Students are organized into learning teams and progress through the program at the same pace. Teams in the on-campus program at Benedictine meet on designated weekends (Saturday and Sunday) approximately every third weekend for 16 weekends per year through the first two years. Discipline-based learning objectives are integrated and reinforced through rigorous coursework that is tied to real-world applications. Highly interactive classes are characterized by small and whole group discussions, case studies and group projects.

Program Format

Year One

During the first year of the program, students complete foundational courses providing a strong knowledge base in the principles and practices of doctoral study, higher education and organizational change.

Year Two

In the  second year, study advances to current issues in students and student services, curriculum, teaching, learning and resource management. The major theme is  leading organizations through constructive change. Students receive guidance  and University support throughout the program.

Work begins on the internship and dissertation from the first year so that students may complete requirements in approximately 36 to 42 months.

The internship may be completed concurrently with later course work and the dissertation.

Year Three

Dissertation preparation and research extend through the program. By the third year, students are actively engaged in completing a dissertation. Related to the student's specialized interests, the study is expected to constitute a significant contribution to knowledge in the field of post-secondary education. Candidates are expected to relate this knowledge to the theories, concepts and methodologies of their study in organizational development, and include implications for further  research and theory development. The dissertation is presented and defended at the final oral defense.

If you have questions, please contact Vernon McCoy at (630) 829-6394 or vmccoy@ben.edu.

The Benedictine Ed.D. program is also delivered online for persons living outside the northern Illinois and immediately adjacent areas. Students study the same curriculum in cohorts.  Courses meet over eight weeks and the expected time to degree is 3.5 years.  For detailed information, please contact Gustavo Panosso at (866) 295-3104 or GPanosso@ben.edu.


Tuition is set each academic year and remains constant for any given cohort.  In 2014-15, the tuition is $940.00 per semester hour. Tuition does not include books, fees, or expenses for required conferences or seminars.


  • Each course is offered over a six week block.  Face-to-face sessions occur every  third week-end during the six week session. Out-of-class activities are required and processed through Desire2Learn (D2L). New Learning Teams/cohorts are formed annually.
  • Only one class can be taken at a time.
  • The expected time to degree for students meeting at the University is 3 years.

Program Description

The Ed.D. program provides both the perspective and the tools to anticipate and lead change in higher education. Coursework is topical in nature, interdisciplinary in focus and grounded in an inquiry-driven methodology characterized by critical thinking, analysis and self-reflection. The program readies students for the rigors and challenges of developing and implementing strategic plans, improving learning, managing resources, leading personnel, developing and implementing policy and orchestrating succesful change within an organization.

Mission Statement

The mission of the Ed.D. program is to prepare educational professionals with knowledge and skills to guide post-secondary institutions in an era of unprecedented change.

Classroom Learning Teams

A learning team consists of 15-25 students. These students proceed through the coursework together as a cohort. Studying together and directly with program faculty and staff, team members are encouraged to share their knowledge and expertise freely, to develop close working relationships with the program faculty and staff, and to make full use of the resources and  offerings at the University. Much of the team’s study activities occur outside the classroom.

Methodology and Purpose

The Ed.D. promotes interaction and collaboration among peers. Students demonstrate, share and develop intellectual and personal skills and aspirations as educational leaders. Content is presented, managed and facilitated by professionals seasoned in the fields of higher education. Program faculty, advisors and distinguished visiting scholars enrich and extend the range and depth of intellectual exploration and personal development that form the basis of the Ed.D. program.

The degree in Higher Education and Organizational Change requires knowledge of theory and extensive  practice in the essential subjects affecting higher education. The program asks students to reflect upon their own unique values, ethics and professional commitments and to consider them in the context of those represented by Benedictine University. Overall, the program seeks to develop engaging and effective practitioners who are able to use their attributes and knowledge to achieve best practice in their areas of service and can guide the critical changes necessary to keep American higher education the best in the world.

Program Faculty
College of Education and Health Services
Benedictine University

Ethel C. Ragland, Ed.D., MN, RN
Dean of the College of Education and Health Services

Erica George
Assistant to the Dean

Email: egeorge@ben.edu
Phone: (630) 829-6084

Hours: 8:30 a.m. -  4:30 p.m.

By Mail:
Benedictine University
5700 College Road
Kindlon Hall, Room 258
Lisle, IL 60532

Fax: (630) 829-6281