EDU545: Successful Leadership in K-12 Organizations

Course Credits:
Course Hours Per Week:

Course Overview

This course introduces the principles and practices of leadership as they apply to managing a school enterprise. The course will examine those traits and skills of an educational leader that can be employed to maintain the ongoing operation of a school and to promote and effect necessary changes in the organization. Topics discussed include:

  • Visioning to create organizational reform
  • Managing the school culture and human resources to facilitate change
  • Motivating groups to take ownership in a changing organization
  • Governance of school environments and its impact on change

In the course project, School Improvement Proposal: Addressing Issues with Change Initiatives, each candidate develops a school improvement proposal that includes (1) the development of a school vision that centers around student achievement, (2) the use of research-based strategies to evaluate the vision and change initiative, (3) action items that directly support the change initiative and that reflect the needs of the staff, community, and relevant stakeholders, and (4) strategic use of resources. The project is a key assessment designed to demonstrate mastery of the Educational Leadership Constituent Council (ELCC) professional standards.

This course includes field-based activities that take place in a K-12 school/district community setting.

Course Learning Objectives

  • Identify various characteristics and leadership skills that make up the culture, climate, and governance of an academic institution including advocating for the fundamental rights of students.
  • Identify the leadership characteristics necessary to maintain a stable K-12 school environment and promote and effect change, while ensuring continuing professional expertise and awareness of the latest information about child development, learning research, and applicable models of instruction.
  • Identify factors that contribute to maintaining a stable school environment and how to detect signs of deterioration in those factors.
  • Relate why visioning is the critical first leadership step in reformation, define the four steps of visioning, how to “sell” a vision, and how to create an environment that encourages this vision.
  • Describe elements of the school culture and how they affect school operations, and the role of the school in the community.
  • Describe basic human needs and individual requirements as they relate to individual involvement in an organization.
  • Describe the motivations of groups in an organization and how a group forms a "community of practice."
  • Consistently identify student achievement as the primary objective of the school, and recognize that state standards represent the level of achievement expected.
  • Describe how the governance structures normally found in a school organization may have to be altered in a change initiative.
  • Describe the process of supporting the role of the school within the community and in upholding the fundamental principles and perpetuation of the democratic republic.
  • Define the direction for a school community committed to and focused on learning.
  • Develop a change initiative action plan for a school.
  • Describe the leadership skills required to be an effective school administrator and relate those skills to their own competencies.

Course Prerequisites