EALR selected for Wallace Foundation grant to improve principal preparation

Today the Wallace Foundation announced that WKU’s Department of Educational Administration, Leadership, and Research is one of seven universities across the nation selected to participate in a four-year grant-funded initiative to improve principal preparation.  WKU will partner with the Green River Regional Educational Cooperative and the Kentucky Education Professional Standards Board to make school principal training “more inclusive and cooperative with the community, state and other stakeholders,” according to EALR Department Chair Dr. Marguerita DeSander.

Read more about the announcement here.

With its partners, WKU will develop a competency-based principal training program that will track the development of aspiring school leaders from their initial interest in administration, through their university training, and into their early years of service on the job. The goal is to make principal professional learning more responsive to the needs of schools in the region and to deliver more customized and on-time supports for administrators new to the field.  WKU will receive more than $1.7 million in the first year along with guidance and support from the Wallace Foundation and technical assistance partners.

EALR professors Houchens and Zhang win Faculty Excellence Awards

WKU’s Department of Educational Administration, Leadership, and Research was honored to have two professors earn Faculty Excellence Awards for the 2016 College of Education and Behavioral Sciences.

Drs. Houchens and Zhang with CEBS Dean Dr. Sam Evans
Drs. Houchens and Zhang with CEBS Dean Dr. Sam Evans

Dr. Gary Houchens won the CEBS award for Student Advising, while Dr. Jie Zhang earned the award for Research.  They were recognized with a university-wide reception and awards ceremony in April.

Each year students, faculty, and administrators nominate faculty members for awards in Teaching, Research, Student Advisement, and Public Service.  This year awards were also given for outstanding part-time faculty members.  A faculty committee reviews a portfolio of materials from nominees and each college selects an award winner for each category.  Drs. Houchens and Zhang will now be considered for the university-wide faculty awards, which will be announced at the faculty/staff Convocation in August.

Drs. Houchens and Zhang were also awarded tenure in 2016.  Both joined the faculty of WKU in 2010.  Dr. Houchens works primarily with students in the principal certification program while Dr. Zhang teaches research methods in the WKU Doctorate of Educational Leadership program where she also serves on numerous dissertation committees.

EALR Welcomes New Faculty Members

WKU’s Department of Educational Administration, Leadership, and Research is pleased to welcome two new associate professors to the faculty, Dr. Janet Hurt and Dr. Stacy Leggett.

Dr. Janet Hurt is a veteran Kentucky educator who has served as an EALR adjunct instructor in the past.  Over her career as a school leader Dr. Hurt has served as a teacher, guidance counselor, principal, and associate superintendent in two districts as well as the director of the GRREC/OVEC Race to the Top grant.  She regularly provides consulting services to schools and districts. Dr. Hurt will teach in the principal preparation program and also courses for other certifications including supervisor of instruction and director of pupil personnel. She is currently spearheading a revision and update to the department’s superintendent program.  Dr. Hurt earned a Ph.D. in 2008 from the University of Louisville and conducts qualitative research on a variety of educational topics.

“I am honored to be joining the Educational,  Administration, Leadership and Research department at WKU as an associate professor,” Dr. Hurt said.  “It is an outstanding department with top-notch faculty, administrators and staff who consistently model excellence.  I am delighted to be part of a group of professionals who work hard every day to provide an exceptional education for aspiring school and district leaders.”

Dr. Stacy Leggett joins the EALR team from her most recent role as Director of Secondary and Career-Technical Education for the Martin County school district in North Carolina.  Dr. Leggett is a 2015 graduate from The George Washington University with an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies.  She was the recipient of the Achilles-Harper-Swenson Emerging Research Award at the 2013 CREATE Conference.  She taught high school math and social studies for 13 years before becoming a school and then district level administrator.  She practices quantitative research methods and is interested in principal and teacher evaluation.  Stacy will primarily teach in EALR’s principal certification program.

“I am excited about the opportunity to join the WKU EALR faculty,” said Dr. Leggett.  “I hope that the experiences I bring will help me contribute to this great team and ultimately make a positive impact on leading, teaching, and learning in Kentucky.”

Both Dr. Hurt and Dr. Leggett will advise students in the WKU Doctorate in Educational Leadership program.  We welcome them to the team!

EALR welcomes new faculty member, Dr. Tom Stewart

TomWKU’s Department of Educational Administration, Leadership, and Research is pleased to welcome its newest faculty member, Dr. Tom Stewart.

Dr. Stewart is a veteran Kentucky educator and experienced university faculty member.  He will teach primarily in the school principal certification and supervisor of instruction programs.

A 2011 graduate of WKU’s Doctorate of Educational Leadership program, Dr. Stewart has taught elementary, middle, and high school students, served as a district instructional supervisor, and has worked for the Kentucky Department of Education as a Highly-Skilled Educator and Educational Recovery Leader.  He is also a former professor of education at Austin Peay State University.

Dr. Stewart regularly provides consulting and professional development services to area schools and districts, leads Diagnostic Reviews for AdvancED, and conducts qualitative research studies on the contemplative dimensions of teaching and school leadership.

“I am sincerely honored to be returning to my alma mater as a faculty member,” Dr. Stewart said.  “I look forward to continuing and extending my work with practicing school and school district leaders, as well as learning with my colleagues and aspiring school leaders at WKU.”

Apply Now for the 2015 Tate Page Education Leader Assistantship

The Department of Educational Administration, Leadership, and Research invites applications for the 2015 Tate C. Page Educational Leader Assistantship.  Applications are due April 30, 2015.

This assistantship program, founded by the late WKU dean of the College of Education, is worth $2,750 this year.  All students admitted to WKU education administration programs (Principal Level I, Principal Level II, DPP, supervisor of instruction, and superintendent) and who will be taking at least one class during the Fall 2015 term are eligible to apply.

The successful applicant will demonstrate excellence in scholarship, potential for leadership, good character, and financial need.

This is an assistantship program, rather than a scholarship.  The successful applicant will agree to complete duties as assigned by the Department of Educational Administration, Leadership, and Research as a condition of receiving the assistantship.  For the 2015 award, the successful applicant will assist with screening principal candidates in the Spring 2016 cohort.

Please contact Dr. Gary Houchens, gary.houchens@wku.edu, for more information or to receive an application.

Apply now for Fall 2015 WKU principal certification program

WKU’s Department of Educational Administration, Leadership, & Research is now reviewing applications for admission to the Fall 2015 principal certification program cohort.  Click here for more information about principal certification at WKU, and click here to access an application packet.

For priority consideration, applications should be received by March 30, 2015.  Please email Dr. Gary Houchens, program coordinator, to request an application, ask questions, or express your intent to apply: gary.houchens@wku.edu.

WKU seeks highly-effective teachers with at least 3 years of successful classroom experience, a Master’s degree, and a 3.0 minimum Master’s-level grade point average for application to our rigorous, cohort-based certification program.

The program requires a minimum of 18 credit hours completed over a three-semester timeframe.  Many candidates can be eligible for Level I certification in as little as 18 months.  Candidates may complete the program for certification only or for Rank I status (requires a minimum of 30 credit hours).  Options are also available for completing principal certification as a component of the Educational Specialist (EdS) degree or Doctor of Educational Leadership (EdD) program (additional admissions requirements apply for both options).

WKU’s principal program is offered in a hybrid format, blending online learning and approximately four face-to-face Saturday classes per semester.  Principal courses heavily emphasize field-based experiences that immerse candidates in leadership opportunities in their own schools and districts.  A mentoring component ensures principal candidates receive on-going feedback and support at the district level as they progress through the program.

We anticipate that all principal candidates who are graduates of WKU’s College of Education and Behavior Sciences or who are employed in a district belonging to the Green River Regional Educational Cooperative will be eligible for the Topper Educator Graduate Scholarship, which could save candidates thousands of dollars during the duration of their program.

Also, principal candidates from Allen, Barren, Grayson, and Todd County school districts may be eligible for the WKU-GRREC Leading 2 Learn (L2L) grant-funded partnership that offers additional tuition subsidies and professional development supports.

WKU strongly supports diversity in school leadership and encourages all minority candidates to apply.

Our first cohort in the new program recently completed their Level I requirements and are eligible for administrative positions around Kentucky.  Currently 55 principal candidates in two additional cohorts representing 21 districts are participating.  Candidates admitted for Fall 2015 will join this group of aspiring administrators on an exciting leadership journey.

Again, send Dr. Houchens your questions, application request, or intent to apply (gary.houchens@wku.ed) and submit your application by March 30, 2015 for priority consideration.

(Almost) Free SLLA Test Prep Session Returns to WKU

EALR associate professor Dr. Mike Putnam will be reprising his hugely popular test prep session for the School Leaders Licensure Assessment (SLLA), required of all aspiring school principals in Kentucky and many other states.  The session will be held on Friday, February 27, from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m. Central time, continuing on Sunday, February 28, from Noon to 5:00 p.m. Central time in Gary Ransdell Hall Room 3076 on WKU’s main campus.

The session is $20 for WKU students and alumni, and $40 for non-WKU-affiliated participants.  Payment should be in cash at the beginning of the Friday session; receipts will be provided.  Please bring a 1 1/2 – 2 inch three ring binder for materials.

Dr. Putnam developed this test review with Dr. Dennis Bunch of the University of Mississippi.  Kentucky currently has a passing cut score of 160 on the SLLA.  Previous prep sessions at WKU have resulted in a 100 percent pass rate for participants graduating from WKU administrator preparation programs and 97 percent for non-WKU graduates.

The session will include a review of the six ISLLC standards upon which the SLLA is based, and feature timed test prep exercises and hands-on activities and discussions.  The Kentucky Principal Test will also be briefly addressed.

Participants must agree to confidentially share their SLLA test score results with Dr. Putnam as he uses this data to continue refining the test prep process and may publish an analysis of results in the future.

Contact Dr. Putnam at michael.putnam@wku.edu by end of the day on Tuesday, February 17, to register.  Please include your name, phone number, current school and district, and professional role in your  message.

EALR welcomes Kelly Foster, Wayne Young as adjunct instructors

WKU’s Department of Educational Administration, Leadership, and Research is delighted to welcome two well-known and highly-regarded Kentucky education leaders as adjunct instructors for the Spring 2015 semester.

Dr. Kelly Foster

Dr. Kelly Foster, Associate Commissioner for the Kentucky Department of Education, will teach EDFN 576, Issues and Trends in Education.  Dr. Foster is a former English teacher who served as an administrator in the Nicholas and Montgomery County Schools before joing KDE in 2013 as Associate Commissioner for Next Generation Schools and Districts.  Dr. Foster oversees KDE’s comprehensive efforts to support and lead school improvement across the Commonwealth.

“I’m looking forward to teaching at WKU next semester,” Dr. Foster said.  “I believe my experiences in education across the state will inform some great discussion about current issues and trends in the field.”  EDFN 567, which is taught fully online, is a required course for certifications such as Director of Pupil Personnel and Supervisor of Instruction.

Mr. Wayne YoungEALR will also welcome Mr. Wayne Young, Executive Director of the Kentucky Association of School Administrators, to the faculty team.  Mr. Young will teach EDAD 677, School Law.  A graduate of the University of Kentucky College of Law, Mr. Young joined the staff of KASA in 1983 as legal counsel and lobbyist, becoming executive director in 1989.  He is regarded as one of the foremost authorities on school law in the Commonwealth.  EDAD 677 is a co-requisite course in the WKU principal certification program and required for all administrative certificates.

“I am excited about the opportunity to work with WKU and with students who are at the beginning of their journeys as school leaders,” Mr. Young said.  “Having a solid grasp of legal concepts that impact schools is a foundational element in their future success, and I am honored to be able to share my experiences with them.”

EALR Department Head Dr. Marguerita DeSander said WKU is fortunate to have educators with the statewide profile and successful reputation of Dr. Foster and Mr. Young as a part of the faculty.  “Kelly and Wayne are regarded as key leaders in K-12 education in Kentucky,” she said.  “Our students will be greatly enriched by learning from their expertise.”

 

First cohort of new EALR principal program graduates

Cohort 1 pic
Cohort 1 of WKU’s Principal Certification Program

WKU’s Department of Educational Administration, Leadership, and Research is pleased to congratulate the first graduating cohort of its recently-revised principal certification program.  This week members of Cohort 1 completed the final core courses of the program.  Once they have successfully passed their licensure exams these principal candidates will be fully eligible to seek administrative positions in schools.

In recent years the Kentucky Educational Professionals Standards Board directed WKU, along with all other state-approved university programs, to make significant changes in its principal certification coursework.  As a result, EALR adopted a new cohort-based principal training model utilizing hybrid (online/face-to-face) learning and a heavy focus on practical field-based experiences, all with a major emphasis on the role of the principal as instructional leader.

Cohort 1 began core courses in Fall 2013, completing their program 18 months later.  Cohort 2 launched in Fall 2014, including 37 new principal candidates, and EALR anticipates approximately 18 incoming principal candidates in Cohort 3, which will begin Spring 2015.

Cohort 1 includes 15 outstanding principal candidates representing 9 school districts:

  • Andrea Diggs, Jefferson County Schools
  • Annette Fackler, Meade County Schools
  • Rachel Fairman, Simpson County Schools
  • John Gray, McLean County Schools
  • Ashley Hayes, Jefferson County Schools
  • Ashley Hendrick, Barren County Schools
  • Gena Jeffries, Hardin County Schools
  • Sandra Light, Bowling Green Independent Schools
  • Nicole Lyons, Warren County Schools
  • Joey Norman, Warren County Schools
  • Susan Pfefferman, Warren County Schools
  • Jon Porter, Allen County Schools
  • Dan Robbins, Hardin County Schools
  • Carlos Quarles, Warren County Schools
  • Shawn Quinn, Warren County Schools

EALR congratulates these aspiring school leaders for their outstanding efforts in completion of their Level I principal certification coursework.  They served as worthy pioneers for the new program format and set a high standard of excellent for future cohorts.  We look forward to hearing of their great successes as they move into the next phase of their careers.

To learn more about principal certification at WKU, click here.

EALR Welcomes Dr. Amy Shutt as Co-Instructor

Amy Shutt
Dr. Amy Shutt, Principal of Burns Elementary School

The WKU Department of Educational Administration, Leadership, & Research is happy to welcome Dr. Amy Shutt, principal of Burns Elementary School (Daviess County Public Schools) to the EALR family.  This semester Dr. Shutt is serving as co-instructor for EDAD 640 (Introduction to School Leadership) and EDAD 641 (Building School Culture & Community) for Cohort II of the WKU Principal Certification Program.

Dr. Shutt is herself an alumna of WKU’s EALR program and holds a PhD in Educational Leadership from the University of Louisville.  Her dissertation research focused on school culture and she has worked closely with Dr. Chris Wagner, EALR transitional retiree and national expert on improving school culture.

Amy continues her duties as principal at Burns Elementary, where she has served for 11 years, while teaching at WKU.  She said the experience so far has been “like coming home.”

“As I came through the principal certification classes at WKU myself, the faculty there created a foundation for my leadership in schools,” she said.  “I hope to bring my own professional experiences to our graduate students that will equip them to be successful school leaders and keep their focus on what is best for students every day.”

Dr. Shutt partners with EALR associate professor Dr. Gary Houchens in working with the 37 members of Cohort II of the principal program this semester.