Skip navigation
A lady smiles while her colleague looks at charts: Explore the new Ed.D, dissertation option.

Regent University School of Education Launches Professional Practice Dissertation Option

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA (June 20, 2022) – Regent University School of Education is pleased to announce the launch of a Professional Practice Dissertation (PPD) for its Ed.D. K-12 School Leadership and Advanced Educational Leadership concentrations. Doctoral candidates now have the option of two culminating experiences: the traditional research-centered dissertation or this new innovative pathway that focuses on real-world applications. 

The Professional Practice Dissertation is an important addition to our celebrated School of Education offerings,” said Dr. William L. Hathaway, executive vice president for Academic Affairs. “This pathway is built on excellence and enables our doctoral candidates in education to make transformative change in their workplace through action research.”

The PPD is an action-oriented, systematic approach to investigation and reflective practice. It enables candidates to find effective solutions to problems they face daily, helping successful educational leaders engage in inquiry while empowering them to improve their practice or resolve complex issues.

A PPD addresses the current reality of a problem of practice and identifies questions for analysis, a solutions argument with recommendations, action plans, impediments to implementation, and action communications. The executive summary provides an overview of the PPD’s purpose and results. It is designed to summarize key points that can be presented to a supervisor, such as a school principal, central office supervisor, superintendent, or school board.

“A recent completer of a PPD indicated to me that he is using the outcomes of his PPD to improve their district teacher performance evaluation and improvement measures,” said Dr. Glenn Koonce, associate professor and PPD program chair for the School of Education and Regent’s 2022 Chancellor’s Award recipient.

Koonce added, “We are already getting feedback that dissertation candidates are excited about the option to study their unique problems of practice to improve what they do every day.”

Ed.D. Professional Practice Dissertation Option for Education Practitioners:

Choose an action research pathway that allows you to tackle a problem you are facing in your role and allows you to investigate and design action plans to solve it. Choose from two concentrations:

Ed.D. & Ph.D. Traditional Dissertation Options for Educators:

Choose a quantitative or qualitative research design that, for the Ed.D., prepares you or furthers your career in educational leadership or the Ph.D. that prepares you or furthers your career in educational leadership and a career search. 

Ranked among the Top 5 Best Online Graduate Education Programs in Virginia for 10 consecutive years (U.S. News & World Report, 2022), Regent’s Ed.D. and Ph.D. programs offer flexible, eight-week course sessions. They are VDOE-approved and nationally accredited by CAEP. No GRE or MAT is required.

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)A terminal degree focused on applied research and a practice-oriented curriculum. Prepares you to serve and lead as a superintendent, school administrator, principal researcher, or university faculty member. You can find a rich and encouraging mix of scholarship, leadership and mentorship.

  • Delivered 100% online
  • 61 credit hours

Doctor of Philosophy in Education (Ph.D.)This terminal degree builds on the Ed.D. program with additional coursework in research often required at the university level. Like the Ed.D., you can also be equipped to serve as a superintendent, school administrator, principal researcher, and university faculty member but with the more intensive research skills.

  • Delivered 100% online
  • 67 credit hours
  • No Residency Requirement

To learn more about the School of Education degree programs and how you can get started or complete your Ed.D. or Ph.D. degree, visit

About the School of Education

The School of Education is ranked among the Top 5 Best Online Graduate Education Programs in Virginia by U.S. News & World Report. The school also has earned an impressive reputation for its 865 alumni Teachers of the Year. The school offers challenging, leading-edge online degrees, including Master of Education, Educational Specialist, Doctor of Education (Ed.D.), Ph.D. in Education, certificates, endorsements, and a Career Switcher program.

About Regent University

Founded in 1977, Regent University is America’s premier Christian university with more than 11,000 students studying on its 70-acre campus in Virginia Beach, Virginia, and online around the world. The university offers associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in more than 150 areas of study, including business, communication and the arts, counseling, cybersecurity, divinity, education, government, law, leadership, nursing, healthcare, and psychology. Regent University is ranked the #1 Best Accredited Online College in the United States (, 2020), the #1 Safest College Campus in Virginia (YourLocalSecurity, 2021), and the #1 Best Online Bachelor’s Program in Virginia for ten years in a row (U.S. News & World Report, 2022).