Using Dispositions in the EdD Admissions Process: A Perceptual Approach


  • James G. Allen Northern Kentucky University
  • Mark Wasicsko Northern Kentucky University
  • Paul J. Wirtz Northern Kentucky University



assessing leader dispositions, EdD student admissions, leadership development


This article describes the theoretical basis, rationale, and pragmatic considerations for intentionally assessing specific dispositions in the admission process for educational leaders in a selective, practitioner/scholar EdD program at a regional, comprehensive university.  The goal of the admissions process is to select and admit experienced leaders with the high potential to become transformational leaders who move people, organizations, and their broader communities to increasing levels of excellence.  This, we believe, can be accomplished by making dispositions one of the selection criteria in the admission of candidates as well as intentionally enhancing dispositional growth throughout the program.  Five areas are addressed herein: (a) defining dispositions, (b) assessing dispositions, (c) using dispositions as admission criteria, (d) preliminary findings in using the model with doctoral candidates, and (e) correlations with perceived effectiveness of doctoral candidates as leaders. The data presented validates the efficacy of using dispositional measures in program admission decisions.

Author Biographies

James G. Allen, Northern Kentucky University

James G. Allen, EdD is an associate professor of Educational Leadership at Northern Kentucky University.  His prior experience includes serving as an elementary teacher, assistant principal, acting principal, program chair, and assistant dean.  His research interests include professional development for principals, leadership dispositions, and leadership for social justice.

Mark Wasicsko, Northern Kentucky University

Mark Wasicsko, PhD is Professor and Bank of Kentucky Chair in Educational Leadership at Northern Kentucky University. His prior experience includes serving as science teacher, faculty, department chair, dean of education, and provost. His major professional interest is investigating the human elements or dispositions that allow some educators and leaders to foster greater than average positive changes in students, colleagues, and the institutions in which they work. For over 30 years he has applied his interest to the areas of preparing educators and leaders who have the ability to transform the lives of people and agencies and selecting/hiring effective helping professionals.

Paul J. Wirtz, Northern Kentucky University

Paul J. Wirtz, PhD is an associate professor of Educational Leadership at Northern Kentucky University.  He previously served as Associate Dean for the College of Education and Human Services. Prior to NKU he was on the faculty of Eastern Kentucky University for 17 years. There he also directed graduate programs, coordinated foundation studies and early childhood education programs, as well as directed the Student Services Office of the College of Education for 7 years. Previously Paul was on the faculty and administered programs at Berry College, Rome Georgia; University of South Carolina at Aiken and Memphis State University. While at each institution Paul served on boards, committees and held office for state, regional and national professional organizations and state agencies.




How to Cite

Allen, J. G., Wasicsko, M., & Wirtz, P. J. (2018). Using Dispositions in the EdD Admissions Process: A Perceptual Approach. Impacting Education: Journal on Transforming Professional Practice, 3(2).