The Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate (CPED) Joins the School of Education

by Jill Perry

Left: October 2015 convening at Lynn University as local superintendent tells members about the role of research in practice. Right: CPED's AERA collaborative session.

In fall 2015, the University of Pittsburgh School of Education signed an agreement with the Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate (CPED) Board of Directors that brought the organization and its executive director to the School of Education. The goal of this partnership is to strengthen the CPED organization with School of Education supports and to advance the Pitt doctorate in education (EdD) as a model for other CPED member schools of education.

The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching established CPED in 2007 in an effort to redesign and transform the education doctorate for the advanced preparation of school practitioners, academic leaders, clinical faculty, and professional staff for the nation’s schools, colleges, and the organizations that support them. Starting with 25 original member institutions, it is now a network of more than 80 colleges and schools of education in the U.S., Canada, and New Zealand, each having committed faculty and resources to work collaboratively to undertake a critical examination of the purpose and design of the doctorate in education.

Every three years or so, CPED invites applications for new schools of education to join. Potential members complete an application process that demonstrates their commitment to improving the EdD both at their institution and through the broader network. The goal of this grassroots, faculty-led effort is to improve the preparation of all educational leaders to ensure they become well-equipped scholarly practitioners who can meet the educational challenges of the 21st century.

To do this, early CPED members worked together at bi-annual convenings to redefine and reshape what professional preparation should look like. Rather than set forth a one-size-fits-all model, members wanted a flexible design that would honor the local context of schools of education. After three years, members developed a framework that includes a set of guiding principles for program design, a set of curricular design concepts, and a new definition of the EdD that strengthens its purpose as a professional degree (further details are available at

Left and middle: CPED learning communities share ways to operationalize the CPED framework. Right: CPED fellow engages members in assessing the impact of EdD graduates.

As new members have entered the project, they utilize this framework to redesign existing EdD degrees or to create new ones. Members are supported by the CPED Web site, which offers resources like curriculum, program design, and dissertation in practice samples. They are also supported at the bi-annual convenings, which are designed as professional development and a critical friends experience for faculty and serve to both advance individual program designs as well as strengthen, improve, support, and promote the CPED framework through continued cooperation and empirical investigation.

The School of Education joined CPED in 2011 and its new EdD was redesigned utilizing the CPED framework. The School of Education EdD serves as a model within CPED of how to collaborate and engage many departments in creating one EdD program with a systems approach to thinking about education. This EdD design and Pitt’s ability to support the continued growth of CPED as a research organization were primary reasons for moving the CPED headquarters to the School of Education. Professor and Renée and Richard Goldman Dean Alan Lesgold enthusiastically welcomed the opportunity to host CPED for the next five years. Because CPED is a 501c3 organization, its activities and administration are self-supportive; however, being headquartered at an academic institution like the University of Pittsburgh provides the kinds of supports and resources that allow CPED to deepen its work on improving the EdD through research and publication.

For example, the School of Education will house the first-ever CPED journal. This new journal, titled Impacting Education: Journal on Transforming Professional Practice, will make its first call for submissions in April 2016. The publication will offer CPED faculty and graduate members and non-members opportunities to share their learning about redesigning EdD programs and the impact of graduates in educational practice. School of Education faculty and students are encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity.

Additionally, on June 12-14, 2017, the University of Pittsburgh will welcome the CPED convening at the University Club, which will include a new wave of CPED members to be recruited in late 2016. Pitt faculty and students will have the opportunity to share the EdD program with current and new CPED members. More information will be available at

In turn, CPED has many resources and opportunities for the University of Pittsburgh School of Education and its education faculty. The CPED leadership team is excited about its new home and looks forward to working together over the coming years.

Programmatic Resources: Faculty members are welcome to utilize the resources on the CPED Web site (email to receive a log-in) to support EdD program and curriculum design.

Convenings and Events: CPED hosts bi-annual convenings and member meetings at the American Educational Research Association (AERA), the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE), and the University Council for Educational Administration (UCEA). Pitt education faculty are encouraged to participate in all of these opportunities, as they are a form of professional development that offer a network for learning and sharing ideas about EdD program designs. Upcoming events include:

Meetings on April 8 at the 2016 AERA conference: 9 a.m. member meeting and 2 p.m. co-sponsored panel with Special Interest Groups (SIG) 168 on the future of doctoral preparation in education.


  • June 6-8, 2016, in Portland, Ore., and hosted by Portland State University and Washington State University
  • October 24-26, 2016, at East Carolina University
  • June 12-14, 2017, at University of Pittsburgh

Research and Publishing: In addition to the forthcoming journal, CPED frequently engages member faculty in research and publication opportunities. To learn more, email CPED will also fund a Pitt student as a graduate assistant.

Promotional Resources: As the headquarters for CPED, Pitt has access to CPED promotional materials and labels when recruiting students. In addition, CPED lists Pitt on all of its materials shared internationally.

JILL PERRY is a research associate professor and executive director of the Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate.