Whitney S. Newcomb, Ph.D.
Professor and interim chair

The mission of the Department of Educational Leadership is to prepare school leaders who are able to translate authentic research on school leadership and society into quality practice.

The department offers two M.Ed. programs, a certificate program and two doctoral programs. The M.Ed. in Educational Leadership with a concentration in administration and supervision and the post-master’s Certificate in Educational Leadership lead to endorsement in administration and supervision by the Virginia Department of Education. The M.Ed. in Educational Leadership with a concentration in leadership studies is offered for individuals in educational settings who want to study educational leadership but do not wish to seek endorsement in school administration and supervision.

The department offers an educational leadership concentration in the Ph.D. in Education, designed to prepare those who wish to focus on educational leadership, including careers as faculty members in higher education. The department oversees the Ed.D. in Leadership, a program for those wishing to study leadership and remain in leadership positions in educational organizations.

For more information consult the department’s website.

 
 
 
 

Administration and supervision

ADMS   500. Workshops in Education. 1-3 Hours.

Semester course; 1-3 credits, repeatable for maximum of six credits. Designed to focus on a single topic within a curriculum area, the workshop offers graduate students exposure to new information strategies and materials in the context of a flexible instructional framework. Activities emphasize a hands-on approach with direct application to the educational setting.

ADMS   600. Public School Administration. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. An overview of the theory and practice of public school administration. Emphasis on the governance of education and leadership roles of school boards, superintendents, principals and supervisors. Leadership theories and characteristics of effective management systems related to student discipline and academic performance, school safety, internal and external communications, and coordination with outside agencies. Appropriate field-based project relating theory to practice will be required.

ADMS   601. Processes of Instructional Leadership. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Examines processes of instructional leadership in schools. Primary focus on developing school leadership skills necessary to provide a positive working environment through collaboration and team-building, as well as professional opportunities including supervision and evaluation of instruction. Focus will be on best practices that lead to school cultures that build communities of learning. Appropriate field-based project relating theory to practice will be required.

ADMS   602. Seminar in Elementary School Administration. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Problems and issues in elementary school leadership. Major responsibilities of the elementary school principal. Enrollment limited to specialists in administration.

ADMS   603. Seminar in Secondary School Administration. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Problems and issues in secondary school leadership. Major responsibilities of the secondary school principal. Enrollment limited to specialists in administration.

ADMS   605. Organizational Theory, Structure and Culture in Educational Settings. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. A study of organizational theory, structure and culture relating to schools. Emphasis on conceptual understandings needed for practical implementation.

ADMS   606. Organizational Behavior and Change in Educational Settings. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. A study of organizational concepts and practices in educational contexts. Emphasis on both conceptual understandings and specific professional skills relating to diagnosis and development.

ADMS   607. Principles of Educational Leadership. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Develop understandings for school leaders of effective leadership in organizations, personal leadership styles and modifying leadership styles. Leadership with respect to vision building, organizational communications, motivating others and group problem solving will serve as major areas of study. Lecture, individual study, group work and fieldwork will serve as major means of course delivery.

ADMS   610. School and Community Relations. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Provides a conceptual and philosophical framework for evaluation and development of practices invovled in implementing desirable school and community relations programs that focus on unique needs of communities. Special emphasis given to skills necessary to identify significant issues, assess current practice and engage in the processes involved in building and maintaining exemplary school-community programs. Appropriate field-based project relating threory to practice will be required.

ADMS   611. School Law. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Legal aspects of school administration that include constitutional and statutory provisions and court decisions. Relationship of legal aspects to governance of schools in Virginia will be emphasized. Appropriate field-based project relating theory to practice will be required.

ADMS   618. Leadership for Educational Change and Improvement. 2 Hours.

Semester course; 2 lecture hours. 2 credits. Students will reflect on the past, critically review current reality in schools and creatively predict the nature of schooling in the future in light of the responsive role of the school leader. Other constructs presented include change as an educational paradigm, the leader as change agent and 21st-century learning as a catalyst for 22nd-century learning. In addition, students will assess their school/organization for change readiness.

ADMS   620. Improving School Programs and Performance. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Introduction to principles of leadership for the improvement of school programs and performance. Participants discuss current literature and models of school improvement with an emphasis on identification, selection and measurement of appropriate student and school performance indicators. An understanding of school culture and change, the importance of planning for change, and the role of data in the process of change are topics included. Appropriate field-based project relating theory to practice will be required.

ADMS   621. Management of School Operations and Support Programs. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Developing understanding and practices of the school principal with respect to key elements of managing school operations and support programs. Special attention will be given to goal setting for programs, securing, organizing and managing human, material and financial resources. Attention will be given to cost/time-effective practices and accountability.

ADMS   622. Understanding Diversity and Leading for Social Justice. 1 Hour.

Semester course; 1 lecture hour. 1 credit. In this course, participants will engage in conversations related to diversity in schools and explore the critical role of education (and leadership) in a democratic society that is rapidly changing and becoming increasingly complex. Participants will reflect on how culture impacts leadership beliefs and practice and explore strategies for building schools that are equitable environments that support the needs of all stakeholders.

ADMS   623. Schooling as a Complex System. 1 Hour.

Semester course; 1 lecture hour. 1 credit. This course introduces students to a critical understanding of the politics of education through a systems thinking or systems theory perspective. After critical examination of systems thinking theory and complex systems, the remainder of the course offers an exploration of the interaction of federal, state and local governments within the complex, multilayered political structure of education.

ADMS   624. Principals as Human Resource Agents. 2 Hours.

Semester course; 2 lecture hours. 2 credits. The course examines the management of human resources in schools and school divisions. Legal issues, division policies, ethical considerations and professional interpersonal relationships are explored. Students will participate in problem-solving in specific human resources cases and will critically examine human resource situations in their own contexts.

ADMS   625. Leadership for Individualized Learning. 2 Hours.

Semester course; 2 lecture hours. 2 credits. This course represents a holistic approach to leadership for meeting needs of learners across the continuum with a focus on students with disabilities and to include gifted students and English-language learners. The constructs presented include legal and historical frameworks, equity issues, traditional and emerging policies and practices, models of instructional delivery, and roles and responsibilities of personnel.

ADMS   626. Internal/External Relations and Communications. 2 Hours.

Semester course; 2 lecture hours. 2 credits. This course provides students with the knowledge and skills essential for school leaders to relate and communicate effectively with the community in its broadest sense. Emphasis is on building relationships and communicating effectively with internal and external publics face-to-face, online and in print.

ADMS   627. Enhancing and Supporting Instruction. 2 Hours.

Semester course; 2 lecture hours. 2 credits. The focus is to learn ways to enhance and support instruction that improves student achievement. The content includes effective instruction, supervision, evaluation, professional development, diverse learners and capacity building through the development of professional learning communities.

ADMS   628. Cultural Inheritance of Schools. 1 Hour.

Semester course; 1 lecture hour. 1 credit. This course explores the engines that drive public education. Particular attention is paid to macro-level social, economic, political and demographic shifts that have transformed metropolitan school systems over the past half century. Evaluation of historical and contemporary law, policies, practices and dispositions inherent to our system of education is embedded, especially as each relates to the distribution of equal educational opportunity across urban/suburban/exurban lines.

ADMS   629. The Business of Schools. 2 Hours.

Semester course; 2 lecture hours. 2 credits. This course presents financial considerations such as funding, revenue and expenditure audits; maintenance of a safe and productive learning environment; crisis management and media relations; physical plant management; meeting management; communication with internal and external publics; time management; and the ability to effectively navigate political waters. The approach to these constructs will be both diagnostic and prescriptive.

ADMS   631. Evidence-based Decision-making. 1 Hour.

Semester course; 1 lecture hour. 1 credit. The purpose of this course is to prepare students to be critical consumers of research and to develop individual and group research skills. Students will learn to evaluate research quality, find available data within their schools and divisions, and collect and use new data. Students will learn to evaluate research quality in both single and synthesis studies. Additionally, students will be introduced to the action research cycle, be able to recognize and develop research questions, and determine an appropriate action research design.

ADMS   632. Administration and Supervision of Special Education. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Examination of instructional practices and legal issues related to providing school programs for students with special needs. Appropriate field-based project relating theory to practice will be required.

ADMS   633. Multiple Dimensions of Leadership. 2 Hours.

Semester course; 2 lecture hours. 2 credits. This course provides participants with the opportunity to understand their own unique beliefs and dispositions regarding teaching, learning and leading as well as to understand the roles and responsibilities of educational leaders, including the Virginia Performance Standards for School Leaders and the ethical dimensions of leadership and policymaking.

ADMS   640. Human Resource and Fiscal Management. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. A study of theories and policies related to resource projection and management in schools and school divisions. Finance topics include budget, purchasing and accounting, and procedures for obtaining equipment and materials. Human resource topics include staffing requirements, hiring, evaluation and dismissal procedures, and staff-personnel relationships. Appropriate field-based project relating theory to practice will be required.

ADMS   641. School Personnel Administration. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. A study of the personnel function in educational organizations. Designed to explore techniques and problems of staff-personnel relationships in contemporary education.

ADMS   643. The Community School. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. The development and utilization of the community school concept will be examined. Communitywide use of school facilities and the involvement of the total community in the learning process will be studied. Emphasis will be placed on the physical plant design, organizational structure, staffing and curriculum of the community school. The utilization of the community school to implement "lifelong learning" will be stressed.

ADMS   647. Educational Technology for School Leaders. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Provides an overview of the impact of technology, particularly Web-based technologies, on K-12 instruction, from pedagogical considerations and associated tool choices to more pragmatic leadership issues of planning, funding and faculty development. This course is designed for administrators, teacher leaders and other interested professionals who are or intend to be leaders in technology. Crosslisted as: TEDU   647.

ADMS   651. Topics in Education. 1-3 Hours.

Semester course; 1-3 credits, repeatable for maximum of nine credits. Prerequisite: Check with department for specific prerequisites. A course for examination of specialized issues, topics, readings or problems in education.

ADMS   670. Administrative Internship I. 1 Hour.

Semester course; 1 lecture hour. 1 credit. On-campus course. This course must be taken as one of the first courses in the first semester of enrollment. The course serves as an orientation to the internship experience, which is an integral component throughout the master's and/or post-master's program of studies. Students will learn the specifics of the entire internship component of the program, such as the 320 internship hours required, the scope of internship work, and the variety of experiences needed and means by which all internship experiences are to be documented throughout the program. Students will develop their individual internship plans, which will guide them through their internship experiences throughout their entire program. This plan will include specific field experiences in each required course as well as plans that will be executed in Administrative Internship II and Administrative Internship III, such that a total of 320 hours of experiences are accrued and documented by the end of the program. Graded as S/U/F.

ADMS   671. Administrative Internship II. 1 Hour.

Semester course; 1 lecture hour. 1 credit. Prerequisites: full admission status; no grades of Incomplete; evidence provided of meeting technology standards and completing child abuse/neglect recognition training; meet university's Graduate School academic requirements for graduation; adviser/department head approval of internship application; successful completion of ADMS   670. This course is to be taken in the semester immediately before Internship III. This course focuses on emerging topics from the students' internship experiences with emphases on leadership skills, professional dispositions and management. Field-based internship experiences developed in ADMS   670 are continued such that a total of 320 hours of experiences will be accrued and documented by the end of the entire program. A culminating experience taken at the end of the program, this course is designed for students to have opportunities to synthesize the essential knowledge and skills necessary to be a school leader. Reflection and refinement of skills and knowledge will be part of student-developed professional portfolio that could be used in securing a leadership position in a school system. Integration of theory and practice will take place in the internship as evidenced by documented experiences in a school/school district setting supervised by an approved professional and university instructor. Course will include seminars, selected readings, projects, discussion and other culminating activities. Graded as S/U/F.

ADMS   672. Principalship Seminar and Internship. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: Full admission status; no grades of Incomplete; evidence provided of meeting technology standards and completing child abuse/neglect recognition training; meet university's Graduate School academic requirements for graduation; adviser/department head approval of internship application. A culminating experience taken at the end of program designed for students to have opportunities to synthesize the essential knowledge and skills necessary to be a school leader. Reflection and refinement of skills and knowledge will be part of student-developed professional portfolio that could be used in securing a leadership position in a school system. Integration of theory and practice will take place in internship of at least 120 hours in a school/school district setting supervised by an approved professional and university instructor. Course will include seminars, selected readings, projects, discussion and other culminating activities.

ADMS   675. Administrative Internship III. 1 Hour.

Semester course; 1 lecture hour. 1 credit. Prerequisite: successful completion of ADMS   670 and 671. This course is continuation of the experiences in ADMS   670 and 671 and of seminar topics related to developing a personal portfolio and resume as well as interviewing skills. It provides a culminating review and professional reflection of the internship experiences. As part of successful completion of this course, 320 hours of documented internship experiences must be completed by the end of the program. Graded as S/U/F.

ADMS   700. Externship. 1-6 Hours.

Semester course; 1-6 credits. May be repeated for a maximum of 9 credits. Prerequisite: Permission of department. Plan of work designed by extern with prior approval of the offering department. State certification or equivalent may be required for some externships. Off-campus planned experiences for advanced graduate students designed to extend professional competencies, carried out in a setting, under supervision of an approved professional. Externship activities monitored and evaluated by university faculty.

ADMS   701. Education Policy Research. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Examines a set of applied research practices undertaken within a diverse community of scholars and analysts and that have implications for education. Explores processes involved in developing and implementing educational policy. Emphasis is given to the roles of federal and state governments in policymaking with attention to problems encountered in implementing educational policies. Focuses on research approaches relevant to policy research.

ADMS   702. Educational Administration: Contemporary Theory and Practice. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Study of recent developments in administrative theory and the application of these theories to contemporary and future educational issues and problems.

ADMS   703. Leadership for Social Justice and Equity in Education. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture/seminar hours. 3 credits. Students will study and engage in dialogue related to the critical role of education in a democratic society in a rapidly changing and increasingly complex world. Through a focused discussion of theories and concepts such as democratic schools, social justice, critical theory and power, feminism, critical race theory, and difference/normalization, students come to understand the possible roles education can play in society and their need to continuously reflect on their own vision for leadership in public schools.

ADMS   704. Education Finance Policy and the Equitable Distribution of Resources. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. In addition to a traditional examination of some of the aspects of the economic, legal, financial and budgeting policies affecting the equitable distribution of education resources in the U.S., the social justice implications associated with several established theories and policies in the field of education finance are examined. Specific topics include the historical and philosophical perspectives of U.S. education finance; education finance reform litigation; conceptions and measurements of equity, adequacy and efficiency in school finance designs; the role of federal, state and local governance in equitable education finance in the U.S.;, and the resource needs and organizational and fiscal implications of serving special populations in U.S. schools.

ADMS   705. Planning Educational Facilities. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Study of the theory, principles, criteria, procedures and practices of planning educational facilities and the modernization, maintenance and operation of existing facilities.

ADMS   706. Leadership Perspectives on Learning. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Explores contemporary leadership perspectives on learning. This general theme is refined into three focus areas of current theory and practice: perspectives on what it means to learn, the ways in which digital technology factors into teaching and learning, and perspectives on the future of the formal K-12 learning enterprise.

ADMS   707. The Politics of Education. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Examination of how the political structure of public education determines the nature of schooling. Study of political theory of education, macropolitics of education and schooling from micropolitical perspective leading to synthesis and development of critical understanding of the politics of education.

ADMS   708. Equal Educational Opportunity in the 21st Century Metropolis: Toward a Policy Framework. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. This course provides an overview of the economic, political and demographic shifts that have transformed metropolitan school systems over the past half century. Emphasis is given to the trajectory of education policy and leadership in light of these altered metropolitan spaces. Participants will evaluate the successes and pitfalls of contemporary and historical reforms as they relate to the distribution of educational opportunity across the urban/suburban/exurban divide. Culminating activities help students develop a framework for future policy efforts with a focus on the Richmond metro area.

Educational Leadership

EDLP   700. Effective Learning Networks. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Explores theory and research regarding characteristics of effective leaders, team members and organizations. Participants are administered personal inventories related to leadership skills; team-building and -participation skills; learning preferences; preferences for processing information and for decision-making. Results of inventories are analyzed, combined with learned theories and applied to practical situations.

EDLP   702. Understanding Self as Leader: Theory and Data Analysis. 2 Hours.

Semester course; 2 lecture hours. 2 credits. Prerequisite: EDLP   700. Corequisite: EDLP   703. Presentation of leadership and organizational theory. Study of statistical analyses appropriate for data sets provided in learning inventories and case studies. Critical analyses of research in the field related to leadership styles, personal inventories and organizations/communities as systems.

EDLP   703. Understanding Self as Leader: Practical Applications. 1 Hour.

Semester course; 1 lecture hour. 1 credit. Prerequisite: EDLP   700. Corequisite: EDLP   702. Applications of theory, research and case-study analysis findings to organization/community settings. Seminar discussions of applications to equity, accountability and learning issues.

EDLP   704. Frameworks for Decision-making: Legal Perspectives. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Critical analyses of legal research, theory and laws related to case studies provided. Critical analysis of legal and policy issues, as well as policy development/implementation theory. Applications of research, laws and policies related to the case studies provided.

EDLP   705. Frameworks for Decision-making: Ethical Perspectives. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. In-depth analyses of issues and problem-solving using research, ethics theory and frameworks. Application of research and theory to development of solutions in focused area of study.

EDLP   708. Leadership Presence. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Corequisite: EDLP   709. Selected topics for fostering effective leadership with particular attention placed on leadership presence, crisis response and public relations. The course will focus on facilitating leadership skills through better understanding of enhancing time management skills, fostering communication skills and leadership presence and planning for crisis.

EDLP   709. Equity and Leadership. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Corequisite: EDLP   708. Selected topics for fostering effective leadership with particular attention placed on equity and leadership. The course will focus on enhancing leadership skills through better understanding of equity issues and student psychosocial development.

EDLP   711. Evidence-informed Perspectives on Practice I. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: permission of instructor. This course implements a collaborative approach to the theory-infused practice of program evaluation in education. Participants will hone their project-planning expertise and their data-gathering and data-analysis skills in the process of both contributing to ongoing evaluation research and preparing to conduct evaluations of programs of their own choosing in their own school divisions. The course culminates in the production of an interim report which is delivered to the "client" and which sets the stage for Evidence-informed Perspectives on Practice II.

EDLP   712. Planning for Sustainable Change I. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Using a case-study approach, students will focus on theory and research regarding implementing change in organizations, with attention to organizational culture as a context for change. The course addresses laws, policies and research regarding improvement plan development, implementation and evaluation.

EDLP   713. Evidence-informed Perspectives on Practice II. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: EDLP   711. This course builds on the foundation laid in EDLP   711. Students are mentored as they proceed throughout the semester to develop and enhance their earlier program review plan and interim report. Students establish a literature foundation for the ongoing evaluation of the program they chose to evaluate; gather further data by means of interviews, focus groups, document review; and analyze data to develop conclusions and recommendations. The summative product of this course includes an executive summary, a full report and a binder of relevant data.

EDLP   714. Planning for Sustainable Change II. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: EDLP   712. Case study approach. Application of theory, laws, research to developing plans for implementing change, based upon case being studied. Study of methods for documenting, evaluating effectiveness of plan implementation and change implementation/sustainability.

EDLP   715. Principles for Professional Writing I. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: permission of instructor. Study of scholarly writing styles and report formats appropriate to various audiences. Development of comprehensive written product suitable for distribution in student’s setting. Focus is on conveying themes and drawing conclusions from scholarly research.

EDLP   716. Principles for Professional Writing II. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: EDLP   715. Study of scholarly writing styles and report formats appropriate to various audiences. Development of comprehensive written product suitable for distribution in student’s setting. Focus is on conveying themes and drawing conclusions from scholarly research.

EDLP   717. Communicating Research Findings. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: permission of instructor. Study of data analysis methods relevant to capstone project. Styles and methods of writing related to conveying results of data analyses, including development of graphs, tables, charts and figures, and presentation materials.

EDLP   790. Capstone Development. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: permission of instructor. Supervised research. Client-based project. Designed to develop and refine the skills applicable to the preparation of an acceptable description of a capstone project. Development of background, review of research, project objectives and methods for gathering data, in consultation with capstone chair and client.

EDLP   798. Capstone Plan Implementation. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: EDLP   790. Supervised research. Client-based project. Conducting of research related to project developed in EDLP   790, with guidance from capstone project chair and client. Study of data management processes. Development of interim reports for capstone committee and client. Graded as S/U/F.

EDLP   799. Capstone Completion. 3 Hours.

Semester course; variable hours. 1-3 credits. Prerequisite: EDLP   798. Supervised research. Client-based project. Continuation of capstone implementation. Focus on developing conclusions and recommendations based upon data analyses. Presentation of capstone project to capstone committee and client. Graded as S/U/F.

EDLP   890. Dissertation Seminar. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: permission of director of doctoral studies. Designed to develop and refine the skills applicable to the preparation of an acceptable draft of a dissertation prospectus. Graded as S/U/F. Crosslisted as: EDUS   890.

EDLP   899. Dissertation Research. 1-9 Hours.

Semester course; variable hours. Variable credit. May be repeated. A minimum of 12 semester hours required. Prerequisite: Successful completion of comprehensive examinations and approval of student's doctoral prospectus. Dissertation work under direction of dissertation committee. Graded as S/U/F. Crosslisted as: EDUS   899.