Course Updates

NEW: For our updated information, please download our Course Description Updates. Questions? Contact


No match found.

ORLA 5010 Leadership in Schools and Communities

This course is designed to introduce students to the theory and practice of exercising leadership in the public sector.  Research literature and essential writings of great thinkers complement a practice-based, real-life orientation to the challenges and opportunities associated with leading communities through complex and persistent problems.  Course readings will be examined in light of practical challenges education leaders face every day; conversely, we will discuss the ways in which research sheds light and offers perspective to those who lead complex organizations, such as schools and districts, in public settings.  The course will consider leadership from a multi-disciplinary perspective, including readings and videos from the social sciences, literature, business, history, politics, and contemporary commentary.  Class discussions, case studies, guest speakers and small group work combine to invite students to recognize and develop the personal, professional, intellectual and political attributes that women and men need to address the most pressing issues in education, government, community life and society at large.

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 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 6523 Education Policy, Politics and Leadership in Urban School Systems

The shifting landscape of American education and increased politicization of urban school systems hold critical implications for district-level education leaders. Expected to both understand and respond to the larger social, political, and economic forces that influence life in urban schools, education leaders confront numerous challenges as they navigate complex institutions, policy regimes, competing agendas, and special interests while advocating for the educational success of every student. In this course, we will explore the changing demands and expectations of urban school leadership in an era of inequality shaped largely by widening racial and socioeconomic segregation, privatization, gentrification, and corporate reform. By evaluating the influence of local, district, state, and federal policy decisions on student learning, academic achievement, and school performance, this course will consider whose values, interests, and agendas are being advanced in the education policy arena and to what end. It will also focus on how education leaders might adapt district-level strategies and democratic approaches to leadership through community-based advocacy, coalition building, and activism.

ORLA 6525 Using Evidence, Data and Research Methods in Education Leadership

This course helps prepare school system leaders to use evidence, data, and research in their practice as school and district leaders as well as in preparation for doctoral dissertation-level research. In this course students learn how to access, understand, and apply peer-reviewed education research to their practice and in writing literature reviews; apply foundational quantitative, qualitative, and survey research methods to problems of practice in their organizations; and learn how to build, facilitate, and lead collaborative discussions to inform evidence-based improvement cycles around specific organizational instructional goals.

ORLA 6527 School District Leadership: Personnel, Conflict and Labor Relations

This course is designed to provide students with a sound background in the management knowledge and skills that are necessary in order to exercise effective leadership in public school districts. The course focuses on human resource management, a critical dimension of systemwide leadership. We will examine basic relationships among adults as they exist in school settings, including a look at the legal and contractual rights and responsibilities of school staff and consider options for action when such obligations are not carried out appropriately. Students will explore topics including labor relations, negotiations, collective bargaining, grievance/arbitration, due process, conflict resolution and mediation, professional coaching and complex personnel issues.

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 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 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 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.

ORLD 5070 Leadership for Adult Development

Supporting adult development enhances adults’ internal capacities, which in turn enables them to manage better the complexities of leading, teaching, learning and living. This course seeks to help leaders—of all kinds—support adult growth within organizations. To support adult growth, leaders need to implement practices in service to adults’ professional and personal development. This is especially important given the complexities of the adaptive challenges we face in the course of leading, learning and working today. In this course we will explore an expanded notion of leadership that includes adult development. We will study research on adult developmental theories and their connections to practices that facilitate adults’ transformational learning (i.e. learning that helps adults develop greater cognitive and affective capacities to better manage the complexities of leadership, work and life). We will consider questions such as: How can we create organizations and systems that support adults’ transformational learning? What practices support adult development? What developmental principles inform these practices? How can we support leadership development in the workplace? What supports and conditions are necessary and needed?

Back to skip to quick links