Educational Leadership


Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (Ed.D.)

Certify to become a principal or school administrator in this 57 hour, two-year program. The Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership leverages the strengths of Milligan’s teacher education and business faculty, curriculum, and school partnerships to prepare system-level leaders in American preK-12 education. The program leads currently practicing elementary and secondary school teachers toward certification as school administrators, primarily as principals or assistant principals.

Graduates of Milligan’s 24-30 month Ed.D. program are uniquely prepared to become principals and administrators in public and non-public school systems, nonprofits, and government agencies. The Ed.D. is a full-time practice-based program built on a cohort learning model of approximately 10-20 students who progress through the program together.

Education Specialist (Ed.S.)

Advance your classroom teaching certification and leadership skills with this 36 hour, 18-month program. The Education Specialist (Ed.S.) allows candidates who don’t need a doctorate to develop a specialized knowledge with many of the same courses in the Ed.D. program, but without the requirement to write a dissertation.

Fast Facts

  • PREREQUISITES: Master’s degree and 3 years experience in educational practice
  • ENTRY TERM: Summer only, starting 2017 (pending SACSCOC approval)
  • COURSE REQUIREMENTS: 57 hours for Ed.D.; 36 hours for Ed.S.
  • LENGTH: 24-30 months for Ed.D.; 18 months for Ed.S.
  • TYPICAL COURSE LOAD: 3-4 classes per term
  • CULMINATING EXPERIENCE: Dissertation for Ed.D.

The Need

At the heart of every enterprise is the legacy of a teacher. Great societies, earth shaking discoveries, dramatic cures, cultural revolutions, transformational legislation—all ultimately result from the influence of our educational leaders. We are taught to dream, to dare, challenged to move beyond the obvious to consider the possibilities, and to see all of life as an adventure in learning.

The environment of education is ever changing. Our world needs transformative leaders in preK-12 education, who are committed to educational quality and educational innovation and are well-trained in strong organizational and human resource management, school finance, public policy, current legal issues, technology, and how to lead organizational change. Milligan’s Ed.D. program is uniquely designed to help meet that need.


Degree candidates will gain a deep understanding of the context of American education from anthropological, historical, and sociological perspectives, and of the central elements of instructional, organizational, public, and evidenced-based leadership. The program will start June 2017, pending SACSCOC approval.

The Ed.D. program consists of a 57 hour curriculum, including 45 didactic hours and 12 hours of dissertation studies.  The course work consists of face-to-face classes, hybrid classes, and online classes. Some of the hybrid courses include Saturday residencies. Nine hours of the didactic work in each degree is cross-listed with courses from Milligan’s MBA program.

The Ed.S. program consists of the 36 hours of the Ed.D. program (without the dissertation).

Ed.D. Courses

Curriculum for the Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership Degree (57 semester hours)

Term 1 (Summer 1):

  • EDUC 735/BADM 535 Managing Human Resources–3 semester hours
  • EDUC 711 Quantitative Research –3 semester hours
  • Elective (see list below)

Term 2 (Fall 1):

  • EDUC 730/BADM 530 Management and Leadership–3 semester hours
  • EDUC 641 Community and Parent Involvement–3 semester hours
  • EDUC 712 Using Qualitative Methods to Evaluate Program Development–3 semester hours
  • EDUC 770A Professional Seminar–1 semester hour

Term 3 (Spring 1):

  • EDUC 732/BADM 532 Leading Organizational Change–3 semester hours
  • EDUC 710 Educational Statistics–3 semester hours
  • EDUC 726 Mentoring and Professional Development–3 semester hours
  • EDUC 726 Mentoring and Professional Development–3 semester hours
  • EDUC 770B Professional Seminar–1 semester hour

Term 4 (Summer 2):

  • EDUC 662 School Organization and Law–3 semester hours
  • EDUC 750 Data Analysis and School Improvement–3 semester hours
  • Elective (see list below)

Term 5 (Fall 2):

  • EDUC 737 School Finance
  • EDUC 721 Ethical and Instructional Evaluation Practices–3 semester hours
  • EDUC 765 Technology Leadership–3 semester hours
  • EDUC 770C Professional Seminar–1 semester hour

Term 6 (Spring/Summer or more):

  • Dissertation requirements–12 semester hours

Electives to be chosen from the following (3 semester hours each):

  • EDUC 527 Content Area Reading
  • EDUC 530 Education of Exceptional Students
  • EDUC 538 Teaching English Language Learners
  • EDUC 545 Advanced Early Childhood Education (with instructor approval)
  • EDUC 577 Language Arts and Reading
  • EDUC 592 Grant Writing
  • EDUC 519 Assessment for Early Childhood/Elementary Educators
  • EDUC 621 Assessment and Evaluation
  • EDUC 623 Research Based Teaching Strategies
  • EDUC 631 Cultural Diversity and Education

Ed.S. Courses

Curriculum for the Education Specialist Degree (36 semester hours)

  • EDUC 641 Community and Parent Involvement–3 semester hours
  • EDUC 662 School Organization and Law–3 semester hours
  • EDUC 712 Using Qualitative Methods to Evaluate Program Development–3 semester hours
  • EDUC 721 Ethical and Instructional Evaluation Practices–3 semester hours
  • EDUC 726 Mentoring and Professional Development–3 semester hours
  • EDUC 730/BADM 530 Management and Leadership–3 semester hours
  • EDUC 732/BADM 532 Leading Organizational Change–3 semester hours
  • EDUC 735/BADM 535 Managing Human Resources–3 semester hours
  • EDUC 737/BADM 530 Managerial Accounting–3 semester hours
  • EDUC 750 Data Analysis and School Improvement–3 semester hours
  • EDUC 765 Technology Leadership–3 semester hours
  • EDUC 770A Professional Seminar–1 semester hour
  • EDUC 770B Professional Seminar–1 semester hour
  • EDUC 770C Professional Seminar–1 semester hour

Outstanding Reputation & Partner Schools

Milligan values the close relationships it has nurtured with over a dozen area K-12 school systems through its teacher education program.  Many of the leaders in these schools received their undergraduate and/or M.Ed. degree from Milligan. Representatives of our partner school systems served on the planning committee for this degree program.

The college’s reputation for producing well-prepared, creative, committed teachers is unparalleled. School administrators consistently look to Milligan as a resource for both hiring and training, regularly calling on faculty to lead workshops for in-services and to collaborate on various education issues. Thousands of our graduates are serving as teachers, coaches, counselors, and administrators in schools across the United States.

Mentored Experience

There’s nothing like walking into a classroom or office and seeing how theory learned in the classroom is applied to real-world situations. So the mentored experience is a critical part of the Milligan teacher education program and of real benefit to our degree candidates.

Working with principals and district personnel from each candidate’s school system, each degree candidate is assigned to a mentor working in a different capacity (early childhood/elementary, middle/secondary, district office) each term (EDUC 770 A,B,C).

Throughout this practicum experience, the candidate will complete projects related to each term’s coursework, as well as use the experience to develop the required portfolio. Candidates meet monthly in a professional seminar designed to enhance their experience. The seminar promotes reflection, in-depth discussion, and collaborative action research. Candidates will use the practicum experience to identify a real-world problem to be used as the basis for their dissertation. 


Milligan’s program is one of the most economical education programs in our region and is even priced below the local state university rate. Students in this program are eligible to apply for state and federal tuition assistance programs and for employer reimbursement when applicable.

Read more about cost and financial aid here »

Caring Faculty & Personal Attention

At Milligan, graduate courses are taught by professors with doctorates in education or related fields who have a wide variety of experiences in education in both urban and rural settings. Graduate courses at Milligan are small, allowing professors to interact closely with students for individual attention and supervision throughout their program. Our faculty are role models and mentors, and they will challenge you and stretch your mind and spirit.

Teaching you is more than a job to our faculty — it’s a mission. They are dedicated teachers, experienced professionals, and trusted mentors who invest time, energy, and ideas to inspire you and help you reach your highest potential. It’s not just a degree. It’s your future.

Christian Worldview

Today’s schools are challenged as never before. Faced with increasingly diverse student bodies and phenomenal technological change, contemporary schools need to provide quality services for all children. Now more than ever, children need teachers who are committed to excellence in the classroom and to Jesus Christ. It is our belief educators prepared in such a way will make a difference in the school and community where they live and serve.

“Caring and Reflective Teacher,” the theme of our department, is interwoven throughout our program. Our primary goal is to produce caring and reflective professional educators who will affect the lives of children in a markedly positive manner.


The teacher education program at Milligan is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) (2010 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20036; 202-466-7496). This accreditation covers initial teacher and advanced educator preparation programs.

Milligan College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Milligan College.



Admission to the Educational Leadership is competitive.  Admission decisions are made on a number of criteria including academic qualifications; leadership potential, experience and accomplishments; and the applicant’s fit with the program goals and objectives and the expertise of the program faculty. Those who meet stated minimum requirements are not guaranteed admission, nor are those who fail to meet all of those requirements necessarily precluded from admission if they offer other appropriate strengths. Applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • MASTER’S DEGREE: Hold a master’s degree in a relevant area (e.g., educational; literacy, mathematics, or science education; higher education; human services; special education; technology in education) from an accredited university by the month in which they begin doctoral work.
  • SCHOLASTIC ABILITY: Demonstrate scholastic ability by having achieved a minimum grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale in their master’s program and a 289 on the new GRE (or a 389 or higher on the MAT).
  • LEADERSHIP ROLE: Recognized as a leader among fellow teachers or as having leadership potential.

Application Process

To apply to the Ed.D. in Educational Leadership program, complete the following:

  1. APPLICATION: You can apply online (select Summer 2017 term). Just call us and we’ll walk you through it.
  2. INTERVIEW: Interview with faculty admissions committee is required
  3. TRANSCRIPTS of all previous academic work at the undergraduate and graduate level
  5. RECOMMENDATIONS: Applicants must submit at least three letters of recommendation from people qualified to assess the applicant’s leadership skills and academic potential. One letter must be from the applicant’s supervisor or teacher leader. It is advisable to ask the people who will write your recommendations well in advance of the deadline. (Have your reference submit one online!)
  6. PORTFOLIO: Include:
    • current professional development plan
    • personal statement of career goals, how program would assist in reaching goals
    • evidence of ability to improve student achievement/leadership in coaching other teachers
    • evidence of knowledge about curriculum, instruction, assessment (current evaluation)
    • evidence of qualities of collaboration, cooperation, relationship building
  7. INTERNATIONALS: International students whose native language is not English or do not hold a bachelor’s degree completed in residency in the U.S. must also provide a satisfactory score on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Normally, the TOEFL score must be at least 550 on the paper-based examination, 213 on the computer-based examination, or 79 on the internet-based examination. The IELTS score must be at least 6.5.  International students should click here for information on the immigration/visa process »



Dr. Rich Aubrey

Rich Aubrey

Women's Basketball Coach; Adjunct Instructor of Education; Apartment Manager

Phone: 423.975.8029
Office: Steve Lacy Fieldhouse


Dr. Tausha Clay

Tausha Clay

Associate Professor of Education; Paul Clark Chair of Teacher Education; Coordinator of Field Experience-Teacher Education

Phone: 423.461.8427
Office: Clark Education Center 099


Dr. Angela Hilton-Prillhart

Angela Hilton-Prillhart

Associate Professor of Education; Area Chair of Education; Director of the M.Ed. Program; Director of Teacher Certification

Phone: 423.461.8769
Office: Baker Faculty Office Center, 105


Dr. Lyn Howell

Lyn Howell

The Paul Clark Chair Emerita of Teacher Education; Director of Instructional Leadership

Phone: 423.461.8484
Office: Clark Education Center, 104


Karen Presnell

Karen Presnell

Office Manager and Certification Officer for Teacher Education

Phone: 423.461.8927
Office: Clark Education Center, 103