May 25, 2024  
Academic Catalog 2019-2020 
Academic Catalog 2019-2020 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Education and Leadership, PhD

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The PhD program in Education and Leadership (PhDEL) is Pacific University’s first inter-professional graduate program, offering a degree jointly and creatively designed by the College of Education and the College of Health Professions for the 21st century working professional. With a strong emphasis on evidence-based practice, this program explores themes and issues about the meaning of leadership and learning, and strategies to lead in a time of dynamic global change. The curriculum encourages students to explore the role of technology in forming and supporting leaders, and creating new distributed communities where leaders can gather and learn from each other across temporal and geographic environments.

This program offers students a technology-based, low residency PhD program — students are required to be on campus for only one week each January to attend a formative applied, evidence-based research symposium, which provides a rich opportunity for students, faculty, and the broader leadership community to collaborate and showcase current research. The program intuitively supports applied research for the dissertation, from each student’s discipline of choice, and draws on the inter-professional expertise of students as well as the faculty and leaders from the community at large. The program offers two tracks: one in Health Professions Education, and one in Higher Education; students choose one of these specialization areas during the first year of study.

The PhDEL program is designed for experienced educators and administrators from institutions of education, healthcare, and these two policy arenas, who are interested in becoming leaders in the field, given the substantial demand in the ever-changing healthcare and education disciplines. The program has a contemporary approach (as outlined in the research conducted by the Council of Graduate Schools in 2010), offering students a collaborative and applied design to research, which has demonstrated success among adult learners. (Council of Graduate Schools (2010). PhD Completion and Attrition: Policies and Practices to Promote Student Success – Six Board Institutional and Programmatic Categories, 4th CGS Completion Project).

The PhDEL program offers:

  • An inter-professional approach to research that fosters respect across professional domains;
  • A learning community that is inclusive, inviting, and collaborative;
  • Individualized faculty mentoring and advising;
  • Student financial support; and
  • Streamlined academic and administrative processes.

The PhDEL program is best suited for:

  • Individuals with Master’s or Doctoral degrees in the fields of education, health sciences, allied health professions, or health professions educators or practitioners who desire to enter the community of scholar professionals and creatively learn the skills to lead change within their field.
  • Learners who have exhibited requisite knowledge and skills within their areas of expertise.
  • Scholar educators who seek to contribute to scientific knowledge and who value lifelong learning, while implementing new theories into daily practice.
  • Scholar professionals and scholar educators who wish to advance in their fields.
  • Scholar practitioners who approach their professions with sensitivity to ethical issues and to developmental, cultural, and individual differences within the workplace.

This scholarship-based program will produce leaders in their respective fields who are academically prepared to make future innovative contributions to the body of knowledge and pedagogy to influence practice. Students will be preparing to publish their dissertation work by meeting the requirements for original scholarship relevant to leadership and education within their professional disciplines.


To cultivate inter-professional education leaders as scholarly practitioners in diverse, multi-modal contexts.


An inter-professional scholar-practitioner community for the advancement of education and leadership. All stakeholders engage in collaborative inquiry on issues and questions related to what it means to educate and lead.


  • Experiential and self-directed learning
  • Applied scholarly practice embedded in diverse contexts
  • Community of inquiry
  • Collaboration and advocacy

Overarching Goals

  • Build the Community of Inquiry (CoI)
  • Create a shared understanding of IP Education & Leadership (IPEL)
  • Identify core competencies, themes, identify faculty roles and course development teams
  • Establish a SoTL Framework
  • Develop courses & co-teaching teams
  • Establish & populate the PhDEL virtual infrastructure





  • A master’s degree from a regionally-accredited college or university
  • A minimum 3.0 GPA in undergraduate coursework
  • A minimum of five years of professional work experience
  • Suggested: an introductory statistics course (undergraduate or graduate) for education, health science or social science majors.


  • A completed application:
  • A 2-3 page essay that outlines the applicant’s research interests, career goals, and how the PhDEL program will further the applicant’s career
  • Note: Standardized tests such as the GRE are not required



A student is considered registered only after needed approvals from faculty advisors and instructors have been obtained, the student’s term classes have been entered into the University’s computer registration system, and tuition and fees have been paid. The University reserves the right to cancel or restrict the registration of students who are delinquent in meeting their financial obligations to the University.


All students are expected to attend classes regularly and promptly. Students who miss synchronous class sessions will be held responsible for all in-class course assignments and exercises. It is the responsibility of each student to immediately notify the Administrative Director and the specific course instructor(s) prior to class, if the need for an excused absence is anticipated.

Students have the responsibility to take all scheduled course assessments on the announced date/time. Students who report to a synchronous class session late on an assessment day will not be given extra time to complete the assessment/examination.

An absence from a synchronous class session and/or an assessment/examination shall be considered “excused” if it occurs due to any of the following situations (valid documentation may be requested):

  • Hospitalization of the student or an immediate family member;
  • Death in the student’s immediate family (i.e.; spouse, children, parents, siblings, grandparents, guardians, etc.);
  • Summons of the student to appear for jury duty or before a court; and
  • Any reason that has been approved in advance by the program’s administrative director or course instructor(s).

Add/Drop/Withdrawal Schedule

Students may add a course through the end of the first day of the semester.  Students may drop a course without record on their transcript through Monday after the first class meeting; after this period, students may withdraw from a course through 60% of the course offering and a W will appear on the transcript.  If a student must leave during a semester, courses that have been complete will receive a grade, and the transcript will show no record of courses that have not yet started.


With permission from the PhDEL Program Director, students may audit PhDEL courses except: EDLD 702, EDLD 704, EDLD dd722, EDLD 726, EDLD 728, EDLD 730 and EDLD 740.

Non-degree Seekers Taking Courses

Non-degree seeking students are allowed to take PhDEL courses.  The maximum amount of credits a student may take in a non-degree seeking capacity is 12 credits.  If a non-degree seeker were later to be admitted into the degree program, a maximum of 12 credits taken in a non-degree seeking capacity could be applied to degree requirements, as long as the credits were taken within 2 years of matriculation.

Repeating Courses/Remediation

Students are permitted to repeat a course only once.  When repeated, only the higher grade will count toward the degree. There are no other course remediation options.

Catalog Year

Students typically are goverend by the catalog that is in effect for the year that they enter the program.  However, students are permitted to select a later catalog if degree requirements change.


Commencement for the PhDEL program is held each August.  Students must have completed all degree requirements in order to participate, although they are not required to participate.

Academic Honors

Students graduating with a cumulative GPA of 3.8 or higher will graduate “With Distinction.”

Credit Load

9 credits per semester is considered full-time; half-time is 5.0-8.5 credits.  There are no minimum enrollment expectations per semester.


The PhDEL program uses the following grades: A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, F. A+ also is used for assignment grades only; this grade cannot be earned as a final course grade.

No grade lower than a “C+” is acceptable in any course, with no more than six credits of “C+” accepted toward the degree. Students must complete all course work with satisfactory grades and maintain a 3.0 cumulative GPA, at a minimum. If a student receives a grade lower than a “C+” in any single course, the student will be given an academic warning, have one semester to achieve a minimum GPA of 3.0, and may be required to retake the course in order to remain in the program. If the student fails to achieve a 3.0 GPA and/or when retaking the course receives a grade that is lower than a “C+” during the allotted time, the student will be placed on academic probation with the possibility of dismissal from the program. If a student earns more than six credits of “C+,” the student will be required to retake courses and achieve a grade of B- or higher when retaking each course. If the student earns a single grade of “F” in any course in any given semester, the student may be dismissed from the program. If the student fails to demonstrate consistent and adequate academic progress toward completing the PhDEL coursework and/or dissertation, the student may be dismissed from the program.

Incomplete Grades

Instructors may issue a grade of Incomplete only when a major portion of a course has been completed satisfactorily with a grade of “C+” or higher and there are extenuating circumstances such as health emergencies, previously unanticipated demands on the job, disability, family circumstances or other emergent situations that prevent the student from completing all course requirements in good standing. The instructor(s) and the student are required to agree upon a deadline by which all outstanding course work will be completed and submitted to the course instructor(s) for evaluation and assignment of a final course grade. The student and instructor also are required to sign and submit an Incomplete Grade Contract to the Administrative Director of the PhDEL program and the University Registrar. Once the course work is submitted and evaluated, the course instructor(s) will submit a grade change form to the Administrative Director. Students will be given up to three academic semesters to make up any incomplete course work and, if the course is related to the student’s dissertation such as a special topics or research course, the student may not begin/continue work on the dissertation until all Incomplete course grades have been removed. If the incomplete course work is not completed within three academic semesters, the Incomplete automatically will convert to a grade of “F” and the student may be dismissed from the program. Incomplete grades must be completed with a grade of “B-” or higher unless otherwise specified by the course instructor(s). PhDEL students may not be permitted to receive grades of Incomplete in more than two courses in any given semester. If this is the case, a student may be placed on Academic and/or Financial Aid Warning. Please see the section on “Academic Policies and Procedures” in the University Student Handbook for a full description of an Incomplete grade.

Grade Changes

A grade can be changed within two years of completion of an PhDEL course if there is an error in calculating or recording the grade. In this case, the course instructor must complete and submit a grade change form to the Program Director.

Satisfactory Academic Progress

Satisfactory academic standing requires acceptable academic performance/progress and demonstrated professional conduct through the curriculum, classroom etiquette, effective computer and interpersonal skills, and adherence to university policies and procedures. Students who have been identified by the faculty to have deficits in any of these areas may be required to complete additional courses, assignments, exams or other evaluative methods, above and beyond those required in the general PhDEL curriculum. Students will receive an academic warning in the first semester that their GPA falls below the required 3.0 minimum. If the student does not raise the GPA within two semesters, then the student will be placed on academic probation or possibly dismissed from the program, depending on specific circumstances. Students will be suspended or dismissed immediately for egregious academic activity such as cheating, or professional misconduct that places other students, faculty, and/or staff in peril.

Academic Warning/Academic Probation

A student placed on academic warning/academic probation will be required to complete a Remediation Plan and have it approved by the PhDEL faculty, in addition to correcting any professional or academic deficiencies outlined in the warning or probation letter from the Director.

Student Misconduct

The College of Health Professions and Pacific University policies regarding academic integrity, dishonesty, and student misconduct are described in the University’s Handbook. The Handbook incorporates College and University policies to ensure the proper handling of all academic, professional, and experiential learning issues faced by students. All students are required to abide by all policies as listed in the University’s Student Handbook. It is each student’s responsibility to periodically review the following website for any policy changes.

Student Conduct Code

Please see:

Expectations of Academic Integrity and Standards of Professional Conduct

Students must be prompt and attend all scheduled synchronous instructional periods and participate regularly in the online components of each course as scheduled. Permission to miss a particular synchronous session must be approved by the course instructor(s) in advance.

If an instructor detects instances of plagiarism, cheating, fabrication, misrepresentation, inappropriate use of data or data falsification, failure to appropriately attribute reference materials, or the reuse of a student’s written assignments or materials from other courses on any exam, exercise, assignment, or other course work submitted by a student, or the submission of the work of another student as your own work, the result will be an immediate failure of the course with a grade of “F” and referral for possible institutional action, including dismissal from the PhDEL program.

PhDEL students are required to read, sign and adhere to the PhDEL program’s Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct when they matriculate, as well as adhere to all Program, College, and University standards regarding academic integrity. Academic dishonesty will not be tolerated and will result in immediate expulsion from the PhDEL program.

In cases of flagrant or intentional violations of the University Code of Academic Conduct or the University Code of Student Conduct, or the PhDEL program’s Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct or Academic Misconduct, a student may be removed from the PhDEL program without previous warning, at any time.

Students charged with professional or academic misconduct will have the circumstances of each case reviewed by the PhDEL program faculty, and also have the right to appeal the decision. For information regarding student appeals, contact: Pacific’s Dean of Students, 503-352-2120.

Concurrent Enrollment in Other Academic Programs

Students enrolled in the PhDEL program are expected to be fully engaged in the didactic and experiential learning components of the curriculum, within the framework of an academic program designed for working professionals. This means that the program expectations require students also to be fully engaged in co-curricular and enriching activities that will help them develop skills and networks to develop professionally and enhance their careers. Simultaneous enrollment in another school or college, either internal or external to Pacific University, is strictly prohibited without permission from the PhDEL program Administrative Director and the PhDEL faculty.

Students are responsible for disclosing their interests in, and pursuit of, other such programs. This includes enrolling in additional courses of other programs, schools or universities. Discovery of undisclosed simultaneous enrollment in other programs may lead to dismissal from the university.

Time Limits to Degree Completion

There is a limit of seven years to complete the degree.

Transfer Credit

Students may transfer up to ten graduate-level semester credits from a regionally-accredited educational institution, if course credit was earned at a grade of B or higher. For more information, please contact the Program Director.

Leave of Absence/Readmission

Students may apply for a leave of absence for up to one year. No specific reason is required.  To apply for readmission after an absence of one semester or more, a student must submit an Application for Readmission along with official transcripts from all colleges attended during the absence from Pacific University. This information must be sent to the Program Director for evaluation and review. If a student is on academic warning or academic probation at the time a leave of absence is granted, the student may be required to demonstrate competency through additional course work at another regionally-accredited educational institution before applying for readmission.

Tuition and Fees

$844 per credit hour for the 2019-2020 academic year; there are no fees.

Degree Requirements

The PhDEL is a distance-delivery program; students are required to be on campus only for one week each January to participate in an inter-professional education and leadership (IPEL) research conference. The curriculum is designed for working professionals who have a strong sense of their own research interests and may have substantial research experience in their chosen professional fields. Students start each course using the online Learning Management System (Moodle) and then hold weekly synchronous web-conferencing sessions with course instructors via Adobe Connect.

The program requires completion of a minimum of 50 semester credits and a dissertation, which typically can be completed in three to four years of study by taking two or three courses per semester. Students are required to complete a dissertation in addition to 50 credits of PhDEL courses. Initial development of the dissertation topic will begin in the first semester of the program, with foundational coursework to guide students in the selection and investigation of a suitable topic related to current research interests.

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