Philosophy & Structure
The University of Pennsylvania developed this program in conjunction with an advisory board, composed of industry leaders, to meet the needs of learning leaders.
The program is offered through the Graduate School of Education (GSE). GSE is recognized globally as being among the best within its respective field. Penn is uniquely able to offer a program that meets the profession's needs — in academics, logistics, and prestige.
An Executive Program
The program is executive in nature. This intensive professional learning community meets for two separate weeks each semester, allowing students to continue working while they study. Using a blend of on-site classes, distance learning, and "field"-based projects, the University of Pennsylvania PennCLO Program offers the rigor of an Ivy League institution and the flexibility of an executive format.
Students may apply to become a candidate for a master's degree conferred by the Graduate School of Education. They must successfully complete any three course blocks and the master's thesis course.
The Ed.D. degree is conferred by the Graduate School of Education. After successfully completing three course blocks, students can request approval to continue on to complete the doctoral program. Students that do not already hold a masters degree will need to submit a masters thesis in order to pursue the doctoral degree. Unlike most elite doctoral programs, a student's performance in the program determines his or her doctoral candidacy rather than standardized test scores. Those who are not invited to matriculate as doctoral students finish their master's degree. Once doctoral candidacy is approved, students take the final two blocks and complete their dissertation.
The program — the only one of its kind among top-tier universities — will use a blended approach, reflecting the realities that individuals face on the job. It will use the students' expertise and experience to inform the curriculum. Doctoral and master's students are expected to ground their research, their master's theses, and their dissertations in the workplace rather than in academia.
First, a student applies to the program and elects to either take specific course blocks or apply to the degree program. In the case of the former, the student simply pays the tuition and matriculates; in the case of the latter, the sequence is as follows:
- Application to the master's degree program
- Take any three out of five course blocks
- Master's thesis* (for those wishing to complete a master's degree)
- Obtain approval for doctoral student status
- Take the remaining two course blocks
- Complete doctoral strand (6th block), including proposal and defense