Educational Leadership Center Pupil Assignment Department Of Defense

The Educational Leadership Program offers Master of Science in Education (MSE) and Educational Specialist (Ed.S.) degrees as well as programs of study for building level and district level administrative licenses. The EDL programs at Henderson State University prepare graduate students for senior level educational administration positions. 

The programs are driven by standards and research and are delivered through courses aligned to the Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium (ISLLC), the Educational Leadership Constituent Council (ELCC) and the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE). Students gain knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary to be productive and successful school leaders.

Our courses meet online. Instruction, lectures, and student presentations are delivered using web conferencing (Blackboard Collaborate).  Course management system Blackboard Collaborate/Angel is utilized for continual communication with professor and class colleagues and for management of assignments. Online class meetings are scheduled each semester and attendance is mandatory.

The online Educational Leadership program is nationally recognized by the Educational Leadership Constituent Council (ELCC).

Licensure Program

Licensure programs prepare candidates for Arkansas licensure in the following areas:

  • Building Level Administrator
  • Curriculum Program Administrator-Curriculum
  • Curriculum Program Administrator-Special Education
  • District Level Administrator

Arkansas Department of Education Administrator Licensure 

Transfer work

All transfer work must be completed within the last 10 years and course artifacts from transferred courses which are aligned to ELCC and ISLLC standards must be included in Portfolio Defense/Exit Interview.  Upon approval, a maximum of six hours transfer work can be applied to the degree.  An official transcript from school of origin for transfer work is required in the graduate office to document coursework. 

Portfolio and exit interview

Candidates must complete a portfolio as part of the Educational Leadership program of study.

A portfolio is an individualized collection of purposeful, interrelated materials which is ongoing and flexible. The portfolio becomes an assessment tool, which leads to self-improvement through the development of reflective thinking and inquiry.  Candidates select artifacts from class assignments and align them to the appropriate Educational Leadership Constituent Council (ELCC). The portfolio is evaluated using a rubric aligned to the ELCC standards.


The PhD in Education is designed for graduate students seeking faculty or research positions in higher education or positions within research organizations that require educational research in highly specialized disciplines. Progress through the degree provides students with opportunities to develop specialized disciplinary content and research knowledge along with scholarly experiences that will provide the foundational knowledge and skills required for success as faculty in higher education and in research organizations.

The PhD in Education with emphasis in Educational Leadership will prepare students to develop knowledge and conduct research related to six major areas of strength among our existing faculty including: (1) Leadership and Policy Analysis, (2) Leader Identity and Authenticity, (3) Leadership for Social Justice and in Indigenous Contexts, (4) Leader Self-Efficacy/School Collective Efficacy, (5) Instructional Leadership in Rural Contexts, and (6) Education Evaluation, Assessment, Research Design and Analysis. Special emphasis in these major research areas will address topics specific to Montana including working with rural communities and Native Americans on state and other educational issues. Graduates of this PhD program in education will be well-positioned to directly and positively affect the data driven culture related to improving the educational systems of Montana and beyond.

Program Flow

After being admitted to the PhD program, the student will be assigned a temporary adviser and should then meet with his/her assigned adviser. Actual courses taken during the initial stage will be based on the student's previous academic work and adviser/committee approval.

The program is designed to be specifically tailored to each doctoral student's related research interest while providing cutting edge knowledge and skills in research and theory. The program is structured to be completed in 4 to 5 years with full-time tuition support for qualified students provided by the Department of Education.

Program of Study

Residency Requirement

The PhD requires one year of on campus, full-time residency. The residency requirement consists of two consecutive semesters of full-time enrollment (6-9 credits per semester) in PhD coursework.


Each doctoral student's committee must consist of at least four approved members. The chair and one other approved member must be from the Educational Leadership faculty. Two other approved members will be selected based upon their ability to contribute to the student's studies leading up to and through the dissertation research. These two committee members must have academic credentials in the area of the student's program of study and be approved by the Head of the Department of Education and Dean of The Graduate School.  For information regarding graduate representatives, please refer to the Graduate School policy.

The student should carefully select his/her chair after thorough conversations with those Educational Leadership faculty members that he/she believes might have an interest in their doctoral research agenda and/or the ability to work with them toward generating a defensible dissertation. The chair will give leadership and approval regarding the balance of the committee's potential membership. The committee, as a whole, is subject to the approval of the Head of the Department of Education. The chair will facilitate program approval, comprehensive exam planning and clarification, proposal hearing, and dissertation defense. Chairs and members of a student's committee are subject to change. Revision to the program of study can be made during the course of study with the chair's approval.

Comprehensive Examinations

As PhD students in Educational Leadership approach the end of their coursework (46 credits completed), and prior to the Dissertation proposal meeting, they will contact their committee chair to discuss the content and format of the required written and oral comprehensive examinations.  The comprehensive exams must be completed by the posted Graduate School deadlines.

Additional Requirements

The Doctor of Education degree must meet the minimum requirements in the For Doctoral Students section of the Graduate School's website. Additional requirements for the PhD degree beyond these minimums are available through the Department of Education. All PhD degree candidates are expected to be familiar with both The Graduate School's degree requirements listed here: and Department of Education degree requirements listed on the department website.

Contact Information

Dr. Tena Versland, Program Leader
406-994-6799 Email:

Dr. Bill Ruff
406-994-4182 Email:

Dr. David Henderson
406-994-6424 Email:

Dr. Art Bangert
406-994-7424 Email:

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