When seeking a doctoral program, I looked for a university with a strong reputation in the field of education that was affordable and flexible to meet my needs as a full-time educator. With close to 150 years of established reputation in the field of education, Concordia University Chicago certainly met my expectations for academic rigor, and the College of Graduate and Innovative Programs offered me a variety of options to achieve my professional goals in an academic setting that best suited me.
After enrolling in the doctoral program for educational leadership, what really struck me was the quality and experience of the professors. I was impressed that instructors are leaders in their fields. They are theorists, authors, and researchers. They are also superintendents, assistant superintendents, directors of curriculum and instruction, and principals. These people “walked the walk” by having years of experience in the field for which I was being prepared. They know the interpersonal dynamics of a school, how to develop teacher efficacy, how to communicate to all stakeholders, and how to motivate and structure organizational change. They intimately know theory, law, philosophy, finance, and the courage it takes to lead a school. Most importantly, they are invested with a mission to develop the next generation of professional leaders.
The curriculum proved to be as diverse as the instructors’ experiences. From the philosophical development of meaning, to the psychology of learning, to the practical application of principles, the curriculum included both the theoretical and concrete experiences expected of a world-class education. As a student, you are provided the opportunities to expand your thinking by having other professionals press your opinions to get closer to truth. In this respect, you truly get out of it what you put into it. As part of the required internship experience, I worked for the superintendent of a large high school district, which provided me with the perspectives on educational leadership that cannot be replicated in a classroom. And finally, as I moved through the dissertation phase, I received immediate and substantive feedback while being mentored through the whole process by my chair, Anthony Przeklasa, PhD, with a personalism that colleagues of mine who attended other universities envied.
I encourage aspiring educational leaders to carefully consider Concordia University Chicago’s College of Graduate and Innovative Programs. Whether you're interested in face-to-face or online courses, or whether you're close to Chicago or in other states or countries, you will find a comprehensive curriculum taught by a dynamic faculty with the personal mission to be the school of choice for aspiring educators.