Earning a Doctor of Education Degree in Iowa
When it comes to doctoral programs in education, Iowa is a tale of two choices: public or private. On the public side are ISU and UNI, which are a) well-known and respected; and b) both taking part in the Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate. On the private side are Drake University and Allen College. Drake is a highly ranked Midwest Regional University and Allen is the sole provider of Iowa online Ed.D. programs.
You’ll find all of their doctorates of education in our school listings, along with info on curricula & costs. To help you decide on the right match, we’ve also pulled out details on Iowa doctoral funding opportunities—be sure to check out UNI’s assistantships—and provided some background on PreK-12 Administrator License requirements. There are Ed.D. programs that can help with the superintendent path.
If you’re still considering your ultimate direction, have a quick glance at the career section. It contains detailed employment & salary data on Iowa educational administrator jobs, as well as links to helpful resources (e.g. Report Cards, leadership job boards, public institution data centers, etc.). You may even want to browse through the annotated lists of Iowa educational leadership organizations and conferences & training programs (e.g. SAI Institutes, Iowa WHE Conference, etc.).
Online Doctor of Education Programs in Iowa
Online Ed.D. Providers in Iowa
- Allen College
What to Know About Iowa Online Ed.D. Programs
We found only one online doctorate of education in Iowa—Allen College’s 60-credit Online Doctor of Education in Health Professions Education (EdD-HPE). Allen College is a private, regionally accredited nursing school, so this Ed.D. naturally focuses on preparing educational leaders in health science & nursing education.
It has some elements we like to see, including a practice-focused dissertation and short residency requirements. Although the coursework is online, the curriculum includes an orientation and two courses that require two days on campus (four days in total). Plus transfer credits are allowed for post-master’s level coursework.
Note: Not interested in health education? Our overview of online doctoral programs in education has a complete listing of online Ed.D. degrees in every state. ISU also offers a hybrid/online Ed.D. in Community College Leadership or Ed.D. in P-12 Systems-Level Leadership. Students meet regularly in Ames on weekends and online.
Doctoral Education Funding in Iowa
Internal Scholarships, Fellowships & Awards
For this section, we’ve highlighted sources of institutional aid (e.g. internal Ed.D. scholarships, discounts, etc.). The Graduate School and the Office of Financial Aid will be able to help with advice on external aid (e.g. federal & private loans). We also recommend you ask the Ed.D. program coordinator about how doctoral students are usually funded. Part-time programs may be ineligible for certain aid packages.
As of 2019, all students enrolling in the Ed.D. program were automatically eligible for a 25% tuition scholarship. Allen also has a separate section on Financial Aid & Scholarships. Most Allen Institutional Scholarships are reserved for undergraduates and MSN students, but you can always ask the Ed.D. program coordinator if you’re eligible for any general graduate awards.
The School of Education (SOE) has plenty of SOE Funds and Scholarships, but it doesn’t specify criteria. You’ll have better luck with Drake’s section on Graduate Tuition & Financial Aid—the university offers an Employer Tuition Support Plan to students who are receiving work reimbursements.
Iowa State University
The School of Education (SOE)’s section on Scholarships & Financial Aid contains details on current graduate scholarships. There are some awards for doctoral students—check with the program coordinator to see if Ed.D. students are eligible to apply. The SOE has additional info on Graduate Student Assistantships, but keep in mind that the Ed.D. is a hybrid program.
University of Northern Iowa
The College of Education (COE) has a unique section on Scholarships and Assistantships for students in COE doctoral studies. In particular, check out the list of COE Scholarships—we’re pleased to report that there are specific awards for doctorate of education candidates. This section has more info on:
- Curriculum & Instruction Graduate Scholarships & Assistantships
- Ed Leadership/Special Education Director Assistantships (e.g. Ed.D. Graduate Assistantship: Educational Leadership)
- Allied Health, Recreation, & Community Services Assistantships
In addition, UNI has step-by-step instructions on Financing Graduate School. The Graduate College has more details on Graduate Assistantships & Scholarships. You can use UNI’s Scholarship Directory to search for general awards.
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 Licensure Requirements in Iowa
Administrator Licenses & Endorsements
The Iowa Board for Educational Examiners (BOEE) handles school licensure & endorsements for the Iowa Department of Education (IDE). There are various types of Administration License, but the most common one is the Initial Administrator License, which eventually leads to the Professional Administrator License.
In Iowa, administrators are required to add a specific administrator endorsement to their license—the BOEE has instructions on how to Add an Endorsement to a License and an Endorsements List. We’ve also provided a quick summary of principal & superintendent requirements below. Iowa school business officials should consult the sections on School Business Official Authorization.
Note: If you’re looking to transfer an existing license or certificate, the BOEE has a section on Administrator Exchange – Out of State Applicants.
Initial Administrator License:
To earn the Initial Administrator License, you must:
- Hold or be eligible for an Iowa teaching license.
- Complete a master’s degree.
- Verify that you have three years of teaching experience.
- Complete the requirements for an administrative endorsement (see below).
PK-12 Principal/PK-12 Special Education Supervisor Endorsement
The BOEE provides links to education preparation programs for the PK-12 Principal/PK-12 Special Education Supervisor Endorsement (189). Most principal endorsement preparation programs in Iowa take the form of a master’s degree + licensure coursework (or just the licensure coursework, if you already hold a master’s). An alternative pathway is the Iowa Principal Leadership Academy.
PK-12 Superintendent & AEA Administrator Endorsement
The BOEE provides links to education preparation programs for the PK-12 Superintendent & AEA Administrator Endorsement (171). Superintendent endorsement preparation programs are often Ed.S. or certificate programs, but a number of Ed.D. programs in our listings qualify as well (e.g. Drake, UNI, and ISU).
One thing to note—on top of a master’s degree, superintendent endorsement candidates must already have an Iowa Administrator License and at least 3 years of principal experience to apply.
Educational Leadership Jobs in Iowa
Educational Leadership Career Outlook
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) tracks job & salary data for elementary & secondary school education administrators and postsecondary education administrators in every state. You can get a bird’s-eye-view of the career landscape by looking at the employment maps.
Unlike its neighbors (e.g. Missouri and Illinois), Iowa doesn’t employ a great deal of of K-12 administrators. Low population numbers tend to make for fewer opportunities. If you’d like more specifics, the IDE publishes all kinds of useful Education Statistics on K-12 schools, including State Report Cards. Here you’ll find headcounts & salary reports for Iowa public school teachers & teacher leaders, principals, and superintendents in its Staff Data section. Another handy tool is the IDE Public Reporting Website, which allows you to view all district & building data at a glance.
In contrast, there tend to be lots of jobs for postsecondary education administrators. Along with Rhode Island and Massachusetts, Iowa is usually one of the states with the highest concentration of this type of job in the country. You can explore your options by visiting Iowa College Aid’s Higher Education Data Center. This has enrollment numbers, financial data, minority faculty info, and reports on the Condition of Higher Education in the state. Areas around Drake, UNI, ISU, and UNI are always hotspots for higher education jobs.
Educational Leadership Salaries
Exact employment and annual mean wage numbers for Iowa educational administrators are listed in the BLS’s section on State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates for Iowa. You’ll find four categories listed there: elementary & secondary, postsecondary, preschool, and other.
Overall, mean wages for Iowa K-12 administrators are respectable—maybe not as high as wages in Minnesota or Illinois but often better than Missouri. Annual salary reports for Iowa public school educators & administrators are published in IDE’s Staff Data section and the IDE Public Reporting Website. For the Public Reporting website, choose a district and then select the Financial Report Card section to view a list of administrator salaries.
Wages for Iowa postsecondary education administrators are also good (if not outstanding); the state is frequently in the same wage bracket as Wisconsin and Minnesota. The Des Moines Register maintains a Database: State of Iowa Employee Salaries, which includes salary numbers for employees in public universities. You can search by Department (e.g. Iowa State University) and position (e.g. Director). Or you can choose to look up a specific person.
Educational Leadership Job Boards
Traditional job sites (e.g. LinkedIn, HigherEdJobs, SchoolSpring, etc.) and Iowa university & college websites will list openings for Iowa educational administrators and leaders. But there are also a number of state-specific job boards that may tally with your career goals.
- Teach Iowa allows you to search for PreK-12 administration job listings within the state of Iowa (sort by Category, District and/or Keyword).
- The Iowa Regional Education Applicant & Placement Program (Iowa REAP) includes administrative positions in Iowa school districts and private schools.
- IASBO lists Career Postings for Iowa school business officials (e.g. CFO).
- IASFAA maintains Employment Listings for Iowa student financial aid administrators.
- IACTE advertises Positions Available for higher education faculty in Iowa Schools & Colleges of Education.
Educational Leadership Organizations in Iowa
Educational Leadership Associations
- Iowa Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (IACTE): IACTE provides opportunities for communication, collaboration, and cooperative action among Iowa’s 32 teacher preparation institutions and other educational organizations.
- Iowa Association of School Boards (IASB): IASB is a non-profit organization that serves Iowa school boards and public schools. Members include boards of education for Iowa’s public school districts, area education agencies, and community colleges. IASB works closely with superintendents, business officials, and school attorneys.
- Iowa Association of School Business Officials (IASBO): IASBO supports ~485 Iowa school business officials and superintendents through a variety of programs and services. It’s a state affiliate of ASBO. Check out the sections on New SBO Authorization and SBO Renewal.
- Iowa Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (IASFAA): IASFAA represents practitioners, users, and providers of student financial aid programs in postsecondary education. It’s a state affiliate of NASFAA.
- Iowa Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development (Iowa ASCD): Iowa ASCD is committed to developing instructional leadership. It has 1,250+ members, including teachers, principals, superintendents, directors of curriculum, technology specialists, college professors, AEA staff, and instructional coaches. It’s a state affiliate of ASCD.
- Iowa State Education Association (ISEA): ISEA is the state’s teachers’ union. It represents classroom teachers and other licensed professional staff, school support staff workers, retired teachers, AEA employees, community college faculty, and future teachers. It’s a state affiliate of NEA.
- School Administrators of Iowa (SAI): One to bookmark. SAI represents 2,000+ PreK-12 educational administrators in Iowa. Members include school superintendents, principals, curriculum directors, AEA administrators, and colleges of education professors. It’s affiliated with NAESP, NASSP, and AASA.
Educational Leadership Professional Groups
- Iowa Network for Women in Higher Education (Iowa WHE): Iowa WHE is part of the national network coordinated by the Inclusive Excellence Group of the American Council on Education (ACE). It aims to be the premiere network for women in higher education in the state of Iowa.
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 Iowa
Educational Leadership Conferences
- IACTE Spring Conference: This two-day event in April attracts faculty and administrators who are involved in Iowa teacher preparation programs. IACTE also hosts a two-day Fall Conference in November.
- IASB Annual Convention: IASB’s two-day convention in November includes pre-convention workshops, keynote speakers, talks, and the state’s largest education trade show.
- IASBO Annual Fall Conference: IASBO’s event for Iowa school business officials and superintendents takes place over two days in November.
- IASBO/SAI Student Activities Conference: This is a one-day biennial conference in August. All school business officials, activities directors, activities secretaries, principals, superintendents, coaches, booster club presidents, and others involved with student activities are invited to attend.
- IASFAA Spring Conference: IASFAA’s two-day conference in April is tailored to student financial aid administrators. It also hosts a Fall Conference.
- Iowa WHE Annual Spring Leadership Conference: This two-day event in April brings together Iowa women administrators & leaders to network and discuss current issues in higher education.
- ISFLC New Superintendents’ Conference: This one-day conference in September provides new superintendents with a thorough introduction to Iowa school finance and other relevant concerns.
- SAI Annual Conference: SAI’s flagship event for PreK-12 administrators takes place over three days in late July/early August. The conference includes pre-conference workshops, keynote speakers, and sessions with thought leaders.
- The Way Up Conference: Organized by various Iowa organizations (e.g. IDE, Iowa universities, etc.), this two-day conference in November is aimed at women in higher education institutions who wish to develop their leadership and administrative skills and expertise.
Educational Leadership Training
- Iowa Superintendents’ Finance & Leadership Consortium (ISFLC): The ISFLC is co-sponsored by IASB and the Institute for Educational Leadership (IEL) at UNI. It’s a professional development program for practicing Iowa superintendents, aspiring superintendents, business managers/board secretaries, and district central office administrators.
- Iowa WHE Mentoring Other Women (MOW) Program: This year-long program is open to anyone who would like to improve their leadership skills and advance their careers in higher education administration.
- SAI Mentoring and Induction Program: SAI’s mentorship program fulfills Iowa Code requirements for beginning principals and individuals who are new to the superintendency.
- SAI Professional Learning: SAI organizes a variety of labs & workshops for Iowa school administrators throughout the year. It also runs a New Superintendents Institute and New Administrators Institutes for Elementary Principals, Assistant Principals & Deans, and Middle Level & Secondary Principals.