Advanced candidates in the Ed.D. program will have an opportunity to practice many of the theoretical skills in leadership, communication, and research applications during the sequenced six-credit hour EDU 7300/7400: Practices in Executive Leadership which occurs during Year 3. This experience will provide applications of the practices of educational leadership and allow candidates to demonstrate their ability to work with district professionals through a comprehensive school- improvement planning process. This effort will be grounded in strong research and solve an important district problem of practice or a problem in a related educational setting. The final product will be a Strategic Leadership Plan, which will serve as the framework for the candidate’s Dissertation in Practice proposal. The Strategic Leadership Plan is designed to bring together the candidate’s knowledge and skills in order to apply it to a practical educational problem in a work setting. It is intended to serve as a demonstration that the candidate is capable and prepared to provide extraordinary leadership and serves as evidence of that preparation. The Strategic Leadership Plan must be a practical application of the candidate’s: (1) strategic planning skills, (2) use of data to impact teaching and learning, (3) ability to build and use relationships toward the same end, and (4) and ability to successfully apply theory to practice.
Directions to Candidate and Requirements
During EDU 7300/7400 the candidate will “work with others” to lead a series of tasks which are designed to solve an important district problem of practice. Through this work he/she will develop a Strategic Leadership Plan (Dissertation In Practice Proposal) to present to his university doctoral committee. The district leader who has been selected to serve as a member of the doctoral committee will mentor the candidate during this process and provide supervision during the internship experience.
The Strategic Leadership Plan should include the following components:
- A definition of the problem being addressed (Candidate must provide data from the analyses he/she completed throughout the program of study as a rationale for the focus/topic selected). The topic chosen must focus on one of the four key strands in Strategic Leadership, Data and Learning; Building Strong Relationships; and Theory into Practice.
- A review of relevant professional literature and research pertaining to the problem selected by the candidate (Candidate’s Briefing Paper which was developed in EDU 7374: Applications of Research for Solving Problems of Practice).
- An implementation plan for addressing the problem that includes the following:
- a needs assessment that organizes data needed in the strategic planning process and provides clear evidence that the selected problem of practice is one of significance and high-leverage. It’s impact on students, schools and the district must be addressed as it relates to problem
- an organizational chart of strategic planning team members that depicts their relationship to others in the district. Describe the rationale for selection, including why these individuals are a good fit to address the problem of practice
- a timeline for implementing the key components of the plan
- inclusion/consent of key personnel and definition of roles
- budget considerations
- evaluation design
- short-term goals and objectives for plan implementation
- a clear connection for how the identified problem of practice will ultimately impact student learning
- a plan for monitoring implementation
- key processes for recording and utilizing reflections/learning
- anticipated use of technology
- a final reflection of the Strategic Leadership Plan which includes the candidate’s thoughts about its feasibility and potential to be implemented, the strengths of the plan, and any areas that cause Additionally, the reflection should address how the strategic planning process and resulting plan will maintain a collaborative district culture focused on improved learning outcomes for all students.
- evidence of the candidate’s leadership and ability to “work with others” The final summative evaluation by the district leader serving on the doctoral committee who evaluated the candidate’s ability to “work with others” during the strategic planning
- candidates will also be asked to provide minutes of meetings with stakeholders
The “district leader” who has been selected to serve as a member of the doctoral committee will mentor the candidate during this process and will provide the final summative evaluation of the candidate’s ability to “work with others” in the field as he/she collaborated to create the final Strategic Leadership Plan (see below). The score obtained on this instrument will become part of the Strategic Plan Rubric and Gateway Assessment #4a: Approval of Dissertation in Practice Proposal).