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) in Educational Leadership is a doctoral degree that teaches seasoned educators and professionals specific, research-informed leadership practices, and prepares them to appropriately apply their learning to their own workplace and leadership roles.

The primary goal of the EdD program is to prepare graduates to act as scholarly and influential leaders who will have an effective impact on, and promote sustainable change in, their workplaces. All course work is completed online.

Although this program emphasizes informed leadership in education, it is designed for formal and informal leaders in practice and does not focus on preparing graduates for traditional academic positions.


The Own Your Future doctoral professional development program creates career-ready graduates with the Power Skills necessary to excel in their studies and achieve their future goals. Assess your own strengths and opportunities for growth and focus on what you want to get out of your time here at Western. To learn more, visit www.uwo.ca/ownyourfuture.

Program Length

  • 9 Terms (3 years)

Program Design

  • Full-time study
  • Course-based

Funding Information

Admission Requirements

  • Master's degree in Educational Leadership or allied degree.
  • Minimum GPA of 3.5
  • 5 years of full time work experience is required
  • Formal or informal leadership experience in an educational setting, clearly demonstrated in their Resume and Statement of Intent.

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

Applications will be reviewed as they are received until the program is full. As 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