. Since its inception, the program has graduated 563 candidates, who serve as college presidents, chief executive officers of non-profits, and superintendents of schools, among other executive-level roles within the community.

Virtual Information Sessions for the Ed.D. program at the Rochester site will be held at 5 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 19; Wednesday, Feb. 15; and Tuesday, March 14. For the Iona University extension site, sessions will be held at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 24 and Thursday, Feb. 16. Visit the program online for more information or to register for a session.