Inaugural doctoral cohort begins at CSU

CHARLESTON, S.C. – Charleston Southern University’s first doctoral level cohort began studies this week for the Doctor of Education (EdD) with an emphasis in Leadership. The program began accepting applications last summer and, due to the demand, added two additional cohorts in 2019. The inaugural cohort of 22 students will complete the program in December 2021.

The EdD in Leadership is designed to provide current and aspiring leaders with the opportunity to pursue a professional doctoral degree. Designed for working adults, it extends into all types of administrative leadership roles, including education, healthcare and business.

“Through working together as a cohort, doctoral students are able to conceptualize research and apply them in their profession. Using learned leadership principles, our students can work together to better the community they serve,” said Dr. Robert Doan, director of the College of Education graduate programs. “I truly believe our graduates are going to do incredible things.”

The EdD program consists of 60 semester hours. Courses are offered in traditional on-campus or hybrid formats, meeting on Tuesday evenings. Students usually take one course per term. Courses include a leadership core, a cognate and a research core, and conclude with the defense of the dissertation.

CSU’s doctoral program includes:

Curriculum designed to advance knowledge and skills by studying and researching various leadership models
Dissertation phase to allow students to develop and implement research rooted in both theory and practice
Research core to provide advanced skills in writing and analysis
Ethical and character-based leadership course unique to the CSU program of study
“CSU continues to excel at providing innovative programming and meets the need for the region,” Dr. George Metz, dean of the College of Education, said. “Coursework is taught by leading practitioners from a variety of leadership settings who will integrate faith in practices of learning, serving and, ultimately, leading.”

Out of the 22 doctoral candidates, six regional school districts are represented, but more than 32 percent work in other professions. The inaugural cohort is majority female (14) and African-American (10). Five students are veterans.

Navy veteran and CSU alumnus Donald Lauer said that he attended CSU following a military-related injury and felt instantly welcomed, loved and cared for by faculty and staff. “CSU helped me grow physically, educationally and, most of all, spiritually. I knew right away I would want to be a professor so I could, in turn, help others. This degree helps me earn the requisite qualifications to teach one day.”

April Sanders is an administrator in Dorchester District 4 and received both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from CSU. “I’ve been praying about going back to school for a while and was seeking to attend a place that fit my personal requirements. At CSU, I know that I will be challenged, gain more family, and continue to grow in my spiritual walk. Without a doubt, I know that completing the EdD program at CSU is exactly where God wants me to be right now in my life!”

Learn more about CSU’s EdD program at This program is approved by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).


About Charleston Southern University: Founded in 1964, Charleston Southern University is a private, Christian liberal arts university. With an enrollment of 3,459 students, CSU is one of South Carolina’s largest accredited, independent universities and has been recognized as one of America’s Best Christian Colleges, America’s 100 Best College Buys, U.S. News & World Report’s Best Online Bachelor’s Programs, U.S. News & World Report’s Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Veterans, Colleges of Distinction, VA Yellow Ribbon Program and a Military Friendly School. Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, CSU offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. Students can learn online or in the classroom. The university’s vision is to be a Christian university nationally recognized for integrating faith in learning, leading and serving.

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