Kathleen Sciarappa

Kathleen SciarappaWhat attracted you to Plymouth State’s graduate program? I had been a school principal for many years and along the way I took classes at Plymouth. When I was prepared to formalize my studies as a CAGS degree PSU was very accommodating which helped me complete my coursework at a reasonable pace.

Where are you now employed? After 25 years in the principalship I have recently opened an educational consultant business.

How are you implementing knowledge gained during your program? Plymouth is where I learned the fundamentals of research and how to enhance experiences in schools by utilizing best practices. Before attending PSU my higher educational experiences were at very large schools…Ohio State University, the University of Michigan, and Northeastern. I loved the “feel” of Plymouth where “everybody knows your name.” The experience was personally and professionally fulfilling. The instructors made it clear that they cared about the students while they go about enhancing about their intellectual growth.

I was given the opportunity to conduct qualitative and quantitative research with new principals in New Hampshire and have since completed a doctorate while examining the impact of mentoring on competence and confidence for those new to leadership roles. I worked with 30 school leaders in the Concord School District and am currently working with a statewide team designing a mentor program for school leaders throughout the state of New Hampshire. As I work with aspiring, new, and veteran school leaders in a coaching or mentoring capacity I see the powerful impact on the leaders with regard to the teaching the learning process. As the leaders strengthen their skills the impact on teachers and students is magnified. My experiences at Plymouth State supported this work in mentoring and coaching which is now making an impact at the state and national level.

What would you say to a student who is considering graduate school? I had hoped to pursue my doctorate at Plymouth but the program wasn’t in place when I was ready to begin. Now that the doctoral program is available at Plymouth State University I would encourage anyone who is considering a CAGS to instead take a close look at the doctoral program.

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