School Leadership

Master’s Degree (M.Ed.) or Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study (CAGS)

The School Leadership Preparation Program (SLPP) is designed for candidates who are preparing for roles in one of the following tracks: Principal/Assistant Principal PreK-8 or 5-12, and Administrator of Special Education (all levels). Learning outcomes are based on the Professional Standards for Educational Leaders.

Upon completion of the program, the candidate of the School Leadership Preparation program will:

Learning Outcomes for School Counseling
  • Defend the characteristics needed that will promote the learning and growth of all students and the success of all staff.
  • Appraise best practices and current research to cultivate a shared vision that has a positive impact on teaching, learning, and student learning outcomes.
  • Analyze data, justify effective leadership strategies, and construct action plans that are appropriate to facilitate the learning and growth of all students and the success of all staff by ensuring a safe, efficient, and effective learning environment.
  • Analyze school programs, appraise needs and select needed resources to implement appropriate curricula, staffing, and scheduling.
  • Identify characteristics and best practices that are needed to create and maintain successful and sustained partnerships with families, community organizations, and education stakeholders that support the mission of the school, district and having a positive outcome on PK-12 learning.
  • Formulate, produce, and assess school and district level programs to facilitate and sustain success for all students by creating a nurturing and positive school culture of reflective practice, high expectations, and continuous learning for staff.

In the classroom. In the workforce.

What You'll Learn

Learn to demonstrate, articulate and create effective learning environments, partnerships with communities, appropriate curriculum, staffing schedules, and a school culture of best teaching practices.

Future Studies

Upon completing the MA-PALs assessment successful candidates are endorsed for licensure. Recommended candidates can be pursue licensure by the State and become employed as school administrators.

 

Career Opportunities

A degree in School Leadership prepares you for a role as school principal, assistant principal, administrator of special education, superintendent, or assistant superintendent.

For admission into the School Leadership Program, applicants must hold an Initial License and have a minimum of three years of teaching experience. Candidates will be required to complete field-based experiences throughout the coursework in addition to the final practicum experience.

Principal/Assistant Principal Track

  • EDU5601: Introduction to School Administration & Management (25 pre-practicum hours)
  • EDU5602: Practical Applications in Planning for School Leaders (50 pre-practicum hours)
  • EDU5612*: Educational Organizations, Leadership, and Institutional Change
  • EDU5618*: Leadership for Professional Development
  • EDU5624*: Curriculum Design, and Development
  • EDU6630*: Supervision and Evaluation of Instruction
  • EDU6635*: School Personnel Administration
  • EDU6745: Legal Issues for School Leaders
  • EDU6755: Financial and Asset Management for School Leaders

*(includes 20 hours fieldwork towards a total of 100 hours early practicum experience)

LICENSURE TRACK

  • EDU6801-6804: The Practicum Experience – Principals, SPED Administrator

Additional Program Notes

Candidates seeking licensure as Principal/Assistant Principal must, in addition to successfully completing the program, successfully complete the Massachusetts Performance Assessment for Leaders (MA-PAL) to be eligible for licensure by the State. The MA-PAL is an external state portfolio.

DEGREE-ONLY, NON-LICENSURE TRACK

EDU6979/6980: Field-based Research I/II: School Leadership

Additional Program Notes

All licensure candidates have the option to take EDU 6625: Sheltered English Immersion (SEI) Endorsement Course for Teachers. SEI is not a requirement for practicum nor obtaining your degree. This is a Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) requirement to obtain your licensure.

Total Credits: 38-45

Licensure Track: 42 credits

Degree-only, non-licensure track: 38 credits

Completion of SEI course accounts for an additional 3 credits*

Administrator of Special Education Track

  • EDU5601: Introduction to School Administration & Management (25 pre-practicum hours)
  • EDU5602: Practical Applications in Planning for School Leaders (50 pre-practicum hours)
  • EDU5612*: Educational Organizations, Leadership, and Institutional Change
  • EDU5618*: Leadership for Professional Development
  • EDU5624*: Curriculum Design, and Development
  • EDU6630*: Supervision and Evaluation of Instruction
  • EDU6653*: School Personnel in Special Education Administration
  • EDU6751: Legal Issues for Special Education Administrators
  • EDU6765: Administration of Special Education

*(includes 20 hours fieldwork towards a total of 100 hours early practicum experience)

LICENSURE TRACK

  • EDU6801-6804: The Practicum Experience – Principals, SPED Administrator

DEGREE-ONLY, NON-LICENSURE TRACK

  • EDU6979/6980: Field-based Research I/II: School Leadership

Additional Program Notes

All licensure candidates have the option to take EDU 6625: Sheltered English Immersion (SEI) Endorsement Course for Teachers. SEI is not a requirement for practicum nor obtaining your degree. This is a Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) requirement to obtain your licensure.

Total Credits: 40-47

Licensure Track: 44 credits

Degree-only, non-licensure track: 40 credits

Completion of SEI course accounts for an additional 3 credits*

Additional Program Notes

All licensure candidates have the option to take EDU 6625: Sheltered English Immersion (SEI) Endorsement Course for Teachers. SEI is not a requirement for practicum nor obtaining your degree. This is a Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) requirement to obtain your licensure.

Course Descriptions

The course is designed to provide the student with an introduction to the perspectives of elementary/middle/secondary school and central office administration and management, as well as historical and current theories and practices in the field. Readings, case studies, on-site visitations, analysis of current legislative reform and situational discourse are part of the course activities. State Curriculum Frameworks will be reviewed in light of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment in a Learning Community. Coursework will reflect upon the Professional Standards for Administrators which are embedded in the course expectations and will be demonstrated in the pre-practicum/practicum experiences. The school administrator has many roles within the school community and the community at large. The person holding this position is expected to be knowledgeable about curriculum, instruction, and assessment, to be a leader with vision and the skills to work collaboratively with many different constituencies. In addition to those rigorous expectations, the administrator must successfully manage the day-to day operations of the building. School administrators must be knowledgeable about current legislative changes including the Education Reform Act of 1993 (MA); the federal ESEA / No Child Left Behind Law, 2001; Closing the Achievement Gap, (MA) 2010; Race To The Top Initiative. Significant elements of the pre-practicum experience will be infused throughout the course. Students will use readings, review of research, data collected from the field, case studies, class discussions, and personal reflections to analyze the work of the school administrator. The final project for the course will integrate the knowledge and skills acquired through EDC 601, Introduction to School Administration and Management for the 21st Century. This course requires 25 hours of Field Based/Pre-Practicum Experience through Observing and Assisting an administrator in his/her daily tasks up through the development of the Data Analysis Project.

This course will expand upon the learning and applications that took place in EDC 601 – Introduction to School Administration and Management. The candidates will be able to utilize research skills and technology to gather data, analyze data and draw conclusions using the data to understand and solve educational issues. This will be the first phase of the seminar. The students will then apply the knowledge gained in the collection of data from EDC 601 to the work in this course for the development of an Entry Plan. The candidates will present their work to a target audience role played by the classmates. In this seminar fifty hours are embedded during which the candidates will be able to utilize their skills as a developing administrator to write an Entry Plan.

The essential question to be answered in this course is: What are the qualities and skills needed to become effective leaders? This course is for prospective administrators. Students will gain knowledge that will prepare them for the important role of change agents in a school or district. A critical examination is made of the typical organizational structures found in organizations today, especially in regards to leadership and ways in which the educational leader can facilitate meaningful change. This course specifically addresses Standard 1. Instructional Leadership and Standard 4. Professional Culture.

This course emphasizes the knowledge, skills, techniques and approaches needed by administrators to promote the growth of staff in ways leading to the establishment or continued development of a professional learning community. Leadership practices and strategies consistent with research on successful professional learning communities will be examined. Staff and student safety and well-being will be reviewed as one major component of a legally and ethically comprehensive professional development program. Laws, regulations, policies, practices and research will be examined with respect to enhancing school, family, and community relations, with a particular emphasis on practices leading to greater participation of all constituencies regardless of race, color, gender, religion, national origin, sexual orientation or disability. Field experiences will include the collection and review of data applicable to administrative leadership that is expected to lead to recommendations for modifications of teaching techniques and strategies to improve student achievement. The provision of appropriate programs for more fully addressing the educational experiences of English Language Learners and Special Education students will be reviewed and analyzed. Enrollment in graduate program in school leadership EDU5601

In an era of standards-based instruction, administrators must have a sound working knowledge of the principles of curriculum design, development, and implementation. Administrators must make important decisions regarding the content of curriculum, the selection of appropriate instructional materials, and the modification of teaching strategies to accommodate the needs of ALL learners. Educational Leaders must also be skilled in the ability to disseminate that information to the stakeholders in the educational community. This course will examine curriculum content, models of design, development, and implementation. Students will critically evaluate existing curricula and develop recommendations that respond to contemporary educational needs, new developments in knowledge and information, and new trends in teaching and learning. Significant elements of the Practicum experience will be infused throughout the course.

Principles and practices utilized in the supervision of educational personnel and programs as defined by both traditional and current supervisory practices will be examined in this course. The impact of the Massachusetts Education Reform Act of 1993, the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 and the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Standards and Indicators for the Evaluation of Teachers and Administrators will be studied as part of institutional reform. Multiple approaches to classroom observations and evaluations that are both informative and instructive will be central to the course. Model supervision and evaluation district programs, consistent with state guidelines, will be reviewed. Attention will also focus on action plans developed by schools and school districts to address the achievement gap existing between and among high need student groups in the schools particularly gaps affecting SEI/ELL students, and other student subgroups. Educator improvement plans to address the effectiveness of teachers whose performance is less than satisfactory according to state and contractual guidelines will also be considered in depth. The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s five step continuous learning process will also be studied by class members. Enrollment in graduate program in School Leadership EDU5601

The course will prepare for the planning and operation of the personnel functions in a school district. Emphasis will be placed on practices and issues, system operations and effectiveness, and knowledge of the different aspects of the human resource system. This course will focus for individual and group functions in the administration of school personnel and provide theory and content of practices and issues applicable to personnel administration. Enrollment in graduate program in School Leadership EDU5601

The essential question to be answered in this course is: What are the skills and knowledge required to be an effective Administrator of Special Education? This course is for prospective administrators of Special Education. Students will gain knowledge of state and federal legislation, budget development, programs and services, and technology related to special education. Parents and family involvement, educational leadership, special education program management, professional development, and equity in special education will be highlighted.

The study and analysis of school law will be undertaken from both historical and current perspectives. Constitutional amendments will be studied as they relate to administrative practice. Federal, state and local laws and regulations will be analyzed with respect to their importance and impact on schools and districts. Emphasis will be placed on Massachusetts State Law. Local policy development and implementation will also be reviewed. Precedent-setting federal and state court cases will be studied including their philosophical underpinnings and their implications for a framework for administrative decision making. Technology will be used to research a variety of case law.

This course prepares Administrator of Special Education candidates in the planning, implementation and operation of personnel functions within the field of Special Education within a school and school district. Candidates will learn and practice skills in special education employee/unit contracts and Special Education personnel programming. Teachers, paraprofessionals, contracted staff, as well as outside special education advocate personnel with be reviewed in this course. Special Education processes, personnel legal processes, personnel operations and the different components of the human resource systems in the state of Massachusetts will be examined in this course. Special Education parent advocacy, parent rights and Parent Advisory Councils’ roles within special education personnel will be reviewed within the Family and Community Engagement standard of the Professional Standards for School Leadership (PSAL).

Special Education Administration candidates will study and analyze school law from both historical and current perspectives. Constitutional amendments are studied as they relate to administrative practice. Federal, state and local special education laws and regulations are analyzed with respect to their importance and impact on schools and districts. Emphasis placed on Massachusetts State Laws and regulations pertaining to the Individualized Education Plan (IEP) and special education placements and procedures for public education students. Special education litigation, BSEA appeals and collective bargaining contracts are discussed and analyzed within the scope of special education. Local policy development and special education programming and placements will also be reviewed. Federal titles, including Title I, Title VI, and Title IX will be studied including their philosophical underpinnings and their implications for a framework for special education administrative decision-making.

The economics of education with regard to budget and finance at all levels of a school district will be studied. The focus will include revenue sources, state and federal school aid, budget preparation, use of technology in the budget process, school building construction and alternative funding. Use of data to support budgets and budget requests will be examined. This course is designed for future superintendents/assistant superintendents and principals/assistant principals. It provides administrators with the tools they need to carry out fiscal policy in the public school system.

This field experience is the culminating requirement for candidates seeking licensure as a School Principal/Assistant Principal, or a Director of Special Education. Students engage in a 400-hour activity in the schools, working with a principal or director mentor in the level and role appropriate for their specialization area. College program supervisor provides Field experience supervision during this activity. PREREQUISITES: All prior coursework in program, completion of pre-practicum hours, passage of Communication and Literacy MTELs, approval of candidate’s school district, approval of AIC’s Office of Field Experience and cumulative grade point average of 3.0

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