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Community College Leadership

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Ph.D. in Community College Leadership

The Ph.D. in Community College Leadership is a nationally recognized program for professionals dedicated to the mission and philosophy of the community college. Our practitioner-scholar approach stresses the practical application of coursework and research to the most critical issues facing community colleges today. The program prepares leaders to assume executive-level positions in community colleges across the U.S., work for state-level coordinating boards, or work in regional, national, and discipline-specific accrediting bodies.

Our 54-credit doctoral program is designed with the working professional in mind. It is:


Nationally Recognized

Live, Interactive, Online

Students take classes as part of a cohort which provides a shared learning experience, builds community, and broadens students' professional networks throughout their careers.

Our nationally-recognized program is also one of the most affordable in the nation. All students pay in-state tuition – both in-state and out-of-state students – which makes obtaining a high-quality doctorate worth the investment.

Working professionals across the U.S. engage in live video, interactive, online weekly class meetings throughout the year, as well as attend an annual, two-week Summer Institute where they engage faculty, colleagues, and guest scholars.

Classes are scheduled 4:20-7:00 p.m. EST or 7:10-9:50 p.m. EST to accommodate the schedules of working professionals.

We have organized our Course of Study around AACC's Competencies for Community College Leaders

Organizational Strategy - Finance, Fundraising, and Resource Management - Communication - Collaboration - Community College Advocacy

The program is designed for professionals who want to increase their knowledge and leadership opportunities in areas such as:

  • Curriculum
  • Finance
  • Leadership & Administration
  • Policy Development
  • Workforce Development

The Course of Study has four elements: core coursework in community college leadership, elective courses, research courses, and dissertation.

Students develop skills that enable them to assume advanced leadership positions at community colleges; work for state councils of higher education; or work at regional, national, and discipline-specific accrediting bodies.

All faculty are dedicated to helping students succeed, not only in courses and the dissertation, but also in ensuring students develop the skills needed to lead the modern community college.

Jim's Experience [3:46]

Kim's Experience [4:08]


ODU also offers a Ph.D. degree program in Higher Education.