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Education Leadership
Teachers College, Columbia University
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Education Leadership

In the Department of Organization & Leadership

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Course Listing > Welcome

Course Listing

Program Courses:

Please check the Class Schedule or contact the program 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.
Instructor(s): Ellie Drago-Severson

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 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.
Instructor(s): Paul O'Neill

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.
Instructor(s): Pearl Kane

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.
Instructor(s): Ellie Drago-Severson, Jay Heubert, Pearl Kane

ORLA 5012 The social context of education reform: Public engagement and community development

Political analysis of administration at the service delivery and community levels.


Instructor(s): Luis Huerta

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.


Instructor(s): Eric Marcus

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 5029 Supervision of teaching and learning

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.


Instructor(s): Robert Monson

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.
Instructor(s): Alyse Hachey, Daryll Mattingly

ORLA 5362 Practicum in School Leadership
The Practicum in School Leadership combines an opportunity to develop knowledge and skills while contributing to the ongoing work of a school. Students work with experienced school leaders on a specific project relevant to the school's priorities.

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.
Instructor(s): Alex Bowers

ORLA 5532 Program development: Teaching, learning, and assessment

Instructor(s): Robert Monson

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, coaching and feedback, strategic planning and organization structure, 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.


Instructor(s): Pearl Kane

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.
Instructor(s): Pearl Kane

ORLA 5830 The Klingenstein Summer Institute for Early Career Teachers
Residential program. Enrollment limited to 75. An intensive two week program held annually in June that introduces early career teachers to the complexity and challenge of teaching in independent schools. Prominent professors, guest authors, and nationally renowned educators deepen understanding on topics related to the organizing themes: improving teaching and learning, understanding diversity and multiculturalism, and assessing and overcoming resistance to change. Permission required.

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 Public School Leadership

The internship in public school leadership presents an opportunity to become immersed in the field of leadership practice and to appreciate the importance of instructional leadership in the creation of a learning environment. The internship combines opportunities 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.
Instructor(s): Jay Heubert, Pearl Kane

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.
Instructor(s): Alex Bowers

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.
Instructor(s): Alex Bowers, Jay Heubert, Pearl Kane

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.
Instructor(s): Alex Bowers

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.
Instructor(s): Alex Bowers

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.
Instructor(s): Alex Bowers, Jay Heubert, Pearl Kane