Ed.D. in Community College Leadership

San Diego State University's doctorate in education with a concentration in community college leadership (CCLEAD) program is widely regarded as one of the top programs in the nation.

The CCLEAD program prepares leaders who are committed to educational justice, and provides them with the skills, knowledge, and attitudes essential to transforming education systems for student success. College and university faculty and practitioner experts collaborate to create a vibrant learning community that draws upon the issues and challenges facing Community College/Postsecondary Education leaders in their colleges. Doctoral candidates tackle real-world problems through their dissertation research and serve their organizations and institutions at the same time by informing and improving practice.

Community college leadership

Our program develops leaders who are equity-oriented, use inquiry to understand the inherent complexities of educational systems and maintain institutional responsibility for critical issues facing Americas community colleges.

Leadership training

We train reflective leaders and change agents who are capable of responding to the increasingly complex needs of educational organizations that serve diverse student populations.

CCLEAD has the overarching goal of preparing:

  • Self-aware, transformational leaders
  • Inquiry driven, transformative leaders
  • Highly adept resource stewards

Unique features designed for professionals

  • Accommodates working professionals (classes held once a month and during summer intensives)
  • Promotes leadership through a common core designed to foster collaboration and understanding across the education segments
  • Explores theories of leadership, reflecting on practice and solving problems together through the cohort model
  • Promotes systems-thinking and inquiry-based problem- solving appropriate to the community college/ postsecondary education environment
  • Addresses real-world problems through the dissertation
  • Provides individual support for academic writing and the dissertation throughout the program
  • Enables candidates to complete coursework and dissertation within 36 months
  • Small seminars and research support courses
    • No more than 15 students admitted per cohort
  • Monthly class meetings
    • Fall and Spring courses meet Thursday (5:00–9:40 pm), Friday and Saturday (8:30 am–5:00 pm)
    • Two week summer residency at San Diego State University

Course of study

60 units over three calendar years (including summers)

  • Leadership core:
    Rethinking Leadership, Leadership for Diversity, Leadership for Change, and Developing Educational Systems (12 units)
  • Research Support and Writing core (9 units)
  • Research core:
    Quantitative Methods, Qualitative Methods, Advanced Methods, Program Evaluation (12 units)
  • Dissertation (12 units)
  • Specializations Community College/Postsecondary Education:
    Development & History, Law & Finance, Budget & Resource Management, Strategic Planning, and Emerging Issues (15 units)

Wendy Bracken, Ed.D., Program Faculty Director

Sonia Salcido, M.Ed., Administrative Support Coordinator

Unit prices are subject to change. Visit the Office of Admissions Estimated Cost of Attendance page for the latest information.

The California State University system establishes separate fee structures for in-state and out-of-state tuition. Out of state students may be eligible for in-state tuition through non-resident fee waivers, please contact the program administration for information on these waivers.

Financial aid

All courses are eligible for Financial Aid. Contact the SDSU Financial Aid Office and speak to a financial aid officer familiar with loans for special programs.


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