Academic Catalog 2024-2025

Educational Leadership Justice

College of Education
Division of Graduate Education

Program Description

California State University, Dominguez Hills (CSUDH) offers a Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership degree designed to ensure critically conscious equity leaders are ready to lead in all executive settings by bridging the divide between educational practice and the rigorous acquisition and application theory. These leaders will apply the knowledge and skills to transform and improve the quality of P-16 education in the South-Central Los Angeles and South Bay region of Los Angeles County and beyond. The program, titled Educational Leadership for Justice in Education (EDLD), will prepare candidates to assume executive leadership position in P-16 educational settings and related agencies such as County Offices of Education, K-12 District Offices, Charter School Boards, and educational non-profits. It is designed to be a high quality, high touch, academically rigorous doctoral program that addresses the following mission. 

The missions of the EDLD for Justice program is to equip educational leaders to champion justice and equity in all educational settings. We facilitate the development of the leaders' mindsets, moves, and skills needed to:

  • examine their transformative potential and transformative actions
  • interrogate, dismantle, and re-imagine historically oppressive systems
  • create spaces that center on community wealth, cultural capital, and voice
  • ground their practice on the CSUDH Liberatory Leadership Framework
  • design creative solutions to existing, and new, challenges in the field of education

The program philosophy is focused on using a culture of care to address inequities that are pervasive in the the educational system and hinder the academic success of student who are culturally and linguistically diverse, have disabilities, or are economically disadvantaged. The EDLD for Justice program is seated in the College of Education (COE) in the Division of Graduate Education (GED) and aligns fully with the College's Mission and Vision statements. The understanding that COE students need to be "grounded in the principles of justice, equity and critical consciousness" is a thorough line for students in the College of Education (general education teachers, ed specialist, counselors, administrators) and will continue in this doctorate program in preparing executive leaders. More specifically, the EDLD for Justice program extends the work of the CSUDH School Leadership Program (SLP), where candidates establish their Liberatory Stance in the SLC Preliminary Administrative Services Credential Induction Program to culminate with Liberatory Leadership as the model used to transform entire educational systems as candidates from the EDLD for Justice program. 

Critical features of the program include: 

  • Developing collaborations skills to address the problems of practice to create collaborative cultures that provide actions to solve the problems of practice. 
  • Relationship building, that establishes trust and a common language among students, faculty, and school partners. 
  • Research Support Seminars that will embed the development of a research proposal for the dissertation throughout the program. The inclusion of these seminars provides ongoing support of the students' research efforts and allows students to identify and involve research advisors as early as possible in the degree program. 
  • Course instructor will provide a stable advising relationship with the candidates in their group. Applied laboratories are collaborations amongst and between candidate, faculty, and practicing educational leaders. 
  • The candidate and doctoral faculty will conduct research, conduct policy analyses, and implement small or largescale interventions in selected school. Their work with the faculties at these sites will make contributions to practice and help advance the field of urban educational leadership. The systemic inquiry and practices undertaken are expected to affect schools, educational support services, and educational policy. 

The EDLD for Justice program will provide a deep understanding of the relationship between schools and society; democracy, local control, and education; equal protection under the law; systemic inequalities in the educational workforce; and issues of equity and access. Using a Liberatory Leadership lens steeped in principles of justice, equity, and inclusion. They will have the ability to promote high academic performance for all students, facilitatie continuous learning and transformative  practices within districts and across schools, and mobilize resources, human, political, and fiscal, to redress system inequalities. Graduates will engage and enlist members of city governments, school boards, business, political, and parental communities in joint efforts to create policy and make strategic decisions designed to radically transform the life chances of all children. Graduates will also know how to forge and sustain cultures of change through strategic collaborations. As part of the CSU system, the CSUDH program meets the stated expectations of the system found in the Senate Bill. 

The EDLD for Justice program is a 60-unit cohorted, applied research degree program that takes place over nine consecutive semesters (including summers) for experienced leaders in the field of education are employed in full-time positions. the program is a Face-to-Face/Hybris program with a combination of on-campus face-to-face didactic courses (80%) and hybrid synchronous courses (20%). It offers research-based knowledge, skills, behaviors, and dispositions required to understand, plean, develop, implement, and evaluate educational programs using the les of justice, equity, diversity, ethics, and leadership to address issues in urban educational settings. Program graduates will earn the degree designation of Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Education Leadership with an emphasis on educational leadership for justice in schools. One cohort of thirty experienced educational leaders will be accepted and enrolled each academic year. Expected time to completion of the degree, which includes the writing of the dissertation, is intended to be three calendar years, including summers. There are options for candidates who may need to take longer to complete the program. 

The program will utilize an interdisciplinary teaching approach with a small faculty-student ratio (1:15 for content and research courses and 1:4 for dissertation courses). The signature pedagogies that reflect what counts as knowledge in the field of education and how things become known come from a variety of teaching methods and diverse pedagogies such as:

  • collaborative problem solving
  • case studies
  • laboratory projects using extant statistical/research data
  • ethnographic and participatory research studies, fieldwork projects, and applied projects (including presentations, flowcharts, and program recommendations)
  • book reviewers; reviews of annotated bibliographies
  • job shadowing
  • online course sessions
  • threaded discussions accompanying student assignments
  • reflective essays
  • policy analysis and studies
  • reflective practice cases
  • research and literature review papers (range 5-20 pages)
  • individual and group research projects
  • self-reflection essays
  • simulations involving role playing, and scenario responses, and structured interview protocols for use with practitioners

Additionally, candidates will contribute to preparation of scholarly articles for publication and to the development of grant proposals. Pedagogies that promote engagement, learning, and development of professional leadership. The broad scope of pedagogical approaches is designed to develop knowledge and skills that equip graduates of the EDLD for Justice program for leadership in schools facing the most challenging issues in California. 

Academic Advising


The objective of advising is two-fold. First, advisement is governed by the principle that enhancing the academic and professional development of students in the EDLD for Justice program is a central purpose of the program. Second, advisement promotes a well-planned and efficient doctoral Ed.D. course of study that can be completed within three years by working professional and facilitates advocacy on behalf of students and their needs. Advising is the responsibility of CORE EDLD for Justice faculty who will oversee the progress of all students, provide consistent and accurate advising, and ensure students remain on-track for program completion. Core Doctoral faculty who lead the Research Support seminars will advise students with regard to the Written Qualifying Examination, approval by the Institutional Review Board. 

Students in the EDLD for Justice program will be assigned a faculty advisor at the beginning of the their first year. This person will meet with each candidate to provide individualized guidance for the student during the first two years of the program to assist in the completion (coursework, qualifiers, and dissertation). Once dissertation work has commenced, the Dissertation Chair will replace the faculty advisor. 

The Program Director and Research Coordinator will provide support for students with respect to major milestone activities, including making arrangements for the qualifying examinations, the proposal hearing an the dissertation oral defense. In additional to the faculty advisor and the Research Coordinator, program faculty will be available for consultation on a regular basis. All program faculty members are required to schedule office hours both in person and through Zoom to accommodate working professionals. Additionally, all program faculty members will provide out of class advising and academic support regarding coursework assignments. All courses are designed to include face-to-face meetings as well as having synchronous and asynchronous work interspersed throughout sessions. Also, students have access to each faculty member's email address and office phone number

Dissertation Chairs

Through dissertation supervisions, dissertation chairs have the opportunity to serve both as advisors and mentors, going beyond the academic directing of research by modeling and creating a professional relationship with doctoral students and assisting them in their professional endeavors. 


To ensure that candidates for the doctorate have mentors who assist them in learning leadership roles in institutional contexts and inducting candidates into the professional networks necessary to P-12 academic leaders, the Doctoral Executive Council will established a trained corps of mentors from among adjunct faculty and other practitioners holding executive level P-12 positions. Mentors will be oriented to the EDLD for Justice program requirements and curriculum, especially as it relates to field experience components. Each candidate will be assigned a mentor who will be responsible for providing the candidate with coaching, modeling, and informal assessment on best ways to integrate research, theory, and practice. 


Admission to the Educational Leadership for Justice program require completion of a master's degree in a related field and submission of all specified admission requirements. 

Admission Requirements

Applications to the program are accepted at one time each year. Students planning to seek admission to the program should submit a complete application packet including required supporting materials. All applications will be completed online. 

In accordance with Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations, Section 41020, admission shall be granted on a competitive basis; meeting the minimum requirements qualifies an individual for but does not guarantee admission to the program. 

  1. Article 4.1 (CSU Guidelines for EdD Programs) requirements for admission shall apply to all EDLD for justice program applicants and shall include, at minimum, the following:
    1. The applicant holds an acceptable baccalaureate and master's degree earned at a regionally accredited institution(s), or the applicant has completed equivalent academic preparation as determined by the appropriate campus authority. 
    2. The applicant has attained a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 in upper-division and graduate study combined.
    3. The applicant was in good standing at the last institution of higher education attended, 
    4. The applicant has demonstrated sufficient preparation for, experience in, and potential for educational leadership, including successful experience in leadership in school, postseconday, of community contexts, and/or policy leadership; academic excellence; problem-solving ability; technological proficiency; interest in critically assessing current educational policies and practices; and interest in improving current educational policies and practices. Evidence considered in the admission process shall include but not be limited to: 
      1. Three letters of recommendation attesting to the leadership and scholarship potential of the applicant. 
      2. Submission of a written statement of purpose reflecting an understanding of the challenges facing organizations in the field of education in California. 
      3. Attendance at a personal interview.
      4. Submission of one of the following statements:
        1. a statement from the applicant's employer, indicating support for the applicant's doctoral studies; or
        2. a statement from the applicant, describing the applicant's plan for meeting professional responsibilities and the demands of the program. 

Program Requirements

Students in the program complete three areas of study through the 60 semester units. Area I is comprised of ten core leadership courses. Area 2 is comprised of nine courses focused on research. To advance to candidacy students will complete a qualifying examination. This qualifying examination will demonstrate the students' command of knowledge relevant to educational leadership as developed throughout the core courses. The final area of study, Area 3, comprises the four dissertation support courses taken over two semesters. Students specialize in Leadership for Justice in Education with a curricular emphasis in: (1) urban school leadership, teaching, and learning for diverse learners (e.g., culturally and linguistically diverse, economically disadvantaged, and those needing specialized education services); (2) organization and systemic transformation; and (3) diversity, inclusion and ethical decision making, 

Student in the program will be required to: 

  • Attend a 3-day Doctoral Onboarding Retreat
  • Attend one class weekly on campus and two additional classes biweekly on the weekend
  • Earn a grade of 'B' or higher in all courses
  • Attend an International Education Leadership Trip
  • The CSUDH Education for Justice program requires the successful completion of 31 units of Leadership didactic course work 17 units of Doctoral Research and 12 units of Doctoral Dissertation Writing for a total of 60 units. 
  • Successful completions of four qualifiers:
    • Qualifier #1: Comprehensive Exam
    • Qualifier #2: Dissertation Proposal Defense
    • Qualifier #3: Oral Dissertation Defense
    • Qualifier #4: Written Dissertation Publication
  • Earn at least a "B" to pass each course. No course with a grade lower than a "B" will be applied to the degree program. 
  • Maintain a GPA of 3.0 or higher to fulfill degree requirements. 
  • Remain in good academic standing. A student who is in academic notice may not be granted a doctoral degree.