Earning a Doctor of Education Degree in Washington
Washington doctoral programs in education are a study in contrasts. For example, you’ll notice that none of the universities in our school listings hold CAEP accreditation. On the other hand:
- UW-Seattle’s College of Education has a top-flight national ranking and an international reputation. The university also has a fair amount of doctoral funding opportunities for Ed.D. students.
- UW-Tacoma, WSU, and SeattleU have opted to take part in the Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate (CPED), which puts an emphasis on applied learning.
- CityU has made of point of developing 100% online Ed.D. programs.
- And four Washington universities have Ed.D. programs that incorporate administrative certification preparation.
You can read all about ’em in our school listings, which also contain links to costs & curricula. Once you’ve made your choice, have a quick look at our career section. This will point you toward PreK-20 job & salary data, useful career resources (e.g. School Personnel Summary Reports), and state-specific job boards. You may even wish to join an educational leadership organization—AWSP and WASA are particularly active within the state—or sign up for conferences & leadership training programs.
Online Doctor of Education Programs in Washington
Online Ed.D. Providers in Washington
- City University of Seattle
What to Know About Washington Online Ed.D. Programs
Washington universities have been slow to convert to distance learning. As far as we can determine, only City University of Seattle has decided to offer online doctoral programs in education. CityU is not CAEP-accredited, but it is regionally accredited. It’s also part of the National University System, a private non-profit system that has a reputation for catering to working professionals.
CityU’s short, 90-credit Online Doctor of Education in Leadership comes in three concentrations: Organizational Leadership, Higher Educational Leadership, or an area of specialized study. It’s pretty flexible—you can customize the specialized option to fit your goals (e.g. Inspired Teacher Leadership) and credit transfers are available. What’s more, mandatory residencies can be 100% online or completed in Seattle or San Diego. Keep in mind that CityU is private, so per credit tuition rates may be higher than public options.
Note: Our overview of online doctoral programs in education has a full set of online Ed.D. listings from every state.
Doctoral Education Funding in Washington
Internal Scholarships, Fellowships & Awards
For this list, we’ve pulled out sources of institutional aid (e.g. internal scholarships, research awards, etc.). If you have questions about external aid (e.g. federal & private loans), the Office of Financial Aid and the Graduate School are your best bets. Finally, we always recommend you talk to the Ed.D. program coordinator. Some “doctoral” awards may be limited to Ph.D. students or full-time students. Ask the coordinator how Ed.D. candidates are typically funded.
Seattle Pacific University
The School of Education (SOE) has lots of useful advice in its section on Financing Your Graduate Education. Internal funding options for Ed.D. students include SOE Scholarships and Graduate Assistantships (doctoral students are eligible). The Financing section also contains links to external awards.
The College of Education has a section on Admissions & Financial Aid, with info on tuition & fees, financial aid, and Education Scholarships. There are general scholarships and endowed awards for Educational Leadership (EDLR) programs. However, the EDLR doctorate program is not eligible for SeattleU employee tuition remission.
University of Washington-Seattle
Start with the College of Education (COE)’s section on Funding & Financial Aid, which includes links to external funding sources and UW’s:
- College of Education Scholarships
- Research, Teaching & Staff Assistantships
- Community Partner Fellows Program
- Travel & Research Support
Then visit the COE’s sub-section on Tuition & Financial Aid, since this contains ideas for general UW graduate funding. Examples include the Graduate School’s List of Fellowships (e.g. Latinx Scholars Graduate School Fellowship for master’s and doctoral students) and the UW Office of Merit Scholarships, Fellowship & Awards Database.
University of Washington-Tacoma
The Ed.D. in Educational Leadership program website has a section on Tuition Rates & Financial Aid. UW-Tacoma notes that state tuition waivers are not accepted and the program does not offer graduate assistantships or specific scholarships at this time. However, UW-Tacoma’s Graduate Funding Information Service (GFIS) can help Ed.D. students explore funding opportunities.
Washington State University
The College of Education has a section devoted to Scholarships & Financial Aid, with info about WSU’s general scholarship application and details on Teacher Education Scholarships, including the Educational Leadership Scholarship Award. Doctoral students are eligible for Graduate Assistantships, but students may not hold other employment in or outside the university.
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 Washington
The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) handles administrative certification for K-12 educators in Washington public schools. There are three types of administrator certificate in Washington:
- Program Administrator
We cover the basic requirements for principal & superintendent certification below. Full certification procedures are outlined in the OSPI Administrator Certificate section.
Want to use your doctorate for certification? Washington’s Professional Educator Standards Board (PESB) has a list of state-approved administrator preparation programs. When you compare that to our school listings, you’ll find that a number of Ed.D. programs fit the bill (e.g. SPU, SeattleU, UW-Seattle, and UW-Tacoma).
Note: OSPI has an entire section devoted to Out-of-State Applicants who wish to apply for a Washington administrator certificate.
To earn the Principal Certificate, you must:
- Hold a master’s degree.
- Complete a state-approved administrator preparation program.
- Hold or have previously held a regular teacher, educational staff associate, or Initial/Continuing CTE Certificate.
- Have three years of successful school-based instructional experience in an educational setting.
No testing is required for administrative certificates in Washington.
Initial Superintendent Certificate
To earn the Initial Superintendent Certificate, you must:
- Hold a master’s degree.
- Complete a state-approved administrator preparation program.
- Hold a valid regular teaching, ESA, principal, or program administrator certificate.
No testing is required for administrative certificates in Washington.
Educational Leadership Jobs in Washington
Educational Leadership Career Outlook
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) compiles employment & salary data for elementary & secondary school education administrators and postsecondary education administrators in every state. One look at the job maps will tell you that Washington is doing pretty well.
Thanks to good K-12 schools and a healthy ecosystem of colleges & universities, Washington is often in the second employment bracket for both categories. The Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue metropolitan area has some of the highest employment levels for postsecondary administrators in the country.
Admittedly, these are general statistics. You can learn more about Washington’s PreK-20 landscape by visiting the Education Research & Data Center (ERDC), which tracks student data & trends in K-12 schools and higher education. The Data Dashboards and Publications can be quite revealing.
Trying to decide on a K-12 school district? OSPI’s section on Data & Reporting has links to Report Cards, Data Portal, and much more. In addition, OSPI’s School Apportionment and Financial Services (SAFS) has a section on Personnel Summary Reports, which contains plenty of reports on headcounts and salaries.
Preparing for an interview with a Washington university? The Washington Student Achievement Council (WSAC) is tailored to students, but it’s a useful starting point. The Council of Presidents also publishes Research & Data on Washington’s network of public colleges & universities.
Educational Leadership Salaries
The BLS’s section on State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates for Washington contains actual job numbers and annual mean wages for four types of educational administrator.
It probably won’t be a surprise to hear that Washington is often one of the top paying states in the country for K-12 education administrators, right up there with juggernauts like California and New York. As we mentioned, OSPI-SAFS’s Personnel Summary Reports contain wage data on Washington K-12 public school personnel. Consult the individual tables under School District Personnel Summary Profiles to view average salaries for administrators.
In contrast, Washington postsecondary education administrators don’t do as well in the national wage stakes. They’re often in the same lower bracket as Oregon. The state government publishes State Employee Salaries each year. You’ll find the names and salaries of public university and community college administrators in this list. Sort by agency (e.g. Eastern Washington University) and position (e.g. Director).
Educational Leadership Job Boards
Tried & true job sites will get you started (e.g. Indeed, LinkedIn, HigherEdJobs, etc.). But we wanted to direct you toward some local job boards that feature postings for WA administrators & educational leaders.
- WASA’s Career Connection contains job openings for Washington superintendents, principals/assistant principals, central office positions, and other opportunities.
- AWSP’s Job Search section contains all kinds of school administrator employment openings in Washington.
- WASBO’s Career Center has openings for Washington school business officials.
- WSSDA posts School District Superintendent Openings on its website; it also conducts Superintendent Searches.
- WSPA lists HR Administrative Job Openings in public schools and districts.
- Independent Colleges of Washington (ICW) provides links to Career Opportunities in its member colleges.
Educational Leadership Organizations in Washington
Educational Leadership Associations
- Association of Washington School Principals (AWSP): AWSP represents principals, assistant principals, and principal interns in Washington.
- Washington Association of School Administrators (WASA): WASA membership is open to all Washington educational administrators in central office, building management, and educational agency positions. Check out the Scholarship for Doctoral Students in Educational Administration.
- Washington Association of School Business Officials (WASBO): WASBO provides programs and services to promote best practices of school business management, professional growth, and the effective use of educational resources. It offers voluntary certification. Check out the Scholarship Program.
- Washington Education Association (WEA): WEA is the state’s teachers’ union. Active membership is open to public school employees, including teachers, support professionals, and higher education faculty. It’s an affiliate of the NEA.
- Washington School Personnel Association (WSPA): WSPA promotes professional growth in school personnel administration and effective HR practices and procedures in public, private, and post-secondary education. Check out the Washington Educator Career Fair.
- Washington State Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development (Washington State ASCD): Washington State ASCD provides professional development, capacity building, and educational leadership solutions. It’s a state affiliate of the ASCD.
- Washington State School Directors’ Association (WSSDA): WSSDA is the state’s school board association. It offers services, resources, and support to school board members and school directors across Washington.
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 Washington
Educational Leadership Conferences
- AWSP Future School Leaders Day: This February event allows aspiring principals to engage in workshop sessions and explore options for taking their career to the next level.
- AWSP/WASA Summer Conference: This popular conference for Washington principals and district-level administrators takes place over three days in late June/early July. Programming includes national-level keynote speakers and statewide practitioner concurrent sessions.
- AWSP Women in Education Leading & Learning (WELL) Summit: This two-day summit in November aims to empower, connect, inspire, support, and develop women in educational leadership.
- WASA Conferences: WASA’s many events include an Annual Winter Conference in January; a Spring Conference for Small Schools Leaders in March; a Women in Leadership Conference in May; a Superintendent Conference in May; an Incoming Superintendent Conference in July; a Fall Conference for superintendents & administrators in October; plus various joint conferences.
- WASA/OSPI Special Education Conference: This two-day event in August is designed for educators who are responsible for supporting or administering special education programs.
- WASBO Annual Conference: WASBO hosts a three-day conference in May for school business officials. Attendees can earn clock hours and CPE credits.
- WSSDA Annual Conference: This four-day convention in November brings together school board directors, student board representatives, superintendents, and other education professionals.
- WSSDA/AWSP/WASA Equity Conference: This one-day event in May aims to increase organizational leadership capacity by providing systemic strategies for equity and access. Attendees come from districts, ESDs, and state agencies.
- WSSDA/WASA Legislative Conference: This joint conference allows school board members and superintendents to meet in Olympia and communicate their issues directly to state lawmakers while the Legislature is in session.
Educational Leadership Training
- AWSP Principal Support: AWSP supports Washington principals through Leadership Coaching, New Principal Mentoring, and Professional Learning opportunities such as workshops and networking.
- Leadership WSSDA: Leadership WSSDA is a professional development program for Washington school directors who wish to improve their expertise and leadership capacity within the educational system.
- WASA Early Career Superintendent Academy: This program is tailored to Washington superintendents in the first three years of superintendency. It includes workshops, Zoom meetings, and WA state-approved clock hours.
- WASA Mentor Academy: This program is intended for superintendents. It involves two full-day, face-to-face workshops.
- WASA Special Education Director Academy: WASA has pulled on support from OSPI to create this academy for educators who have administrative responsibilities to Special Education. It includes workshops, Zoom meetings, and WA state-approved clock hours.
- Washington State Leadership Academy (WSLA): WSLA is a professional development program that’s designed to engage school administrators in transformative leadership practices and build effective educator teams. The WASA has a useful list of program benefits.