Education - Professional

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Meet Catherine Zeisner, EdD candidate in Professional Education

“I loved my supervision team and the entire grad office at the faculty of education, due to their support and commitment to my success.”

Why did you come to Western for your graduate degree?
Western is a top tier university that is also close to home for me. I also made a promise to the faculty that if they brought an EdD program to Western, I would enroll and complete my degree.

Describe your research.
My research looks at how elementary school principals, in an Ontario school board, use resiliency strategies to manage adversity in their leadership. The job of school principal is demanding and complex with numerous stakeholders and events impacting their day, causing difficulties and challenges, known as leadership adversity. Principals use resiliency strategies, such as talking to their colleagues, having an optimistic disposition, and physical activity to manage their day to day adversities.

What suggestion would you like to share with the Western graduate community?
Make sure you step outside of your comfort zone to meet, partner, and collaborate with others from various fields to make your experience grand. Other professions have a lot of offer other jobs and those shared and common traits allow for deep learning and growth.

What’s your favourite book?
I have re-read The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime several times and I still cry at the Time Travelers Wife when I read it.

What’s the best advice you could give to someone considering applying to your graduate program?
Ask yourself if you have the time, energy, and support groups in place to see it through to the end. It is a long journey and you will need to rely on others and your grit to finish.

Our Doctor of Education (EdD) is a fully online doctoral degree program that prepares students to engage with theory and research in the context of their professional knowledge and expertise.

The primary goal of the EdD program is to enable graduates to develop as scholarly and influential leaders who will have an effective impact on sustainable change. This degree culminates in a Dissertation-in-Practice that is designed to enhance professional learning and to engage with field-specific principles and practices that can be applied to professional contexts.

Although this program prioritizes scholarly developmentin professional spaces, it does not focus on preparing graduates for traditional academic positions.

The Own Your Future doctoral professional development program will help you become a career-ready graduate with the skills necessary to excel in your studies and achieve your future goals. By participating in the program, you will assess your own strengths and opportunities for growth, choose what skills you want to enhance during your time at Western, and learn how to articulate the skills you gained in your degree to optimize your future career opportunities. To learn more, visit

Program Length

  • 9 Terms

Program Design

  • Full-time study
  • Project-based
  • Fully online

Tuition and Fees

Tuition and fee schedules (per term) are posted on the Office of the Registrar's website at

Admission Requirements

  • Master's degree in education and/or related fields.
  • Minimum GPA of 3.5
  • 3 years of full time work experience in education and/or related fields.
  • • More information about field-specific admission requirements can be found here: Education - How to Apply

English Language Proficiency

Applicants whose first language is not English must furnish evidence of their proficiency in the use of the English language:

Application Deadline

Since the EdD Program is highly competitive, applicants are encouraged to apply early as spaces are limited. Please visit Education - How to Apply for more information.

Fields of Research

  • Educational Leadership
  • Equity, Diversity, and Social Justice