Instructional Management and Leadership Ph.D.
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Availability
On Campus
Fully Online
Program Credits
60

The Ph.D. in Instructional Management and Leadership is a three-year program designed to meet the needs of teachers, health professionals, military personnel, administrators, and corporate training professionals who wish to become better managers and leaders of the work place setting or who seek to pursue collegiate or other high-level teaching and administrative positions.

For administrators and supervisors, the program offers problem-solving strategies in the areas of curriculum, technology, and supervision that relate to management. It also provides a diverse yet highly specialized background in leadership, which can help professional candidates find positions in higher education and in a corporate setting.

The program is run on a cohort model that builds professional and personal networks between students. Each summer for online doctoral students includes a one-week residency when students meet with faculty and engage in the dissertation process. Doctoral candidates learn to manage and lead in an education and workplace environment, understand the complex interrelationships in the instructional and leadership processes, and master research skills through professional presentations and scholarly writing that concludes with a dissertation.

Contact Information

George W. Semich, Ed.D. 
University Professor of Education 
semich@rmu.edu
412-397-6032

Patricia A. Zusinas, M.S. 
Doctoral Administrative Assistant
zusinas@rmu.edu
412-397-6026 

Fully Online Program Information

The totally-online Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Instructional Management and Leadership degree program is designed to meet the needs and interests of working professionals such as teachers, administrators, college faculty, and corporate training professionals who wish to become better managers and leaders of the instructional process and/or seek to pursue teaching positions in higher education and in the corporate setting.  The completely online delivery of the program provides opportunities for students to participate from various locations with an experienced doctoral faculty and within a learning community of doctoral graduates who have accepted new administrative positions, teacher leader position, and college teaching positions.

This online leadership three-year program runs simultaneously with the highly successful on-ground face-to-face program.

Admissions Criteria

Applicants for the program must submit the following no later than noon on January 18:

  • The completed application and a non-refundable $50 application fee. (Note: for online applications, the fee will be waived).
  • Official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate course work from an accredited college or university, a recognized international program or the equivalent. Applicants must have an overall undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0 and an overall graduate GPA of at least 3.25.
  • Three letters of recommendation submitted from professionals providing academic and/or work experience.
  • Current resume or vitae.
  • An essay (maximum five pages) on your career aspirations and reasons why you are applying for application into the Ph.D. in Instructional Management and Leadership program.

In addition to the above required application materials, applicants must participate in a pre-screening interview with the doctoral program director and a personal interview with the doctoral admissions committee. A demonstration of writing proficiency will be conducted during the interview process. Online students will be interviewed via a Skype call.

International students also are required to complete a statement of financial support. Please refer to citizenship status on the application form for other required admissions materials.

Cohort Model

The three-year Ph.D. program in Instructional Management and Leadership degree program has a unique format.

Each year, students are admitted to the program in the summer semester and move through the program together as a cohort. In the on-ground program, students attend classes one evening per week during the fall and spring semesters and complete a summer session two nights a week for three years. Each course is enhanced with online instruction. The dissertation credit courses are offered via a seminar format one Saturday a month in Years 2 and 3. The online program mirrors the onground program following the same course sequence and using the same faculty.

Research is a comprehensive, integrated component of the program. Each semester includes a research course designed to build upon and support previous work while exploring new concepts that will lead to the completed dissertation.

Doctoral students enroll in dissertation seminar classes upon completion of an initial sequence of four research courses. The dissertation seminars guide you through the formulation of a problem to defending the dissertation proposal by allowing you to apply the skills mastered in previous research courses.

Coursework

Year 1 

Summer (6 credits) 
Critical Readings in Educational Research (3) 
Applying Instructional Technology (3) 

Fall (6 credits) 
Research I - Qualitative Methods (3)
Instructional Leadership in Curriculum Planning (3)

Spring (6 credits) 
Research II - Quantitative Methods (3) 
Statistics I (3)

Year 2

Summer (6 credits) 
Program Evaluation (3) 
Introduction to the Dissertation (3) 

Fall (7 credits) 
Dissertation Seminar I (1) 
Teaching in Higher Education – Technology, Curriculum, Leadership (3)
Law and Ethics in Education (3) 

Spring (7 credits) 
Dissertation Seminar II (1) 
Leadership 1 (3) 
Leadership 2 (3)

Year 3 

Summer (8 credits) 
Dissertation Seminar III (2) 
International Perspectives (3)*
Managing the Instructional Environment (3)

Fall (8 credits) 
Dissertation Seminar IV (2) 
Writing for Publication (3) 
Managing Finances and Budgets (3)

Spring (6 credits) 
Dissertation Seminar V (6)

Curriculum Components 

The 60-credit curriculum for the Ph.D. in Instructional Management and Leadership degree program is divided into four components: instructional management and leadership, research, dissertation and related courses.

I. Instructional Management and Leadership (18 credits)

  • Managing Finances and Budgets (3) 
  • Managing the Instructional Environment (3) 
  • Teaching in Higher Education/Technology, Leadership, Curriculum (3) 
  • Instructional Leadership in Curriculum Planning (3) 
  • Leadership 1 (3)
  • Leadership 2 (3)

II. Research (15 credits)

  • Critical Readings (3) 
  • Research Methods I Qualitative Methods (3) 
  • Statistical Methods I (3) 
  • Research Methods II Quantitative Methods (3)
  • Program Evaluation (3) 

III. Dissertation (15 credits)

  • Introduction to the Dissertation (3)
  • Dissertation Seminar I (1)
  • Dissertation Seminar II (1)
  • Dissertation Seminar III (2)
  • Dissertation Seminar IV (2)
  • Dissertation Seminar V (6)

IV. Related Coursework (12 credits)

  • Law and Ethics in Education (3) 
  • Applying Instructional Technology (3) 
  • International Perspectives (3) 
  • Writing for Publication (3)

Total Credits - 60
*Online/on-ground format; **Totally online 

Faculty Bios

Faculty

Carianne Bernadowski is a Professor of Education at Robert Morris University. She earned her Philosophy of Education in Reading and Literacy from the University of Pittsburgh. Her research interests include literacy for “at-risk” readers, early literacy development, and self-efficacy of teachers and college students. Dr. Bernadowski has published five books, and numerous research articles. Book titles include: Beyond the Textbook: Using tradebooks and databases to teach our nation’s history (grades 7-12), Teaching historical fiction with ready-made literature circles for secondary readers, and Using the Coretta Scott King Award winners to teach literacy skills to adolescents.

James Bernauer is a Professor of Education at Robert Morris University. He earned his Doctor of Education from the University of Pittsburgh in Policy, Planning and Evaluation. His research interests include teaching and training, innovative qualitative methodology and expertise. Dr. Bernauer has published numerous articles with a few in press. Some include: "Developing a center for teaching excellence: A higher education case study using the Integrated Readiness Matrix," "Beyond measurement driven instruction: Achieving deep learning based on constructivist learning theory, integrated assessment, and a flipped classroom approach," and "Integrating pedagogy and technology: Improving teaching and learning in higher education."

Vicki Donne is a Professor of Education at Robert Morris University. She earned her Doctorate of Education from the University of Pittsburgh in Special Education, Specialization in Education of Deaf/Hard of Hearing, Collateral Area in Reading. Her research interests include reading interventions, technology and assistive technology to meet the needs of students with disabilities. Recently she has published several articles. Some titles include: "Deaf characters in literature," Online reading practices of students who are deaf/hard of hearing," and "Reading comprehension practices of students who are deaf/hard of hearing."

Frank Flanigan is a University Professor of Finance. He earned his Doctorate of Finance at the University of Central Florida. His research interests include business, finance, marketing, and other business related areas.  He has numerous publications over the past years at Robert Morris University.

Richard Fuller is a Professor of Education and Department Head of Education at Robert Morris University. He earned his Doctorate of Education at the Penn State University. His research interests center around leadership and motivation, creating interaction in distance education pedagogies, and how the use of technology can enhance learning. Recently he has published several articles. Some titles include: "Beyond Measurement Driven Instruction: Achieving Deep Learning in Higher Education Based on Constructivist Learning Theory, Integrated Assessment, and a Flipped Classroom Approach," " Developing a graduate level online program: One university's move to offering an online teaching certificate for teachers, instructors and trainers," and Ch.9 Interpreting Findings and Discussing Implications for all Ideologies."

Mary Hansen is Professor of Education at Robert Morris University. She earned her Doctorate of Philosophy at the University of Pittsburgh in Research Methodology. Her research interests lie in the areas of educational measurement and assessment, including design and technical issues related to large-scale test development and classroom assessment practices. She has produced several publications. Some of them include: "Reflective On-Line Discussion for Pre-Service Teachers,"  Inclusiveness Practices in Business Education Classrooms," and "Formative assessment: Sharing success of learning."

Shelley Haser is a Professor of Education at Robert Morris University. She earned her Doctorate of Philosophy from The Catholic University of America in Educational Policy and Administration. Her research interests include teacher education, teacher certification and accreditation and higher education leadership. She has several publications. Some recent titles include:  "How parental support in finding volunteer or part-time work can benefit teens with ADD/ADHD," "Serving military families and meeting the needs of the military connected PreK-12 student: A brief intervention model with preliminary and post-assessment of pre-service teachers during student teaching," and "The Modified Calendar Benefits for Teachers."

Gregory Holdan is an Associate Professor of Mathematics and an associate Professor of Education at Robert Morris University. He earned his Doctorate of Philosophy at the Penn State University in Curriculum and Instruction. His research interests include reflection, learning styles and teaching styles. Recently, he has made several publications. Some include: "Living-Learning Community in Support of STEM Education,"  "Building a Community of Scholars:  One University’s Story of Students Engaged in Learning Science, Mathematics, and Engineering," and  "A baker’s dozen of best practices in teaching mathematics.

Bea Kunka is a Professor of Education At Robert Morris University. She earned her Doctor of Education in Educational Administration and Foundations at the University of the Pacific.  Her research interests include early childhood/middle level mathematics and science education, supporting science and mathematics education for English Learners, and diversity in organizations. Some recent publications include: "Promoting diversity initiatives in non-profit organizations: Strategies for implementation," "Improving graduate students' writing abilities: An analysis of a formative outcomes-based assessment technique," and "The Professional Development School: A Building Block for Training Public School Faculty on New Technologies."

Mary Ann Rafoth is a Professor of Education and the Vice Provost of Academic Affairs. She earned her Doctorate of Philosophy at the University of Georgia in Educational Psychology. Her research interests involve strengthening independent learning skills in students, alternative to retaining students and school readiness issues.

George Semich is a University Professor of Education and the Director of the IML Doctoral Program. He earned his Doctorate of Education at Nova-Southeastern University in Higher Education Administration. His research interests include leadership, curriculum and technology integration. He has several recent publications. Some titles are: “Integrating Technology to Transform Pedagogy: Revisiting the Progress of the Three Phase TUI Model for Faculty Development” and “Forming Successful Classroom Groups: The Application of the FIRO Theory to the Group Formation Process, Choosing a Dissertation Adviser: Challenges and Strategies for Doctoral Students, Students’ Perceptions of the Efficacy of First-Year Courses toward Preparedness in a Non-Traditional, Cohort-Based Doctoral Education Program.

Nathan Taylor is an Assistant Professor of Education at Robert Morris University. He earned his Doctorate of Philosophy at the Ohio State University in Teaching and Learning. His research interests include social justice in education. identity formation in education and inclusive classrooms for historically marginalized subjects. He has numerous publications. Some titles are: "Children's picture books and the homonormative subject," and "Web resources for teaching about human rights."

Lawrence Tomei is a Professor of Education for Robert Morris University and the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs. He earned his Doctorate of Education from the University of Southern California in Educational Administration. He has numerous publications. Some are titled:  ICTs for Modern Educational and Instructional Advancement: New Approaches to Teaching,  Lexicon of Online and Distance Learning and Designing Instruction for the Traditional, Adult, and Distance Learner: A New Engine for Technology-Based Teaching.

John Zeanchock is an Associate Professor of Education and Computer & Information Systems. John earned his Doctorate of Education at the University of Pittsburgh. He works in the area of computer software, instructional design, and curriculum development.

Ying Zhang is an Assistant Professor of Education at Robert Morris University. She earned her Doctorate of Philosophy at the Purdue University in Special Language, Literacy, and Curriculum. Some of her publications include :Zhang, Y. (In press). Vocabulary Development in Science: Studying a Middle School Sheltered Classroom. Global Journal of Educational Studies.Zhang, Y. (2017). Supporting English Language Learners in Social Studies: Language-focused Strategies. The Social Studies, 108(5), 204-209.  Zhang, Y. (2016). Multimodal teacher input and science learning in a sheltered ESL classroom. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 53(1), 7-30.

Sample Courses:

These are some of the classes for students in this academic program:

Law & Ethics in Education
Teaching in Higher Ed
Managing Finances & Budgets

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