Educational Foundations & Leadership department has four academic program areas that explore the relationship between leadership and learning. Each program provides you with the necessary skills needed to elevate your career in education and make a difference. You can find a list of our programs below. Contact us if you have any questions or want to try a class.
Explore Our Programs
Community College Leadership
PK-12 Educational Leadership
Education Psychology & Program Evaluation
Higher Education Program
Don't just take our word for it. Check out what these students had to say about being a part of our programs.
"The Community College Leadership Ph.D. program has far exceeded all of the hopes and expectations with which I entered. Having supportive colleagues and faculty that constantly show they care about me and my goals has been instrumental to my success.”
"The Ed Leadership Ph. D. program gave me the confidence to walk in my truth and continue being a beacon of light to the students, staff, and community I serve. Highly recommend this program because of the relevant learning experiences that challenge us to be better leaders."
"The EPPE program has provided me with numerous opportunities to expand my research skills and knowledge while working with faculty on grants, research projects, and publications. I am so grateful for the EPPE faculty; their support is unmeasurable."
DR. LAURA SMITHERS
Laura earned her Ph.D. in Critical and Sociocultural Studies in Education from the University of Oregon. She is an assistant professor of and Graduate Program Director for Higher Education in the Department of Educational Foundations and Leadership.
Her research focuses on the possible futures created and foreclosed by assessment regimes in undergraduate education, interests that stem from her decade of experience with high-stakes assessments of academic progress in Division I athletic academic support offices.
She uses critical and poststructural theory to study the role of assessment and various datafications of the student experience in creating the modern college student. Recently, her coauthored work on alternative valuations of the student experience was published in the Journal of College Student Development.
Felecia is an associate professor of Higher Education in the Educational Foundations and Leadership department. Her research focus is leadership, governance, and administrative practices at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and minority serving institutions (MSIs).
Felecia's additional research interests include how leadership is exercised, constructed, and viewed in various communities, and the relationship between Black women and leadership.
She is co-editor of the books Opportunities and Challenges of Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Graduate Education at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs): A Student Perspective. She is also the lead author of the book, Black College Women: A Guide to Success in Higher Education.
My career's work has been broadly focused on scaffolding safe and inclusive spaces for all learners to grow and prosper. For over 30 years, I have pursued these foci through my work as an urban public school teacher and administrator, and as a professor and researcher working in a variety of research-practice partnerships.
I've recently established the Alliance for Equity-Based Research and Practice (AERP), an emergent network of university and K12 educators interested in working beyond the traditional limitations of our often siloed sub-fields.
The goal is to engage in authentic transdisciplinary collaborative problem-posing and problem-solving designed to collectively overcome the impacts of an educational system that has privileged some while subjugating others and to address more directly the "legacies of inclusion and exclusion" (Hurtado, Alvarez, Guillermo-Wann, Cuellar, & Arellano, 2012, p. 43).
DR. DENNIS GREGORY
Dennis is an associate professor of Higher Education. He is an expert in higher education law, international and comparative higher education as well as student affairs. He practiced as a student affairs professional for 25 years prior to becoming a full-time faculty member and focused on student conduct, housing and Greek life. "Transitioning to a faculty role was an important professional decision and has proven to be a truly life changing experience. My legal studies as well as my work with international and comparative higher education continue to be very fulfilling."
In recent years, Dr. Gregory has continued to focus upon higher education law with a primary focus on the Clery Campus Safety Act. He has also been doing research and publishing on issues surrounding the First Amendment and free expression.
In The News
Dr. Smithers, Dr. Fischer and Faith Watrous publish a paper about fieldwork during the COVID-19 pandemic
Dr.s Smithers and Fischer, with EPPE student Faith Watrous, published Impasses of affective inquiry in pandemic times in the International Review of Qualitative Research after their fieldwork with learning communities took a drastic turn during the COVID-19 pandemic. (More)
ODU’s Dennis Gregory Wins NASPA Award for Outstanding Contribution to Student Affairs Through Teaching
The associate professor of educational foundations and leadership was selected by the Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education (NASPA). (More)
Please join us in congratulating this year’s Student Awards recipients! Selected by each of our departments, these awards are an annual tradition in the Darden College of Education and Professional Studies aimed at recognizing outstanding students for their academic achievement, service to the community, the college, and the university. (More)