Ph.D. in Literacy: Educational Leadership Specialization

Shape the future of education, from public schools to government agencies.

Develop the skills to create a positive impact on education at the school, state, and even national levels with a specialization in Educational Leadership as part of St. John's University's Ph.D. in Literacy program.

Learn firsthand how to analyze data to make decisions, manage change, and employ administrative leadership skills vital to success in any educational setting. Put your new skills in context and gain a deeper understanding of the socioeconomic, cultural, and policy issues facing students and educators today.

As you learn, engage directly with a faculty made of active researchers and former school and district administrators to benefit from years of real-world leadership experience.

Career Outlook: Drive Effective Education Anywhere

Complete this specialization and qualify for advanced leadership roles across schools, districts, colleges, and universities. Help prepare future leaders in educational institutions, or take on positions like educational administrator, survey researcher, and community and service manager within government agencies or research organizations focused on education.

Employment for elementary or secondary school education leaders is projected to grow five to nine percent from 2016 to 2026, with a median annual salary of $94,390 in 2017.1 Employment for postsecondary education administrators is projected to grow by 10 percent in that same time frame, with a median annual salary of $92,360 in 2017.2 Salary potential is even higher when working outside of academia as an educational leader in local government or within private companies.3

Career Spotlight: Curriculum Specialist

As a curriculum specialist, you ensure your school's courses and instruction are effective and beneficial to students. Your duties include advising and reviewing teachers' instructional methods, helping choose textbooks and other reading materials, and suggesting innovative new ways to teach based on the latest research in the field. You help improve curricula based on data points such as test scores and grades, as well as feedback from students and parents.

Curriculum specialists typically work in supervisory positions. The educational leadership skills you gain in this specialization help you excel in this role.

Potential career titles:

  • Teacher leader
  • Department chair
  • Instructional specialist
  • Resource specialist
  • Mentor teacher
  • Data coach


Curriculum: Creating Educational Leaders

Examine the role leaders play in educational organizations, explore shared beliefs around educational leadership, address the function multiculturalism plays in leadership, and foster learning in students with special needs.

In addition to 18 credit hours of core literacy courses and 15 credit hours of research required for the Ph.D. in Literacy, the Educational Leadership specialization includes the following three courses:

  • EDU 5301: Leadership Values, Decision Making, and Multicultural Organizations (3 credit hours)
  • EDU 5571: Administrative Leadership and Planned Change (3 credit hours)
  • EDU 7005: Culturally Relevant Pedagogy and Curriculum (3 credit hours)


Specialization Outcomes

  • Evaluate, diagnose, and propose solutions to educational issues
  • Analyze organizational challenges from multiple perspectives
  • Build shared beliefs and values in a multicultural organization
  • Foster learning in all kinds of students, including special education and gifted learners

More Specialization Options

Learn More

Apply to St. John's University's online Ph.D. in Literacy program and build your skills in educational leadership. Contact us at 844-393-1677 or request more information today!


1O-Net Online. (n.d.) Education Administrators, Elementary & Secondary School. Retrieved on February 13, 2019, from
2U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (n.d.) Occupational Outlook Handbook. Retrieved on February 13, 2019, from
3U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (n.d.) Occupational Employment Statistics. Retrieved on February 13, 2019, from