East Tennessee State University

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Updated August 6, 2020

East Tennessee State University appears in our ranking of 10 Most Affordable Doctorate in Educational Administration Online

East Tennessee State University celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2011. Founded as a normal school for teacher education, ETSU is one of six state colleges governed under the direction of the Tennessee Board of Regents. Since its beginnings in 1911, the school has grown to encompass 11 unique colleges and schools, including the Claudius G. Clemmer College of Education, the James H. Quillen College of Medicine, and the Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy, among others. U.S. News and World Report ranks ETSU in several categories for graduate school programs, including Best Education Schools at number 144, Best Medical Schools in Primary Care at number 79, Audiology at number 38, and Public Health at number 31.

Students at ETSU can choose from 140 degrees and programs at varying enrollment levels. The campus spans 366 acres and houses several institutions that attract top students and faculty. Highlights include the Charles C. Sherrod Library, Warren-Greene Golf Center and the Center for Academic Achievement. ETSU is part of the Southern Conference and holds NCAA Division I ranking. Student athletes have access to 17 sports, and sports enthusiasts will appreciate the fact that ETSU is an official training site for canoe and kayak, bobsled, skeleton and weightlifting.

The school started as an educational training ground for teachers, but the university became a full-fledged academic institution in 1963. Enrollment tops 14,500 students. Despite its size, the school boasts an average class size of 23 students.

Located at the northeastern tip of the Volunteer State, ETSU is conveniently situated between North Carolina and Virginia, granting students access to nearby opportunities for work and play. Students who choose East Tennessee State University will benefit from the school's commitment to six principles that guide the institution's programs and culture: people, relationships, diversity, excellence, efficiency and commitment to intellectual achievement.

East Tennessee State University Accreditation Details

East Tennessee State University holds institutional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Individual programs within the school also hold specialized accreditation. For instance, all programs at ETSU that prepare students to work in schools as teachers or in other roles have been accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation. The Tennessee Department of Education has also accredited ETSU's teacher licensure programs.

East Tennessee State University Application Requirements

Students can apply directly online at the ETSU website. There are different categories of application requirements depending on enrollment type. First-time freshmen, for example, must submit appropriate standardized testing scores, such as the ACT or SAT, along with an official sealed transcript from high school or a GED program. There's a $25 application fee for undergraduates. Graduate students should also apply online by creating an account with the school's website. There's a $55 application fee for students at the graduate level. Graduate applicants must submit official test scores depending on degree, such as the GRE, along with official transcripts from previous schools and letters of recommendation. Individual programs may require additional supporting documentation.

For students seeking an online degree, the application process is the same. ETSU offers an online web portal for applicants, but paper submissions are still accepted. Online students will choose courses hosted online when registering for classes.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Rates and fees vary at ETSU depending on residency and enrollment status. In-state undergraduate students attending classes on campus pay $400 per credit hour for tuition and fees; out-of-state undergraduates pay $1,141 per hour, which includes fees. In-state graduate students pay $571 per credit hour. Non-resident graduates pay $1,388 per credit hour. Both of these rates are for tuition and fees. For online students, the rate also varies. Undergraduate students who take courses fully online will pay $462 per credit hour; graduate online students pay $721 per credit hour. Students should note that there may be other unlisted fees depending on the program.

For those who need assistance paying for college, ETSU offers financial aid in the form of grants, scholarships, work-study opportunities and loans. In- and out-of-state students may be eligible for scholarships, and the school also offers scholarship opportunities for nontraditional students. Highlights for nontraditional students include the Ralph and Cornelia Clarke Memorial Non-Traditional Student Scholarship, the ETSU Reentry Student Scholarship and the Non-traditional Student Scholarship. Students who need financial help should check with ETSU's Financial Aid department for information about applying.

Online Degree(s) Available

East Tennessee State University offers an online terminal program in educational leadership, officially called the Doctorate in Education degree and abbreviated as Ed.D. Students must hold a specialist or master's degree to enroll in the program, which features four concentrations: Classroom Leadership, School Leadership, Administrative Endorsement, and Postsecondary & Private Sector Leadership. Available in an online format, the Ed.D. in Educational Leadership encourages student participation by structuring the program in such a way that enrollees remain in the same cohort from start to finish. Students must take at least six hours per semester, and all students in the same cohort get assigned to an online portal that helps them connect with other cohort students along with their adviser.

The Doctorate in Education requires 18 hours of core courses, which include Leadership Studies, Advanced Qualitative Research, and Theories of Administration; 15 hours of concentration-specific courses, such as Policy Analysis or Law for Organizational Leaders; 15 hours of additional coursework, which might include Grant and Proposal Development, School Housing and Transportation, or Ethics for Educational Leaders; six credit hours in a non-educational cognate area; and 12 credit hours of dissertation research. Students with a valid Educational Specialist degree may have fewer requirements for the doctoral program.

Program length will vary based on a student's schedule, but the Ed.D. in Educational Leadership requires 66 credits from students who start the program with a valid master's degree. Since students must take at least six hours per semester, the program could take 11 semesters to complete. A Qualifying Examination is given to students after they complete the required coursework. Once students pass the exam, they can enroll in a research dissertation project to complete the degree. The Ed.D. also requires a supervised internship and a portfolio of 10 residency activities, which must be approved ahead of time.

Applicants to ETSU should know that the school bases acceptance into the Doctorate in Education program on eight categories, which are worth 10 to 20 points each. These categories cover writing skills, scholarship, speaking skills, leadership, leadership potential, GRE scores, employment record and four letters of recommendation. Students who are looking for an academic challenge as they develop their skills in educational leadership will find a rigorous program at East Tennessee State University.

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