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Course Listing > Introduction to Education Leadership Programs

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Course Listing


Please check the Class Schedule or contact the for specific course availability for each semester:

ORLA 4010 Introduction to organization analysis in education
This course draws on concepts and propositions from organization theory to help students construct and analyze case studies of schools and school systems and develop action plans for organizational change, reform, and renewal. Special focus on theories of bureaucracy and community; organizational structure, culture, and politics; professional learning communities; and strategic learning organizations.

ORLA 4025 Resource allocation for student achievement
This course emphasizes the skills of school budgeting and facilities management, personnel allocations, and grant writing with a view to leveraging student achievement. Students use simulations and case studies to analyze an actual school budget; make a three-year budget forecast; and reassign faculty, support staff, and instructional resources to improve performance.

ORLA 4030 Ethical issues in educational leadership
An examination of ethical issues inherent in educational leadership, with an emphasis on ethical practice as well as theory. The ethics of rights, justice, and care applied to moral dilemmas arising from the professional literature, the humanities, and the student's own practice.

ORLA 4033 Ethical and legal issues in education leadership
This course explores the nexus between law, ethics, and school leadership. It relies on both case law and the use of ethical dilemmas in the form of case studies and hypotheticals to teach prospective leaders how to consider, for themselves, the tensions they experience when the law, professional practice, and their ethical codes of conduct are in conflict.

ORLA 4044 Leadership for adult development
In this course we will explore an expanded notion of leadership that includes supporting adult development as a focal concern. Participants interested in organizational and individual leadership and growth, especially teachers, principals, superintendents, and other leaders, will study how constructive-developmental theory and pillar practices for supporting adult growth can enable leaders to support adults' transformational learning. Permission of the instructor is required.

ORLA 4045 Restructuring schooling in urban environments
Institutional and policy analysis of school redesign experiments in urban settings, with special emphasis on the Chicago case. Review of theoretical foundations research, political support, and implementation consequences of system-wide school reform, as well as analysis of how both experimental and system-wide change is initiated.

ORLA 4049 Creating a learning community
How can education leaders and others create communities that support adult learning (i.e., changes in knowledge, skills, understanding, and/or behavior)? This course focuses on theories and research on adult learning and leadership practices. We will examine: (1) leadership in support of adult learning; (2) adult learning theories; (3) elements that shape adult learning communities (challenges and creative strategies); (4) practices that support adult learning; and (5) the importance of caring for one's own learning. Permission of the instructor is required.

ORLA 4058 Privatization and choice in education
Small public schools, independent schools, charter schools, vouchers, home schools, religious schools, and for-profit educational ventures are examples of the explosion of options in schooling available to a growing number of American families. The purpose of this course is to understand the configuration of these choices in America and the implications of those choices for a democratic society. Students consider whether school choice can serve the best interests of families and the common good. Through on-site visits, students use the diversity of schools in New York City as a laboratory for learning. Permission of the instructor is required.

ORLA 4060 Designing Charter Schools
Design focus on instructional, governance, accountability systems, and organizational patterns. Reference to research on school models and on legislative and regulatory context of charter schools. Charter school leaders participate as resources. Collaborative field and electronic studies of existing charter schools.

ORLA 4070 The analysis of private schools
This course examines contemporary challenges for independent schools and utilizes the talents of prominent leaders in the field to share their expertise. It focuses on practical applications of education research and theory with special emphasis on the implications for practice in independent schools.

ORLA 4071 leadership of private schools and non-profit organizations
How can leaders transform "good" schools into excellent schools? The purpose of this course is to equip dynamic individuals with skills and knowledge for aligning schools to accomplish challenging goals. Students study how mission and vision, governance, teamwork, social intelligence, and organization behavior contribute to effective leadership practice. They assess barriers to school change and explore strategies to overcome them. They analyze culture and ways to develop the habit of continuous school improvement. The course uses a variety of approaches with a focus on case studies. Permission of the instructor is required.

ORLA 4874 Strategic marketing for academic institutions
Students survey the major themes of marketing with specific attention to the independent school context. Topics include a broad range of marketing concepts, such as ways to develop an effective communications program and branding. As part of the course, students design and undertake a market research project. Case studies are drawn from educational institutions.

ORLA 4876 School finance: Resource allocation for non-profit organizations
An exploration of the business aspects of managing private schools. The focus is on critical issues of management including: decision making, strategic planning, and analysis and allocation of resources. Participants analyze complex issues and problems confronting leaders in private schools such as: enrollment and tuition stabilization, pricing and affordability, funding sources, endowment management, compensation, and government compliance.

ORLA 4900 Research and independent study in educational leadership
For students wishing to pursue independent study and/or research on topics not covered in regular courses. Requires faculty member's approval of a study plan, reading list, and final paper or other products or projects. Permission required from individual faculty.

ORLA 5012 The social context of education reform: Public engagement and community development
Political analysis of administration at the service delivery and community levels.

ORLA 5017 Groups and interpersonal behavior
Organizational behavior with reference to interpersonal relationships and the conflicts resulting from the needs of individuals compared to the demands of the organization. Special permission required.

ORLA 5018 School leadership for adult development
School leaders must exercise practices to support adult development, especially in the context of standards-based reform. We will explore adult developmental theories and their connection to leadership; constructive-developmental theory; pillar practices for supporting adult growth (i.e., learning that helps adults develop increased cognitive and affective capacities to better manage the complexities of work and life). We consider: How can leaders better support adults' growth? What practices support adult development? What developmental principles inform these practices?

ORLA 5020 Information systems for decision making in learning organizations
A theoretical, conceptual, and operational analysis of information systems used for decision making and problem solving in learning organizations. An integral part of the course involves developing the technical and analytical skills necessary to manage information systems, with an emphasis on those systems that are designed to make it possible for organizations to transform their information-based systems into knowledge-based systems. Emphasis is also placed on understanding the environmental system in which the organization exists.

ORLA 5025 Ecology of data-driven leadership
This course relies upon systems theory and its application to school systems. The course teaches prospective leaders the use of databases of various kinds to pursue a systematic inquiry in the health and productivity of the ecology of the school. It explores various approaches to data mining, model building, and ultimately the “art of improvisational leadership.” The course teaches students how to distinguish the different purposes for which data can be used and misused and relies heavily on the use of cases, simulations and exercises, including those with complex feedback systems. Familiarity with spreadsheets and simple statistics is helpful.

ORLA 5029 Staffing, mentoring, and supervising learning communities
This course draws upon the research literature in human resources management and emphasizes best practice in the recruitment, hiring, mentoring, professional development, and evaluation of teachers including the termination of incompetent teachers. The course uses problem-based units on teacher recruitment and hiring, role playing on effective mentoring, video evaluations of teacher practices, and strategies for removing incompetent teachers.

ORLA 5052 Instructional leadership of independent schools
The purpose of this course is to help prepare independent school educators for their roles as instructional leaders and to encourage reflection about the craft of teaching. It will provide an overview of contemporary theories and research about how people learn and how this knowledge can inform leadership in curriculum design, teaching strategies, student assessment practices, and the design of professional development.

ORLA 5055 School administration and cultural diversity
An in-depth exploration of opportunities and challenges posed by racial/ethnic, socioeconomic, linguistic, and other forms of cultural diversity in education. Focus on research on the lived experiences and educational outcomes of students from diverse backgrounds and on the implications for policy, politics, organizational design, and leadership practice.

ORLA 5096 Introduction to special education law
This class provides an introduction to concepts and authorities essential to a basic, useful understanding of special education law and policy. It will benefit those concerned with school leadership, instruction, and school law, as well as those interested in special education law from practical or policy perspectives.

ORLA 5530 Action research in organizational behavior
Techniques and methods of designing and conducting action research on organizational problems. Various methodological and organizational issues are addressed regarding the use of action research to foster organizational learning and problem solving through systematic inquiry and reflection. Students conduct an action research project.

ORLA 5531 Leadership and action research practicum
This course teaches students the theory of practice action research. Action research is a stance toward research that argues for using research to influence positive outcomes, even during the study phase of research. The methods themselves may be quantitative, qualitative, statistical, or some combination thereof. The purpose of the research design is to subordinate the research process to goal (e.g., of school improvement). At the same time, students develop the traditional skills of research methods, question deeply held presuppositions about “what works,” and seek to become connoisseurs of effective knowledge-driven strategies of school improvement.

ORLA 5532 Program development: Teaching, learning, and assessment

ORLA 5587 Strategic management of independent schools and nonprofit organizations
The purpose of this class is to equip educators with the skills needed for effective independent school practice. Classes are organized to develop skills in the following broad areas: staffing and management, strategic planning and structural leadership, external relations, and transitioning into a new work environment. To develop proficiency in these important leadership skills, students have opportunities to learn about and then practice skills in the classroom context with feedback from peers and experienced practitioners. Permission required.

ORLA 5647 Topics in policy planning and implementation: Effective schools
Examination of suggestions by various authors of critical features and elements that make schools effective. National, state, and organizational reports, as well as individual authors will be studied.

ORLA 5689 School heads colloquium
Enrollment limited to 20 participants. The purpose of the symposium is to provide renewal and reflection on issues relevant to school leaders through intensive study and collaboration with professional peers from independent and international schools. Topics include moral leadership and current education issues in public and private schools. Participants also conduct research on a topic of interest to their schools. Through on-site visits, students use the diversity of schools in New York City and the rich cultural resources as a laboratory for learning. Permission required.

ORLA 6018 Staff personnel administration
Human resource needs, certification, selection, assignment, promotion, salaries, retirement, absences, evaluation, development, tenure, academic freedom, teachers organizations, grievances, and collective negotiations.

ORLA 6019 Labor management relations in education
Enrollment limited. Negotiations as administrative process for decisions and management of patterns of remuneration and conditions of work. Cases and simulation. Special fee: $30.

ORLA 6020 Pro-seminar in education leadership
This seminar course is topical and brings in guest speakers, exemplary practitioners, researchers and policy makers from academia, public schools and school districts, charter schools and education management organizations, private and independent schools, business, and other organizations to share their experience, research, and insights about effective leadership practices. The central theme of the Pro-Seminar is the development of personal self-awareness and mastery, as well as professional effectiveness. Students will be introduced to a variety of tools, assessment instruments, and other resources that are useful for personal reflection and professional growth. The seminar is customized for students preparing for leadership at different levels and in different contexts, for example aspiring public school principals, independent school heads, or district level leaders.

ORLA 6460 Internship in school eadership
The internship in public school leadership presents an opportunity to become im-mersed in the field of leadership practice and to appreciate the importance of instructional leadership in the creation of a learning environment. The internship combines oppor-tunities to study effective leadership first-hand, develop and practice instructional leadership skills, and be mentored for a career as a school principal. The internship requires approximately 450 hours (12-15 hours per week over a full year) of supervised field work in a public school. Permission required.

ORLA 6461 Internship in school and school district leadership
A 450-hour supervised field experience in school district leadership. Partially satisfies New York State requirement for School District Leaders certificate. Permission required.

ORLA 6552 Research, theory, and practice in education leadership
This course focuses on major theoretical perspectives on administrative leadership in education, how these perspectives are studied and advanced through empirical research, and how the theory and research are connected to leadership practice. Students will examine theory and empirical research on topics such as leadership effects on student learning; challenges in leading learning organizations; and the relationships among leaders' knowledge, skills, and dispositions and their leadership preparation and effectiveness.

ORLA 6611 Colloquium in Organizational behavior
Emphasis on classic studies and analysis of the implications of research for organization theory and practice. Permission required.

ORLA 6621 Colloquium: Management science
Permission required.

ORLA 6631 Colloquium: Institutional analysis
Permission required.

ORLA 6641 Advanced topics in research methods and design
This course provides students the opportunity to explore advanced topics in research design and analytic methods, especially as they relate to studies of educational contexts and policies.

ORLA 6900 Directed research and study in education leadership
For students wishing to pursue independent study or original research as they prepare for their doctoral certification examination and/or dissertation proposal. Permission required from individual faculty.

ORLA 7500 Dissertation seminar in educational leadership
This course provides students the opportunity to discuss topics related to the preparation of their dissertation proposal in a seminar format. Students present their ideas and writing for feedback from the instructor and other students. Students may enroll in this seminar once. Permission of the instructor is required.

ORLA 7501 Dissertation research seminar
This course provides students the opportunity to discuss their dissertation proposal in a seminar format, with support and feedback from the instructor and other students. Students are eligible to enroll in this seminar after enrolling in ORLA 7500 and before their dissertation proposal has been approved. Students may enroll in this course once. Permission of the instructor is required.

ORLA 7503 Research Seminar
This course provides students the opportunity to discuss their dissertation research in a seminar format, with support and feedback from the instructor and other students. Students are eligible to enroll in this seminar after their dissertation proposal has been approved. Students may enroll in this course once. Permission of the instructor is required.

ORLA 7573 Advanced seminar
This seminar provides an opportunity for students to share their dissertation work with others and to consider questions of interpretation, significance, and the presentation of findings for multiple audiences.

ORLA 8900 Dissertation advisement in educational leadership
Individual advisement on the doctoral dissertation. Students register for this in the first semester after their dissertation proposal has been approved and continue registering in this (or in another course, with sponsor approval) until the dissertation is completed. Requires ongoing consultation between the student and dissertation sponsor. The fee equals three points at the current tuition rate for each term. Permission required from individual faculty.