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. Ryan Pacatte

Dr. Ryan Pacatte

Ryan Pacatte received his Ed.D. degree from Fisher in 2009. Since obtaining his degree, he has had the chance to serve as the High School Principal and Assistant Superintendent for Instruction and Student learning with the Palmyra Macedon Central School District.

Ryan was drawn to Fisher because of the feeling of energy and excitement he felt from the College.

"Instead of joining a tradition, I felt as though Fisher was creating one," he says.

Ryan describes his experience at Fisher as transformative, one that has allowed him to be a better systems thinker and a more deliberate leader.

Since graduating, his doctorate has opened doors for new leadership positions and other opportunities such as leadership mentoring, panel discussions, and keynote speaking. The most important benefit for Ryan is the confidence and comfort he gained as a leader.


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