Aspen University appears in our ranking of 10 Most Affordable Doctorate in Educational Administration Online 2018.

Aspen University is a distance-learning institution of higher learning. The school focuses on nursing, computer science, information systems, project management, criminal justice, counseling, business, technology, and education for its undergraduate and graduate degrees. The school is a for-profit institution that is publicly held and part of the Aspen Group, Incorporated. The school’s parent company is traded on the NASDAQ stock exchange. The university can trace its roots to the 1960s when it was called the International Academy. It would become the International School of Information Management in the late 1980s and become Aspen University in 2003. There are around 3,600 students taking classes from this Denver, Colorado online university.

Aspen University Accreditation Details

The Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC) has given its approval to Aspen University to operate as an institution of higher learning. The DEAC is listed as an accrediting agency with the U.S. Department of Education. The bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing at the university are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), and the Project Management Institute (PMI) has approved the project management training offered at Aspen University. The school’s programs in addiction counseling and psychology are approved by the National Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors (NAADAC), and the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements has approved the school’s participation in a voluntary program of state oversight.

Aspen University Application Requirements

Admission requirements for students interested in an associate’s degree or bachelor’s degree program include a completed application, a high school diploma, and the official transcripts from the student’s schools. Students must also come to the program with a cumulative GPA of 2.00 in all classes taken in high school and college. The RN to BSN program has program specific requirements and requires that students possess an Associate Degree in Nursing, as well as a cumulative GPA of at least 3.00. The student must also have current licensure and have at least one year of experience working as a Registered Nurse. Graduate applicants must possess a bachelor’s degree when they apply, and doctoral applicants must also submit a resume, statement of goals, and proof of a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0.

Tuition and Financial Aid

The cost per credit for students in associates degree or bachelor’s degree programs is $150 per credit, and the cost for students in graduate programs is $325 per credit. Doctoral students pay $450 per credit and students in certificate programs pay $325 for each credit. There are also some additional fees some students must pay like transcript fees, undergraduate and graduate technology fees, portfolio credit evaluation fees, and tuition deferment fees. Students may also need to pay a graduation fee, a proctored examination fee, a dissertation fee, an internship fee, or a nursing capstone fee. Many of these fees are one-time fees. Some fees are charged each time a student enrolls in a course.

Many of the degree programs at Aspen University are approved for federal student aid by the U.S. Department of Education. Some of the options for student loans and grants include Federal Grants like the Federal Pell Grant and Direct Loans through the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program. There are also Direct Subsidized Loans, Direct Unsubsidized Loans, and Direct Plus Loans. Some students may wish to investigate options for Employer Reimbursement. The Veterans Administration has also approved degree programs at Aspen University for military benefits and discounts through the Montgomery GI Bill. Military benefits include tuition discounts on graduate and doctoral degrees, as well as fee waivers for a variety of programs.

Online Degrees Available

There are several doctoral degrees in education offered at Aspen University, as well as a Doctor of Science in Computer Science and a Doctor of Nursing Practice. Aspen University’s programs are delivered online, and the Doctor of Education in Leadership and Learning – K12 Educational Leadership, is one of the options in education. Other options include a degree of Doctor of Education in Leadership and Learning with a specialization in Higher Education Leadership and Doctor of Education in Leadership and Learning with a specialization in Organizational Leadership. Students may also consider the Doctor of Education in Leadership and Learning with a specialization in Organizational Psychology or the Doctor of Education in Leadership and Learning with a specialization in Health Care Administration and Leadership program.

When students choose the doctoral degree in K12 Educational Leadership, they will encounter a curriculum that focuses on three distinct areas. Those areas include transformational leadership, collaborative leadership, and reflective scholarship. The program is designed to help students increase their expertise in educational leadership through an examination of strategic planning, organizational change, and critical issues impacting educational policy. Those in the educational industry who wish to become leaders in schools where their decisions impact the futures and successes of students will want to explore this program as an option for advanced education. The program requires that students complete a total of 20 courses which translates to 60 credits. At current tuition rates, the cost of the program is $27,000 plus applicable fees. Students may enroll in a payment plan that will allow them to pay $375 per month.

Some of the classes students will take in the program include Leadership Theory, Human Potential and Motivation, Educational Leadership and Organizational Behavior, Psychology of Education, and Doctoral Writing & Inquiry into Research. Students will also take Problem-Based Research in Action, Continuous Improvement in Education, and Technology in Education. At the conclusion of these and other classes, students will take a comprehensive proctored exam and will then begin a series of four classes to complete their dissertation. Dissertation study will include Dissertation Committee Selection and Research Proposal, Literature Review, Methodology, & IRB Process, Research & Results, and Conclusion, Oral Defense, & Publication.

Jobs available to graduates of a program in K12 Educational Leadership include those of superintendent, university professor, and director of student services. From overseeing entire school districts to work as a teacher in higher education, there are many avenues open to Ed.D. degree holders. Students should expect to take anywhere from two to five years to complete their degree. Students who have not yet chosen a doctoral degree in education at Aspen University may wish to speak directly with one of the school’s admissions counselors to determine which degree path might suit their career goals best.