Ed.D. Mission, Goals, Learning Outcomes, and Standards

The Ed.D. in Executive Leadership program operates within the context of the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. School of Education's Conceptual Framework, which embraces a philosophy of social justice based on five interlocking tenets: diversity, achievement, compassion, knowledge, and service. The program’s faculty and staff are committed to modeling this philosophy in their interactions with candidates, colleagues, and the community.


The mission of the doctoral program in executive leadership at St. John Fisher College is to provide a unique, challenging, and rigorous educational experience that prepares candidates for executive leadership roles within the context of a diverse, information-driven, and increasingly technological society. To this end, the program seeks to:

  • Prepare ethically responsible leaders who are committed to improving conditions, opportunities, and outcomes for their clients and employees
  • Prepare highly capable leaders who understand and know how to use research, best practices, and new technologies to guide change and improve individual and organizational performance
  • Prepare confident and compassionate leaders who are committed to improving the quality of life for children and families in underserved communities
  • Prepare socially conscious and morally grounded leaders who respect and embrace diversity and understand the importance of human resource development


The goals of the program are:

  • Provide a high quality educational program that prepares candidates for successful careers as executive leaders
  • Provide a program of study that promotes effective organizational and individual performance
  • Maintain a professional environment that promotes an understanding of and appreciation for diversity
  • Provide greater access for groups historically underrepresented in doctoral level programs, and in positions of executive leadership
  • Provide a rigorous multidisciplinary advanced program of study for working professionals that fosters high rates of completion

Learning Outcomes

The program will prepare executive leaders who demonstrate the following:

  • Ability to apply and synthesize the essential knowledge, skills, and dispositions required for effective leadership and management in various organizational settings
  • Capability to conduct research and collect, analyze, and interpret data to inform decision-making and improve performance
  • Facility to think and plan strategically and conduct action research that is supported by best practice
  • Understanding of the impact, interactions, and implications of various public sectors on educational systems
  • Integrity to make ethical and fair decisions when facing moral dilemmas
  • Capacity to appreciate and maximize the talents and skills of a diverse workforce
  • Ability to assess and maximize human potential through a process of continuous personal, professional, and intellectual development

Leadership Standards

Standard One—Character

The executive leader demonstrates character, drive, competence and honesty in advancing the goals of the organization and the aspirations of colleagues. The executive leader has a strong moral compass and places the interests of the organization and co-workers before personal gain.

Standard Two—Vision

The executive leader has the ability to develop a positive, humane vision of the future which is articulated and communicated to constituents. The executive leader makes a long-term investment in this vision and works collaboratively toward its accomplishment with all stakeholders.

Standard Three—Integrity

The executive leader is a person of integrity who acts ethically and fairly in all dealings with others. The executive leader creates on organizational climate of honesty and high principle which inspires principled behavior among all who serve the organization.

Standard Four—Self Development

The executive leader continually examines personal strengths and weaknesses and uses knowledge of self in the service of others. The executive leader is introspective and reflective, using personal strength and courage to advance organizational goals while working to diminish personal weaknesses.

Standard Five—Support of Others

The executive leader supports, encourages and rewards others by recognizing their talents and assigning to them responsibilities commensurate with their abilities. The executive leader views others as partners who bring to the organization strength and potential for good.

Standard Six—Development of Goals

The executive leader identifies and advances the organization's mission and goals. The executive leader accepts change and enables others to work for and embrace change.

Standard Seven—Collaboration

The executive leader collaborates with all organizational constituencies, promoting trust and confidence. The executive leader responds to diverse community interests by partnering with the community and garnering community resources on behalf of the organization and community advancement.

Standard Eight—Research and Best Practice

The executive leader's knowledge of professional practice is current and shaped by research and experience. The executive leader employs best practice in the performance of duties, revises practice and programs based on empirical data and fosters commitment to these principles in others.

Standard Nine—Cultural Sensitivity and Diversity

The executive leader understands, respects and values individuals from diverse cultural backgrounds and with different experiences. The executive leader possesses and promotes knowledge of diversity within the organization, community and broader society, demonstrates dispositions that respect and value differences, and exhibits skills for working in diverse organizational settings.

Standard Ten—Communication Skills and Technology

The executive leader demonstrates effective communication skills in writing and speaking as well as through the use of technology and electronic media. The executive leader communicates with all constituencies in clear, intelligible language designed to promote community involvement and support while advancing the organization's mission and goals.

Standard Eleven—Responsibility and Accountability

The executive leader assumes and shares responsibility and accountability for achievement of organizational goals and outcomes. The executive leader clearly defines organizational roles and objectively measures employee performance in the context of the organization's mission and goals.

Standard Twelve—Organizational Capacity and Improvement

The executive leader knows how to synthesize and apply research, knowledge and experience to inform change and increase organizational capacity. The executive leader embraces and promotes ongoing professional development, and continuous individual and organizational improvement.

Ed.D. Alumni Spotlight

Dr. Carlos Medina

Dr. Carlos Medina

SUNY Cortland graduate Carlos Medina was drawn to Fisher's Ed.D. program because of the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. School of Education's social justice philosophy and the five tenets; diversity, achievement, compassion, knowledge, and service.

"The emphasis on executive leadership in a cross disciplinary approach, coupled with a cohort model and high completion rates, sold me. Not to mention Fisher's rigorous standards and expectations throughout the program," says Carlos.

Carlos credits the Ed.D. program for helping him become more knowledgeable and professional within his field. He is currently the chief diversity officer and senior associate vice chancellor at the State University of New York.


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