Harvard University to Offer Groundbreaking Doctoral Program for Education Leaders

09/15/2009 5:00 AM

Program to combine education, business, and public policy faculty with on-site practice in tuition-free doctoral program

Harvard University today announced the launch of a new, practice-based doctoral program to prepare graduates for senior roles in school districts, government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and the private sector.

The new tuition-free Doctor of Education Leadership Program (Ed.L.D.) will be taught by faculty from the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE), the Harvard Business School (HBS), and the Harvard Kennedy School (HKS). The program offers an unprecedented approach to preparing leaders equipped to transform the American education system in order to enable all students to succeed in a 21st-century world. The three-year program will begin in August 2010 and initially enroll 25 students per year.

“One of the core missions of Harvard’s professional schools is to prepare leaders who can guide organizations in a rapidly changing environment. No sector has a greater need for such transformational leaders than public education,” said Harvard President . “I am delighted that professors from three outstanding professional schools are combining their knowledge and experience to create this groundbreaking program.”

Based at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, the Ed.L.D. will be the first new degree offered in 74 years by the school. The degree is a practice-based doctorate designed to equip students with a deep understanding of learning and as well as the management and leadership skills necessary to reshape the American education sector.

In the first two years of the program, students will participate in a new customized curriculum of classes, modules, and practice-based experiences. In the concluding year, students will enter a year-long residency in a partner education organization pursuing transformational change where they will receive hands-on training and lead a capstone project to complete the doctoral degree.

“Research clearly shows that no school improvement effort can succeed without effective leadership, and such leadership is needed at all levels – federal, state, district, and school – in our current systems and in the systems we will create in the future,” said M. Christine DeVita, president of The Wallace Foundation, which provided a $10-million grant to support the effort. “The new Doctor of Education Leadership Program draws on what we’ve learned about effective leader preparation over the past decade. By providing fellowship support that will remove the barrier of cost and student debt, we hope to attract the most accomplished and promising future leaders to this innovative program and to these careers that are so important to our nation’s future.”

The program tethers academic preparation to real-world practice by partnering with the same types of organizations that graduates of the program will aspire to lead. These organizations include not only many of the leading urban school districts (e.g., Atlanta, Denver, New York City), but also some of the most noted organizations driving change in K-12 education (including Teach for America, , KIPP, and the National Center on Education and the Economy).

“Our goal is not to develop leaders for the system as it currently exists; rather, we aim to develop people who will lead system transformation,” said Harvard Graduate School of Education Dean Kathleen McCartney. “We believe this new degree program will be a catalyst to drive that change. It will allow us to meet our goal of producing a new generation of education leaders, who will have a laser-like focus on student learning, and will know how to translate that into large-scale system change. They will be successful by altering education policy debates, forging powerful public-private partnerships, and restoring public confidence in our schools.”

The Doctor of Education Leadership Program – which will be led by Harvard faculty Richard Elmore (HGSE), (HGSE/HKS), and (HGSE) – is unique in its integrated curriculum in learning and instruction, management and leadership, and policy and politics. Students will learn with faculty from the three professional schools, including (HBS), Marshall Ganz (HKS), Deborah Jewell-Sherman (HGSE), Robert Kegan (HGSE), Mark Moore (HKS/HGSE), and David Thomas (HBS).

“In creating this groundbreaking program, we are proud to bring together the strengths of our three great faculties with an array of exceptionally pioneering organizations,” said Professor Robert Schwartz, academic dean of the Harvard Graduate School of Education. “The Obama Administration and large private are about to make unprecedented levels of investment in education reform. It is critical that states and districts, and the national organizations they count on for support, have access to a pipeline of leadership talent equipped with the knowledge and skills to ensure that these investments produce dramatic improvements in the performance of our schools.”

For more information on the program and how to apply, visit www.gse.harvard.edu/admissions/connect/ and www.gse.harvard.edu/admissions/apply/.

Frequently Asked Questions

Press Contact: Michael Rodman, 617-496-5037

Ed.L.D. partners include:

Achieve, Inc.
Achievement First
Aspire Public Schools
Atlanta Public Schools
Charlotte-Mecklenburg (N.C.) Public Schools
Chicago Public Schools
Denver Public Schools
The Education Trust
Jobs for the Future
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
National Center on Education and the Economy
New Leaders for New Schools
New Schools Venture Fund
The New Teacher Project
New Visions for Public Schools
New York City Department of Education
Oregon Department of Education
Philadelphia Public Schools
Portland (Ore.) Public Schools
Public Education Network
Teach For America

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

  • N. Lind

    This is very exciting news! Thank you for stepping up to the plate and initiating some much needed change.

  • mikey inkster

    I do trust that the candidates will be selected based on their lack of long grey beards and their willingness to dump the trash reather than to try to rebuild what is broken.
    I will watch with interest, and point candidates toward your efforts.
    And they should not all be victims of the American System of Education.

  • Edward Kibirige, Ed.M ’97

    This is fantastic! Such innovative professional educator programs have been along time coming.

  • Hanan Abdelgayed

    That’s a brilliant innovative program. I want to learn from the great Harvard pioneers to satisfy my dream of transforming the education system in America and Egypt. What are the criteria for applying? I hold masters in the arts of teaching from the University of San Fransisco.
    Kind Regards,

  • Jack Martin

    How can I apply for this program?

  • Raymond Cooper

    Hi Michael Rodman,
    I want to be a part of change. I will be contacting you guys soon.

  • Clint Calzini

    As a HGSE grad from the leadership program (MEd) I can’t imagine a better program that what is being described. However, I’m half-way through my PhD at William and Mary, so I will miss this opportunity. Ugh!

  • Kiam

    Can you add a FAQ section to address some of the nuts and bolts? For example, who are target candidates, ideal mix of 25 candidates, pay during third year, expenses not covered, expectation for Summers 1, 2, and 3? Thx.

  • Julia Wise

    I am a classroom teacher with 30 years of teaching experience. I hold three degrees. My biggest problem in delivering an excellent educational program to my students is lack of planning and preparation time.
    I teach high school English and I need time to read essays, comment on essays, conference with students individually, and analyze errors most frequently made in the assignments.
    If I had the time to do all I know to do in order to help each student grow to their potential, then the students would benefit and our society would benefit.
    The answer is to treat teachers as professionals and give them the time to prepare professionally for their classes. Another issue that would make a difference is to limit class size to no more than 22-24 students at the high school level.
    If you pay teachers as professionals, then you will attract competent, bright young people to the profession. As it stands now, why should a college graduate with scientific and mathematical abilities agree to teach? What is the incentive?
    Talent in teaching is observable and should be rewarded and compensated accordingly.
    Julia Wise
    High School English Teacher
    Emerson College, M.F.A.

  • Lentoy F. Matagi

    This will be a great opportunity for us here in American Samoa. How do I go about applying?

  • Fred Birkett

    For the past 15 years I have been a leader in the School Choice/Charter School movement. I have been searching for a “Practiced-based Doctoral Program” that can meet my needs as an Educational Administrator-Practitioner here in Hawaii. I am excited about this new program, and look forward to the opportunity to apply.
    Fred Birkett, Ed.M ’95
    University of Hawaii Manoa, (Faculty)

  • Ann Lynch

    Having just attended the Future of Learning Institute at HGSE in August and returning to my University with fresh and informed visions for teacher education and P-12 education I have realized that I need to move on, and find a new environment that will allow me to focus my energy and passions in a endeavor that will result in positive action. I will contact Michael Rodman in the morning.Thanks to all the dedicated folks at Harvard for making this important new program happen.

  • Adriana Molina

    I graduated from IEP in 2006 and have worked in the Ministry of Education of Colombia since. I am very interested in this amazing program you are now offering and am wondering if it is also targeted towards international students or only towards students interested in working in the US. Thank you very much
    Adriana Molina

  • Dan Pontefract

    Further to Adriana Molina’s question … can you confirm that there will be spots available to international students, in my case, from Canada? (www.danpontefract.com)

  • prasad

    You have addressed not just a geographically localized need but one felt the world over.Congrats on your path breaking initiative which is bound to have global ramification. I am an educator and chief executive of a leading private educational group in India.Would this program be open to international students. It would not only be exciting but a great service to humanity-at-large, if the world’s most respected name in education would open this program to students from other nations as well.

  • Flavio Zanetti

    Fantastic news!!!
    I was so glad to read this news. Would love to be part of this program also…
    Combining education, leadership, business, government management, ideal program!!!
    Congrats to the cross organizational efforts from Harvard on this program!
    Excellent idea…

  • HGSE Admissions Office

    We are excited to learn of your interest in the Doctor of Education Leadership.
    We invite you to introduce yourself to us, if you haven’t done so already, so that we may provide you with information about the program and events, as it becomes available.
    The program seeks applicants who are committed to the K–12 education sector and have the potential to become leaders in its transformation. We are looking for candidates from a variety of prior work experiences that include leadership/managerial responsibilities.
    Information on how to apply is available in Admissions and Financial Aid section of the website.
    Feel free to contact us with your questions at askedld@gse.harvard.edu or 617.495.3414.

  • Gabriel ZONON

    This new program shows that “Harvard” is highly concerned by the future of America.

  • Kathleen Torregrossa

    This sounds like a very exciting opportunity. It also sounds like 3 years off from my workplace. Is it possible to commute to evening/weekend courses so I can continue in the job I love and stay connected to the field. I am very interested and would appreciate any additional information as it becomes available.

  • Jameelah Stovall

    I am interested in this program and i think it is an excellent start to addressing the many issues with education.
    Do you have expectations for your ideal candidate? Who should apply for this program? I have an elementary teaching credential and a master’s in RWL, is this program for someone like me?

  • Nan Fridlind

    Sirs: I am intrigued by this new offering. Having received a C.A.S. in Social Studies Education in 1972, I refrained from returning for an Ed.D. due to the cost. This new program might be an even better opportunity to achieve greater effects in improving public education than I could have accomplished by years of near-the-bottom classroom teaching (or even department/ district content area management) that I opted out of for economic reasons. Thanks! I’ll have to think about this and alert younger educators as well.

  • Mary Madden

    What an exciting idea. I am sorry to read that it must be done full time. Perhaps, as this program progresses, it will be possible to offer a part-time alternative for those of us who are supporting families and cannot afford to stop working. As a editing note, I would remind your webmaster that the Massachusetts Department of Education is now the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Perhaps someone would want to change the name in the link on the right side of your webpage.

  • Ramphelane Raseale

    Integration of doctoral studies with NGO (Non Governmental Organizations), NPOs(Non Profit Organizations) and PBOs(Public Benefit Organizations) is justifiable for several reasons: Firstly the services associated with (profit or non profit) businesses are need driven. In other words entrepreneurs initiate businesses because they realize (a gap in existing services) that existing provisions of services do not address some essential service, or if they do, such a service is not addressed adequately. Since they initiate such businesses, there is sufficient motivation to carry on supporting their visions in spite of setbacks.
    Secondly, doctoral studies create the scope for thinking and working independently in terms of the effort it takes to build, research and position the brand for the business; longitudinal studies associated with doctoral studies are relevant for developing the organizational strategy, and building quality management systems and processes. Sustainable organizations supported by sound research (doctoral studies) have potential for building goodwill and firm foundations, and eventually benefit masses of people in the long run. The scope of reasons that support the idea of doctoral studies and business initiatives are endless.

  • Fidelia Iyamah

    This is an exciting news. I have been wanting an educational leadership and administrative program. I am looking forward to it.

  • Rebecca Ford

    This is exactly what I’m looking for. Thank you! I intend to apply and hope to be a part of the first cohort.

  • David H. Ponder

    Essentially, this program is a last-ditch effort to purge the public education system by making highly-trained individuals the change in the public sector. The programs sounds smart and much needed. Good job, Harvard!

  • Shanshan Tian

    The program seems to be launched for me. That is the very way I want to go. And I am from China, do you have the interest letting me be one of the 25?!

  • Allen “Doc” McMurrey

    I would like to learn more about this fantastic opportunity. It sounds like what I have been trying to do for several years now. How will the first cohort be chosen? I would like to be considered, as this is tailored to both my professional experiences and my academic pursuits.

  • David Syth

    Sounds like a great program. I currently hold an M.Ed in Educational Leadership obtained through the American Indian Leadership in School Administration fellowship program at the University of Oklahoma. I have been a principal for two years and am currently overseeing the Indian Education Program for a large urban district. I plan on pursuing this opportunity and using the tools to better education in Indian country.

  • Anucha K.

    I m a lecturer of a university of Thailand. I graduated docteral in Educational Admiistation; and I m interest to join in this program. Could I join this program? If I could, please tell me about your requirment.

  • diane darrow

    Reading this gave me goose bumps. How exciting, but we need more than 25 spots! Thanks for starting this and I am pleased the Obama administration is supporting your endeavor.

  • LeAnne W. Conyers

    This sounds like an awesome program. I currently hold a M.ED in Educational Administration and have been looking for a doctorate program that will allow me to expand my research on teacher effectiveness. I plan on pursuing this opportunity and becoming a member of the first cohort of 25. Can you please provide more information regarding the selection process, expenses covered, living arrangements, and internship?

  • Jeff J.

    I would love to participate in a program like this one. I understand that the classes are on-campus. Does the possibility exist for students to complete those classes in the summer so that students in-practice – working in far-flung districts can continue to do so while completing the coursework. I live 7 hours north of the Montana border so moving to Boston is not an option. Would Harvard consider building some partnerships with districts in Canada?

  • Robert Sailer

    I agree with many others that this program sounds exciting for the future of education. My only question, who should apply? I have been a mathematics teacher at the secondary level for 5 years. I also hold a teaching license for history. Last year I completed my master’s degree in administration. I am young compared to many others in the field. I have not taking any of the tests (GRE or GMAT). They were not required when I took my graduate courses. Is it worth my time, effort, and money to take these tests? Does someone like my self stand a chance to be accepted into this program? Thank You!
    What a bright out look to the future of education!

  • Gail O’Rourke

    I was very happy to read in the newspaper that Harvard will be offering a doctoral degree in Leadership. What is the profile of the type of students that you are seeking for the program? I have many years of educational experience with Master’s degrees and would like to seek a doctorate at this time.

  • Alan Weintraub

    While my undergraduate experience emphasized the integration of disparate fields, this has not always been the case during my career. Having worked in corporate business, small businesses, and entrepreneurial startups as well as non-profits and academia, I look forward to the possible challenge of balancing insights gained from my graduate work in education and law with practical real world experience. I am excited that there seems to be an emphasis on helping to transform the world through the efforts of individual leaders. This enthusiasm is reflected in my college thesis on the power of individuals to effect positive change as well as my efforts as a person with special needs to reinvent myself in ways that hopefully make me and the world better for the effort.

  • Craig Tidline

    My name is Craig Tidline. I am an elementary principal in North Carolina. I have been in administration for 5 years and I have been considering going back to school to complete my doctorate degree. A friend mentioned to me about a program offered by Harvard that offered a completion of a degree where the tuition may be free of charge. I am interested in obtaining information on this program. Please send me some information. Thank you very much.

  • Tony Silitonga

    My father was a professor, so was my mother,..people said that we’re a three (3) generations of education teachers, consider that my grandpa was the Christian educator in the 18th century. The last five years, I work on Director Educations at IICD (Indonesian Institute for Corporate Directors) giving lecturers on Governance & Directorship. The same conclusions that we did experience well were the followings: 1. Education is a non ending matter, 2. Education is the starter to knowledge implementation, 3. Without the right Education target, and system, the education would suffer implementation problems,.These things proclaim a big need on this “Doctor in Education Leadership” program, in order to reach education objective in an implementation stage…(Tony Silitonga – IICD)

  • Dr.Tulsi

    Its great to read about such programme from the Harvard University.I hope with this unique programme ,we will have more searchers than researchers.I think,the great Prof.of the university will guide leaders to think more from the heart rather than from the brain.Congratulations for such programme.

  • Jeanette L. Spees

    I am so glad to learn of this new and sorely needed opportunity. In the midst of lit searching, studying and writing my thesis for my M.Ed. in Literacy, it became quite evident to me that until the great chasm of politics, policy and practice was bridged, there would be no measurable or marked change in our systems of education or in the lives of the ultimate stakeholders, our students.
    Thank you for your vision.

  • David Rafky, Ed.D

    HGSE’s new degree, Ed.L.D., unfortunately contains the letters “LD,” which every K-12 educator knows, stand for “Learning Disabled.” I think the University could have made a better choice.

  • Carol Geroux

    I agree with many of the statements above. I’ve taught ages 5-80 in public, private and non-profit in a variety of subjects, as well as developed programs and services in the community as an activist volunteer. I’m currently matriculated in an Ed.D program, but can’t afford it because of job cut backs. Great that Harvard is putting “action” into their philosophy! How about waiving the GRE’s in place of “real life” experiences, not just on a score number???? I already have my application on file with Harvard minus the GRE.

  • Kim Davis

    What a fantastic initiative. Please consider the possibility of offering this course online/distance ed in the future. I am sure that there are many educators world wide who would want to participate in a degree of this nature.

  • Zack Morris

    Fantastic. Another hokey degree invented by a diploma mill.
    Funny thing to say this about Harvard, but seriously, exactly when was it demonstrated through scientific, double blind methodology that “Research clearly shows that no school improvement effort can succeed without effective leadership.”?
    Perhaps somebody should think about the fact that all this leadership crap is making education less, not more expensive. Rather than helping kids, it reduces the number of teachers available to teach and increases the number of paper pushers.
    We don’t need more bureaucrats, we need people who do things. We don’t need to study how to teach, we need to teach. And make it affordable by not paying people outrageous salaries (not the teachers, but all the bureaucrats who suck the lifeblood out of the system).
    Thank you for listening. Sorry to be a buzzkill.

  • Michelle Sina Ponder

    Dear Lentoy,
    Please contact us if you are okay. We are concerned
    about your health and wherabouts following the tsunami in Leone, Samoa. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
    Alofa atu,
    Michelle Sina

  • Muhammad Nadim Farooqui

    Thanks HGSE and pertner schools’ leadership for offering such a desirable program and the Wallace Foundation for sponsoring this great service to humanity. I foresee unprecedented impact of the program worldwide.
    I teach Educational Leadership and Management courses at one of the leading private sector univeristies in Pakistan. I wish at some point of time HGSE and my university could join hands together for serving South East Asian region.
    Thanks for providing space for my comments.

  • Donna Schwarting

    I respectfully disagree with any assertion that devalues the importance of effective leadership, particularly in public schools. I have witnessed first hand that no amount of money, technology, or materials infused into an unhealthy organization will have a measureable impact on student learning and achievement. The paradigm shift described by HGSE is necessary for leading these organizations into the 21st century!

  • Dr. Biren Hazra

    The proposition is, perhaps, the greatest ever objective to inflict fundamental transformations. This would trigger global changes in due course provided that the need for implementing this revolutionary concept is spread all over the world. I am a teacher (Asst. Prof.) of a leading and government recognized private educational Institution in West Bengal, India. I believe (and also dream) that in every country Harvard University would reach physically and start imparting globally optimized education and work for global integration together with an upsurge of civilization. This program should be open to international students also.
    Best regards.
    Biren Hazra

  • Lentoy F. Matagi

    You have hit the mark with working from the heart. You are so right in having more searchers than researchers.

  • Lentoy F. Matagi

    Sina, I don’t know if my first email got through. But, yes my village was one of the lucky ones that was not destroyed. Thank you again for your prayer and thoughts. Faafetai.

  • Cour;tney Hall

    I am delighted to hear about this program. I plan to be the first applicant. I want to build the skills to make school district change happen especially in the large urban schools where top quality leaders with solid effective vision and immediate applicable solutions are desperately needed.

  • Conrad

    Can a retired Marine with a M.A. in Management be accepted Fall 2010 as one of the first 25? I would truly sacrifice a lucrative second career to pursue the Ed.L.D. to affect the future of our educational system. I believe the military background can enhance the diversity of the program and inevitably the leadership level in education.

  • Rei

    We need a new generation of educational visionaries (not highly paid paper pushers)…willing to think outside the box…We need the educational equivalent of “cyber trojans” who will “insert” themselves into the present system’s DNA and “go viral” with new and fresh thinking, aided by new technologies and innovations in order to change/revolutionize the present system. I submit that in order for this to succeed the program must not draw from the same tradional “applicant pool,” but rather cast a wider net (e.g., military, management consultants, MBAs, etc.) Also, kudos on your list of Partners. Consider the “High Tech High” innovative school system in San Diego in the future. They are at the “tip of the spear” when it comes to innovation. Best Wishes!

  • RVB

    I question if this program is truly meant to lead educational reform. The program requires participants to attend Harvard full time for three years. What person, in the prime of their careers, can take three years off to further their education? If the program met when elementary and secondary schools are typically off session, (summer or holiday schedule) then yes, I can see it working for those in the field.
    I think Mr Inkster has hit the target audience- retired professionals looking to take part in a great program.
    It’s a shame, I would love to try and apply but with 2 children in college and a hefty monthly mortgage payment precludes me from even thinking about taking off for three years. I would think other new and even seasoned professionals would feel the same way.
    Ivory Tower Thinking at it’s finest!

  • Shannon O’Brien

    This is such an exciting program in such an exciting time of change. In reading comments here, I find it to be fantastic that by simply making this innovative program public, Harvard creates a learning community of those of us interested and enthused.

  • Yelena

    I would be the perfect candidate for this program (which is virtually unheard of)if it would be offered in the summer months when individuals in the education field are not required to work. However, if there was a reasonable stipend along with participating in this program that would eliminate the problem of taking off for 3 three years.

  • Curtis A Buren

    Finally!! Curriculum for our century, that covers 4 sides of the Educational system. To be blunt, Its about time!!! Now when we get this pool of graduates, we can be sure we cover certain areas and confident to comment on them clearly. Thank You Harvard!!!!!

  • natalie

    hi my name is natalie and i’m only 12 years old going on to 13. i have always dreamed of going to harvard university doctorate school. people say i’ll never get into your school because it’s hard to get into but i know i can make it. that’s why i am trying so hard to get good grades and i have so i’m going to make it to the end. and i hope you remember me.

  • Robert Miller

    This is what you stated: It will allow us to meet our goal of producing a new generation of education leaders, who will have a laser-like focus on student learning, and will know how to translate that into large-scale system change. They will be successful by altering education policy debates, forging powerful public-private partnerships, and restoring public confidence in our schools.”
    During my daughters’ visit to the university a week ago, she found herself in a room with “Diversity Candidates” who questioned her ability to handle the “rigors” of a Haravard education given the fact she graduated from a state university.
    All this, in spite of her graduating with an excellent education while holding down a full time job. Additionally, she found herself being paraded around the campus while wearing a name tag draped around her neck entitled, “Diversity Candidate”.
    What confuses me is that she actually did not apply, she was recommended by her professors because of her academic excellence, teaching ability and real world experience. You purport to want to change the dynamic but your selection process screams that you want more of the same.

  • HGSE Admissions

    Dear Robert,
    At HGSE, we seek to admit students who will be diverse across multiple dimensions, including life experience, educational background, prior work experience, geography, and interests. We are committed to enrolling a talented student body, one that is inclusive with respect to race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, political beliefs, and other personal characteristics.
    We are sorry that this was not conveyed to your daughter while she was visiting campus.
    If your daughter attended the November 9 Diversity Recruitment Program, she and all other attendees received a name tag with their full name and the name of this event.
    Please ask your daughter to contact the Admissions Office directly at gseadmissions@harvard.edu, as we would like to better understand what occurred, as well as answer any questions she may have about our programs.
    Thank you for your feedback.

  • Maurice Stewart

    Excellent program, I may apply once I finish my undergraduate degree. While I think this is a excellent program, I think that it would be an even greater program if it offered courses from the law school. I think it is important for the next generation of Education Leaders to be well versed in the legal aspect of education. Courses such as Education Advocacy and Systemic Change: Children at Risk Clinical Workshop, Education Law and Policy: Seminar, Education Reform Movements would enhance an already great program. Just my thoughts

  • Amanda Gardner

    Exactly, Ms. Schwarting. Exactly. Thank you for pointing this out.

  • Kelly Shackelford

    This program sounds like a fantastic opportunity to expand concept of “education” beyond the walls of a traditional school of education. As a first year teacher working through the Teach for America program in rural Arkansas, I can attest to the deep systemic changes that need to be made in our education system. I am saddened almost daily to discover that my high school students cannot identify the United States on a map, do not know what slavery was, and are unable to read their textbooks. That such levels of ignorance exist in America is a tragedy. I hope that programs like this will continue to develop to meet the needs of students who do not even know how far behind they are.

  • Craig

    As a teacher with over 20 years of experience in NY public schools, I am disheartened by the shrinking vision of our leaders. All we seem to care about anymore is numbers. Children are reduced to test scores; schools are reduced to test incubation centers. If this is the direction of reform, I want no part of it. On the other hand, if we can begin to broaden our vision of education, and to explore what depths lie in the children we teach, count me in.

  • Nancy White

    I have recently accepted a position in my district as the 21st Century Learning & Innovation Specialist. Oh how I wish I could apply and attend this program! – But alas, Colorado is a long way from Harvard! The fact that you are not offering this 21st century program online baffles me. This is the way today’s generation communicates and learns -and so instructional leaders need to learn how to learn in these kinds of environments – to be able to really understand how to build 21st century learning environments that are effective and relevant to today’s learners. What better way than to deliver this kind of program in an online format?

  • gita appelbaum

    I am starting a charter school in california
    I have found that my highly intelligent son is falling behind in middle school (he is the eldest of 3 sons)
    i want to pursue higher leadership in education
    and I am encouraged to see that there’s a free incentive to reward the willing and able bodies!
    thank you

  • Guy

    Curious what you meant in your last comment? “And they should not all be victims of the American System of Education.” Please for clarity what exactly do you mean by that statment?

  • Bernadette Ngoh

    Congratulations! We need this innovative leadership skills to lead the most desired system-change needed to face the challenges of the century. I got infomation about this Ed.L.D program today from one of my graduate professor. Hopefully I will be part of the first cohort come August 2010.

  • Marie

    We are truly in “exponential times” as knowledge doubles every four years. We can no longer cover the curriculum, new ways are needed in order to prepare this generation for the unknown world of the twenty-first century. Congratulations to Harvard for leading us on this vital, educational journey by uniting three schools for this interdisciplinary venture. Change is necessary, and this program will chart the course to the future.

  • Justin Bass

    Well said, Julia Wise.

  • Neha

    I am working as a Automobile Design Executive in India.My deep interest into this field – Development of New Education System and policy making to bring innovation in the current practice of teaching has brought me here to this webpage.
    An engineer by degree and profession I will like to ask that how can I join this programme,what all requirements are there except a perfect GRE/GMAT score.
    Is bachelors in Arts/Teaching mandatory to join this?

  • Cynthia Swan

    Kudos to Harvard for their forward thinking in addressing the educational crisis in this country. We have the talent to turn this problem around in the right direction. I wish you the best in finding those individuals.

  • Debra Leahy

    I also commend Harvard for thinking of the future of education. However, I also concur with prior posts that point out that the program can only impact a limited number of those who wish to work toward the future of education since there is not a part-time option. Many people who are in their careers wish to take the next step and become even stronger contributors but cannot afford to (financially or career-wise) cease their careers. I hope that Harvard takes this feedback to heart and chooses to meet this growing demand for quality part-time Ph.D programs.

  • Shannon Gallagher

    Hi. I’m a school based occupational therapist for the Denver Public School District. Previously, I worked as a Special Educator and/or a Mental Health Counselor in Minneapolis with severely emotionally and behaviorally disturbed children. I’ve worked “in the system” so to speak since I was eighteen years old, constantly trying to understand and hoping for transformation in the education system of America. Most recently, politics has become a significant part of my job. As I travel to six different urban schools of various cultures, district policy and procedure or state and national laws seem to be a major topic of conversation. I even have weekly meetings where we discuss parental rights and due process. Politics have become so prevalent in the school settings, that there is less and less time to work with kids. It’s a constant battle of values and priorities for most staff I work with. Nevertheless, some education staff are changing fields to avoid the politics. Some staff are changing fields within the education system to be able to work more directly with kids. I myself, have become so familiar with the positive and negative impacts of politics on education, I’ve started to look at Doctoral Programs in order to prepare for a career in leadership in the schools. Coincidently, I came across this website after I whimsically googled, “Tuition Free Doctoral Programs”. I have to say that I’m very excited to see that a program exists! On that same note, I’m disappointed to be made aware of this program long after the application due date. I read there is a partnership between DPS and Harvard on this website. However, I’ve frequently checked the DPS website for education partnerships and never read anything about this. I’m not sure how I could have missed it. Nevertheless, I’m excited that Harvard is thinking about our future education system. I also think that it’s wonderful that it is a tuition free program. Most educators cannot afford more student loan debt and this is a way to show that people of all socio economic classes are invited to apply and or further their education more. It also gives those of us in education hope that things will change.

  • Dani

    Hi There! I was introduced to your program by a colleague I work with at MIT. I lead a College Relations and Recruiting Team at a Fortune 500 company. I’m interested in a career change into University/Higher Education. I’m wondering if this program would be appropriate for me. It seems geared to practicing education leaders.

  • Nazira

    Hi there. I am truly excited about this news. Thanks for Harvard Administration staff for their efforts, concerns and well thinking about Education.
    I am 30 years old and have big family commitments. Does this program have a distance learing courses?

  • Anthony M. Washington

    I am entering the PhD program at William and Mary this fall in Gifted Education Admin, would you care to share some insight into the program? How do you feel your experiences at WM compared to Harvard?

  • D. Boone

    This is certainly an interesting program and something I’ve been looking for. My interest is higher education leadership. Is there an online component? Will the student receive a monthly stipend if required to live near or at Harvard? Are there any other programs like this one closer to NC? I’ve got to apply…been looking for this quite some time! -Thank you-

  • Dominique Del Chiaro

    I am currently in the Master’s Program at UH Hilo and was looking for a phd program in transformational education. I am so incredibly delighted and curious to find out more about your program. How do I pursue this further? This program is an answer to a passion and prayer. Aloha

  • Janet Dyer

    This is fantastic, I am Jamaican, with huge concerns for the transformation and strategic policy movements for education in Jamaica and the Caribbean. Would I be able to access this programme.

  • Joyce Montgomery

    I have passed this information on to others from our area who may be interested in this opportunity to lead. My 20-year background in building community infrastructure was a resource in my decision to attend one of the information sessions you offered last year. I would like to see the course offered as an online course. Thank you offering this timely, educational opportunity.

  • Dori Madsen

    My body tingled from head to toe and I leaped from my seat with excitement when I read about this program! Yes! Finally an institution that recognizes it is time for REAL CAHNGE in education! I will be applying!

  • Curtis A Buren

    YES!!! It will take time for us to make change, Its about time to unite and be as one in change where much help is needed!!!!! This is a marvelous start, Hope this continues!!!!!! Thank You Harvard!!!!!!

  • Mac Sen

    I wish this were offered in the executive format similar to that of Penn GSE’s Ed.D in higher ed management. If you are targeting mid-career practitioners, then the opportunity cost is prohibitive. People would pay tuition rather than stand the opportunity cost.

  • Geneva Parker

    I am excited that you are offering such a challenging program for educators. Our education institutions are in need of 21st century leaders that truly know how to lead the 21st century students. I just hope that in the future this program can be offered online and in collaboration with school districts around the country.

  • Chrysti Dufort

    This sounds like a wonderful program. Is it possible to get information as to how it is going and if there will be another oportunity for teachers to participate in this program once these teachers complete their degree?

  • Yee Meng Wah

    I am a teacher in a private school in Malaysia with a Masters in Public Administration. How can I enroll in this programme?

  • Nadiyah Robinson Khalifah

    I am very excitied about this ground breaking educational program at Harvard University. When I started teaching and saw and related to the research of the disproportionate amount of black males in the special education programs in the schools I always thought if I had the opportunity to research and impact ways to turn this trend into more positive outcomes for this population I wanted to. Eventually I also saw the impact of female students in special education and also ELL students. Again, I thought of my involvement and what I could do professionally to impact what I saw as much needed change. Thus, I am excited that this program may give me an opportunity to explore and impact on these inquiries. I plan to apply.

  • Jiajia

    Hello,I just wonder whether this program will accept the new applicants in 2012? If so, then when? I have strong willingness to join but the infor is just not enough, maybe you guys have personal consultant? that would be incredibally considerate!!If not, please creat this position,coz that’ll be the begining of transformation!

  • JeeHyun Bae

    I’m a university lecturer in South Korea. I really concern about this program. Could you send me more information?

  • JustOne

    Zack, This article was posted in 2009, when the program was in its early phases. Whether you teach in an inner-city school or study the differences between international and local school programs, it should be evident that change is needed. Few are willing and/or able to face the discomforts of change and challenging tradition. In my opinion, Harvard is in a unique position to both challenge and lead. I am pleased that Harvard apparently recognizes their position and is willing to get involved. Our education system, as a whole, is one of the few areas of life that has not changed (significantly) over the past 100 years (with the exception of integration). It will take an organization with enough political clout, academic expertise, and practical passion to make the significant change we need. I applaud Harvard for trying. If nobody tries, we don’t change.

    Sure, there will be strengths and short-comings as the program unfolds. But, that is when individual students must take responsibility for their own experience. I made that error when I earned my first PhD. I expected the school to make me. Rather, it was my responsibility to make myself with the resources and ambitions available at my university and in my community. I currently try to help my middle school students understand this concept. Schools are institutions of learning. They offer resources and guidance. They do not make students. Students make students. This is why it is so important that students are surrounded by quality resources and quality leaders (teachers, administrators, parents, etc).

    It is not leadership development, alone, that puts teachers’ jobs at risk. I am one of those teachers whose position was eliminated by budget cuts. I appreciate the concern that teachers are under appreciated or under supported. Good leaders are important. Good teachers are important. Good students and parents are important. Good federal and state support is important. US citizens complain on the sideline, but only a small percent of the public demonstrates their frustration by attending rallies, studying voting histories of political candidates and voting accordingly, and petitioning their government/representatives to invest in education. Few parents are involved at their students’ schools in routine manner that advances the learning environment for all students. (I am not referring to extra-curricular clubs and sports, but rather tutoring programs, mentoring, character development, job skills, etc).

    The challenges facing the education system in the United States are overwhelming. Financial woes, dropping public support, less parental involvement, and more test-based goals are influencing education in my area of the country. I can not speak for other areas (which will certainly have shared and unique challenges of their own). It is about time that an organization has not only said, “we need to promote change…what can we do to help?” but has also “put their money where their mouth is” by funding the program. Harvard is not getting tuition dollars by developing this new program. They are actually spending money to make this program run. Admittedly, grant monies, inter-agency collaboration, and publicity will likely make the program financially feasible; however, the offer to cover tuition, etc shows an honest effort to recruit passionate people who will take advantage of all that Harvard has to offer in order to pursue their own efforts in education reform for the economic benefit and academic strength of the country. Thank you, Harvard, for being willing to take the risk of ridicule to simply try.

  • Mukesh Singh

    This doctoral program is beneficial for all persons who are working in various educational institutions.

  • P Hicks

    I hate to say this, but it seems that unless you are a principal in an inner city school or have built a school in Rwanda, you probably will not be selected for this program. They have a very specific idea of who they want to matriculate through and it seems to me that those people are already leaders. I have no issues with that; however, I think that it should be made very clear before the application process that we only want people who currently hold some sort of leadership position. It is also notable that they are very conscious of the racial makeup of this program. I am one for equal opportunity, but I also think it is time we look beyond people’s outward appearance when determining diversity. Experience diversity, I believe, is sorely lacking overall, not specifically with this program.

  • Cljones

    Teach for America is a joke. This program is controlled by governmental authorities and removes the very essence of dedication and commitment from its enrollees. Education in America is no longer free at any level. It comes with a price tag from one venue to another. Teachers are charged to practice their profession and questioned on their ability and willingness the system is biased and serves only one purpose profit margins rather than overall education that is far more valuable than charging fees and promogulating test that are impractical and impossible to faciliate given the broadness of the entire educational system in the United States. Example accreditation is about profit not about quality and performance. If the educational body does not apply and pay the fees they are disqualified form Federal programs again about the money not about the freedom of choice of the people. States and Federal govemental systems should reach a consensus and remove all barriers and allow teachers to perform the service they chose not try and control every aspect of learning in the U.S. education system

  • Diva

    It is for all nationalities!

  • Appleforteacher

    Is this the Harvard Program that is work with the EAA Educational Achievement Authority schools in Detroit?

    What have leaders in this Harvard program learned so far? What do you hope to learn? Where and in what format will you share your results? What expertise do you already possess, as you work to advise and support active and beginning educational institutions? Please do share your learning, some of your evidence (videos, publications, news stories, etc), and your plans going forward.

    Please do research charter schools, schools of choice, school building aesthetics as they relate to educational outcomes, family income and levels of education, and off- site vs. on-site housing. Please research the impacts of incarceration, homelessness, fatherlessness, mental illness, and unemployment of family and neighbors who fill key roles in the lives of K- 12 students, and the impact… and effective ways that students have overcome obstacles. Please research: best practices in funding, creating, sustaining long term highly effective early childhood education: head start, Kindergarten. Please research: developmentally expected challenges at all ages and specific to each gender; how to identify those challenges; expected outcomes; effective ways to overcome expected challenges. For example, does a particular health education program help raise self esteem in adolescent children? Is there a measurable impact on learning outcomes?

    Harvard has taken on a huge challenge and responsibility in creating a rigorous program for educational leadership.

    I am one of many individuals – highly interested in and impacted by successes and failures in education K- 12 and post- secondary: trades, community, college, and university. I am a parent of 3 children, a teacher of hundreds of teenage children in urban settings each year, and an educated, caring human being.

    Whether you work with a team of experts, stakeholders, and institutions in close partnership – or lead the charge with a generally independent approach – please use your resources wisely to create first hope, then positive direction for growth and improved educational outcomes.

    Thank you,

  • Androidneox

    Interesting to see that this is from almost 3 years ago, I’m listening to a discussion of this, right now: 6:50 a.m., 28-Jun-2012. Apparently they think the classes have been successful.

  • KWMelaas

    Hi Zack, Yours is a thorough and detailed response to the article. I too think that the proposal made by Harvard has a lot of hope. Studying the voting histories of the candidates, however, does not assure improvements in education on any level. I note that government /government officials making educational decisions has brought us to the place where we are today in public education. And we are nearly four years following President GWB and his NCLB initiative.

    I fully agree that parents are more participatory in sports events and extracurricular clubs than perhaps anything else involving their child’s education.But you cannot ‘make’ parents do what they choose not to do. Let’s think for a moment about what might happen, if every available retired (or working) teacher took on the mentorship of 2 or 3 K-12 students (in exchange for some sort of tax credit if need be). . . .

  • Ricardo Garavito

    Excelente oportunidad para las personas vinculadas con la educación para preparase como líderes de estos procesos al rededor del mundo. los felicito por esta iniciativa y me gustaría obtener mas información para

  • http://www.facebook.com/katie.caldwell.399 Katie Caldwell

    I would be interested to learn more about this program. I had a terrible experience being a sustitute teacher in the public school system in Texas. I subbed for an art teacher. The school was Inundated with ‘cookie cutter art’ in the hallways and classes. There was a class assignment for the children to complete their ‘horse pictures.’ Every picture was a series of cylinders and circles on gray paper….The teacher gave me s stack of ‘rejects’ whereupon I was supposed to confront ‘underachievers’ and make them do their horses over so they looked like everyone elses.

    Upon embarking on this task, as the children looked up into my eyes I could not bring myself to condeming their work. Having an Associate of Arts in ECE, I was aware of the variations in the development in children’s ‘fine motor skills’; so I changed up the lesson a little bit. I told the kids it was “Imagination Day”—and to develop thier horse into anything thay wanted…color the horse, name him/her, and put background scenery if they wanted. The children were elated…The quiet kids came ‘out of their shell’ as they got an opportunity to share their artistic visions…..They loved me and wanted to know when I would be back…

    …………However, the teacher was so angry with me for changing the lesson that she called my university and cancelled my practicum; then she called School District Human Resources and had me BANNED FROM THE SCHOOL…. I was embarrassed and heartbroken, as I had spent 3 years studying Howard Gardener, Elliot Eisner, Marvin Bartel etc.

    I called the Head of Human Resources, and I was shamed for “Not Following Directions”…..
    My philosophy is: If we don’t teach our children to think “Outside the Box” their problem solving skills are going to be comprimised…. Love to hear everyone’s comments…Thanks. Katie

  • Chris Thompson

    Did you get in the program? If so, what’s your feedback?


  • alfred devaprasad

    When will Ed.L.D be opened up for international candidates with interests in school or higher education outside America?

  • Alemu Jemberu

    The proposition is revolutionary idea. This changes global impartially that ever long lasting. my and my friends will benefited from this revolutionary
    Harvard University because globally
    optimized education and work for global integration together with an
    upsurge of civilization. This program should be open to international
    students and you should lead to how to apply?
    Best regard

  • Soner Baburoglu

    Great opportunity, I really concern about this program too. Any more information?

  • Rosia


Latest Activity

Upcoming Events View All >


Jill Anderson

News Officer