The Department of Administrative Leadership is committed to the development of educational leaders, particularly for service in metropolitan areas. We believe that excellent educational leaders nurture leadership among others in the school community, create positive work environments for students, staff, and parents; and contribute to the improvement of teaching and learning.
Our leadership development program prepares leaders to be change agents; adept at creating and engaging teams of professionals, evaluating current conditions, understanding how complex systems work, instilling a shared vision, and creating learning communities with high standards for students.
The educational administration curriculum is rooted in a knowledge base which draws from a variety of theories and practices from current research and literature, national and state professional organizations, federal and state governmental guidelines and the field of educational administrative practice. The curriculum is grounded in a conceptual framework oriented to developing a reflective, critical and engaged scholarly practitioner. These scholarly practitioners consistently reflect on their daily practice in order to become a more effectual and ethical administrator. They are able to search out and apply information gleaned from a variety of sources in order to improve the conditions that result in high quality instruction and successful student learning. They know how to assess the culture of the school environment to analyze the nature of power relations and the tacit ways social and cultural relations may result in inequities and other injustices in daily school practices. The scholarly practitioner actively integrates theory and practice in order to meet the needs of teachers and students in culturally appropriate and critically minded ways.
Our program's foundation are the UWM School of Education Core Guiding Principles and we incorporate these principles with the UWM standards and the Wisconsin State Licensing Standards for School Administrators, which are based on the National ISLLC Standards for School Leaders. To satisfy required competency of the Core Guiding Principle and meet the UWM-WI State Standards, we draw upon the domains of knowledge articulated by the National Policy Board for Educational Administration. In particular, we regard research on leadership and organization change, societal and cultural influences on schooling; best practices for teaching and learning processes and the general literature on school reform and improvement as the major paths toward competency. We call up leadership theories, ethics and moral dilemmas, organizational change, multiculturalism and critical theories, and diverse management methodologies in course work that examines policies, management innovation, assessment, planning and the politics of education.
The program takes a holistic, integrated and critical approach to administrator preparation. Each course, while placing particular emphasis on one standard and examining school leadership skills and traits relative to that standard, explores the complex interplay between the principles, practices and theories that inform the standards. Courses build upon each other, adding both depth and breadth to achieve proficiency in all of the standards. Students complete pre-practicum field assignments and field practica in which they can practice the theories and principles addressed in the courses. Upon completion of the program of studies, students are required to submit an electronic portfolio that demonstrates their acquisition of the knowledge, skills and dispositions advocated in the UWM Core Guiding Principle and the UWM-WI State Standards for Education Administrators.
Students may aspire to positions of principal, assistant principal, student dean, director of instruction, curriculum generalist,director of special education and pupil services, school business administrator or superintendent. Others may wish to prepare for the ongoing study of administration by entering the professoriate. Students meet with their advisors in order to determine their interests and professional goals and a program of studies is developed. While courses have been arranged into sequences in order to further students' goals, students may individualize their programs through electives and structuring a program which allows for the concurrent pursuit of multiple licenses.
By the end of the program, students will possess knowledge of self, others, organizations and society necessary to perform creatively and effectively in diverse environments. They will be proficient in all the standards, possessing the skills needed to engage people in the work to accomplish a shared vision for the school or school district. And they will have developed a capacity for critical scholarly reflection and a commitment to the continued development of self and others as educational leaders for excellence and equity.