Designed for college faculty and administrators who aspire to lead effectively and advance in administrative careers, the concentration in community college policy and administration offers exceptional scholarship, intimate cohorts, online courses, short residencies, distinguished faculty, and dissertation support in a program that can be completed within three years.

You'll work together in the same group of about 15–20 students throughout the entire program and build a virtual community developed and led by current and former community college presidents and senior executives.

With a highly respected credential, sophisticated knowledge, and an accomplished dissertation, you'll emerge from the program with the tools to transform student achievement and successfully guide community colleges into the essential role they will play in the future of higher education.

These requirements are for students who enroll in the 2021–2022 academic year. For prior year academic requirements, visit our catalog archive.

Please e-mail Monica Graham if you have any questions about the program.

About the Doctor of Management in Community College Policy and Administration

We've developed the community college policy and administration curriculum in conjunction with community college presidents and senior executives to help you pursue the highest level of leadership and management knowledge. Your courses and residencies will focus on building your leadership competencies, policy expertise, and the skills you need to support dissertation research.

What You'll Learn

Through your coursework, you will learn how to

  • Lead transformational change in a rapidly changing sector of higher education
  • Advocate for the needs of community colleges and students at local, state, and federal levels
  • Apply indicators of institutional effectiveness to all sectors of community college operations
  • Apply theory and practice to continuously improve community college policy and student outcomes

Coursework Examples

In past projects, students have had the opportunity to

  • Analyze and conduct case studies on community colleges with the goal of advancing student success
  • Advocate for policies that lead to stronger partnerships and more equitable and prosperous communities
  • Develop cases for support for community colleges at local, state, and federal levels
  • Recommend research-backed solutions that address problems of practice in community colleges

Doctor of Management in Community College Policy and Administration Requirements

Our curriculum is designed with input from employers, industry experts, and scholars. You'll learn theories combined with real-world applications and practical skills you can apply on the job right away.

Doctorate Courses

Core Courses

  • CCPA 810A
  • CCPA 810B
  • CCPA 800A
  • CCPA 800B
  • CCPA 830A
  • CCPA 830B
  • CCPA 821A
  • CCPA 821B
  • CCPA 841A
  • CCPA 841B
  • CCPA 851A
  • CCPA 851B
  • CCPA 861A
  • CCPA 861B
  • CCPA 890
  • CCPA 891
  • CCPA 892
  • CCPA 893

Course Rules & Program Progression

  • All required core courses must be completed.
  • All non-dissertation courses are scheduled in two parts, A and B, which are 3 credits each.
  • Students will progress through this program as a cohort, taking 6 credits in the fall, 6 credits in the spring, and 6 credits in the summer.
  • Courses will be scheduled as required for cohort progression.
  • The courses in this program must be successfully completed within a maximum of seven years.

About the Dissertation

Through the Doctor of Management in Community College Policy and Administration, you'll learn how to conduct and use evidence-based research to make data-informed decisions for management challenges in higher education. Your dissertation will include a systematic review of a complex issue or problem in the community college environment. Most students choose to apply the results of their dissertation research to their home institutions.

Recent dissertation topics have included:

  • Neil Soriano Bagadiong: "Leadership Development for Aspiring Community College Presidents"
  • Catharine D. Almquist: "Time-Compressed Courses and Student Success: Evidence and Application in the Community College"
  • Paul C. Jackson: "Improving Practitioners' Effectiveness as Adjunct Educators Through Comprehensive Training and Development"
  • Jocelyn Eager Sirkis: "A Theoretical Model for Designing an In-House Community College Department Chair Professional Development Program"

Career Preparation

This program is designed to develop community college faculty and administrators and other professionals who are interested in becoming transformational leaders and advancing in senior-level careers in community colleges, state or federal agencies, or related not-for-profit organizations.

Experience Recommended for Success in the Program

We recommend you have work and prior management experience in a community college or other higher education institution, government agency, or business. You will need doctoral-level academic reading and writing skills before entering this writing-intensive program. We recommend UCSP 605 for students who want to improve their writing skills.

Program Admission Requirements

Admission to the program is competitive and is based on a combination of all requirements. Meeting the eligibility requirements does not guarantee admission.

Please note: We are admitting a new cohort in spring 2022. After this, new cohorts begin in the fall term only.

All applicants will be pre-screened by DMCCPA faculty/staff based on the qualifications in the bulleted list below. Applicants who pass the pre-screen process will be required to interview (30 minutes; via phone or teleconference) with the DMCCPA admissions committee, which will use a common interview guide and will be comprised of faculty members, a staff member, and the program director. Final admissions recommendations will be based upon evaluation of written submissions and interview recommendations from faculty.

You must submit the following materials:

How to Submit Your Application Documents

  • E-mail your resume and writing prompt responses to

  • If your previous institution needs to send transcripts electronically, please follow our guidance on submitting transcripts.

  • If you are mailing your transcripts by U.S. Postal Mail, UPS, FedEx, or DHL, please use the following address:

    UMGC Admissions Services
    3501 University Blvd. East
    Adelphi, MD 20783

All materials are due by the doctoral program application deadline:

  • Spring: November 15, 2021

  • Fall: July 1, 2022

In your personal statement, you must

  • Explain how your professional managerial, supervisory, and leadership experience and academic background make you an ideal candidate for doctoral study (one page)
  • Describe your specific area of management interest, and explain how conducting research in this management area will help you fulfill your career objectives (one page)
  • Describe your future career goals upon completion of this program (one page)
  • Include in-text citations throughout your personal statement, where applicable

State-Specific Details

This program is not available to residents of Maryland. However, this program has an on-site component that meets in Maryland once per term. See the Additional Information section for details.

Additional Information

AACC Doctoral Discount

UMGC is pleased to offer a 25 percent doctoral tuition discount to full-time employees and staff members of American Association of Community Colleges member institutions. The discount is only available to students who are enrolled in UMGC's doctoral programs and have not been awarded a UMGC scholarship. The discount does not apply to our doctoral prerequisite and post-doctorate courses: DMG 600, DBA 600, and DMGT 899. The discount does apply to all 6-credit courses and 4-credit dissertation courses.

To verify your employment, you must submit your most recent paystub from an eligible AACC institution for each semester you are enrolled within 10 days of the start of the semester. The paystub may be submitted to Monica Graham, academic specialist, via e-mail at or fax 240-684-2404. When you apply to UMGC, please select "Employee – CC Alliance Institute" as your special program on the electronic application. If you have completed your application and neglected to select CCAI, please e-mail the New Student Advising Office at to request that your application be coded accordingly.

FAQs: About the Program

What makes UMGC's Doctor of Management in Community College Policy and Administration (DMCCPA) program unique? +

The UMGC DMCCPA program provides students with the knowledge, skills, and abilities they need to become exceptional community college administrators and policy leaders. Through a generous grant provided by the Ascendium Foundation, the UMGC DMCCPA program has been able to uniquely convene and solicit input from top community college presidents and thought leaders from around the country. For example, students learn how to advocate for the role of community colleges as engines of social and economic mobility; how to lead transformational change with a steadfast commitment to the principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion; and how to apply management theory and best practices to continuously improve policy and outcomes.

Who serves on the UMGC DMCCPA advisory board? +

The UMGC DMCCPA advisory board is chaired by Dr. Richard Rhodes (chancellor of Austin Community College District and chair of the American Association of Community Colleges board of directors) and Dr. Karen Stout (president and CEO of Achieving the Dream). Other members include

  • Elizabeth Bolden, president/CEO of the Pennsylvania Commission on Community Colleges

  • Tom Brock, director of the Community College Research Center, Teachers College-Columbia University

  • Walter Bumphus, President and CEO of the American Association of Community Colleges

  • Michael Collins, vice president of Jobs for the Future

  • Sunita Cooke, president of MiraCosta College

  • Rufus Glasper, president and CEO of the League for Innovation in the Community College

  • Anne Kress, president of Northern Virginia Community College

  • Sandra Kurtinitis, president of the Community College of Baltimore County

  • Justin Lonon, chancellor of the Dallas College and UMGC alum

  • Mary Alice McCarthy, director of the Center on Education & Skills at New America

  • Mark Mitsui, president of Portland Community College

  • Sheila Quirk-Bailey, president of Illinois Central College and UMGC alum

  • Steve Robinson, president of Lansing Community College

  • Deborah Santiago, CEO of Excelencia in Education

  • Keith Witham, Ascendium Education Philanthropy

How does the program make sure its courses are relevant and of high quality? +

In addition to working with advisory board members described above, UMGC DMCCPA faculty members work closely with teams of community college experts on specific courses in the program. These expert collaborators include

  • Michael Baston, president of Rockland Community College

  • Russell Lowery Hart, president at Amarillo College

  • Martha Ellis, former associate vice chancellor for community college partnerships for the University of Texas System

  • Jim Jacobs, former president at Macomb Community College

Furthermore, UMGC DMCCPA faculty work closely with the university's course development group to ensure the online learning experiences in each course meet international quality standards and are interactive, engaging, and learner-centered.

How does a Doctor of Management degree compare to a PhD? +

A PhD is a discipline-oriented research degree with a narrow focus designed to train you for roles as researchers or faculty members in a specific academic area. The Doctor of Management in Community College Policy and Administration develops higher-order thinking and conceptual skills and prepares you to apply evidence-based research in practical management situations in order to identify and solve problems of practice. The traditional career path for a PhD graduate is in the academic world, while the traditional career path for a DMCCPA graduate is that of a practitioner in specialties associated with higher education.

If I receive my Doctor of Management in Community College Policy and Administration, will I be able to teach at the college/university level? +

The Doctor of Management in Community College Policy and Administration is a doctoral degree from a regionally accredited university. That is typically one of the requirements for teaching in higher education. Graduates of this program teach at the college/university level, and some have full-time faculty positions at teaching colleges/universities in the positions of dean, vice president, and community college president. However, this program is not designed for students who aspire to earn tenure-track positions at research universities. Individuals with this goal may wish to consider pursuing a specialized PhD.

FAQs: Applying to the Program

What makes a strong candidate for the Doctor of Management in Community College Policy and Administration? +

A strong DMCCPA program candidate

  • Is motivated to apply research to community college practice in organizations
  • Has achieved significant leadership and supervisory management experience
  • Exhibits strong writing skills, including the ability to support arguments with properly cited reference sources
  • Possesses the intellectual curiosity to undertake extensive reading, research, and scholarly discussions
  • Has the time management skills to complete a rigorous doctoral program effectively

How many credits do I need to take to receive my DMCCPA degree? +

All DMCCPA students must complete the required 54 credits to complete the program (18 program courses). All courses must be taken in the structured order. There are 14 academic content courses (3 credits each) and 4 dissertation courses (3 credits each). Students will be required to enroll in two doctoral courses per term.

Are GRE or GMAT scores required for this program? +

No. Neither the GRE nor the GMAT is required for this program.

Are transfer credits accepted in this program? +

No. This program does not accept transfer credits.

Can I pursue this program while employed full-time? +

Yes. We have designed the Doctor of Management in Community College Policy and Administration program specifically for students who are working full-time. Most students in the program are working full-time. You can expect to spend approximately 20+ hours per week on your studies.

Can I take doctoral-level courses provisionally or without applying and receiving an acceptance letter? +

No. Doctoral-level courses are not available for enrollment until you are officially accepted into the program. A completed application, including supplemental documents, is required to be considered for enrollment.

FAQs: Program Completion

How long will it take me to complete my doctoral degree? +

Highly motivated students can complete the degree, including the dissertation, in three years. However, time required to complete the degree will vary depending upon individual progress and individual circumstances while enrolled in the program. You are granted seven years to complete the program; however, the average completion time remains at four years.

Are all courses in this program offered every term? +

No. Not every course in the program is offered every term.

How often does the mandatory residency occur throughout the DMCCPA program? +

Doctoral students are required to attend a mandatory residency each term, typically held in the sixth or seventh week of the term. These residencies are held on campus in Maryland or at a national conference such as ATD-DREAM or AACC National Convention, and students are expected to travel to Maryland or the conference location to attend. However, during the COVID-19 pandemic, residencies have taken place online via Zoom. These residencies are normally scheduled on Fridays and Saturdays and consist of two days of instruction.

Residency attendance is mandatory for the full two-day period each term. If you are unable to meet these requirements, you must defer enrollment until the next available term. You can complete three courses within a calendar year with a total of three visits per year to UMGC or the conference location. Courses in the doctoral programs are offered in the spring, summer and fall terms.

How do students follow their cohort through the doctoral program? +

Upon acceptance into the doctoral program, students are expected to make progress through each course in a common group called a cohort. As they progress through the program together, they build helpful working relationships with one another and support one another's development. Beyond their cohort, students in the doctoral program are also members of the broader practitioner-scholar learning community that includes other doctoral students, UMGC faculty, and doctoral alumni.

FAQs: Other

Is UMGC accredited? +

Yes. UMGC is regionally accredited by the Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. In addition, UMGC is a public state university in the University System of Maryland.

Are UMGC Library resources available to applicants and prospective students? +

No. Due to licensing restrictions, only currently enrolled UMGC students have remote access to the UMGC Library's online databases.

What is APA style? +

The American Psychological Association developed APA citation style to help establish standards for scholarly communication. By following APA citation guidelines, you will give proper credit to authors whose ideas you are using in your own work. In a research paper, you will use the following two types of citations:

  • In-text citations are brief statements of credit that appear in the body of your paper.
  • Reference citations provide more detailed information about the sources that you used and appear at the end of your paper, in your references list.