MaconCatalog : Tift College of Education : Graduate Educational Leadership Programs : Master of Education in Independent and Charter School Leadership
Master of Education in Independent and Charter School Leadership
The M.Ed. in Independent and Charter School Leadership provides a tailored opportunity for potential leaders to prepare themselves specifically to lead in the unique environments of independent and charter schools. Candidates for this degree will explore the available literature related to leadership and to independent and charter schools. They will be required to reflect on their own professional practice and apply the theoretical knowledge drawn from the literature to the unique context of independent and charter schools. The program prepares students to enter leadership positions in the independent and charter school environments, including principal, assistant principal, headmaster, or directors of various departments, including admissions and student services. Further, the program can serve as professional development for those individuals who are currently employed in leadership positions at an independent or charter school who may have a background in areas other than education and have a need to understand the unique challenges of education to build upon their experience in the business or nonprofit sectors.
Program Standards
The following standards have been adopted for the program to guide the development of candidates:
Standard 1: The School Mission
The school leader promotes successful development of each individual student in all areas consistent with the mission of the school. The leader accomplishes this by collaborating with the school’s governing board, administrative leadership, faculty, and staff in a continual process of evaluation, articulation, stewardship and active implementation of the school’s vision, mission, and derivative policies and practices. This standard encompasses all others, from a broad philosophical view, and an executive-level administrative view.
Candidates have a solid understanding of their school’s founding principles, and articulate and promote these principles through the development of a shared vision and mission for the organization as a whole.
Candidates are sensitive to, and respond effectively to, changes in the organizational structure and among the school’s stakeholders.
Candidates develop and implement valid methods to evaluate the effectiveness of, and to revise, the shared vision and mission, and derivative policies and practices, of the organization as appropriate.
Candidates develop and implement policies, procedures and practices in support of the organization’s vision and mission.
Standard 2: The School Culture
The school leader understands that the culture of the school plays a crucial role in achieving the vision and mission of the organization. Consequently, the leader works to establish a culture in which all stakeholders are challenged to give their best in pursuit of the school’s vision and mission, and in which all stakeholders are valued, treated with respect, and made to feel appreciated.
Candidates establish an organizational culture that is focused on the promotion of the vision and mission of the school through adopted policies and practices.
Candidates establish an organizational culture that promotes trust, respect, and professionalism among all stakeholders, including members of the governing board, parents, administrators, faculty, staff and students.
Candidates establish and maintain high behavioral expectations for students, in pursuit of social and emotional growth per se, as well as in support of a challenging academic environment.
Candidates establish and maintain a culture that promotes personal responsibility, honesty, and ethical behavior generally, and particularly in support of any religious or philosophical standards of the organization.
Candidates communicate and promote the established school culture to the public clearly, honestly, and in a manner that effectively promotes the vision and mission of the organization.
Standard 3: The School Resources and Constituency
The school leader understands and accepts the challenges inherent in operating an
independent school; that is, one that does not rely on traditional governmental funding or student assignment policies to operate. To meet these challenges, the leader must generate sustainable funding sources by offering a marketable educational program at an acceptable price, and by developing secondary sources such as gifts, endowments, etc. It is of particular importance that the leader ensures that the financial dealings are carried out in accordance with applicable law.
Candidates establish and maintain an effective marketing and recruitment strategy to attract potential students who fit the school’s targeted profile.
Candidates develop and implement policies and practices leading to the matriculation and retention of accepted students.
Candidates effectively attract and obtain financial resources from various sources in support of the organizational vision and mission.
Candidates maintain effective relationships with professional associations, regulatory agencies, and local community organizations as appropriate.
Standard 4: Management of the School Resources
The school leader accepts responsibility for ensuring that the resources belonging to the organization are employed for their intended use, and that this is done in an efficient manner in order to maximize their utility. The maintenance of an orderly school environment is fundamental for success, and well-planned processes are fundamental to an orderly environment.
Candidates develop and implement personnel practices that lead to the maintenance of a faculty and staff which effectively and efficiently supports the vision and mission of the school.
Candidates implement practices that support the efficient acquisition and use of financial assets, including tuition revenues, endowments, investments, grants, etc.
Candidates manage and maintain the school’s property, including real estate, the physical plant, and tangible assets.
Candidates manage the distribution, use of, and responsibility for school assets related to the learning program, such as teaching materials, technology assets, athletic and band equipment, and items used in extra-curricular clubs and organizations.
Candidates ensure that the management of organizational assets is carried out in compliance with applicable legal and ethical standards.
Standard 5: The Learning Program
The school leader understands that the learning program is the very essence of the
organization-its raison d’etre. The learning program in an independent school includes the plan for student growth in academics, as well as growth in social, emotional and, when it is a part of the school’s mission, spiritual realms. Consequently, the school leader must be knowledgeable of the relevant literature and be able to communicate and apply this knowledge to others. He or she spends the majority of his or her time and energy supporting the learning program, and leading others to focus their time and energy to do likewise. This function of the leader involves not only compliance with applicable regulatory and accreditation standards, but with striving to lead the school to achieve at levels much higher than mere acceptable baselines.
Candidates develop, implement, and evaluate the learning program in a continuous improvement cycle, so that all organizational activities support the vision and mission of the school. This includes identifying and prioritizing the separate, but closely related, concepts of academic, social, emotional, and (consistent with the school’s mission) spiritual growth.
Candidates are familiar with, and rely upon, the literature related to the growth and development of Children and young adults, as well as that related to appropriate learning outcomes, and to plan and implement appropriate growth opportunities.
Candidates develop, communicate, and supervise the curriculum program to provide each student with the opportunity to maximize his or her academic potential within the context of the organization’s goals.
Candidates develop, communicate, and supervise the non-academic portions of the learning program to provide opportunity for students to grow socially, emotionally and (consistent with the school’s mission) spiritually.
Candidates understand and employ scientifically valid methods of evaluating the school’s learning program, and use these evaluation data to inform the continual improvement cycle.
Candidates identify professional development needs of the faculty, and provide resources and opportunities for these needs.
Candidates ensure that the learning program complies with applicable state and federal laws and regulations.
Standard 6: Leadership Dispositions
The school leader understands that knowledge and skills alone are not enough to make one a leader. Rather, it is who a school leader is personally that inspires others to follow. With this in mind, the leader commits to the crucial, ongoing work of developing his or her dispositions relevant to any leadership position.
Candidates seek and accept responsibility and accountability for all aspects of school activities appropriate to their roles.
Candidates model ethical behavior in their professional practice, consistent not only with broadly accepted norms, but also with identified moral, ethical and religious standards as may be required by the organization.
Candidates consistently relate to others in a respectful, professional manner in the context of their professional practice, and in their personal capacity to the extent that it affects the organization.
Candidates express themselves both orally and in writing in a clear, effective, and professional manner.
Candidates exhibit intellectual curiosity and self-reflection, and employ critical thinking in the context of their professional practice.
Standard 7: Practical Application of Learning (Internship)
The leader will demonstrate his or her knowledge, skills, and dispositions by completing a formalized internship designed around standards 1-6.
The internship will provide opportunities for the candidate to apply knowledge learned in coursework and develop leadership skills in an authentic school context. The internship will take place over a sustained period of time, for a prescribed number of hours, and involve a variety of knowledge, skills and dispositions from standards one through six.
The internship program will be developed cooperatively with the candidate, a faculty advisor, and an experienced leader who will directly supervise the internship.
Documentation of the internship will be required, as well as a final report of the student which describes how the experience helped him or her increase mastery of the relevant knowledge, skills, and dispositions.
Activities completed pursuant to the internship should be different from those associated with the candidate’s normal job duties, so as to provide opportunity for growth in new areas.
Admissions Requirements
The M.Ed. program in Independent and Charter School Leadership is offered as a cohort model, with new cohorts admitted each academic year. To be eligible to apply, an applicant must hold an undergraduate degree from a nationally accredited university and must submit the following:
An online, complete, signed application for admission.
$25 non-refundable application fee.
Provide official copies of all transcripts with a minimum GPA of 3.0.
Applicants with a previous GPA below 3.0 may submit GRE scores or standardized test scores as strong evidence of his or her ability to complete graduate coursework.
A current vita or résumé
Three official letters of recommendation; one must be from a supervisor.
A signed and dated narrative of career and academic goals.
Complete a writing sample.
International applicants should consult the university catalog or College of Education website for additional requirements.
M.Ed. in Independent and Charter School Leadership Degree Requirements (30 semester hours)
The program requires 30 semester hours of coursework, including an internship, and the completion of a Capstone project. The curriculum includes the following courses:
EDEL 604. Leadership Theory
EDEL 621. Foundations of Independent Schools
EDEL 622. Managing School Resources in Independent and Charter Schools
EDEL 822. Collaborative Strategies: Strengthening Internal and External Relationships
EDEL 605. Leadership in Curriculum and Supervision
EDEL 623. Leadership of the Extra-Curricular Program in Independent Schools
EDEL 610. Institutional Effectiveness and Assessment
EDEL 695. Educational Research for School Leaders
EDEL 624. Legal and Ethical Requirements of Independent Schools
EDEL 645A. Internship