Education Course Descriptions
Concentration: Advanced Educational Leadership
This course provides the overarching context for the entire curriculum in educational leadership. Participants consider theories and practices relating to effective leadership in educational settings. Topics include team building, diagnosing the work environment, decision-making, problem solving, and strategic planning and human resource development. Students will reflect on their own leadership, observe and analyze other leaders, and explore how the theories and practices relate to the Interstate School Leaders License Consortium (ISLLC) standards for leaders.
In today’s complex society, educational administrators must possess a working knowledge of federal and state statutory and case law impacting education. This course will provide a foundation of the legal underpinnings of the American education system and how the “law” has had an effect on schools. Specific legal principles relating to church/state issues, tort liability, teachers’ responsibilities, students’ rights, and administrative concerns such as contracts and collective bargaining will be covered. Students will be required to apply these legal principles to analyze actual case scenarios. Assignments will be included to acquaint students with their state’s laws that will affect them as future educational leaders.
Regardless of how beneficial a desired change may seem, new initiatives are often difficult to implement. Each educational setting has its own culture, and innovations and changes that are incompatible with the prevailing climate may elicit resistance and hostility. The course examines change theory; studies case histories of successful and not so successful change efforts; and reviews change strategies to equip students with skills for introducing effective reforms.
Supervision and evaluation strategies need to support teachers’ growth into strong, competent professionals. This course examines requirements of educational leaders engaged in supervising and evaluating educational personnel, and explores new directions and procedures currently under development. Emphasis is given to understanding the theory behind the practice, strengths and weaknesses of varying methods, and hands-on applications. Drawing on knowledge of developmental stages and multiple styles of learning and teaching, participants consider such practices as peer evaluations, self-evaluations, portfolios, and mentoring.
This course explores leadership styles with respect to professional responsibilities and ethical decision-making. Students are expected to reflect upon their leadership abilities and those of others. The course involves intensive of use of technology for collaboration and interaction. This course meets standards of the Interstate School Leaders Consortium (ISSLC) 2008.
Note: EDU705 requires participation in a number of live web conference sessions, conducted in the evenings. A schedule of these sessions will be provided prior to registration. Students are expected to accommodate these sessions in their plans.
An effective educational leader promotes the success of all students by communicating the learning community’s vision, policies, and successes to staff, students, parents, community, decision makers, legislators and media. The leader understands, responds to, and influences the systems that support the educational process. Developing and maintaining partnerships and forging relationships with multiple constituent groups, understanding emerging issues and educational trends and communicating them effectively to stakeholders are all essential leadership competencies. The effective leader plans public relations and communications strategies that build broad support and public ownership for the educational mission that is articulated. This course provides opportunity for self-assessment in developing a communications plan and an understanding of skills and strategies necessary for communicating in ways that positively impact the education of students.
School leaders must also be “lead teachers”. To effectively instill motivation and creativity in teachers, participants learn current models for curriculum design to ensure that instructional materials meet appropriate mandates for content and learning goals, and which also address students’ diverse needs, abilities, and experiences. Learning theories and styles are included, as are topics relating to curriculum theory and assessment.
The course traces the historical background and development of school finance acts, and examines the intent, concepts and relationship inherent in these acts. Processes by which state subsidies are computed, allocated and distributed are considered. Budget and expenditure practices in relation to these acts are illustrated. Emphasis is placed on helping students develop a clear conceptual understanding of the overall methods by which state aid is provided to local school systems. Readings, research, and other assignments are designed to acquaint students with school finance practices in their respective states.
This course will include: an overview of organizational theories and systems; the inclusion of organizational theory in the educational change process; the functions, objectives, development, and assessment of strategic plans; and the relationship between strategic planning and budget development.
This course will be offered to students whose state certification regulations require an internship. Students will develop an internship proposal, including learning outcomes and assessment methods, that meets initial requirements for Educational/Administrative Leadership Certification in the state of residence. Students will maintain a journal, complete projects of relevance, and engage in activities that enhance understanding of leadership roles. Students may spread this requirement over two terms, with advance planning.