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Education – Doctorate

Course Descriptions:

COM 6610 | Applied Strategic Communication
Practices (3)
This course focuses on creating an effective communications
plan that develops a powerful brand and defines the
essential vision and message of the organization. Available
communications methodologies will be explored and
evaluated along with a special emphasis on the use of
technology in strategic communications and messaging.
Candidates will have the opportunity to explore strategic
communication from the role of the superintendent as chief
communicator. Spring, Year 2
EDU 7171 | Leadership Theory: Human Dynamics,
Ethics, and Organizational Effectiveness (3)
This course focuses on creating an understanding of how
to develop and support the organizational change process.
Candidates will study formal and informal leadership skills
through discussions of the dynamics of intrinsic and extrinsic
motivation. Strategies for influencing personnel and creating
a personal plan for growth and self-development that includes
cultivating a support network for growth as a school leader
will also be covered. Fall, Year 1
EDU 7172 | Leading in an Age of Accountability:
Roles, Responsibilities & Functions (3)
This course explores the scope of the superintendency and
other educational leaders. An examination of the roles and
responsibilities of the district leaders as defined by law,
policy and public expectations will be emphasized. Topics
including school board/superintendent relations, building an
administrative team, and developing a shared vision that
is supported by educational staff and stakeholders will be
addressed. Fall, Year 1. Three day shadowing of the district
superintendent or educational designee required.
EDU 7173 | Meeting the Challenge: Strategic
Planning for 21st Century Schools (3)
This course will begin with an examination of the Guiding
Mission for N.C. Public Schools adopted by the N.C. State
Board of Education in 2006. Specifically, the impact of this
mission, to Prepare Future-Ready and Globally Competitive
Citizens Who are Prepared for Life in the 21st Century will
provide the foundation for discussions involving district
strategic planning. An examination of the processes and
mechanics of creating and implementing a strategic plan
will be highlighted. Various planning models that facilitate
empowerment of local school and community leaders in
the planning and implementation processes will be shared.
Attention on developing a shared vision, team-building
strategies, aligning district and school-based plans as they
relate to the broader N.C. Mission will be emphasized.
Spring, Year 1
EDU 7174 | Exemplary Teaching and Learning
Practices for Extraordinary Schools (3)
This course focuses on the fundamentals of pedagogy and
how the superintendent and other district leaders can serve
as instructional change agents in the teaching and learning
process. Candidates will explore research-based best
practices related to student learning and identify effective
K-12 teaching practices. Current educational initiatives will be
discussed such as the Core Essentials Standards, STEM, Race
to the Top, and Virtual Schools. The impact of policy
on class organization, grouping, class size and instructional
methodologies will also be emphasized. Spring, Year 1
EDU 7175 | Using Data to Inform Learning, Teaching,
and Leadership (3)
This course focuses on improving instruction through
the proper use of formative and summative evaluations
and monitoring processes to enhance effective program
implementation. Specific focus on the use of Professional
Learning Communities (PLC’s) as the guiding framework for
collaboration will be presented. Candidates will be introduced
to the skills that district leaders must possess in order to
successfully promote shared decision-making to address
students’ needs and improve learning. Summer, Year 1
EDU 7176 | The Nature of Organizational Cultures
and Shared Leadership (3)
This course is designed to assist candidates in their
understanding of how complex organizations work. An
exploration of formal and informal organizational dynamics
including how to develop a collaborative culture for creating
shared leadership and decision making to solve educational
challenges will be emphasized. Summer, Year 1
EDU 7271 | Political Systems: Effects on Governance
and Operations (3)
This course will focus on the variety of political forces that are
exerted in a public school district’s decision-making process
and gaining a broader understanding of the school district as a
political system. Cases will be used to explore how the school
district functions by using political systems analysis. Attention
will be given to the uniqueness of the superintendent/board
relationship and the superintendent’s role as chief executive
officer in a complex political system. Fall, Year 2
EDU 7272 | Community and Public Relations (3)
This course will focus on how to locate key community
constituencies and leaders. Candidates will learn the steps
in developing a plan for communication that nurtures strong
relationships with community constituents and their leaders.
Students will be exposed to successful cases of improved
public and community relations. They will learn how to
assess community support along with both defining/refining
the district’s mission and message. This will also include
effectively gauging and dealing with opposition to district
initiatives. Fall, Year 2

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