Pitt EdD Wins Program of Year Award

The University of Pittsburgh School of Education’s Doctor of Education (EdD) program was selected as the 2023 Program of the Year by the Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate (CPED).

The national honor is for institutions who demonstrate excellence, innovation, impact, and alignment with CPED’s framework. CPED is an international consortium of more than 140 colleges and schools of education that are committed to the advancement of the doctorate in education degree.

For the award, institutions submitted detailed nominations about how they made programmatic changes to transform their EdD degrees.

The Pitt application focused on two things: the school’s recent shift to centering equity and justice across all aspects of the program and adopting an improvement science framework to guide students as scholarly practitioners.

“It was especially gratifying to receive this honor because we really have changed our program. It is very different than it was five years ago,” says Tom Akiva, associate professor and former director of the EdD program.

“We initially worried that we might lose some students in recruitment if we moved to the equity and justice focus,” says Akiva. “We ultimately decided that we’ll find students who want to be here. We’ll just be clear with what we’re about.”

A strength of the Pitt EdD is that it gives students the opportunity to select one of eight majors to further specialize their expertise. The options encompass teaching and learning in and out of school, health and wellness, education policy, and school leadership. All majors focus on leadership.

“The education doctorate at Pitt offers educational leaders rich opportunities to deconstruct problems and address complex challenges using applied research-based evidence. The EdD program is vital to the mission of the School of Education because it equips leaders to make a transformational impact in their institutions and across their fields of practice” says Eboni M. Zamani-Gallaher, professor and the Renée and Richard Goldman Interim Dean. “Above all else, we’re equipping our EdD students with the knowledge, mindset, and skills to help improve the lives of children, youth, families, and communities.”

CPED Program of the Year award banner

Akiva completed the nomination with faculty members Lori Delale-O’Connor, Sharon Ross and Kevin Crowley.

“We are proud of how far we have come as a program in the last few years,” says Ross. “Being recognized as the 2023 CPED EdD Program of the Year is a testament to the amazing faculty and students who are included in the school-wide program and our commitment to the ongoing improvement process. The work is never finished!”

“This recognition from CPED reaffirms what I have come to love about teaching and advising in the EdD—that the program really exemplifies our school’s mission/vision, and in particular pushes us to put into action our commitment to equity and justice,” says Delale-O’Connor.

Established in 2007, CPED is based in the School of Education and led by executive director and Pitt professor Jill Perry. She abstained from the application writing and review process of nominations, which was conducted by a committee of CPED representatives from other universities.

The theme of the 2023 CPED program of the year award was transforming programs.

With the enhancements made over the last few years, the Pitt EdD is poised to make an impact in students’ lives for years to come.

Learn More

The Doctor of Education (EdD) program is now accepting applications for next year’s class of students. The application deadline is February 1.