Earning a Doctor of Education Degree in Delaware
Delaware is a boutique state for the doctorate in education—you’ll only see a few universities in our school listings. But they’re all CAEP-accredited and they all have distinct pluses. UD is the largest university in Delaware and well-known in education circles. Wilmington has developed online programs with unique elements. And DSU often offers the best per credit tuition rates.
Delaware universities are also concerned with real-world practicality. Three Ed.D. programs swap out the dissertation for a doctoral research project and two programs can help you earn the DOE’s Standard Certificate in administration fields. Check out our doctoral funding section to learn if aid is available for your choice.
Coming from out-of-state? Wondering what you can earn in your district? Our career section has hard data on administrative jobs & wages in Delaware, links to local job boards, and a list of important educational leadership organizations (e.g. NASA). The state doesn’t have many targeted conferences or training opportunities, but keep in mind Delaware’s neighbors. Maryland is humming with events.
Online Doctor of Education Programs in Delaware
Online Ed.D. Providers in Delaware
- Wilmington University (CAEP-accredited)
What to Know About Delaware Online Ed.D. Programs
Your sole choice for Delaware online doctoral programs in education is a private, non-profit research university with a solid reputation. We’ve examined many online Ed.D. programs, and Wilmington’s degrees look thoughtful and well-structured. They’re primarily aimed at administrators who work with adults or college students. And though they’re not as cheap as Delaware’s public options, tuition rates are not much above UD.
For example, the 54-credit Online Doctor of Education in Organizational Leadership, Learning and Innovation is a) cohort-based; b) a mix of 100% online courses and weekend summer institutes; and c) comes in three targeted concentrations. This is a standard model for a three-year program, but Wilmington improves the curriculum by including a professional portfolio and a mandatory field experience (i.e. consulting project).
Wilmington’s 51-credit Online Doctor of Education in Higher Education Leadership takes an even bolder approach. The three-year program is a judicious blend of:
- Online coursework and course roundtables; roundtables are held weekly and include expert presentations and class discussions (i.e. the Professional Core).
- Individualized one-on-one field work experiences with a Wilmington mentor (i.e. the Guided Study Core). Some of this work will go toward building your portfolio.
- Research work on an Applied Inquiry Project (i.e. the Research Core). In other words, no dissertation.
We also want to point out that you can transfer relevant credits—up to 12 credits of graduate-level work.
Note: Our overview of online doctoral programs in education has a complete listing of distance learning Ed.D. options in every state.
No Dissertation Ed.D. Programs in Delaware
Doctoral Research Projects & Capstones
Not all Delaware Ed.D. programs have gone down the traditional dissertation route. Delaware State University’s Ed.D. in Educational Leadership offers alternatives. For your final capstone project, you can choose from:
- Case Study Analysis
- Project Study
Regardless of your choice, you’ll still be expected to present and defend your research capstone. DSU also expects Ed.D. students to produce a professional portfolio reflecting their doctoral activities, projects, skills, and standards.
Or you could consider UD’s Ed.D. in Educational Leadership. This program ends with an applied project—the 12-credit Education Leadership Portfolio (ELP). For the ELP, you’ll be asked to produce a Problem Statement, a Final Reflection Essay, and a set of Artifacts (e.g. needs assessments, literature syntheses, white papers, web designs or tools, curriculum designs, policy briefs, etc.). These kinds of elements give UD’s degree an experiential feel.
Finally, we want to mention Wilmington’s Doctor of Education in Higher Education Leadership (online or on-campus). This program culminates in an Applied Inquiry Project. Ed.D. students are allowed to choose from a variety of project formats for this project, as long as it focuses on applied research and a solution to a “problem of practice.” Results from the project are presented publicly to an audience of practitioners and peers.
Doctoral Education Funding in Delaware
Internal Scholarships, Fellowships & Awards
For this section, we’ve highlighted institutional aid (e.g. university scholarships, tuition breaks, assistantships, etc.). Delaware schools don’t have a lot of internal doctoral funding, so you may need to add external aid (e.g. federal & private loans, national fellowships, etc.). The Ed.D. program coordinator, the Office of Financial Aid, and the Graduate College are your best bets for advice in this area.
Delaware State University
As of 2019, DSU was offering a Special Incentive for Delaware teachers in the Ed.D. in Educational Leadership—a “Buy One, Get One Free” deal for summer semester courses. The university also offers a monthly payment plan.
University of Delaware
UD notes that Ed.D. students are usually part-time graduate students and normally do not qualify for financial assistance. Having said that, full-time Ed.D. students are eligible to apply for the same assistantships and fellowships as full-time Ph.D. students.
The School of Education has a comprehensive list of Graduate Scholarships; you might check to see if part-time Ed.D. students qualify for the Frank B. Murray Award for Excellence in Graduate Research. The Graduate College has further info on funding and fellowships, including assistantships.
Talk to the Ed.D. program coordinator about funding options. We saw some graduate awards listed in the section on Wilmington University Scholarships, but it’s unclear whether doctoral students qualify. Wilmington also offers a variety of payment plans.
Note: If a university name is missing from the list, we didn’t find specific examples of Ed.D. funding beyond private & federal loans and external aid.
School Administration Certification Requirements in Delaware
Standard Administrative Certificates
The Delaware Department of Education (DOE) handles administrator certification for school leaders in Delaware’s public school system. All Delaware educators have a license; a Standard Certificate certifies their education in a specific area of expertise. Standard administrative certificates are available for:
- School Principals & Assistant Principals
- Superintendents & Assistant Superintendents
- Certified Central Office Personnel (e.g. Directors, Supervisors, Administrative Assistants, Coordinators, and Managers in Instructional Areas)
We’ve covered the basic Standard Certificate requirements for Delaware principals & superintendents below, but we recommend you pay a visit to the DOE’s sections on the Standard Certificate and the Delaware List of Standard Certificates (i.e. the rules of the Professional Standards Board) for full details.
Interested in pursuing a Delaware Ed.D. for certification? Check the fine print and talk to the Ed.D. program coordinator. For example:
- Wilmington’s Ed.D. in Educational Leadership meets the DOE’s academic requirements for Superintendent certification. Assuming all other requirements specified by the DOE are met, graduates may also be eligible for Principal certification.
- UD’s Ed.D. in Educational Leadership can help with district-level certification (i.e. Central Office Personnel and Superintendent), but not the Principal qualification.
- DSU’s doctoral program does not provide any kind of licensure & certification preparation.
Note: The DOE also provides info on Out-of-State Applicant Certification, including a list of documentation requirements.
Standard Certificate: School Principal & Assistant Principal
To earn the Standard Certificate as a School Principal or Assistant School Principal, you must:
- Hold a valid Delaware Initial, Continuing, or Advanced License.
- Satisfy one of the following education requirements:
- Hold a master’s or doctoral degree in educational leadership from a regionally accredited college or university. This should be offered by a CAEP-recognized educator preparation program or a state-approved program with the equivalent standards. See the Professional Standards Board specs.
- Hold a master’s or doctoral degree from a regionally accredited college or university in any field and complete a School Principal Course of Study and a School Principal Certification Program.
- Have at least five years of teaching experience.
Standard Certificate: Superintendent & Assistant Superintendent
To earn the Standard Certificate as a Superintendent or Assistant Superintendent, you must:
- Hold a valid Delaware Initial, Continuing, or Advanced License.
- Satisfy one of the following education requirements:
- Hold a doctoral degree in educational leadership from a regionally accredited college or university. This should be offered by a CAEP-recognized educator preparation program or a state-approved program with the equivalent standards. See the Professional Standards Board specs.
- Hold a master’s or doctoral degree from a regionally accredited college or university in any field and complete an approved Superintendent Program.
- Hold a master’s or doctoral degree from a regionally accredited college or university in any field, a Standard Certificate Certified Central Office Personnel or a Standard Certificate Special Education Director, and complete an additional nine graduate-level credit hours from a regionally accredited college or university in educational leadership or the equivalent.
- Have at least seven years of education experience, including a minimum of five years of teaching experience and a minimum of two years of full-time leadership experience.
Educational Leadership Jobs in Delaware
Educational Leadership Career Outlook
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) monitors employment & salary data for elementary & secondary school education administrators and postsecondary education administrators throughout the country. We always like to take a quick look at the employment maps.
You’ll notice that Delaware K-12 education administrators are often in the lowest employment bracket: a small state tends to equate to small job numbers. But you may also find that certain areas in Delaware (e.g. Dover DE metropolitan area, which is home to the Capital School District) have a high concentration of jobs.
Want to dig deeper into these stats? The DOE has a section devoted to Annual Reports on Delaware’s public schools; it also issues Delaware School Report Cards. Both of these sources may be helpful in your capstone research as well as your job hunt. In addition, you’ll find a school-by-school breakdown of K-12 administrative headcounts in DE Educational Personnel Reports (i.e. Number of FTE Staff).
It’s a similar tale for Delaware postsecondary education administrators. Employment numbers are low because there aren’t that many colleges & universities to employ people. Having said that, UD and Wilmington enroll a large number of students. UD’s section on Institutional Research has an entire section on Personnel, where you can view detailed Employee Breakdowns.
Educational Leadership Salaries
The BLS also posts State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates for Delaware, a list which includes average mean wages for four kinds of education administrator categories, including preschool.
There may not be many Delaware K-12 education administrators, but they’re well compensated. Delaware is often one of the top-paying states in the country, along with Maryland. The DOE’s section on DE Educational Personnel Reports also includes an annual report on the Average Salary of Full-Time Staff. This includes the salaries of Delaware principals, superintendents, directors, specialists, and instructional support staff.
Delaware postsecondary education administrators have it just as good. In 2019, Delaware was the second top paying state in the U.S., just behind New Jersey. Unfortunately, UD and DSU are considered public-private hybrids, so staff are not counted as public sector employees in state payroll data. However, UD posts Salary Structures and Average Total Compensation reports for faculty & researchers.
Educational Leadership Job Boards
Traditional job sites (e.g. LinkedIn, HigherEdJobs, Indeed, etc.) will supply you with job postings for education administrators and leaders. But you can also try two state-specific job boards.
- Join Delaware Schools lists Job Vacancies in Delaware school districts, charter schools, and the Department of Education.
- The Delaware state government has a JobLink that enables you to search for educational leadership openings by keyword (e.g. Academic Affairs Director).
Educational Leadership Organizations in Delaware
Educational Leadership Associations
- Association of Business Officials Maryland & District of Columbia (ASBO MD&DC): ASBO MD&DC represents school business officials in K-12 and higher education realms. It has ~1,100 members in Maryland, Delaware, and the District of Columbia. It also offers voluntary certification.
- Delaware Association for Public Administration (DAPA): DAPA is composed of Delaware leaders who are involved in the fields of public administration and public service. It’s a state chapter of the ASPA. Check out the Awards section.
- Delaware Association of School Administrators (DASA): DASA is a professional organization that represents school administrators in the state of Delaware. It’s affiliated with the NAESP, NASSP, and AASA.
- Delaware-District of Columbia-Maryland Association of School Financial Aid Administrators (Tri-State): Tri-State serves to educate and support members of the area’s financial aid community. Check out the Scholarships section.
- Delaware School Boards Association (DSBA): DSBA is a voluntary, non-profit organization of school boards in Delaware. It’s made up of 15 local school boards of education and the State Board of Education.
- Delaware State Education Association (DSEA): DSEA is the state’s teacher union. It represents ~12,000 classroom teachers, specialists, and education support professionals working in Delaware public schools.
Note: Remember that state and national educator organizations often have funds and scholarships available for continuing education (e.g. Ed.D.). Check the website and ask about opportunities.
Educational Leadership Events in Delaware
Educational Leadership Conferences
- ASBO MD&DC Annual Spring Conference: This four-day event for school business officials usually takes place in May. The one-day Annual Fall Conference is held in November.
- Policy & Practice Institute: Delaware’s Conference on Public Education: Run by UD, this one-day event in June is attended by 400+ teachers, school leaders, district leaders, board members, education policy makers, and DOE staff.
- Tri-State Annual Conference: This three-day event in November is aimed at professionals working in the fields of financial aid, loans, scholarships, and higher education. That includes high school counselors or administrators and staff at colleges & universities.
Educational Leadership Training
- ASBO MD&DC Allen Gaddis Leadership Academy: This two-year program for school business officials consists of foundation coursework, a leadership seminar, conference attendance, and committee work.
- DASA Professional Development: DASA organizes workshops and training sessions throughout the year.
- Delaware Academy for School Leadership (DASL): DASL is the braindchild of UD. It’s a professional development center that aims to improve public education by developing and supporting school and district leaders throughout all levels of their careers. In particular, see the sections on Leadership Programs, Coaching, and the Women’s Leadership Initiative.