Cohorts begin every two years in January.

Next Application Deadline October 1, 2020

"Creating the necessary spaces where educators’ practices can be developed and nurtured, problems of practice examined as challenges and opportunities, and greater agency for teachers claimed, thereby furthering student learning."

The interview  which also includes CPED coordinator Dr. Edmund ‘Ted’ Hamann, recounts the evolution of Dr. Janet Eckerson’s (EdD 2015) problem of practice as she, a high school Spanish teacher in a small Nebraska district, wondered if the ways she was differentiating instruction for heritage-language-learners (HLLs) were appropriate and supported by research. 

Link to full interview

In the Department of Teaching, Learning, & Teacher Education:

Education Doctorate (Ed.D.) Next Cohort, starting January 2019 specializing in Teaching, Curriculum, and Learning or Instructional Technology.

In conjunction with the Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate, the department of Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education leads an Educational Doctorate  (Ed.D.) cohort. This course of studies is designed for working educators (with a completed master degree) and leads to a doctorate in as little and three years (the average is 4 years). Within a collegial and supportive environment, a highly select group of professional educators analyzes problems of educational practice to understand the relationship of theory and practice and to use knowledge for making meaningful differences in real-world settings.

Each cohort program supports ten to twenty highly motivated educators who come from a variety of backgrounds, including preK-12 schooling, teacher education, professional development, higher education, teacher-leadership and advocacy roles, and community education. Cohort participants make this journey together with dedicated faculty leaders who support individuals in their study and improvement of their own educational practice.

teacher and students


The Ed.D. cohort is designed for educators working in PreK-16 and community education settings, who wish to analyze problems of practice, develop new knowledge, structure experiences, grow practical insight, and become leaders. Some, but not all coursework is available at a distance, so educators should be located at a reasonable distance to make it to the UNL campus on a regular basis.


The Ed.D. cohort is an intellectually rigorous and contextually responsive program of study in which educators address challenges of practice in order to create and sustain effective teaching/learning contexts in the concrete realities of P-16 classrooms, work, and community settings. Our approach allows educators to be actively engaged in their professional working environments while exploring theories, ideologies, and applications, in sustained dialogue with peers and faculty. The program conceptualizes scholarship of practice as “both substance and process,” critical to educators who can analyze, evaluate, model, and teach in a cross section of educational settings (Shulman, et al., 2006).

I. Core Principles and Pedagogies of the Program of Study

  • Teaching, learning, and curriculum are complex activities that exist within the larger social, cultural, and political contexts framing educational settings.
  • Teaching, learning, and curriculum are best thought of as practical action -praxis- action that is intentional, situational, and thoughtful.
  • Theory and practice infuse one another; therefore, successful graduate education must intertwine theory/practice relations.
  • Cohort learning offers opportunities to learn from each other and foster ongoing dialogue and connections beyond the degree.

II. Features of the Program of Study

  • Cohort organization: Allows full-time educators to complete an Education Doctorate in less than four years through the combination of evening seminars, on-line learning and intensive study in the summers, deliberately connecting the world of practice to doctoral studies.
  • Inquiry Oriented: Research design and data collection and analysis skills fostering practitioner-based action research in preparation for the conduct and documentation of the capstone project.
  • Core Interdisciplinary Experiences: Cross-disciplinary and cross-emphasis coursework offering perspectives and traditions cultivating a culture of collaboration, debate, and dialogue across scholar/practitioners.
  • Arts of the Practical Coursework: Enabling educators to concretely consider the nature of learners, learning, teachers, and teaching from multiple perspectives and within the concrete realities of varied educational settings.
  • Select work in an area of emphasis.

For a closer look at the programmatic features see: Ed.D Coursework.


The next cohort will start in Jan. 2019. Graduation is possible in less than four years. Application guidelines include: 1. Undergraduate GPA: minimum of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. Graduate GPA: minimum of 3.75 on a 4.0 scale. 2. Test scores: 50th percentile on each of the Verbal, Quantitative, and Analytical sections of the GRE taken in the past five years (and for international students a TOEFL score of 79). 3. Professional experience: a minimum of two years as an educator in college, or other educational settings. 4. Fit between the applicant's goals/interests and the Ed.D Cohort programmatic ability to address those goals/interests. Applicants should develop a 3-5 page narrative that describes the relations, challenges, and opportunities among teaching, learning, and curriculum, with personal goals and interests in completing an Ed.D as a cohort member. 5. Evidence of writing abilities through provision of a sample such as a thesis, a paper written for a course, a published article, a curriculum document, etc. 6. Completion of all steps in the application process: Apply today! This is a selective and competitive program and our top candidates will be determined through review. No single criterion is more important than another. The application file is reviewed as a total package. We are participants in the Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate re-thinking doctoral education. Questions? Please contact:

Ted Hamann, PhD,
Professor & CPED Coordinator
44B Henzlik Hall
Teaching, Learning and Teacher Ed
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Lincoln, NE 68588-0355

Critical Friends was not one of our [original] key words, but it could have been, as an emphasis on collegiality is evident in several of these founding documents. For example, we asserted as a core principle of our program that, “cohort learning offers opportunities to learn from each other and foster ongoing dialogue and connections beyond the degree.” Descriptions of program coursework included the intent to “cultivate a culture of collaboration among scholars and practitioners across disciplines and roles, drawing upon the experiential ground of multiple concrete teaching/learning situations.” (Hamann & Wunder, 2014, pp. 162-163)

Click the link below for the full article:


  •  Complete the online department application in GAMES. Be sure to attach the following materials to your online application:

    ·        Vitae/Resume

    ·        Personal Statement: An autobiographical statement (suggested length: 3-5 pages). Discuss your professional career to date, highlighting experience, philosophies, goals, service (leadership, productivity and contributions to your profession), and the role of research in your area of specialization. In addition, address your reasons for wanting a doctorate and what you are looking for in a doctoral mentor.

    ·        Printed materials, (e.g., articles, grants, or papers from a graduate course) written by you would be appropriate to demonstrate your writing abilities.

    ·        Three letters of recommendation: Once you login to GAMES, you will be able to provide contact information for each of your letter of reference writers. Once you have provided a valid email, you will be able to click a button for each reference to have an email request sent to them. This email will contain a secure link with which they can upload a letter. There is no need to have your references send hard-copies (and, in fact, it is preferred that they do not send hard-copies). Be aware that, for security reasons, once you send a request, you will be locked out of making changes to the reference's contact information.

    *Please note that a complete background check may be required upon admission to the program. Many institutions today require a criminal history background check before an individual is allowed to work, volunteer, conduct research or collect data within their facility. CEHS students who are required in their program to go into daycare facilities, schools, hospitals, or other community agencies must complete a background check before CEHS can place them in these facilities.

    Only completed application files will be reviewed. Following the review process, you will be informed in writing of the admission decision.

Randy Ernst

Randy Ernst, Asst. Professor of Education; Co-Director Master of Education, Nebraska Wesleyan.

"The classes I took as a CPED cohort member have helped me immeasurably in my role as an educational practitioner. Now, I'm able to speak with confidence about the issues facing teachers and advocate for practices I believe beneficial to teaching. My beliefs are backed by the research we read, discussed, and wrote about in our CPED classes. As a doctoral candidate, I know I will continue to keep up with current research long after I complete my dissertation."