Skip to page content

Known for pioneering work regionally, nationally, and internationally, the Department of Lifelong Education, Administration, and Policy includes three program areas:

Our faculty challenge and engage students in graduate programs focused on intellectual inquiry, research, and practice. Our programs prepare leaders who create and share knowledge and strategies to improve the quality of life of individuals and organizations.

Department faculty are recognized nationally and internationally for contributions in research and policy development. Our faculty members' research includes action research, multicultural perspectives in adult education, education law, gender inequity, administration, school improvement, education policy, human resource and organizational development, the superintendency, and qualitative research methods.

Our faculty are also regular contributors to the Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement, have an active role in the development of the State of Education in Georgia annual conference, provide leadership in supporting the lifelong learning institute on campus, and provide training to adult literacy instructors throughout the state.


Educational Administration and Policy

This program develops the careers of students who become leaders in educational administration, policy, and school systems.

Learning, Leadership, and Organization Development

Prepare for a career in organizations related to the education of adults.

Qualitative Research

Do you have an interest in the methodological, theoretical, and ethical procedures and challenges inherent to social science research and evaluation? Join us in contributing to the methodological and theoretical development of qualitative research and program evaluation.


Research Grants


In addition to the following departmental scholarships, learn more about additional opportunities for financial assistance on our financial aid page.

Alumni Spotlights

Portrait of Jerome Graham

Jerome Graham

I currently serve as an assistant professor of educational leadership and policy studies at the University of Cincinnati. I can confidently say that my experiences in UGA’s EDAP program have been transformative and played an instrumental role in preparing me to serve in my current position and those to come. While I can remark on a number of these experiences, I will focus my attention around the people and the place.

EDAP is filled with many incredible individuals whose interests are clearly aligned with supporting the needs and investing in the development of students. These investments were expressed most profoundly to me through my advisors’ efforts to continually affirm my scholarly identity and support my professional growth. They expressed a vested interest in ensuring I acquired the necessary research, teaching, and mentoring skills to become an effective scholar and teacher. The EDAP program has a vibe that is energetic and family-oriented, which made transitioning out of the community both difficult and worrying. As I interviewed for jobs, I realized how natural it was to compare each place to EDAP. After some time, I affirmatively concluded that this EDAP place is uniquely special.

To EDAP—the people and place—thank you! I am forever indebted to you and will strive to make the spaces I occupy moving forward as inclusive of and kind towards others as the community was to me when I joined in 2016.

Portrait of Ain Grooms

Ain Grooms

I am currently an assistant professor in the educational leadership program at the University of Iowa, where I joined the faculty in 2016. My research focuses on educational access and opportunity for students of color broadly, and Black students in particular, in K-12 contexts. I use the intersection of race, place, and socioeconomic class to examine the impact of historical and contemporary educational policies—including school desegregation, school choice, student attendance, and the retention of educators of color—on student achievement.

UGA’s educational administration and policy (EDAP) program was very instrumental to my current success. The guidance and mentorship I received from EDAP faculty helped me define and shape the academic I am now. I had numerous opportunities to publish manuscripts and present at national conferences with faculty, work as a graduate research assistant on large grants, and guest lecture in several courses. EDAP faculty encouraged my participation in professional organizations while ensuring my personal, professional, and academic needs were met. As a faculty member, I try to model the support and mentorship EDAP faculty provided me when advising my own doctoral students.

Portrait of Stephen Owens

Stephen Owens

I work as a senior policy analyst at the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute (GBPI), a non-profit think-tank that examines the state’s budget, taxes, and public policies to provide thoughtful analysis and responsible solutions. I focus on state polices and research that affect public K-12 education in Georgia. In this role I research, write, and communicate reports/briefs/blogs to a variety of audiences and strategic partners. I also engage in legislative lobbying for, among other policies, an equitable school funding system for Georgia’s 1.8 million public school children.

UGA’s educational administration and policy doctoral program not only provided me with the content knowledge and frameworks to perform well in this role, it also changed how I view higher education altogether. The work and support I received push me to be a better writer, researcher, and analyst. I was able to learn from (and work with) professors with keen minds who were faithful to the curriculum, while also being compassionate to students. I rely on the work of those professors, my fellow classmates, and all the staff in the EDAP program daily, and am happy to forge a career in educational policy because of it.

Additional Resources

Apply to the PhD in Educational Administration and Policy program

If you are interested in a qualified career in educational policy analysis or leadership in P-12 educational research, government, academia, or the non-profit sector, consider applying to the PhD in Educational Administration and Policy program.

The coursework offers two possible "cores," one in law and policy, and the other in administration and supervision. Both will prompt you to examine educational policy issues, scrutinize the current educational reform movement, and discover how to improve student learning and accountability within these contexts. You will also be exposed to multidisciplinary perspectives on educational policymaking, processes, and implementation.


The Graduate School handles admission for all graduate programs at UGA, including those in the College of Education. The Graduate School website contains important details about the application process, orientation, and many other useful links to guide you through the process of attending UGA at the graduate level.

Start a Graduate School Application

Student Organizations

Graduate Student Network (GSN)

This organization provides a communication network to students, faculty, and professionals interested in lifelong learning. It also facilitates social/professional interaction among lifelong learners and supports adjunct learning experiences.

Members are graduate students in the Department of Lifelong Learning, Administration, and Policy.

Faculty advisor: Melissa Freeman


Faculty and Staff

Jami Royal Berry

  • Clinical Associate Professor

Richard Blissett

  • Assistant Professor

Karen C. Bryant

  • Clinical Associate Professor

John Dayton

  • Professor

Kathleen P. deMarrais

  • Professor and Department Head

Maureen Flint

  • Assistant Professor

Jamon H. Flowers

  • Clinical Assistant Professor

Melissa Freeman

  • Professor

Jori N. Hall

  • Associate Professor

Seung-hyun (Caleb) Han

  • Assistant Professor

Holly Newton Ivy

  • Student Affairs Professional II

Diann Olszowy Jones

  • Clinical Assistant Professor

Diana E. Lofton

  • Business Manager I

Aliki Nicolaides

  • Associate Professor and Graduate Coordinator

Zuleme Zu Reuter

  • Administrative Specialist I

Wendy E.A. Ruona

  • Associate Professor and Coordinator

Walker A. Swain

  • Assistant Professor

Karen E. Watkins

  • Professor and Associate Department Head

Sally J. Zepeda

  • Professor

Contact Us

Department Head: Kathleen P. deMarrais

River's Crossing 850 College Station Road Athens, Georgia 30602