The Assessment, Learning, and Student Success Program launched in 2013 and now offers
a concentration in Higher Education. This concentration is designed for practitioners who are involved in higher education
who want to take their work to the next level. The program places emphasis on application
of essential knowledge and theory for enhancing and maximizing student success in
institutions of higher learning. Throughout coursework, you will apply best practices
for student success, for learning, and leverage assessment to enhance your professional
practice. Program faculty have extensive experience working in student success, including
college and university leaders, and are committed to equipping you to affect evidence-informed
improvement now, and in the future.
There are several unique features that make this program appropriate for a wide range
- It is offered 100% online making it available to any working professional without
regard to geographic location.
- A Master’s degree is NOT required. Students may enter this program with any baccalaureate
- The Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is not required for admission.
- Up to 15 hours of previously taken graduate courses may be transferred in saving time
- Up to 30 hours from an Education Specialist (Ed.S.) program may be applied as well.
- It is focused on Student Success – the course of study is practical in nature and
may be immediately applied to your work.
I have post-baccalaureate work; can I get any transfer credits?
Yes. Up to 15 hours from a Master’s program can come in; Up to 30 hours from EdS programs.
Contact edd@firstname.lastname@example.org and we will review your transcripts
When do classes meet?
It is possible for students to complete the ALSS Higher Education program online.
Who will be taking the courses with me?
Currently, the program offers several courses each semester including some that are
cross-listed with the Department of Educational Leadership for Masters, Ed.S., and
Ed.D. programs (The SPSE and FOED courses). This means that you will be taking classes
with diverse colleagues, many of whom are current practitioners.
What types of career opportunities exist with this degree?
The EdD in ALSS with a concentration in higher education is designed to meet specific
needs to develop the capacity of practitioners to enhance their work in higher education
in ways that promote student success. Program graduates will be well suited for leadership
and administrative positions in institutions of higher education or additional work
in research, educational policy, governmental agencies, non-profit philanthropic organizations,
and professional consulting.
Live outside of Tennessee? You could be eligible for in-state tuition and save thousands
Assistant principal says program will ‘open doors,’ opened eyes to ‘whole new world’
Nicole Takayama, an MTSU alum, was the first person in her family to graduate from
college. Now an assistant principal at a Tennessee high school, she is working on
her doctorate degree at her alma mater so she can continue her success in the world
of education. “I started the ALSS EdD program to earn a title and gain knowledge which
would benefit me in my current career path. While the new title and knowledge will
no doubt open doors at which I’ve been knocking, the content of that class, along
with the thoughts, experiences, and perspectives shared by my classmates opened my
eyes to a whole new world,” she said. Takayama began her career in education as a
teacher before moving into an administrator role. One of the things she values the
most about the Higher Education concentration is the professors’ dedication to their
students and the program. “The thing I have noticed about the professors in this program
that really gives it values is that they lead by example. The program is Assessment,
Learning and Student Success, and all the professors I’ve had so far are genuinely
committed to those three concepts,” she said.
ALSS student applies skills learned in classroom to job in Student Success
Brelinda Johnson has worked in education for more than a decade and received her master’s
degree in Child Development and Family Studies at MTSU. Currently working in her alma
mater’s Office of Student Success, she is enrolled in the Higher Education concentration
of the Assessment, Learning, and Student Success doctoral program. “Since I’m currently
working in the field of student success, I’ve been able to utilize my career experience
to directly relate to classroom material. I’ve been able to apply the things I’ve
learned in the classroom to procedures in my current role,” she said. Johnson, who
previously taught at a high school level, said the Ed.D. Higher Education concentration
of this program is useful for anyone who works in higher education. “This program
is beneficial for those working in higher education. Student success is valuable in
every part of the institution from academic affairs to student affairs,” Johnson said.
MTSU College of Graduate Studies
The Higher Education concentration in MTSU’s Doctorate of Education (Ed.D.) in Assessment,
Learning, and Student Success was developed to allow working professionals and those
who are geographically restricted to complete a terminal degree focused on one of
the most critically important areas of education today – Student Success.
This concentration of the Doctorate of Education (Ed.D.) is offered 100% online bringing
new opportunities to rural educators. It is ideally designed for advisors, administrators,
community college and university faculty or staff.
Program graduates may also find work in:
- higher education
- educational policy
- governmental agencies
- not-for-profit and philanthropic organizations
- professional development consulting, which will also contribute to improved student
and school achievement.
The College of Education began offering the Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) degree in
Assessment, Learning, and Student Success in 2013 and has added a new concentration
Higher Education. Following are a few key points to help answer initial questions.
- The program is comprised of 60 graduate credit hours.
- The program is offered 100% online to increase flexibility for working professionals.
- A Master’s degree is NOT required. Students may enter this program with any baccalaureate
- The Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is not required for admission to the program if a student
has passed some graduate-level courses.
- Up to 15 hours of previously earned graduate credit may be transferred into the program
saving time and money. (see course requirements for details)
- Up to 30 hours of credit from an Education Specialist (Ed.S.) program may be applied
as well. (see course requirements for details)
The program will take advantage of the latest technology to enhance the learning opportunities
for the learners in the program. Completion of the degree requires successfully completing
all courses as prescribed in the program course of study, conducting original research,
and successfully completing a doctoral dissertation, among other graduation requirements.
For complete curriculum details, click on the REQUIREMENTS button to the right.
Assessment, Learning, and Student Success: Higher Education Concentration, Ed.D
Kevin Krahenbuhl, Program Director
Jim Rost, Coordinator
The Ed.D. in Assessment Learning, and Student Success is a doctoral program capitalizing on faculty expertise in the College of Education and across the University. This program provides a structured curriculum with early development and ongoing support for students as they work to complete their doctoral dissertation. The Ed.D. in Assessment, Learning, and Student Success has two concentrations: School Improvement and Higher Education.
The concentration in Higher Education is designed to
- prepare individuals at community colleges, universities, and state coordinating boards to be successful leaders in curriculum and policy development, and accountability initiatives;
- prepare individuals to become more effective faculty members;
- prepare individuals to lead student success, academic affairs, and other divisions within academic institutions.
This degree will provide educational leaders with the knowledge and analytical skills to analyze all forms of student-learning data (formative and summative, quantitative and qualitative) in order to accurately identify initiatives that will improve their students' success.
Please see the undergraduate catalog for undergraduate information.
Admission is limited and will be based on a holistic review of test scores, past academic success, and potential for success in a rigorous doctoral program. The following are guidelines for admission to the Ed.D in Assessment, Learning, and Student Success (although meeting these criteria does not guarantee admission to this selective program of study).
- Applicants are expected to have a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.00 in undergraduate coursework.
- Students who have taken graduate courses are expected to have a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.50 in their graduate coursework.
- Submission of three letters of recommendation from former professors or other individuals who know the student's ability.
Use of Prior Earned Credits
A master's degree is not required for entry to this program. Students with a master's degree in a related field may have up to 15 hours of previous coursework applied after determination that the content of the courses is directly equivalent to existing courses in the curriculum. Students entering with an Ed.S. degree in a related field may have up to 30 hours of previous coursework applied after determination that the content of the courses is directly equivalent to existing courses in the curriculum. No more than 15 hours at the 6000 (master's) level may be applied to degree requirements. All previous course work and requests for substitutions must meet MTSU College of Graduate Studies guidelines and be approved by the Program Admissions Committee.
All applications materials must be submitted to the College of Graduate Studies.
- submit application with the appropriate application fee (online at www.mtsu.edu/graduate/apply.php). Once this initial application has been accepted, the applicant will receive directions on how to enter the graduate portal to be able to submit other materials.
- submit official transcripts from all colleges and universities previously attended showing a grade point average (GPA) in previous academic work that indicates potential for success in advanced study (successful applicants will typically have a GPA in prior graduate work that exceeds 3.50);
- submit three letters of recommendation from former professors or other individuals who know the student's ability.
- submit a statement of purpose (750-1000 words) communicating professional goals and suitability for the doctoral program in Assessment,Learning, and Student Success. In the statement student should address how participating in this program will result in increased student success. A brief discussion of any literature (e.g. research articles, texts-please use appropriate APA citations) that has informed your professional practice or influenced you in some way may be included.
- submit a current vitae including education and employment history, experience with student success, professional presentations and publications, awards, recognitions, etc.
NOTE: International students will be required to meet MTSU's English language proficiency requirements in addition to the program admission requirements.
The Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Assessment, Learning, and Student Success requires
- completion of 60-72 semester hours;
- completion of a minimum of one research-based article submitted for publication in a peer-reviewed professional journal; (The research-based article and presentation must receive approval from the program director [or designee] to meet degree requirements.)
- completion of one research-based presentation at a regional/national educational conference. (The research-based article and presentation must receive approval from the program director [or designee] to meet degree requirements.)
- mastery of academic coursework (measured by course grades and successful completion of a comprehensive examination); and
- successful defense of a dissertation that demonstrates mastery of applied research methods in a field related to student success.
Curriculum: Assessment, Learning and Student Success, Higher Education Concentration
The following illustrates the minimum coursework requirements. In addition, a maximum of 24 hours of dissertation research may be required to fulfill degree requirements.
Core (12 hours)
ALSI 7600 - Educational Statistics
Prerequisite: One undergraduate statistics course or permission of instructor. Provides students with knowledge and skills needed to understand, interpret, and apply appropriate statistical methodologies and concepts to the educational settings. A survey course for basic statistical methods, including descriptive statistics, confidence intervals, sampling, distribution, Central Limit Theorem, logic and procedure of hypothesis testing, z-tests and t-tests of means and proportions, chi-square tests, correlation and simple regression, and one-way ANOVA. Statistical software packages such as SPSS and SAS will be utilized for data analysis. Prerequisite for ALSI 7620 and ALSI 7630.
ALSI 7610 - Qualitative Research Methodologies
Provides candidates with a thorough understanding of cognitive learning theory in order to inform best instructional practices on behalf of diverse learners. Framed by a collaborative team approach within a school community.
ALSI 7050 - Application and Research Seminar: Student Learning
Provides students with structure and format for reflective practice regarding student learning, including application of research knowledge base to challenges faced in educational settings.
ALSI 7250 - Application and Research Seminar: Assessing Student Learning
Provides students with structure and format for reflective practice regarding assessment of student learning, including application of research knowledge base to challenges faced in educational settings.
ALSI 7450 - Application and Research Seminar: Student Success
Provides students with structure and format for reflective practice regarding student success, including application of research knowledge base to challenges faced in educational settings.
ALSI 7620 - Advanced Quantitative Research Methodologies
Prerequisites: ALSI 7600 and ALSI 7610. Provides students with advanced quantitative research methodologies that can be applied in an educational setting. Topics include power and effect size, ANOVA (One-Way Analysis of variance, Two-Way Analysis of Variance), MANOVA (Multivariate Analysis of Variance), ANCOVA (Analysis of Covariance), Factor Analysis, Multiple Regression, Logistic Regression, and ranking or Non-Parametric tests. The Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) will be used. The course will include the study of the methodologies used in growth models.
ALSI 7630 - Advanced Qualitative Research Methods
Prerequisites: ALSI 7600 and ALSI 7610. Provides students with advanced qualitative research methodologies that can be applied in an educational setting. Course content focuses on conceptual issues, ordering, framing inquiry, applying appropriate approach and design, selecting and collecting data, approach-specific analysis, interpretation of data, and reporting procedures. Course tasks provide opportunities to develop skills in qualitative coding, bracketing, restorying, descriptive culture sharing, and cross-case theming.
Dissertation (12-24 hours)
ALSI 7640 - Dissertation Research
1 to 6credit hours
Selection of a research problem, review of pertinent literature, collection and analysis of data, and composition of the dissertation. Once enrolled, students must register in at least one credit hour of dissertation research each semester until complete. Open only to students who are in the Assessment, Learning, and school Improvement Doctor of Education degree program. S/U grading.
Required Courses (30 hours)
FOED 7519 - Measurement and Assessment in Higher Education
Offers preparation to create, use, and interpret various testing and measurement instruments found in higher education, with a focus on assessment as a part of the teaching-learning process and the use of assessments for instructional improvement.
FOED 7520 - Evaluation in Higher Education
Introduction to testing theory, design, and construction. Use of the evaluation process and instruments; instructions, advising, and research situations.
FOED 7571 - The Ethics of Higher Education
Examines the ethical issues facing higher education (national, regional, and state) and what may be the appropriate solutions. Attention is given to the interrelationships of the institution and its internal and external constituencies.
SPSE 7005 - Student Affairs in Higher Education
Provides an overview of student affairs in higher education. Covers the history and development of student affairs, structure and organization of student affairs divisions, and introduces the profession with an understanding of the expectations and ethics of the field.
SPSE 7007 - Student Success in Higher Education
Overview of student success in higher education. Covers the enhancement of student success through professional learning communities, cultural change, collaboration, and the utilization of data analytics to drive decision-making for student success in higher education leadership.
SPSE 7080 - Studies in Leadership
Roles, responsibilities understandings, and behavior patterns in effective administrative and supervisory personnel. Developing sensitivity to individuals, the nature and structures of groups, and the problems of communication within and among groups and individuals.
SPSE 7210 - Legal Issues in Higher Education
The legal framework as it pertains to higher education and its operations. Special attention given to rights of students as well as professors. Law cases, constitutional provisions, attorney general's opinions, rules and regulations of the Tennessee Board of Regents, Tennessee Board of Trustees, and the Tennessee Higher Education Commission studied and discussed.
SPSE 7530 - Administration of Higher Education
Complexity of the structure of higher education (national, regional, state, and local) and how it is organized. Attention given to the interrelationships of the institution and its internal and external constituencies.
SPSE 7540 - Overview of Higher Education
Higher education in America. Attention given to its historical, philosophical, political, and sociological background, development, and relationships. Includes current trends and problems, particularly those which relate to the financial and legal aspects of higher education.
SPSE 7551 - Instructional Development in Higher Education
Prerequisite: Previous college teaching (instructor of record) or completion of the LT&ITC graduate teaching assistant teaching preparation certification program or approval of the instructor. Addresses effective course design, instructional strategies, and use of technology in teaching at the higher education level.
Electives (6 hours)
Choose two courses from the following:
SPSE 7001 - College Teaching Practicum
Allows students to gain experience teaching a college-level course within the student's area of specialization under the direct supervision of a faculty member; creation of a professional portfolio which showcases materials the student created.
SPSE 7905 - Online Course Development for Higher Education
Prerequisite: SPSE 6551 or SPSE 7551 or permission of instructor. Evaluation and application of best practices in online instructional design. Includes a broad overview of instructional design history, theories, and current trends. Applies the principles of online learning and integration of instructional technologies to promote effective online instruction.
FOED 7060 - Seminar in Educational Foundations
Opportunities to think reflectively and critically on the historical, philosophical, and psychological foundations of education and attendant implications.
FOED 7570 - Issues in Higher Education
Higher education in America and its historical, philosophical, political, and sociological background, development, and relationships. Current trends and problems, particularly those relating to the financial and legal aspects.
FOED 7580 - The College Student
The changing nature of the college student with emphasis on institutional efforts to provide for the development of the student.
Our adjunct faculty bring outstanding professional experience to our programs. Many are industry leaders with decorated careers and honors. Importantly, they are innovative educators who offer hands-on learning to our students to prepare them to enter and thrive in a dynamic, and oftentimes emerging, industry and professional world. They inspire, instruct, and challenge our students toward academic and professional success.
Online or Hybrid Programs at a Glance
This program is available .
For More Information or Explore Your Options
Contact your department / program coordinator or advisor for more details about the program. OR Work one-on-one with your advisor to explore your options.
The Online Advantage
With over 25 years of experience in online teaching and learning, MTSU Online offers students access to innovative, high-quality programs. Designed with students in mind, our courses allow maximum flexibility for those unable to participate in person.
Resources and services for online students are available from MTSU Online or contact us at email@example.com.