Northern Arizona University

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Updated August 6, 2020

Northern Arizona University appears in our ranking 10 Most Affordable Doctorate in K-12 Education Online.

Northern Arizona University is one of the largest public colleges in Arizona. Founded in 1899 as the Northern Arizona Normal School, it started life as a small school that offered programs in education. Many of the teachers working in Arizona and the western United States at the turn of the century graduated from normal schools. It became the Northern Arizona State Teacher's College in 1925 and then the Arizona State Teacher's College at Flagstaff a few years later. Before becoming NAU, it also served as the Arizona State College at Flagstaff. The university changed its name to show incoming students that they could earn degrees in any field and study subjects other than education.

The NAU system now consists of the main campus in Flagstaff and smaller campuses in other towns in Arizona. More than 8,000 students take classes on these smaller campuses and through the NAU online system. The university established an online campus to give students even more opportunities. Students have the option of taking just a few classes online or completing an entire degree program online. Northern Arizona University has an enrollment of more than 31,000 students across all its campuses. Both Washington Monthly and Forbes ranked NAU as one of the nation's top schools.

Northern Arizona University Accreditation Details

Doctoral candidates should have no problems finding and receiving financial aid to pay their educational costs because NAU has regional accreditation. The North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCACS) granted the university accreditation when it first applied and renewed its accreditation each time the university applied for it. The university also has accreditation from the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). NCATE accreditation applies to all its education programs.

Northern Arizona University Application Requirements

Any student applying to the educational leadership program that Northern Arizona University offers must complete an application portfolio. This includes a vita that lists the student's current home address and information about where he or she works. They must list any professional certificates they have, any experience they have and their academic histories. The university asks students to list the dates they worked for different employers and the contact information for those individuals. They should also list any leadership experience they have, including experience at the professional level or at the volunteer level. NAU allows students to list any accomplishments in the vita too.

The next requirement is a personal statement of no more than three pages. This statement should include an autobiography that lists the academic leadership experience that the applicant has and the goals that the student has both in the program and after earning a degree. The university asks for official transcripts and an academic writing sample too. The applicant must also provide two letters of recommendation.

NAU may ask that students complete a follow-up interview also. This gives the dean of the department or a professor working in the program the chance to talk with the student. Interviews often occur because the university wants to know more about the student or clarify anything listed on the application. The university will contact the student in advance if he or she needs to do an interview. Students must complete all application requirements by the beginning of December. They will receive a response from the university in the spring.

Northern Arizona University Tuition and Financial Aid

Graduate and doctoral students applying to NAU can find out how much the university charges before they enroll. The cost of tuition alone is more than $9,700 a year. Those taking classes on one of its smaller campuses will pay around $9,600 a year. Nonresidents will pay more than $22,000 a year to enroll full-time on any of the NAU campuses. The university offers reduced rates for students taking online classes. Those students pay just $609 per credit hour, which includes the university's base tuition rate and all miscellaneous fees. Students can take six credits in a semester for around $3,500 or take nine credits for around $5,300 a semester.

NAU highly recommends that students contact its Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid to talk about their financing options. Doctoral candidates can work out payment plans instead of paying all their costs at the beginning of the semester. They can also talk about the tuition reimbursement plans offered by their employers. Many different loans are available for doctoral students, including both government and private loans. While private loans charge higher interest rates, those loans allow students to borrow the exact amount that they need. Students can also borrow money from a private lender in addition to taking out a government loan.

Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership

Northern Arizona University offers a Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership program that follows a hybrid format. The university notifies accepted students in the early spring and requires that they start classes that summer. They will take weekend classes that run for eight hours on Fridays and Saturdays. Students will take weekend classes each summer to complete the university's residency requirements and to earn nine credits.

This NAU program also functions as a cohort program, which means that students will work in the same groups from their first semesters until they finish their studies. This allows students to work closely with their peers and form lasting relationships. Students will also take real-time courses that allow them to sit in on classes taking place on the NAU campus.

To earn a Doctor of Education, students must complete 63 credits of classes and other work. The university does not allow students to transfer in credits from any other program. They will take nine credits of foundation classes and nine credits of courses that focus on leadership theories. The program also includes 18 credits of specialization or concentration classes. Students can focus on K-12 Administration or Community College/Higher Education Administration.

The university also expects students to take research classes and work on a dissertation. They will earn 12 credits for their research work and 15 credits for their dissertation work. Students must write and submit a detailed proposal and gain approval from the university before starting the dissertation. They will select topics relating to their concentrations. Northern Arizona University encourages doctoral candidates to work with their cohort peers as they research and later work on their dissertations.

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