Ed.D. Mission, Goals & Learning Outcomes

The Ed.D. in Executive Leadership program operates within the context of the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. School of Education's Conceptual Framework, which embraces a philosophy of social justice based on five interlocking tenets: diversity, achievement, compassion, knowledge, and service. The program’s faculty and staff are committed to modeling this philosophy in their interactions with candidates, colleagues, and the community.


The mission of the doctoral program in Executive Leadership at St. John Fisher College is to provide a unique, challenging, and rigorous educational experience that prepares candidates for executive leadership roles within the context of a diverse, information-driven, and increasingly technological society. To this end, the program seeks to:

  • Prepare ethically responsible leaders who are committed to improving conditions, opportunities, and outcomes for their clients and employees
  • Prepare highly capable leaders who understand and know how to use research, best practices, and new technologies to guide change and improve individual and organizational performance
  • Prepare confident and compassionate leaders who are committed to improving the quality of life for children and families in underserved communities
  • Prepare socially conscious and morally grounded leaders who respect and embrace diversity and understand the importance of human resource development


The goals of the program are:

  • Provide a high quality educational program that prepares candidates for successful careers as executive leaders
  • Provide a program of study that promotes effective organizational and individual performance
  • Maintain a professional environment that promotes an understanding of and appreciation for diversity
  • Provide greater access for groups historically underrepresented in doctoral level programs, and in positions of executive leadership
  • Provide a rigorous multidisciplinary advanced program of study for working professionals that fosters high rates of completion

Learning Outcomes

The program will prepare executive leaders who demonstrate the following:

  • Ability to apply and synthesize the essential knowledge, skills, and dispositions required for effective leadership and management in various organizational settings
  • Capability to conduct research and collect, analyze, and interpret data to inform decision-making and improve performance
  • Facility to think and plan strategically and conduct action research that is supported by best practice
  • Understanding of the impact, interactions, and implications of various public sectors on educational systems
  • Integrity to make ethical and fair decisions when facing moral dilemmas
  • Capacity to appreciate and maximize the talents and skills of a diverse workforce
  • Ability to assess and maximize human potential through a process of continuous personal, professional, and intellectual development

Ed.D. Alumni Spotlight

Dr. Bill Leipold

Dr. Bill Leipold

Altoona, PA, native Bill Leipold received his undergraduate from Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania. Currently, he is the Associate Dean of Academic Programs and Student Services for the School of Criminal Justice at Rutgers University.

As he began moving up his career ladder in higher education, Bill was told he would need to have a terminal degree. After one interview at Fisher, he immediately knew it was the right fit for him.

Bill describes his experience as a journey that changed him. He no longer approaches and thinks about data and issues in the same way – becoming more aware of his own approach and style.

"Two years after classes have ended, my dissertation team and I are still meeting and creating, but this time, because we want to. We are going to have an impact on this world!"


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