Award Date


Degree Type



Educational Leadership

First Committee Member

James R. Crawford

Second Committee Member

Gene E. Hall

Third Committee Member

Patrick Carlton

Fourth Committee Member

Linda F. Quinn

Number of Pages



According to the National Center of Educational Statistics (2006-2007) report, 92% of two and four-year Title IV degree-granting postsecondary institutions offered distance education courses due to students' demand for flexible scheduling. That same report cited that 82% of those institutions were seeking to increase student enrollment via distance education. There is little empirical research that pertain to the topic of degrees earned through online, or hybrid methods that have any bearing on job preparedness for past, present, and future educational leadership candidates. For all concerned, online programs are here to stay. Arguably, online courses are fast becoming the norm rather than the exception within K-12 and higher education curriculum delivery. The research derived from this study sought out to find any differences between traditional and online coursework as it relates to school leadership preparation.

The background of this study will encompass the formation of the Internet as a distance education delivery model. In addition, the research based on community, organizational leadership, trust, change and their combined impact on learning as it applies to online and traditional delivery methods. The conceptual framework for this qualitative study will rely on Dr. Willard Daggett's three decades of work on rigor, relevance, and relationships. Daggett's framework will be filtered through a series of interview questions posed to district office administration, administrative mentors/supervisors, and school building administrators to discern if there are any differences between candidates that have completed traditional or online masters programs. At the very least, this topic will continue the dialogue about similarities and challenges between both instructional modes. More importantly, what will the participants in this study reveal that may contribute to the body of knowledge toward the evolution of educational leadership?


Distance education; Educational leadership; Leadership; Online; Preparation; School enrollment; Traditional; Universities and colleges – Administration


Educational Leadership

File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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