Dissertation in practice, needs analysis, k 12 improvement, cped, qualitative research, education doctorate, professional practice


This study conducted at the University of Central Florida was completed to inform the Ed. D. in Education program within the College of Education and Human Performance. The main purpose of the study was to determine the Dissertation in Practice (DiP) project types that should be allowed for use as the capstone requirement based on a needs analysis of K-12 schools and school districts. The secondary purpose was to inform the instructional design of the program to ensure the necessary skills and knowledge required are included in the program. The study was conducted in the University of Central Florida's Ed. D. in Education program and employed a qualitative approach to a needs analysis. Interviews were conducted with two distinctly different participant groups. The first group was comprised of administrators and teacher-leaders identified by a superintendent of a rural school district in Central Florida as "highly effective". The second group of participants was comprised of current Ed. D. students working in K-12 education with more than 10 years' experience. This research identified specific project types that best support school improvement and should therefore be integrated into the Ed. D. in Education program as allowable project types for use as the Dissertation in Practice. The results also identified qualities of highly effective administrators and teacher-leaders that may be considered by program faculty for inclusion in the design and implementation of the curriculum for the Ed. D. in Education program. Implications of this research include using the results to inform instructional practices and the allowable DiP projects for the Ed. D. in Education program. As this study was a needs analysis that serves as a basis for program instructional decisions, the results of this study may inform other Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate (CPED) member institutions how to modify or enhance their programs as well. The focus on this study was exclusively on K-12 education. However many students enrolled in the program work in business, government, or non-profit settings. This research could be replicated to determine improvement project types that are commonly implemented in those settings in order to better meet the needs of all students enrolled in the Ed. D. in Education program.


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Graduation Date





Boote, David


Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


College of Education and Human Performance

Degree Program









Release Date

August 2014

Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Dissertation in Practice (Open Access)


Dissertations, Academic -- Education and Human Performance; Education and Human Performance -- Dissertations, Academic

Included in

Education Commons