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Assessment, Learning, and Student Success: Higher Education Concentration, Ed.D.

The Assessment, Learning, and Student Success Program launched in 2013 and now offers a concentration in Higher Education.  This concentration is designed for practitioners who are involved in higher education who want to take their work to the next level.  The program places emphasis on application of essential knowledge and theory for enhancing and maximizing student success in institutions of higher learning.  Throughout coursework, you will apply best practices for student success, for learning, and leverage assessment to enhance your professional practice.  Program faculty have extensive experience working in student success, including college and university leaders, and are committed to equipping you to affect evidence-informed improvement now, and in the future.

There are several unique features that make this program appropriate for a wide range of individuals.

  • It is offered 100% online making it available to any working professional without regard to geographic location.
  • A Master’s degree is NOT required. Students may enter this program with any baccalaureate degree.
  • The Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is not required for admission.
  • Up to 15 hours of previously taken graduate courses may be transferred in saving time and money.
  • Up to 30 hours from an Education Specialist (Ed.S.) program may be applied as well.
  • It is focused on Student Success – the course of study is practical in nature and may be immediately applied to your work.

I have post-baccalaureate work; can I get any transfer credits?

Yes. Up to 15 hours from a Master’s program can come in; Up to 30 hours from EdS programs. Contact and we will review your transcripts

When do classes meet?

The ALSS Higher Education Concentration is a fully online program, however, there are currently two courses that are offered synchronously via remote instruction.

Who will be taking the courses with me?

Currently, the program offers several courses each semester including some that are cross-listed with the Department of Educational Leadership for Masters, Ed.S., and Ed.D. programs (The SPSE and FOED courses).  This means that you will be taking classes with diverse colleagues, many of whom are current practitioners.

What types of career opportunities exist with this degree?

The EdD in ALSS with a concentration in higher education is designed to meet specific needs to develop the capacity of practitioners to enhance their work in higher education in ways that promote student success.  Program graduates will be well suited for leadership and administrative positions in institutions of higher education or additional work in research, educational policy, governmental agencies, non-profit philanthropic organizations, and professional consulting.

Live outside of Tennessee? You could be eligible for in-state tuition and save thousands of dollars.

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Nicole Takayama

Assistant principal says program will ‘open doors,’ opened eyes to ‘whole new world’

Nicole Takayama, an MTSU alum, was the first person in her family to graduate from college. Now an assistant principal at a Tennessee high school, she is working on her doctorate degree at her alma mater so she can continue her success in the world of education. “I started the ALSS EdD program to earn a title and gain knowledge which would benefit me in my current career path. While the new title and knowledge will no doubt open doors at which I’ve been knocking, the content of that class, along with the thoughts, experiences, and perspectives shared by my classmates opened my eyes to a whole new world,” she said. Takayama began her career in education as a teacher before moving into an administrator role. One of the things she values the most about the Higher Education concentration is the professors’ dedication to their students and the program. “The thing I have noticed about the professors in this program that really gives it values is that they lead by example. The program is Assessment, Learning and Student Success, and all the professors I’ve had so far are genuinely committed to those three concepts,” she said.

Brelinda Johnson

ALSS student applies skills learned in classroom to job in Student Success

Brelinda Johnson has worked in education for more than a decade and received her master’s degree in Child Development and Family Studies at MTSU. Currently working in her alma mater’s Office of Student Success, she is enrolled in the Higher Education concentration of the Assessment, Learning, and Student Success doctoral program. “Since I’m currently working in the field of student success, I’ve been able to utilize my career experience to directly relate to classroom material. I’ve been able to apply the things I’ve learned in the classroom to procedures in my current role,” she said. Johnson, who previously taught at a high school level, said the Ed.D. Higher Education concentration of this program is useful for anyone who works in higher education. “This program is beneficial for those working in higher education. Student success is valuable in every part of the institution from academic affairs to student affairs,” Johnson said.

Related Media

  • MTSU College of Graduate Studies

    MTSU College of Graduate Studies


The Higher Education concentration in MTSU’s Doctorate of Education (Ed.D.) in Assessment, Learning, and Student Success was developed to allow working professionals and those who are geographically restricted to complete a terminal degree focused on one of the most critically important areas of education today – Student Success.

This concentration of the Doctorate of Education (Ed.D.) is offered 100% online bringing new opportunities to rural educators. It is ideally designed for advisors, administrators, community college and university faculty or staff.

Program graduates may also find work in:

  • higher education
  • research
  • educational policy
  • governmental agencies
  • not-for-profit and philanthropic organizations
  • professional development consulting, which will also contribute to improved student and school achievement.

The College of Education began offering the Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) degree in Assessment, Learning, and Student Success in 2013 and has added a new concentration Higher Education. Following are a few key points to help answer initial questions.

  1. The program is comprised of 60 graduate credit hours.
  2. The program is offered 100% online to increase flexibility for working professionals.
  3. A Master’s degree is NOT required. Students may enter this program with any baccalaureate degree.
  4. The Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is not required for admission to the program if a student has passed some graduate-level courses.
  5. Up to 15 hours of previously earned graduate credit may be transferred into the program saving time and money. (see course requirements for details)
  6. Up to 30 hours of credit from an Education Specialist (Ed.S.) program may be applied as well. (see course requirements for details)

The program will take advantage of the latest technology to enhance the learning opportunities for the learners in the program.  Completion of the degree requires successfully completing all courses as prescribed in the program course of study, conducting original research, and successfully completing a doctoral dissertation, among other graduation requirements.

For complete curriculum details, click on the REQUIREMENTS button to the right. 

Our adjunct faculty bring outstanding professional experience to our programs. Many are industry leaders with decorated careers and honors. Importantly, they are innovative educators who offer hands-on learning to our students to prepare them to enter and thrive in a dynamic, and oftentimes emerging, industry and professional world. They inspire, instruct, and challenge our students toward academic and professional success.

Contact Information

Jim Rost, Higher Education Concentration Coordinator

Kevin Krahenbuhl, ALSS Program Director

Who is My Advisor?

Jim Rost

Mailing Address

1301 E Main Street 
Box 91 
Murfreesboro, Tennessee 37132

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