Earning a Doctor of Education Degree in Rhode Island
Our Rhode Island school listings contain only one choice for the doctorate in education—Johnson & Wales University, a private, non-profit school headquartered in Providence. The University of Rhode Island currently only offers Ph.D. programs.
JWU may not be CAEP-accredited, but it is regionally accredited. We also give it props for participating in the well-respected Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate (CPED), developing a convenient 100% online Ed.D. program, and allowing PRN participants to earn credit for the doctorate (see the section on Administrator Certificates). However, it doesn’t offer much in the way of doctoral funding.
Moving to the state—or thinking of moving out of it? Glance at the career section. We’ve pulled together resources on PK-20 administrative job & salary data and provided links to regional job boards. To help you decipher the acronyms, we’ve also included an annotated list of educational leadership associations (e.g. RIASP) and dates for conferences & training programs.
Online Doctor of Education Programs in Rhode Island
Online Ed.D. Providers in Rhode Island
- Johnson & Wales University
What to Know About Rhode Island Online Ed.D. Programs
If you need to go the distance, JWU’s 60-credit Online Ed.D. in Educational Leadership – Higher Education is worth a look. It’s 100% online and takes around three years to complete (Folks who are interested in the K-12 option will need to study on campus.)
JWU has come up with a solid structure. Courses are focused on relevant topics (e.g. Resource Planning and Management); the curriculum includes a Field Research Project; and JWU expects candidates to have a 3.25 GPA on master’s work. In addition, the doctorate is built on a semester-system model, which means you only take one 16-week course each fall, spring, and summer.
Tuition is charged at private school prices, so we recommend you chat to your employer about the possibility of tuition reimbursement. You’re allowed to transfer up to six credits from relevant Ed.D. coursework.
Note: Our overview of online doctoral programs in education contains a comprehensive listing of online Ed.D. degrees in every state.
Doctoral Education Funding in Rhode Island
Internal Scholarships, Fellowships & Awards
For this section, we’ve focused on institutional funding—money or discounts that come directly from the university. The Office of Financial Aid will be able to offer advice on federal & private loans and external fellowships.
Johnson & Wales University
JWU does not have scholarships at the graduate level, but it does offer a monthly payment plan. JWU Online is also affiliated with a number of Corporate Education Partners (e.g. Pearson). You may wish to check if tuition discounts are available through your employer.
School Administration Certification Requirements in Rhode Island
Types of Administrator Certificate
- Building Level Administrator
- District Level Administrator – Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment
- District Level Administrator – Special Education
- School Business Administrator
- Superintendent of Schools
We’ve provided a brief rundown of principal & superintendent requirements below. However, RIDE’s section on Certification Requirements has complete details on all categories, including instructions on how to earn a certificate through the RIDE Credential Review.
Many Rhode Island principals gain their Building Level Administrator Certificate (PK-12) through the Principal Residency Network (PRN). The good news is that JWU’s Ed.D. in Educational Leadership – Elementary/Secondary Education will allow PRN participants to earn credit toward the doctorate. Talk to the Ed.D. program coordinator about this option.
Building Level Administrator Certificate (PK-12)
To earn the Building Level Administrator Certificate using the RIDE-approved program pathway, you must:
- Hold an advanced degree from a regionally-accredited institution.
- Complete a RIDE-approved certification program (e.g. Principal Residency Network).
- Complete a 300-hour internship.
- Have three years of documented PK-12 professional experience.
- Demonstrate content competencies as prescribed by the appropriate RIDE-approved national professional associations.
- Receive a passing score on the School Leaders Licensure Assessment test.
Superintendent of Schools Administrator Certificate
To earn the Superintendent of Schools Administrator Certificate, you must:
- Hold an advanced degree from a regionally-accredited institution. This can be a doctorate or Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study (CAGS) OR a master’s program that has met coursework requirements. See RIDE’s Certification Requirements for details.
- Hold a Building Level Administrator Certificate OR have significant leadership experience in organizations other than schools.
- Demonstrate that you’ve met the Professional Competencies of the Rhode Island Standards for Educational Leadership (RISEL).
- Receive a passing score on the School Superintendent Assessment test.
Educational Leadership Jobs in Rhode Island
Educational Leadership Career Outlook
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) keeps a wary eye on employment & salary data for elementary & secondary school education administrators and postsecondary education administrators in every state. We favor the maps on these pages, since they allow users to get a bird’s-eye-view of the territory. Data points are pulled from State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates for Rhode Island.
Rhode Island is a small state, so it makes sense that employment levels for K-12 administrators are much lower than Massachusetts or Connecticut. The Providence area is an obvious hub, but the city has been facing well-known challenges with funding and performance.
If you’re preparing for a job interview or conducting dissertation research, RIDE’s Rhode Island Education Data is an excellent resource for K-12 information. It contains School and District Report Cards, Enrollment, Dropout and Graduation Data, and directions to the RI DataHUB. Report Cards contain a section on Educator Data (e.g. number of administrators).
The career news is better for higher education leaders. Like Massachusetts, Rhode Island has one of the highest concentration of postsecondary education administrators in the country (a statistic that takes into account population numbers). CCRI, URI, JWU, RIC, and Brown will have a lot to do with this phenomenon.
If you’re exploring job options at Rhode Island public universities & colleges, you may want to take a quick look at the Rhode Island Office of the Postsecondary Commissioner (RIOPC). It doesn’t publish a great deal of data, but it does provide an overview of RI higher education. The National Center for Education Statistics’s IPEDS tool and College Navigator will have more detailed information.
Educational Leadership Salaries
The state may not have many K-12 administrators, but wages for school leaders are usually very strong. Rhode Island is often in the highest bracket for top paying states in the nation—maybe not as good as Connecticut, but that’s a tough standard to meet.
You can compare the BLS’s numbers with NEARI’s list of Teacher Salaries by District. Certain organizations and districts will also post K-12 salary numbers. For example, the Providence Teachers Union (PTU) has its own PTU Salary Calculator.
Wages for Rhode Island postsecondary education administrators are also uniformly high, and frequently better than Massachusetts. The Chronicle of Higher Education publishes a table of average Faculty Salaries at RI public & private institutions. Brown and Roger Williams, as you might expect, top the salary list. Plus you can view salaries of individuals at public universities (e.g. URI, RI College, etc.) by using the RI State Employee Payroll Search.
Educational Leadership Job Boards
Traditional job sites (e.g. Indeed, HigherEdJobs, SchoolSpring, etc.) will advertise vacancies for Rhode Island educational leaders and PK-20 administrators. In addition:
- RIDE provides advice & resources on Education Jobs in RI. All hiring of K-12 teachers and other personnel is done on the local level by one of the 36 school districts.
- RIASP posts Employment/Job Opportunities for K-12 teachers and administrators.
- NESDEC publishes Job Postings for administrator openings in New England schools. It also conducts Executive Searches for superintendents.
- RIASFAA posts Job Opportunities for student financial aid administrators at Rhode Island colleges and universities.
- RI.gov supplies links to Employment Opportunities at RI Colleges and Universities (public and private).
Educational Leadership Organizations in Rhode Island
Educational Leadership Associations
- Association of Rhode Island Administrators of Special Education (ARIASE): ARIASE is the primary association for Rhode Island special education administrators.
- National Education Association Rhode Island (NEARI): NEARI is a union representing state employees and public school teachers. It has ~12,000 members and it’s a state affiliate of the NEA.
- New England Association of School Superintendents (NEASS): NEASS is a unifying association composed of school administrators from each of the six state superintendents’ associations.
- Rhode Island Association of School Business Officials (RIASBO): RIASBO members include school employees, RIDE employees, and faculty members at universities & colleges who are connected with the business administration of education. It’s a state affiliate of ASBO International.
- Rhode Island Association of School Committees (RIASC): RIASC is a non-profit organization dedicated to developing the effectiveness of Rhode Island School Committee members. Membership is open to districts, not individuals.
- Rhode Island Association of School Principals (RIASP): RIASP bills itself as the state’s leading professional association for school principals. It has 500+ members and it’s a state affiliate of NAESP and NASSP.
- Rhode Island Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (RIASFAA): RIASFAA serves the needs of postsecondary student financial aid administrators and others in the secondary and postsecondary educational community. It’s a state affiliate of NASFAA.
- Rhode Island Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development (RIASCD): RIASCD seeks to improve the quality of learning, teaching, and leading for the success of each learner. Members include teachers, educators, and administrators. It’s a state affiliate of ASCD.
- Rhode Island Middle Level Educators (RIMLE): RIMLE promotes the uniqueness of the middle level and provides professional development to educators across the state. Members include teachers, teacher leaders, principals, college professors, and students.
- Rhode Island School Superintendents’ Association (RISSA): RISSA membership is open to both superintendents and district-level leaders (e.g. curriculum director). It’s a state affiliate of AASA.
Note: State and national educator organizations often have funds & scholarships available for continuing education (e.g. Ed.D.). Check the website and ask about opportunities.
Educational Leadership Events in Rhode Island
Educational Leadership Conferences
- NEASS Annual Fall Conference: This two-day conference for New England superintendents and district-level leaders takes place in late September.
- RIASCD Fall Conference: RIASCD usually hosts their day-long annual conference for teachers and administrators in October.
- RIASFAA Annual Summer Conference: RIASFAA’s flagship conference for student financial aid administrators occurs in June.
- RIASP/RILLA Summer Conference: This annual day-long event for Rhode Island K-12 principals and school leaders is held in August.
- RISSA Conferences: RISSA organizes a number of events throughout the year, including local meetings.
Educational Leadership Training
- The Center for Leadership and Educational Equity (CLEE): CLEE runs two programs for teachers and school leaders: the Principal Residency Network (PRN) and the Learning Leader Network (LLN).
- RIASP Professional Development: Through the Rhode Island Instructional Leadership Academy (RILLA) and RIASPlearns, RIASP offers coaching workshops, mentoring, Schools in Action site visits, and more.
- RISSA Professional Development Events: Relevant events in this category include NESDEC Leadership Development and RISSA/RIASBO professional development programs (e.g. Legal Institute).