Educational Leadership

Program Overview

The program in Educational Leadership at Rider University prepares candidates for leadership positions at different administrative levels in elementary and secondary schools, colleges and related educational organizations. All programs are accredited by NCATE/CAEP. The program has been designed to be developmental and experiential in nature, fostering ethical behavior and the improvement of self and one’s profession. Candidates are prepared for leadership opportunities in a collegial and collaborative academic environment that promotes inquiry and discovery, personal growth and initiative, and professional development. The Option Sequences build upon and reference the Professional Standards for School Leaders 2015, and the Standards of the National Policy Board for Educational Administration, utilized by the Educational Leadership Constituent Council 2011 (ELCC).

Preparing Principals for New Emerging Needs

Rider’s Educational Leadership program recognizes that it is principals who are best positioned to lead the effort in their schools to ensure that teaching and learning are as excellent as possible. Principals who have a school-wide focus on better teaching and learning, who know how to create a vision and share authority, and who are prepared to be accountable for achieving the school’s educational goals, are vital to ensuring the quality of our children’s education. The professionals in the College of Education and Human Services work with the program's participants to develop and evaluate curricula, use data to diagnose student needs, coach teachers, plan professional development in their schools, and establish school-wide norms that support high quality teaching and learning.

Curriculum Overview 

Leading to a Master of Arts in Educational Leadership, the Principal Leadership program’s cohort-based, executive-style format brings educational peers together to study, network and learn as a unit throughout the program. Participants engage in online classes during the school year and attend two residencies on Rider’s Lawrenceville campus each summer. The program’s flexible, blended learning format recognizes the demands of the teaching profession while maintaining the rigors of a quality leadership training program. Participants pursue their graduate studies without interrupting their professional and personal responsibilities. Candidates complete their graduate studies in two years, and are eligible to apply for both the principal and supervisor certificates.

Educational Leadership Highlights

The 36-credit program of study consists of 12 courses that focus on three areas of leadership:

  • personal leadership
  • instructional leadership
  • school culture leadership

An accomplished and distinguished faculty whose members bring deep practical and theoretical knowledge to their disciplines lead the program. There is close integration of coursework and fieldwork, using techniques such as case studies, problem-based learning and journaling to encourage continuous reflection about the connections between theory and practice. The curriculum heavily emphasizes teaching and learning, school redesign and collaborative decision-making. Relevant field-based experiences (Leadership Growth Projects) are also integrated throughout the program of study, beginning with the very first course.

Planned Internship Experiences

This year-long aspect of the program emphasizes both the management and instructional facets of leadership for increased student performance. Coordinated by the program director at Rider and a school-based mentor, participants develop the skills needed to strategically transform public schools that prepare students for college and career success.

Degree Offered

  • M.A. in Educational Leadership

Contact

Judith Stegmaier-Nappi, Ed.D
Program Director
Memorial Room 218C
609-895-5589
jstegmaiern@rider.edu

Program Website: Educational Leadership
Associated Department: Department of Graduate Education, Leadership, and Counseling

Related Programs

Educational Leadership Program Requirements

(36 credits)

Group I—Leadership
EDAD 501Educational Leadership and Organizational Theory3
EDAD 507Education and the Law3
EDAD 514School Finance and Fiscal Management3
EDAD 521Using Research Strategies and Analysis of Data to Make Decisions in Schools3
EDAD 591Seminar/Practicum in Education Leadership 13
EDAD 592Seminar/Practicum in Educational Leadership 23
Group II—Supervision
EDAD 505Supervisor/Teacher Leadership for Improved Instruction and Student Learning3
EDAD 511Group Process in Supervision for Creative Change and Collaboration in Schools3
Group III—Curriculum and Instruction
CURR 531Strategies for Curriculum Development, Design, Innovation and Change3
CURR 538Assessment of Curriculum and Instruction to Improve the Performance of Teachers and Diverse Learners3
CURR 548Curriculum and Instruction for Diverse Learners3
Group IV—Foundations
EDUC 515Issues in American Schools and Society3
Total Credits36

 Notes:

  1. Meet general master’s degree requirements.
  2. Candidates will demonstrate course understandings through actual classroom and school applications that are referenced to state adopted core curriculum content standards and professional development standards, the Standards for School Leaders of the Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium, and the candidate proficiencies developed by the Educational Leadership Constituent Council.
  3. Reference the ISLLC and ELCC Standards throughout the program.
  4. Develop and refine the personal leadership platform statement throughout the program.
  5. Complete a 9–12 hour standards and outcome-based growth project in each class and a 300 hour “capstone internship” in the Seminar/Practicum courses in Educational Leadership (EDAD 591/EDAD 592). Teacher Leadership candidates need only complete a 150 hour “capstone internship” in the Seminar/Practicum course EDAD 510.
  6. Submit an electronic Leadership Growth Project Portfolio.
  7. Complete a comprehensive standards-based self-assessment.
  8. Complete a “Capstone School Improvement/Change Project.”

Courses and Descriptions

CURR 531 Strategies for Curriculum Development, Design, Innovation and Change 3 Credits

This course will address the importance of philosophy, historical precedents, learning theory, developmental theory, emerging social trends and issues, and recent trends in content knowledge as bases for designing and developing the K-12 curriculum. The articulation of curriculum aims and goals, the development and selection of learning experiences, the organization of learning experiences, and plans for evaluating curriculum outcomes are used as steps for developing the curriculum. Students investigate the roles teachers, teacher leaders, supervisors and administrators play in implementing curriculum designs in school settings. Students are expected to demonstrate course understandings through actual school applications and field experiences that are referenced to core curriculum content standards, professional development standards and national school leadership standards.

CURR 538 Assessment of Curriculum and Instruction to Improve the Performance of Teachers and Diverse Learners 3 Credits

This course establishes the implemented curriculum by establishing the relationship between curriculum goals and the instructional strategies needed to realize those purposes. Emphasis will be placed on analyzing and using various instructional models to meet the learning expectations embodied in curriculum goals and core curriculum content standards from pre-school to high school. Students will examine instructional strategies from the perspectives of assessing research findings on effective practices, realizing curriculum standards, adapting the classroom to diverse learner needs, establishing appropriate staff development agendas, and providing forms of supervisory support to optimize learning and achievement. Students will demonstrate course understandings through actual classroom and school applications that are referenced to state adopted core curriculum content standards and professional development standards, the Standards for School Leaders of the Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium, and the candidate proficiencies developed by the Educational Leadership Constituent Council.

Prerequisite(s): CURR 531.

CURR 548 Curriculum and Instruction for Diverse Learners 3 Credits

This course will examine the curricular and instructional issues that educational leaders must address in accommodating the school program to the needs and abilities of diverse learners. A historical perspective will be developed with an emphasis on how schools have responded to meet the needs of the exceptional child. Legal issues and programmatic trends will be examined and assessed since the inception of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Multicultural issues will be introduced within the context of school and society. The responsibility of the educational leader in fostering a multicultural perspective pertaining to curriculum and instruction, governance, bias and prejudice and school climate and culture will be emphasized. Students will identify and develop curricular possibilities and solutions in school settings to accommodate learners’ diverse needs. Students will demonstrate course understandings through actual classroom and school applications that are referenced to state adopted core curriculum content standards and professional development standards, the Standards for School Leaders of the Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium, and the candidate proficiencies developed by the Educational Leadership Constituent Council.

Prerequisite(s): CURR 531 and CURR 538.

EDAD 501 Educational Leadership and Organizational Theory 3 Credits

This introductory course will provide leadership candidates with a framework for understanding the complexity of organizational behavior in an educational setting. Theories and issues in the technical core of teaching and learning, educational governance, leadership, communication patterns, decision-making, school culture, organizational problem solving and school change will be presented, examined and applied through a series of case studies and student initiated inquiry/research projects and presentations. Students will demonstrate course understandings through actual classroom and school applications that are referenced to state adopted core curriculum content standards and professional development standards, the Standards for School Leaders of the Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium, and the candidate proficiencies developed by the Educational Leadership Constituent Council.

EDAD 505 Supervisor/Teacher Leadership for Improved Instruction and Student Learning 3 Credits

This course will explore the supervisory and evaluation practices in K-12 settings by examining and identifying the relationships among collegiality and collaboration, educational leadership, and the improvement of instruction. This course will emphasize the development of practical observation skills and approaches and the development of appropriate professional growth plans to enhance staff performance and bring about increased student learning. Multi-track evaluation programs will be examined as well as an analysis of current observation and supervisory approaches used in school districts. Participants in the course will develop a personal supervisory platform. This course will emphasize the development of collaborative and clinical supervision approaches as well as communication skills and interpersonal qualities of the effective supervisor. Students will demonstrate course understandings through actual classroom and school applications that are referenced to state adopted core curriculum content standards and professional development standards, the Standards for School Leaders of the Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium, and the candidate proficiencies developed by the Educational Leadership Constituent Council.

EDAD 507 Education and the Law 3 Credits

This course will address legal issues and requirements confronting educational leaders in school settings. Students will be introduced to varied legal requirements that pertain to educational settings. Legal concepts and issues, and policies and procedures relating to students, parents, teachers and administrators, the board of education, and the community will be introduced and examined. Some of the topics referenced will include: regulations and the key concepts in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act; No Child Left Behind legislation; church-state issues; free-speech rights of students, teachers and extracurricular groups; curriculum development and implementation; rules governing student and staff conduct; creating and maintaining a safe school environment; child abuse; search and seizure procedures; affirmative action requirements; and, due process procedures. Students will demonstrate course understandings through actual classroom and school applications that are referenced to state adopted core curriculum content standards and professional development standards, the Standards for School Leaders of the Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium, and the candidate proficiencies developed by the Educational Leadership Constituent Council.

EDAD 511 Group Process in Supervision for Creative Change and Collaboration in Schools 3 Credits

This course will apply theory and research to the supervisory function of developing group capacity in educational settings. Students will identify group process "best practices" to be modeled by educational leaders. Candidates will develop and refine techniques, strategies, and personal skills facilitating the development of helping and caring relationships with faculty and staff, while promoting interactive communication with stakeholders concerned with improving teaching and learning. Students will demonstrate effective supervisory behaviors in class sessions and simulations that represent daily challenges and opportunities present in school settings. Students will demonstrate course understandings through actual classroom and school applications that are referenced to state adopted core curriculum content standards and professional development standards, the Standards for School Leaders of the Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium, and the candidate proficiencies developed by the Educational Leadership Constituent Council.

Prerequisite(s): EDAD 505.

EDAD 514 School Finance and Fiscal Management 3 Credits

This course will examine the principles and court decisions involved in shaping the legal framework of school finance. Students will examine the historical spending patterns of a school district budget and develop new budget proposals using "generally accepted accounting procedures" and the appropriate state budgeting codes. Students will study school budgeting procedures as a tool for program and school improvement. The class will examine the financial implications associated with site-based management models and whole school reform. Legislation pertaining to the financing of short and long term debt will be examined. Students will use technology to gather data; identify non-tax based resources; create presentations for specific audiences; and, work with models of data driven indicators to examine issues of equity, efficiencies and resource deployment. Students will demonstrate course understandings through actual classroom and school applications that are referenced to state adopted core curriculum content standards and professional development standards, the Standards for School Leaders of the Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium, and the candidate proficiencies developed by the Educational Leadership Constituent Council.

Prerequisite(s): EDAD 501.

EDAD 521 Using Research Strategies and Analysis of Data to Make Decisions in Schools 3 Credits

This course will develop the skills needed by educational leaders at all levels to interpret, use, and apply statistical concepts and research methodologies in critical administrative and supervisory functions. Statistical methodology will be used to further understanding of different research strategies. Students will interpret data and make informed decisions regarding the frameworks, implementation, and evaluation of instructional programs and practices designed to improve teaching and learning in school, district, and national settings. Course activities and field work will include: scenario and case study analyses; the use of critical friends’ discussion groups; the application and use of different technologies and software programs; and, the identification of appropriate problem solving and resolution strategies. Students will demonstrate course understandings through actual classroom and school applications that are referenced to state adopted core curriculum content standards and professional development standards, the Standards for School Leaders of the Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium, and the candidate proficiencies developed by the Educational Leadership Constituent Council.

Prerequisite(s): EDAD 501 and EDAD 514.

EDAD 591 Seminar/Practicum in Education Leadership 3 Credits

This is the first of two "capstone" internship courses for candidates in the leadership program in educational administration. The course meets New Jersey Department of Education requirements for an extended administrative internship in the schools. This course is taken in the fall semester and is followed in the spring semester with EDAD 592. After analysis of leadership strengths, based on a self-assessment completed by the candidate, specific internship experiences will be cooperatively planned by the candidate, site-based mentor, and instructor. The capstone internship will build on strengths, develop growth experiences, be substantial and sustained, and be ethically informed. Students will cooperatively evaluate and problem-solve internship experiences, assess leadership performance from best-practice perspectives, finalize the development of a leadership platform statement, review and discuss topics and scenarios derived from readings and other resources, engage in simulations and case analyses, and interact with students in other graduate programs. Presentations by practicing administrators and other school personnel will provide understanding of the patterns of interaction that occur among different leadership positions in educational institutions. Students will demonstrate course understandings through actual classroom and school applications that are referenced to state adopted core curriculum content standards and professional development standards, the Standards for School Leaders of the Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium, and the candidate proficiencies developed by the Educational Leadership Constituent Council. Enrollment by permission of instructor.

EDAD 592 Seminar/Practicum in Educational Leadership 3 Credits

This is the second of the "capstone" internship course sequence that coincides with the school-year calendar and is taken during the spring semester. In combination with EDAD 591, the course meets New Jersey Department of Education requirements for an extended administrative internship in the schools. Students will continue pursuing field-based internship projects initiated in EDAD 591 in collaboration with a site mentor and the course instructor. Students will demonstrate course understandings through actual classroom and school applications that are referenced to state adopted core curriculum content standards and professional development standards, the Standards for School Leaders of the Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium, and the candidate proficiencies developed by the Educational Leadership Constituent Council. Enrollment by permission of instructor.

Prerequisite(s): EDAD 591.

EDUC 515 Issues in American Schools and Society 3 Credits

This course is designed to examine contemporary educational issues impacting on schools and to re-examine the purposes of schooling in a democratic society. Students will explore current and emerging policy issues and the demands for reform in schools and districts. Emphasis will be placed on identifying and developing politically feasible responses to policy issues and procedural problems facing educational leaders today. The role of the leader in promoting the development of a collaborative institutional culture and climate and the identification of best-practice strategies to involve community stakeholders in the development of policies and programs will be emphasized. Effective communication models for use within the school, district and greater community and the use of different media and technology formats will be examined and evaluated. Students will demonstrate course understandings through actual classroom and school applications that are referenced to state adopted core curriculum content standards and professional development standards, the Standards for School Leaders of the Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium, and the candidate proficiencies developed by the Educational Leadership Constituent Council.