This is the preliminary (or launch) version of the 2022-2023 VCU Bulletin. This edition includes all programs and courses approved by the publication deadline; however we may receive notification of additional program approvals after the launch. The final edition and full PDF version will include these updates and will be available in August prior to the beginning of the fall semester.

Program goal

The urban services leadership concentration is designed to prepare future researchers, faculty and practitioners for leadership roles in academic, government (local, state, national and international) and community based for-profit and non-profit organizations. Doctoral students will utilize a multidisciplinary approach to develop a broad understanding of the critical issues and challenges in adult learning and subsequently apply that understanding to the planning, implementation and evaluation of adult learning and educational programs and initiatives. 

Applicants are expected to have experience working with adult learners in organizational, community, government, higher education, health care or nonprofit settings, or within the community in roles as faculty, faculty developers, trainers, human resource development and organizational development professionals, adult literacy educators, or other roles in which they are actively involved in the teaching and training of adult learners.

Student learning outcomes

Education core outcomes

  1. Knowledge of foundations of educational research and design: Students will demonstrate an appropriate level of knowledge of theoretical and social issues of scholarly inquiry, policy and ethics of educational research and will demonstrate an appropriate level of knowledge and skills essential to designing, conducting and interpreting qualitative and quantitative design research.
  2. Application of leadership, research and/or professional skills: Graduates will engage in and practice leadership, research and/or professional skills in a professional placement in a school, agency or corporate setting (e.g., school, agency, corporation).
  3. Research design and implementation: Graduates will design and conduct original educational research, including developing novel educational research questions, demonstrating proficiency in selecting the most appropriate study designs, demonstrating proficiency in data collection, analysis and synthesis within the identified theoretical/ conceptual framework of study.  
  4. Oral and written communication skills: Students will demonstrate effective oral communication skills, framing questions appropriately and implementing active listening skills, developing effective presentations with respect to content, organization and appropriate use of language. Students will demonstrate proficiency in academic writing, including writing for publications and presentations.

Urban services leadership concentration-specific outcome

  1. Students will demonstrate the ability to articulate a personal philosophy of adult learning practice that enables them to work effectively as leaders and facilitators to improve adult learning, as well as understand and acknowledge diversity, equality and inclusion in the workplace.
  2. Students will demonstrate the ability to integrate knowledge of all facets of adult learning to have a significant impact on the practices, culture and learning environments of the organizations in which students/graduates work.
  3. Students will relate the impact of seminal readings in adult learning literature to adult learning practices in the workplace in the current environment.

VCU Graduate Bulletin, VCU Graduate School and general academic policies and regulations for all graduate students in all graduate programs

The VCU Graduate Bulletin website documents the official admission and academic rules and regulations that govern graduate education for all graduate programs at the university. These policies are established by the graduate faculty of the university through their elected representatives to the University Graduate Council.

It is the responsibility of all graduate students, both on- and off-campus, to be familiar with the VCU Graduate Bulletin as well as the Graduate School website and academic regulations in individual school and department publications and on program websites. However, in all cases, the official policies and procedures of the University Graduate Council, as published on the VCU Graduate Bulletin and Graduate School websites, take precedence over individual program policies and guidelines.

Visit the academic regulations section for additional information on academic regulations for graduate students.

Degree candidacy requirements

A graduate student admitted to a program or concentration requiring a final research project, work of art, thesis or dissertation, must qualify for continuing master’s or doctoral status according to the degree candidacy requirements of the student’s graduate program. Admission to degree candidacy, if applicable, is a formal statement by the graduate student’s faculty regarding the student’s academic achievements and the student’s readiness to proceed to the final research phase of the degree program.

Graduate students and program directors should refer to the following degree candidacy policy as published in the VCU Graduate Bulletin for complete information and instructions.

Visit the academic regulations section for additional information on degree candidacy requirements.

Graduation requirements

As graduate students approach the end of their academic programs and the final semester of matriculation, they must make formal application to graduate. No degrees will be conferred until the application to graduate has been finalized.

Graduate students and program directors should refer to the following graduation requirements as published in the Graduate Bulletin for a complete list of instructions and a graduation checklist.

Visit the academic regulations section for additional information on graduation requirements.