Be a force for positive change.

We offer a unique experience for educational practitioners interested in the study and practice of transformative leadership. Our students focus on a critical examination of themselves to understand their role in the education system and are committed to disrupting and rebuilding this system.

The program focuses on the study and practice of transformative leadership for social change through education.  We purposefully recruit students from every educational sector (K12 education, higher education, private schools, charter schools, and non-profit educational organizations). 


Please visit the GradCAS website for more information and to apply.

Located in Stockton

Hybrid course format*

56 units program length

Project-based Dissertation

Our faculty work with each student in deciding which type of dissertation is most appropriate to address a "problem of practice," with the ultimate goal of producing innovative and creative solutions using one of several methodologies including Action Research, Design Thinking, Program Evaluation, and Case Study.

Applied Inquiry Coursework

An important feature of the Pacific program is the Applied Inquiry coursework. Through a series of four courses, you complete a large percentage of your dissertation work during your regular courses. Our students begin working toward completing their dissertation proposal in the first semester. The entire draft proposal is targeted for completion in the first semester of Year 3.

Supportive Community

A distinctive element of our program is the structured individual and group support that continues through graduation.  Traditionally, the dissertation writing process is an isolated, individual endeavor.  While our dissertations consist of individual research, we have unique cohort support structures in place that help you to move through the process with others.  Students continue meeting as a group until they defend their dissertation.  

Why choose TAE?

Course Sequence

Year 1, Fall

EDUC 319 — Teaching as a Subversive Activity
EDUC 352 — Applied Inquiry I 

Year 1, Spring

EDUC 315 — Cultural, Social, and Emotional Literacy (Term A)
EDUC 314 — Socio-Cultural Perspectives and Inquiry (Term B)
EDUC 354 — Applied Inquiry II

Year 1, Summer

EDUC 202 — Statistical Thinking 
EDUC 317 — Aesthetics, Arts, and Imagination

Note: 2 courses during 10 weeks

Year 2, Fall

EDUC 322 — Qualitative Research Design & Methods
EDUC 353 — Interdisciplinary Ways of Seeing, Knowing and Acting

Year 2, Spring

EDUC 325 — Quantitative Research Design & Methods
EDUC 368 — Leading Complex Organizations (Term A)
EDUC 360 — Trends, Issues, and Dynamics of Change (Term B)  

Year 2, Summer

EDUC 356 — Applied Inquiry III (Begin work with Dissertation Chair)
EDUC 372M — Measuring Social Impact 

Note: 2 courses during 10 weeks

Year 3, Fall

EDUC 358 — Applied Inquiry IV
EDUC 316 — Systems Thinking and Interdisciplinary Curriculum Inquiry

Year 3, Spring

EDUC 367 — Leading in Diverse Organizations 
EDUC 359 — Dissertation Learning Community
Meetings & collaborative writing support spans through graduation after the course ends

Year 3, Summer

EDUC 399 — Doctoral Dissertation

Year 4, Fall

EDUC 399 — Doctoral Dissertation 
Defend Dissertation 

Year 4, Spring

Only if needed:
EDU 399 — Doctoral Dissertation
Defend Dissertation
Graduation Ceremony

Total Units Required for Graduation: 56 
Course sequence subject to change. 

Are you interested in learning more?
Take the next step

We take a hands on approach with our students. This means we want to get to know you throughout your discovery and application process. Help us connect with you by taking the next step.

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As Benerd College’s graduate programs are hybrid, distance learning opportunities, University of the Pacific cannot issue Forms I-20 or DS-2019 for prospective students seeking sponsorship via F or J visas.  Should you have any follow-up questions, please contact the Office of International Programs and Services at


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Benerd College

3200 Fifth Ave., Sacramento, CA 95817

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