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Application and Admission Process

Application submission procedure:

To begin, fill out the Online Application Form.

After the form is submitted, you will be emailed links to upload the additional materials:

  • Resume or CV (pdf)
  • Essay question responses (pdf)
  • Writing samples (pdf)

Send official graduate transcripts to:
Office of Graduate Studies
410 Oak Street, ALU 117
Big Rapids, MI 49307
[email protected] 

The goal of the DCCL admission process is to bring together a diverse and highly-qualified cohort of learners. The admission process is designed to select applicants who demonstrate the greatest potential for both successful graduate work and, upon program completion, substantive contribution to the leadership of community colleges.

An applicant's admissions packet will be considered holistically along with the overall composition of the admissions packets of the cohort group, with a goal of creating balance and diversity within the group. Whenever possible the composition of the cohort will represent geographically and demographically diverse institutions and individuals so that student input in the courses will reflect a variety of experiences.

The admissions committee will review applications as they are received.  You can apply at any time, and if accepted, be offered a seat in the next available cohort.  After all materials are received, they will be sent to the admissions committee, which will make a decision within 15 business days.

Apply Here

Cohort Thirteen Application Timeline

Early admissions deadline: Applications must be 100% complete and turned in by midnight, December 10, 2021.  You will need to send for your transcripts early to make sure they arrive by this date. If you apply by this early admissions date and are accepted, you will receive a coupon toward DCCL gear! 

Classes begin on May 13, 2022.


Texas Cohort 3 Application Timeline

Final admissions deadline: Applications must be 100% complete and turned in by midnight, October 31, 2021.  You will need to send for your transcripts early to make sure they arrive by this date

Classes begin on January 7, 2022.


DCCL Application Information

  •  Minimum Admissions Requirements

    Minimum requirements for admission to the program include:

    • An earned master's or other graduate degree (J.D., Ed.S., etc.) from a regionally accredited university with an overall grade point average (GPA) of 3.25 or better on a 4-point scale (some exceptions may be made for particularly rigorous programs or special circumstances)
    • Application materials (see below) that demonstrate:
      • A likelihood of success in the doctoral program, and
      • An aspiration for a community college leadership career
    • A personal interview may be requested by the admissions committee.

    Note: GRE and MAT scores are not required. At this time, the program is not available to international students.

  •  Application Materials

    For consideration, the following admissions materials must be received on or before the application deadline:

    • Completed online application form. *NOTE: Choose MAIN CAMPUS within the form.
    • Official college transcripts from your highest degree.  Original documents become property of Ferris State University and cannot be returned.  These must be sent directly from the granting institution to Ferris.
    • Current resume or curriculum vitae.
    • Submission of essay question responses (see below).
    • Submission of 2-3 writing samples (see below).
    • Answers to brief supplemental questions (online form).
  •  Essay Questions

    Please provide complete answers (between 250 and 300 words or 1 page maximum for each question) to the following five questions.

    1. Explain your interest in pursuing a doctoral degree in community college leadership. What experience have you had in working in or with community college populations? How would a DCCL degree add to your professional development and career plans?
    2. What evidence can you provide that demonstrates your potential for significant leadership in a community college? Please include specific examples.
    3. The DCCL program was intentionally designed around a cohort model in order to enhance shared learning. Describe your ability to work within a cohort structure. What will you bring to the cohort model of shared learning?
    4. Describe and discuss two examples of your ability to think critically in professional situations. The examples should reflect complex situations that required creativity, entrepreneurial thinking, problem solving, negotiation, and/or decision-making skills.
    5. Describe and discuss specific examples of your ability to communicate effectively in professional situations to a variety of professional audiences. These could include written reports, large group presentations, and/or coordinating and facilitating long-term discussions and decision-making projects.
  •  Writing Samples

    Two of the key skills required by DCCL students and community college leaders are the ability to think critically and communicate effectively orally and in writing. Please provide samples of your writing within the following guidelines. Your application will not be considered complete until all of the attachments have been received.

    • Submit at least two and not more than three samples.
    • Attachments should be no more than 10-15 pages total. (Do not submit your entire Master's thesis. If you would like to use your Master's thesis, please select an appropriate excerpt.)
    • Your samples should reflect different professional writing audiences and document types.
    • Do not submit one large document for all of your samples. Each sample should be a separate attachment with a separate name (see example below).
    • Submit your samples as PDFs with this application. Please name them with your last name, first initial, and number of the sample. Examples: Smith, A. sample one of two; Johnson, B. sample two of three; Jones, C. sample three of three.
  •  Transcripts

    Send official graduate transcripts to:
    Office of Graduate Studies
    410 Oak Street, ALU 117
    Big Rapids, MI 49307
    [email protected]

  •  DCCL Transfer Credit Policy

    In some circumstances, Ferris State University will accept transfer credits toward the Doctorate in Community College Leadership. The maximum number of credits to be accepted for transfer will be 18. All dissertation credits must be earned through Ferris State University. 

    The following conditions must be met for transfer credits to be considered:

    • The credits must have been earned after the award of a master's degree.
    • Credits must be for graduate-level courses from a regionally accredited university with a grade of B or better.
    • Credits must have been earned within the five years prior to admission to Ferris’ DCCL program.
    • Credits must have been earned in areas relevant to the requirements for the Doctorate in Community College Leadership, such as leadership or research.


    Click here to view the full DCCL Transfer Credit Policy.