Earning a Doctor of Education Degree in Kansas
Kansas is the land of CAEP-accredited choices. In our school listings, you’ll find doctorates in education in a range of specialties. KU’s School of Education has an outstanding national ranking, but we wouldn’t dismiss the others out of hand. WSU and KSU have interesting doctoral funding opportunities. Baker and SC offer unique online Ed.D. degrees. And plenty of Ed.D. programs are state-approved for school leadership licensure.
Or you could come at the challenge sideways. For example, Fort Hays State University has a collaborative agreement with KSU that allows FHSU Ed.S. graduates to transfer credits into KSU’s Ed.D. program in Education Leadership. What’s more, Missouri universities have a ton of doctorates in education. You may find something in the Kansas City area that exactly suits your needs.
Wondering which K-12 district or Kansas university town to settle in post-graduation? Have a quick look at our career section. We’ve pulled up Kansas data on PK-20 administrative jobs & salaries and provided links to specific job boards (e.g. USA-Kansas Careers). You’re also welcome to explore the annotated list of Kansas educational leadership organizations and ideas for useful conferences & training programs.
Online Doctor of Education Programs in Kansas
Online Ed.D. Providers in Kansas
- Baker University (CAEP-accredited)
- Kansas State University (CAEP-accredited)
- Southwestern College (CAEP-accredited)
What to Know About California Online Ed.D. Programs
KSU is the main public provider of online doctoral programs in education in Kansas, so it tends to have reasonable tuition rates for graduate degrees. However, Southwestern College’s online Ed.D. contains a licensure track and Baker is blazing a path for 21st century educators. We’ve outlined pros and cons below.
If you’re willing to stomach a little bit of a commute, you could expand your search to blended options. For instance, WSU’s Hybrid EdD in Educational Leadership – Educational Psychology is a combination of on-campus and online coursework.
Note: Our overview of online doctoral programs in education has a comprehensive listing of online Ed.D. offerings in every state.
Online Ed.D. Programs at Public Kansas Universities
KSU is a big public research university with a sturdy College of Education and a fair amount of funding opportunities. You can choose from two online Ed.D. options—both are 90-94 credits, but you’ll be able to transfer credits from your master’s. This will bring the total number of credits for the Ed.D. down to 60-64. In addition, KSU’s reasonable tuition rates are the same for in-state and out-of-state online students. A few more things to note:
- The Online Ed.D. in Adult Learning and Leadership contains a lot of electives, which means you can customize it to suit your specialty. We also like the fact that the curriculum contains an internship and conference presentation. Online courses are 8-14 weeks in length, but this program does have a residency component—two short doctoral courses on-campus. Residencies are in a week-long or multiple-weekend format.
- The cohort-based Online Ed.D. in Curriculum and Instruction is designed for current licensed educators & administrators with at least three years of classroom teaching experience. Coursework is 100% online and there’s no residency requirement. The curriculum includes targeted internships, but these are intended to allow students to tailor their dissertation research to their field of interest. It takes around 3 years.
Online Ed.D. Programs at Private Kansas Universities
Southwestern College’s 54-credit Online Ed.D. in Educational Leadership comes in two emphases: PK-12 and Higher Education. Both emphases require a 3.5 GPA on any graduate work, but no GRE is required. Online courses are 8 weeks long and tuition rates are fairly reasonable for a private school.
- PK-12—Licensure or Non-Licensure: The PK-12 emphasis has a licensure track in building or district leadership and a non-licensure track in teacher leadership. All candidates must have a current teaching license. This program is a little unusual—it accepts candidates with a bachelor’s degree who want to complete a master’s + Ed.D. for licensure (5 years) or candidates who have a master’s and just want the Ed.D. (3 years).
- Higher Education: The higher education emphasis is only open to candidates with a master’s degree. As far as we can determine, you don’t need a current teaching license to apply for this emphasis.
There is a summer residency component for two Ed.D. courses—residencies are 1-2 weeks in length. We also give Southwestern College kudos for including a professional capstone portfolio and field-based projects in the curriculum. See the Academic Catalog and Program Requirements for details.
Another private alternative is Baker University’s unusual Online Ed.D. in Instructional Design & Performance Technology, which attracts a range of tech-loving educators. It’s a cohort-based program that takes around 59+ credits and 3 years to complete. Courses are 7 weeks long and 100% online. You’ll be able to participate in directed field experiences for your practicums and create a portfolio.
You don’t need a master’s in education to apply to this Ed.D. Better yet, applicants who have earned a graduate degree in instructional design and performance technology, learning technologies, online learning, or a related field can waive up to 12 credit hours. Plus we’re happy to report that per credit tuition is competitive with public schools.
Note: You can also take courses for Baker’s Ed.D. in Leadership in Higher Education through video conferencing using Zoom technology.
Doctoral Education Funding in Kansas
Internal Scholarships, Fellowships & Awards
For this section, we’ve highlighted institutional aid (e.g. internal scholarships, tuition breaks, etc.). You’ll notice that well-endowed public schools tend to have a lot of funding for graduate students. Private universities in Kansas lean more toward payment plans and outside loans. If you’d like help with external aid (e.g. federal & private loan applications), the university’s Office of Financial Aid and the Graduate School are your best bets.
The School of Professional & Graduate Studies (SPGS) has a section on Financial Aid for School of Education students, which has answers to FAQs. Baker graduate programs are approved for federal financial loan programs.
Kansas State University
The College of Education (COE) has a section devoted to Graduate Students, with info on general Graduate School Financial Support, Graduate Student Travel Grants (including COE funds), COE Employment Opportunities, and COE Graduate Assistantships (e.g. Special Education, Counseling and Student Affairs).
If you’re interested in KSU’s online Ed.D. programs, check out the Global Campus’s section on Financial Assistance and Scholarships for distance learners. According to the Online Ed.D. in Curriculum and Instruction FAQs, a limited number of assistantships are available for this program. They involve working with pre-service teachers online.
The Southern College of Professional Studies (SCPS) has a section on Financial Aid, with info on Scholarships & Grants (almost all of these are for undergraduates, but you can ask about military & veteran awards) and payment deferral for employer reimbursement. SC also offers payment plans.
University of Kansas
The School of Education (SOE) has a large & comprehensive section on Affording Your Degree, with details on Scholarships and Assistantships. You can view featured SOE Scholarships for Graduate Students. The Office of Graduate Studies also has ideas for Graduate Funding, including fellowships and Graduate Scholarly Presentation Travel Funds.
In addition, the SOE has initiated a Practicing Educator Sponsorship Program for any Kansas PK-12 educator in a public or private building/district who is admitted to a degree-seeking graduate program. This provides a tuition discount on credit hours.
Wichita State University
The Department of Counseling, Educational Leadership, Education and School Psychology (CLES) has a great section devoted to Scholarships & Aid. This contains info on Graduate Assistantships, Graduate School Awards & Grants, Tuition Assistance for WSU Employees, and College of Applied Studies Scholarships. Ask the Ed.D. program coordinator if doctoral students are eligible for the graduate fellowships in Educational Leadership.
In addition, Graduate students are eligible for certain tuition discounts, including the Shocker City Partnership and Shocker Select for students in neighboring states and Global Select Scholarships for international students. The Ed.D. also qualifies for the Midwest Student Exchange Program (MSEP) discount.
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 Kansas
School Leadership License
The Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE) and its Division of Learning Services (DLS) handles licensure for public school educators. The primary license for administrators is the School Leadership License. This is split into two categories:
- Building Leadership (Principal)
- District Leadership (Superintendent)
We’ve provided a quick summary of license requirements—and the progression from Initial to Professional licensure—below. KSDE has more detailed info.
KSDE also maintains a database of Approved Preparation Programs & Institutions. There are a number of Ed.D. programs in our school listings that lead to leadership licensure (building and/or district), including offerings from KU, KSU, Baker, and SC. When in doubt, ask the Ed.D. program coordinator!
Note: KSDE’s section on the School Leadership License contains instructions for out-of-state administrators who wish to apply for a Kansas license.
Initial School Leadership License: Building or District
The Initial School Leadership License at the building level or district level lasts for two years. To earn it, you must:
- Hold a graduate degree from a regionally accredited college.
- Complete a graduate-level, state-approved program in school leadership; KSDE will want to see a 3.25 cumulative GPA in graduate coursework.
- Have at least five years of accredited experience while holding a professional-level teaching, school specialist, or clinical license, or a full vocational-technical certificate.
- Have at least 8 credit hours or one year of accredited experience completed within the last six years.
- Pass the appropriate school leadership licensure assessment test from ETS. Building-level and district-level administrator candidates have different tests.
Professional School Leadership License
After you have earned your initial license, you can pursue the Professional School Leadership License. To do so, you’ll need to complete a performance assessment—a year-long approved mentoring program that’s chosen by the hiring local education agency. The professional license lasts for five years and is renewable.
Educational Leadership Jobs in Kansas
Educational Leadership Career Outlook
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) keeps a watchful eye on employment & salary data for elementary & secondary school education administrators and postsecondary education administrators in every state. We particularly like the employment & wage maps on these pages, since they allow you to compare Kansas’s situation with neighboring states.
Overall, Kansas K-12 administrators often fall into a lower employment bracket. As you might expect, job numbers for this category are similar to Oklahoma and Nebraska. If you’d like more specific K-12 data, try KSDE’s Data Central. This has links to Kansas State Building Report Cards, budgets, directories, and much more. You can use the section on School Finance Reports to examine Personnel Reports (e.g. administrator headcounts) and student enrollment numbers. In addition, the Kansas Career Navigator lists high demand occupations by county.
It’s a similar employment story for Kansas postsecondary education administrators. Like Nebraska, there aren’t that many openings for higher education leaders. However, the Lawrence KS metropolitan area often has a high concentration of jobs. We’re betting the presence of KU, Haskell Indian Nations University, and Baker University in Douglas County has a lot to do with this statistic!
The Kansas Board of Regents publishes data & reports on Kansas public colleges & universities, including the Kansas Higher Education Data Books. The Faculty and Staff section is always enlightening since it provides administrative headcounts. Of the state universities, KU, KSU, and KUMC are the largest employers of university support staff.
Educational Leadership Salaries
Annual mean wages and exact job numbers for Kansas educational administrators are posted in the BLS’s section on State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates for Kansas. You’ll see a category for preschool administrators in that list.
Mean wages for Kansas K-12 administrators are not great (but, then again, the cost of living isn’t as bad as big states). Wages for this category are often worse than Nebraska, but better than Oklahoma. KSDE’s section on School Finance Reports contains Salary Reports for Kansas superintendents, principals, and teachers organized by district.
Mean wages for Kansas postsecondary education administrators are also typically low—about the same as Nebraska and better than Oklahoma. Public university salaries in Kansas are posted by the Kansas Department of Administration under KanView: Employee Compensation by Agency. Once you select the university and the job title (e.g. Assistant Director), you can view the total gross pay of everyone in that position.
Educational Leadership Job Boards
Regular job sites (e.g. Indeed, LinkedIn, HigherEdJobs, etc.) will almost always contain postings for Kansas educational leaders & administrators. However, there are a few state-specific job boards that are more focused.
- USA-Kansas posts Job Openings for K-12 educational administrators in a number of categories (e.g. superintendents, principals, and district-level leadership).
- KASBO advertises Current Vacancies for Kansas school business officials (e.g. finance officer, business manager, etc.).
- KASB has a section on KASB Leadership Searches, with vacancies for superintendents, other administrative vacancies (e.g. HR director), and out-of-state superintendent vacancies.
Educational Leadership Organizations in Kansas
Educational Leadership Associations
- Kansas Association of School Boards (KASB): KASB represents board members in 285 school districts and 42 interlocals, cooperatives, service centers, community colleges, and technical colleges. Check out the Research section, with data on Kansas school district operations.
- Kansas Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (KASFAA): KASFAA is a non-profit association composed of post-secondary institutions and agencies who are interested in promoting the effective administration of student financial aid in Kansas.
- Kansas National Education Association (KNEA): KNEA represents public school teachers in Kansas. It’s a state affiliate of the NEA.
- United School Administrators of Kansas (USA-Kansas): USA-Kansas is a statewide umbrella organization comprised of ten school administrator associations (see below) and individual members.
USA-Kansas Member Associations
- Kansas Association of Elementary School Principals (KAESP): KAESP is the voice of Kansas’s elementary school principals. Membership benefits include professional learning, networking opportunities, state & national advocacy, and awards.
- Kansas Association of Middle School Administrators (KAMSA): KAMSA works with the Kansas Association for Middle Level Education (KAMLE) to serve the needs of middle school students and educators in Kansas.
- Kansas Association of School Business Officials (KASBO): KASBO represents Kansas professionals employed in school business positions.
- Kansas Association of School Personnel Administrators (KASPA): KASPA doesn’t have an independent website, but it exists to serve Kansas professionals involved in school personnel roles (e.g. HR). It’s a state affiliate of AASPA.
- Kansas Association of Secondary School Principals (KASSP): KASSP represents Kansas secondary school principals and their concerns. It often works closely with KAESP.
- Kansas Association of Special Education Administrators (KASEA): KASEA acts as the voice of Kansas administrators involved in special education. It provides mentoring and support for leaders and aims to advance the profession through policy and practice.
- Kansas Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (KASCD): KASCD promotes programs and practices which offer opportunities for supporting instructional leadership in the development of quality education for all students. It’s a state affiliate of ASCD.
- Kansas Council of Career and Technical Education Administrators (KCCTEA): KCCTEA doesn’t have an independent website, but it exists to support career & technical administrators in Kansas. It’s a state affiliate of K-ACTE.
- Kansas School Public Relations Association (KanSPRA): KanSPRA represents public information and communications professionals who serve in Kansas public school districts and education organizations.
- Kansas School Superintendents Association (KSSA): KSSA was established to support Kansas school district leaders in three key areas: professional development, communication, and advocacy.
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 Kansas
Educational Leadership Conferences
- Kansas Principals Conference: This two-day event in November is a joint effort between KAESP and KASSP. It attracts ~140 Kansas principals.
- KanSPRA Fall Conference: This two-day event for Kansas public relations professionals in schools & educational organizations usually takes place in late October.
- KASB Annual Conference: KASB’s annual three-day conference is billed as the largest gathering of elected school board members and district leaders in Kansas. It occurs in December.
- KASB Women’s Leadership Summit: This two-day event is aimed at female board of education members & administrators in Kansas. It’s held in early February.
- KASBO Conferences: KASBO’s Annual Convention & Expo for Kansas school business officials is held over three days in April. It also hosts a shorter Fall Conference in November.
- KASEA Winter Conference: This one-day event for Kansas special education administrators is typically held in February.
- KASFAA Spring Conference: KASFAA’s annual three-day event for Kansas school financial aid administrators & professionals takes place in early April.
- KSDE TASN Summer Leadership Conference: This two-day conference in July focuses on special education issues. KSDE also hosts a Kansas MTSS Symposium.
- USA-Kansas Annual Conference: USA’s long-running three day conference in late May includes general sessions, learning clusters, networking lunches, and more.
Educational Leadership Training
- KAESP Workshops: KAESP hosts a variety of workshops for elementary school principals and staff, including the Beginning Principals Workshop.
- KASB Leadership Services: KASB has developed a number of professional development programs for Kansas board members and administrators, including District and Building Leadership Development and Leadership Workshops.
- KASFAA Professional Development: School financial aid administrators & guidance counselors can receive training through in-person workshops and online presentations.
- KASSP Workshops: KASSP follows the same direction as KAESP, with a one-day Beginning Principals Workshop for secondary school principals and a Secretary Workshop.
- KSSA Workshops & Events: KSSA organizes a New Superintendents Workshop, an Assistant Superintendent/Director Workshop, training programs, and a KSSA Day @ KASB.
- USA-Kansas Professional Learning Network (PLN) Membership: Membership is open to districts, not individual members. District PLN membership gives administrators & teacher leaders access to workshops, mentoring for first-year administrators, advocacy meetings, and partnership discounts.