Educators who wish to explore the possibilities of school leadership and administration will find PSU’s school principal certification program rich in opportunities for collaboration, research and practical experience. From curriculum development and assessment to school law, school budgets, and community partnerships, candidates will master the wide array of responsibilities, duties and leadership qualities an effective school principal must possess.
The School Principal program provides candidates with:
- An increased understanding of the changing roles of school leaders
- An ability to identify strategies that can lead an educational institution in a positive direction for the benefit of children, teachers, school staff, families, and communities
- A background in school leadership that reflects a diverse and flexible array of approaches and philosophies appropriate to today’s schools and communities
- Opportunities to extend previous leadership experience through research and collaboration
- Support in developing the self-confidence and vision necessary for providing leadership to others and creating partnerships between schools and communities
Graduates of this degree program who possess at least three years of K–12 teaching experience are eligible for certification as a school principal (with appropriate coursework) in the state of New Hampshire. Reciprocity through interstate compacts extends this certification to many additional states.
- Educational Leadership Component – 18 credits
3EP 7020 Collaborative LeadershipIn this course, students will explore major concepts related to developing partnerships and communities of learners. Course topics include the change process, forms of school and community governance, school culture, the concept of collaboration, and agencies and organizations involved in community programs and initiatives. Special attention is focused on planning and implementing system-wide and building-level networks. Students will develop and evaluate a framework for collaboration and demonstrate systems thinking. Typically the first course completed in the CAGS program.
3This course focuses on the development of a self-renewing capability inherent in professionals and organizations. Students will discuss the notion of transformation in the context of knowledge base, self-reflection, and the socio-professional processes in educational change. Students will explore the integration of ecological perspectives within a changing society and the demand for greater tolerance of human behavior in the context of learning. Students will demonstrate an understanding of the need to keep student learning and development as the central core of educational change. Prerequisites: EP 7020 and EP 7040.
3The purpose of this course is to develop effective collaborative planners. This course presents the major stages in the process of developing a strategic plan, including forming a mission statement, crafting and implementing the plan, and evaluating plan performance. It provides a theoretical and practical overview of the skills, strategies, and resources required through each stage of the systemic planning process. (Prerequisite: EP 7020).
3This course addresses qualitative research methodologies with a particular emphasis on constructing grounded theory. Candidates will engage in the process, design, and critique of qualitative inquiry and research. Organizational and community issues will be explored and discovered through the analysis of patterns of beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors within interpersonal and intercultural contexts. The course includes theory and practice related to initiating an inquiry; gathering, recording and analyzing data; and evaluating a study. (Prerequisites: Eligibility for CAGS level coursework, and a graduate level course in research design).
3EP 7060 Legal Issues in Policy MakingThis course presents a discussion of ways institutions and their communities must deal with the legal and political environment in which they exist. Topics include current legal issues and how the stakeholders in society can use the law as a tool for social change. Institutions must advocate for positive change through the development of thoughtful legal policies and practices.
3EP 7070 Contemporary Social TrendsContemporary social, economical, political, and educational issues are the core of the course. They are identified in a forum that provides opportunities for the students to research current methodology together to address problems that relate to the specific roles of the course participants in their work inside or outside of the educational field. Working collaboratively, course candidates explore short-range and long range problem-solving strategies directed toward increasing their awareness of community perception and expectations, techniques for facilitating institutional change, and responding to the nature and culture of internal and external political systems and environments as they apply to their work sites.
- School Principal Component – 15 credits
3AD 5020 Staff Development and EvaluationMajor functions concerning the supervision of staff in a school setting including the selection, orientation, and development of staff members will be covered. Theories and techniques for promoting a positive school climate will be explored and applied. Alternative approaches to assessing and enhancing a staff's instructional competence will be examined. Prerequisite: AD 5010.
3AD 5300 School Finance and NegotiationThe development of school budgets that support the planning processes within a school setting will be covered. Other relevant topics will include cost effectiveness, revenue sources, communication with the public, capital projects, state and federal programs, using the budget to promote excellence in the schools, and principles and practices in collective bargaining. Prerequisite: AD 5010.
3Leading the participatory process for developing curricula in schools will be addressed. The relationship of philosophy, a school's identity, and mission to curricula is emphasized. Included are strategies for developing, assessing, and revising curricula as well as a review of recent research and trends. The course is intended for experienced educators who currently fill or aspire to the roles of school principal, team leader, or department chair. Prerequisite: AD 5010; to be taken concurrently with or after ED 5060.
3An overview of current theories concerning the brain, development, and learning. Analysis of developmental concepts from birth through adolescence and adulthood. Discussion of language acquisition, thinking and learning styles, multiple intelligence, and creativity. Topics include teaching, learning, and assessment issues related to cultural diversity, technology, and learning differences.
3Analysis of models and dynamics involved in planning, teaching, and evaluating environments for special needs students. An overview of special education, characteristics of individuals with disabilities, individualized educational plans, functional behavior assessment, practical teaching strategies, and the New Hampshire Special Education Process and Policies. An observation component of 15 hours will be required of all students not presently in a school or teaching situation.
- Capstone Experience – 3 credits
3A practical encounter with the administrative practices, strategies and policies presently used in the public schools. Practicum visitations are required as part of the course and will be especially designed to match the experience, occupational aspirations and interests of the student. Conference with the instructor and meetings with fellow students will provide for exchange of ideas and reports of observations. AD 5010 and AD 5020 recommended but not required. It is recommended that this course be taken near the end of the candidate's program.
- Total for CAGS in Educational Leadership, K–12 School Principal Concentration – 36 credits
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