SPA | NOLA is a cohort program enrolling around 40 graduate students each year in a rigorous 14-month, 36-credit program. Courses are delivered Monday through Friday and some Saturdays, from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, over two consecutive five-week summer sessions. In the intervening academic year, students engage in a 450-hour Administrative Internship in Education Leadership. The schedule supports the reality of aspiring educators who are currently working teachers, team leaders, department chairs or supervisors who cannot leave their schools or programs to study full-time.
This course uses the literature on decision-making theory in combination with intensive case-study analysis in groups to explore how decision-making styles and strategies affect problem-based decision-making in innovative public school settings.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
School community relationships, needs assessment, program planning, and evaluation of student progress. Special emphasis on the principalship.
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.
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.