Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership

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Program Overview

The School of Education and Human Development invites certified educators looking to further develop their leadership skills to apply to the Doctor of Education (EdD) in Educational Leadership for Teacher Leaders starting in the fall, 2021. The program is designed for experienced teachers, such as classroom teachers, school psychologists, math coaches, or reading interventionists, who have a desire to lead from within and across classrooms to transform education. The EdD program is a three-year, hybrid, low residency program.

The program aligns with Fairfield’s mission of preparing educators for leadership and service through broad intellectual inquiry, the pursuit of social justice, and cultivation of the whole person. The program is tailored for individuals who have already taken or seek to take on expanded roles and responsibilities in their grade level teams, departments, schools, or districts to influence teaching and learning practices on a greater scale.

One of the core goals of the program is to prepare teacher leaders who are advocates for social justice and anti-racist policies and practices, and who take actions as leaders with and for students, families, communities, and organizations for transformative change.

Educators who pursue the program will gain deeper insights into the theoretical and practical foundations of leadership and the profession. Candidates will learn how knowledge of education theory, inquiry, and data positively impact their teaching and the practices of those around them.

Student Learning Outcomes

The goals of the Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership are to prepare teacher leaders who will become:


Ethical Leaders

Ethical leaders who engage in decision-making driven by principles, justice, honesty and respect and work toward the well-being of all learners and the greater school community.


Reflective Scholar-Practicioners

Critically reflective scholar-practitioners who use data and co-construct knowledge to address educational challenges and opportunities in order to improve teaching and learning.


Advocates for Social Justice

Advocates for social justice and anti-racist policies and practices who take actions as leaders with and for students, families, communities, and organizations for transformative change.


Compassionate Relationship-Builders

Compassionate relationship-builders who inspire, serve, and lead within learning communities and build capacity to improve educational opportunities for all.


Organizational Collaborators

Organizational collaborators who forge partnerships that will inspire and motivate key community stakeholders to transform learning experiences for all students.


Agents of Change

Change agents who address educational issues through multiple perspectives within the social, political, and emotional context of communities.

Requirements & Curriculum

The EdD in Educational Leadership for Teacher Leaders is a three-year, hybrid, low residency program with a focus on leadership and social justice. The curriculum is organized into three main components: Inquiry in Action; Foundational Core; and Teacher Leadership. Courses will be offered through a combination of synchronous and asynchronous modalities to provide for both community-building and flexibility.

Students will enroll as a cohort during the fall semester and will complete six credits each semester, including summer, for a total of 57 credits. Students will also complete two residencies, which provide an in-depth focus on relationship and team-building, leadership and communication, specific teacher leader challenges, and dissemination of ideas and research findings. In the third year students will write and defend a dissertation based on a local problem of practice.

Required Courses

Inquiry in Action
A Systems Approach to Innovation & Improvement
Framing & Critical Analysis of Problems of Practice
Action Research for Educational Change I
Action Research for Educational Change II
Communities of Inquiry: Dissertation in Practice I
Communities of Inquiry: Dissertation in Practice II
Dissertation Advising
Foundational Core
Mission & Values-Based Leadership
Power, Privilege & Identity in Educational Leadership
Moral & Ethical Decision-Making
Leader as Collaborator & Relationship-Builder
Leadership for Social Justice in Education
Organizational Change for Social Justice in Education
Teacher Leadership
Contextualizing Legal and Policy Issues in Education
Creating a Culture for Continuous Improvement
Advocacy for Equity & Access
Leveraging Instructional Design for Equitable Outcomes
Re-Imagining Technology for Social Action
Writing for Social Change


Applicants to the Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership must hold a MEd, EdS, or master’s degree in a field relevant to PK-12 education with a minimum GPA of 3.0. Applicants should currently be working in a PK-12 school or other setting that serves students and have at least three years’ experience as a teacher and/or instructional leader.

Stag Spotlight

Stephanie Burrell Storms headshot

Stephanie Burrell Storms

Associate Dean and Associate Professor of Multicultural Education

Educational Studies

Learn About Dr. Storms

Stephanie Storms headshot 

Educational Leadership Program Director Stephanie Burrell Storms, EdD, associate dean and associate professor of multicultural education, was awarded the National Coalition of 100 Black Women – New Haven Metropolitan Chapter 2021 Candace Education Leadership Award. Dr. Storms was recognized for her diligent work as an educator and advocacy for students.

She was selected as a 2021-2022 ACAD Fellow. The mission of the Fellows Program is to provide strategic support for academic leaders to participate in ACAD and the ACAD annual meeting and to provide opportunities for professional development, network building, and giving back to the Academy.

Anna Cutaia headshot

Anna Cutaia

Adjunct Instructor

Learn About Dr. Cutaia

Dr. Anna Cutaia holds the position of superintendent of schools in Milford, Conn. She began her appointment in Milford on August 1, 2018. She received her bachelor of arts degree from Mount St. Mary College in 1991, followed by a master’s degree in education from the University of Southern Mississippi in 1997. While working as an educator for several years, Dr. Cutaia continued her post-graduate studies and received her certificate in the Executive Leadership Program (2007) followed by a Doctorate in Education (2013), both from the University of Connecticut.

Dr. Cutaia’s career path has touched every segment of the educational leadership spectrum. She started her career in Myrtle Beach, SC, where she served as a teacher (1991-1998), an assistant principal (1998-2000), and principal (2000-2003). In 2003, Dr. Cutaia moved to Connecticut and served as principal of Casimir Pulaski Elementary School in Meriden, Conn. During her early years in Connecticut, Dr. Cutaia also worked with the Connecticut State Dept. of Education (CSDE) as an educational consultant and as an adjunct professor at the University of Connecticut and Southern Connecticut State University. Dr. Cutaia served for six years as the director of Elementary Education in the Fairfield Public School district. Prior to going to Milford, she served as the superintendent of schools for Regional District 14 for four years, encompassing the communities of Bethlehem and Woodbury, Conn.

Dr. Cutaia has also served as an adjunct professor in the area of reading for Southern Connecticut State University in 2013 - 2014. Since 2015, she has taught for UCONN as an adjunct professor and lead instructor in their Principal Preparation Program. Additionally, she teaches in the Superintendent Certification Program at Sacred Heart University. Beginning in 2021, Dr. Cutaia helped establish a Teacher Leader Doctoral Program and serves as an adjunct professor at Fairfield University.

Dr. Cutaia is involved in many professional and local organizations. Since 2014, she has been an active participant of the Superintendent's Network of the Connecticut Center for School Change and is a member of the College Board Connecticut Advisory Committee. She is a member of the NEAG School of Education Alumni Board at UCONN. She also serves on the local boards of the Milford Chamber of Commerce and the Milford United Way.

Dr. Cutaia was named the Connecticut Parent Teacher Association 2021 Superintendent of the Year.

More About the Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership

Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (EdD) Program Welcomes First Cohort

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Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (EdD) Program Welcomes First Cohort

The new program is designed for experienced, certified educators seeking advanced leadership skills.

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Calling All Teacher Leaders: Be the Change

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Calling All Teacher Leaders: Be the Change

Fairfield’s new EdD in Educational Leadership for Teacher Leaders was designed to confront racial injustice and other forms of oppression in education. Consider joining our program this fall to transform yourself, your classroom, school, and community, for equity and justice in education.
Read the Full ThinkSpace Article

Message from the Director

Read the Message

Message from the Director

Stephanie Storms headshot

Welcome to the Educational Leadership Program for Teacher Leaders!

We are thrilled to offer the only Educational Leadership program for Teacher Leaders in Connecticut. The role of teacher leaders is more critical in bringing about change in schools than ever before, especially within our current political, social, and public health context. Teacher leaders play a vital role in modeling and developing equity-minded competencies with a focus on eliminating racism and other forms of oppression and advocating for social justice. This three-year, 57 credit low residency, hybrid/online program is for those educators who collectively want to catalyze systemic change from within their classroom and schools.

I invite you to learn more about the program and I am available by email, phone, or Zoom. Thank you for your interest and I look forward to speaking with you.

Dr. Stephanie Storms
203-254-4000, Ext. 3334
Associate Dean, School of Education and Human Development
Associate Professor, Multicultural Education
Program Director, EdD in Educational Leadership for Teacher Leaders

In the News

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In the News

Featured on Hispanic Outlook On Education Magazine

Educators looking to further develop their leadership skills can now apply to the School of Education and Human Development’s new Doctor of Education (EdD) in Educational Leadership program.

Read the full article on


 Fairfield U.'s school of education gets new name, degree program

"FAIRFIELD — Fairfield University is renaming its Graduate School of Education and Allied Professions."

Read the full article on CTPost

Read the Full Article on CTPost


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Our caring and committed faculty offer a rigorous course of study, with a broad range of courses that integrate critical reflection, extensive field experience, and the most current research in the field of Educational Leadership.
Meet the Faculty

Frequently Asked Questions

Applicants will be required to provide:

  • The online application and appropriate application fees
  • Official transcripts from all previously earned degrees
  • Three letters of recommendation from individuals who can speak to leadership experiences and commitment to equity and excellence for all students
  • A professional resume
  • A two-page statement of purpose in which the applicant describes their work as an educator to date, including a discussion of leadership activities, professional goals, research interests, and reasons for pursuing a scholar-practitioner doctoral degree at Fairfield University
  • A product or example (in the form of a sample of work, presentation, project, or proposal) from their teaching or leadership work that shows their efforts to bring about sustained change intended to result in equitable outcomes for all students

The Jesuit Education Teacher Leader Scholarship is for new students admitted in fall 2021 who are also teachers at Jesuit high schools. The scholarship applies $1,000 towards tuition in the first semester and then $500 towards tuition each additional semester for students in good standing. For more information please contact Program Director Stephanie Storms.

Applicants may transfer up to nine credits into the EdD program with approval from the director.

The EdD program typically enrolls a cohort of students in the fall of each year. Applications submitted for the spring 2022 semester however will be considered on an individual basis depending on availability.

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