Standard 2: Program Coordination

Each sponsor of an administrative preparation program establishes one or more partnerships that contribute substantively to the quality and effectiveness of the design and implementation of each candidate’s preparation. Partnerships address significant aspects of professional preparation. An agreement between the partners is cooperatively established with each partner sharing the responsibility for the implementation and success of the program.

For internship programs:

Cooperating partners recognize the critical importance of administrator preparation by substantively supporting the costs of cooperation through contributions of sufficient human and fiscal resources.

Program Planning Prompts

The sponsor of a professional leadership preparation program establishes one or more intensive partnerships with representatives of schools where candidates engage in program-based fieldwork.

The Educational Leadership and Administration Program understands that partnerships are vital to preparing future school leaders in a relevant and credible manner. The program now has partnership cohorts with the following school districts: Fresno Unified School District, Clovis Unified School District, and the Sanger Unified School District. Two new partnerships are currently developing with Visalia Unified School District and Central Unified School District. With each partner district, all courses are taught in the school district and, to the extent possible, district personnel are involved in the planning and delivery of course and fieldwork. For example, in Fresno and Clovis Unified School Districts, a total of seven district office and school site administrators completed all application procedures to become part-time faculty members providing courses and fieldwork supervision in these districts. All but two have doctoral degrees in Educational Leadership or a related field. In Sanger and in Visalia, new partnerships this year, one district office administrator from each district, and each with a doctorate in educational leadership, has already taught or co-taught one course. Generally, regular faculty members of the Educational Leadership and Administration Program teach half or more of the courses and district personnel teach the rest of the coursework in co-teaching situations or alone and/or provide fieldwork supervision.

As the largest preparation program in the Central Valley, the Educational Leadership and Administration Program works actively with a large number of local school districts and county offices of education. The program has developed fieldwork/internship partnerships with the following districts over the past several years. The next page contains a partial list.

 

Districts with fieldwork/internship partnerships in recent years

 

Alview-Dairyland Union

Kerman Unified

Bass Lake Joint Union Elementary

Kings Canyon Unified

Burton Elementary

Kings County Office of Education

Caruthers Unified

Laton Unified

Central Unified

Madera Unified

Chawanakee Unified

Palo Verde Elementary

Chowchilla School District

Strathmore Elementary

Chowchilla Union High School

Riverdale Unified

Clovis Unified

Sanger Unified

Cutler-Orosi Unified

Sierra Unified

Dinuba Unified

Tulare City Elementary

Earlimart

Tulare High

Exeter Elementary

Tulare County Office of Education

Fowler Unified

Visalia Unified

Fresno Unified

Washington Union High

Fresno County Office of Education

Woodlake Elementary

Golden Valley Unified

Woodlake High

Hanford Elementary

Yosemite Joint Union

Lindsay Unified

 

Partners, such as Advisory Committees, district partners in fieldwork agreements and stakeholder groups, establish working relationships, coordinate joint efforts, and rely on each other for contributions to program quality. In discussing program issues, partners value the multiple perspectives of the respective members and draw openly on members’ knowledge, professional expertise and practical skillsAs mentioned in the previous responses, the Educational Leadership and Administration Program has many active partnerships with local school districts.

The work of faculty in the Central Valley Educational Leadership Institute (CVELI) provides faculty multiple opportunities for direct contact with valley school and district leaders. Additionally, other part-time faculty members are recruited from the ranks of local principals and district office personnel that have solid reputations of providing quality educational offerings. Besides these many opportunities for interaction, the Educational Leadership and Administration Program has an active Superintendents’ Advisory Committee consisting of over 25 superintendents from throughout the valley which meet formally once a semester to review program updates and provide input from the perspective of the needs of the local school districts.

Faculty members are also involved in other local and statewide organizations that provide important guidance for our work. One of the faculty members is the statewide coordinator for the new administrator mentoring program for the California Association of Latino Superintendents and Administrators (CALSA), another is the faculty advisor for the local student chapter of the California Association of School Administrators (ACSA) which works closely with two other local universities to provide educational conferences to candidates in the three preparation programs. Another faculty member is the president of the California Association of Professors of Education Administration (CAPEA) which is currently involved in analyzing and supporting the development and refinement of administrator preparation programs in higher education throughout the state. Two members of the faculty are members of the President’s Commission on Teacher Education, a local group of approximately 35-40 school administrators and university administration and faculty from local universities involved in teacher and leadership preparation headed by the president of California State University, Fresno.

Partners cooperate in developing program policies and reviewing program practices pertaining to the recruitment, selection and advisement of candidates; development of curriculum; delivery of instruction; selection of field sites; design of field experiences; selection and preparation of field experience supervisors; and assessment and verification of administrator competence.

As mentioned previously, local district superintendents have been actively involved with the work of the Educational Leadership and Administration Program. Besides the feedback received at meetings, periodically, the superintendents are asked to respond to survey questions seeking input on strengths and weaknesses of the current preparation program. Data from the responses are reported in the bienniel report and our program assessment results. The program faculty meet monthly and utilize such feedback from this and other assessments to adjust and enhance course content, delivery, and materials presented in courses.

Additionally, faculty from the Educational Leadership and Administration Program has met on several occasions with school district representatives to discuss design and delivery of the program. Some of these sessions took place when the Chancellor’s Fellowship program was under development. The Chancellor’s Fellowship, with sponsorship from the CSU Chancellor’s Office, includes several components that have been incorporated into the regular program:

Course sequence – The courses are arranged in a sequence to prepare instructional leaders by providing: the basic foundations of leadership; the skills to analyze data; knowledge about curriculum design and assessment; practical skills for instructional supervision; and an introduction to management issues including law, finance, and personnel.

Cohort model – candidates take all courses in the predetermined sequence together as a group, which leads to greater interaction and support among the group members.

Tighter linkage of coursework with fieldwork – coursework is increasingly aligned with the needs of educational leaders in the field and fieldwork linked to coursework provides the opportunity for candidates to observe and practice that which they have learned in courses.

Fieldwork and other seminars – a series of seminars on timely topics, such as closing the achievement gap, key legal issues for new administrators, strategies for EL learners, and related topics are dealt with in both fieldwork seminars and other seminars during the semester.

The use of data to inform instruction – the basics of data analysis are taught in the very first course, then expanded upon in later courses, with the objective of leaders knowing how to use data to improve instruction.

Problem solving – The case study method is used in some courses as well as the development of scenarios. Candidates are actively involved in synthesizing and using what they learn and applying to situations in their own and other schools.

In addition to meetings with the Superintendents’ Advisory Committee each semester to report on progress of the program and to seek input from the superintendents, the Educational Leadership and Administration Program faculty meets regularly with several school superintendents and principals who are actively involved in program activities. For example, four current local superintendents, three assistant superintendents, and three principals have taught courses in the program over the past two years. Other leaders often serve as guest presenters for specialized topics. The relationships formed with these leaders and their input on an ongoing basis has informed the program design and implementation.

In terms of a commitment by districts to provide high quality supervision of candidates, we have long used the analogy of the three-legged stool that was so common in this rich dairy region. We make sure that all of our partners understand that each leg of the stool must share equal responsibility for the overall load: The university supervisor, the district mentor/school site supervisor, and the student (candidate) all have important roles and duties that they must complete to the highest of expectations in order for the candidate to be prepared for the tasks ahead. These roles, without the analogy, are included in our partnership agreement.

Finally, the support of the president of California State University, Fresno, cannot be understated. Dr. John Welty has attended some of our meetings with district superintendents, especially those held under the auspices of the Central Valley Educational Leadership Institute (CVELI). Additionally, President Welty’s support has been instrumental in obtaining ongoing support from the Chancellor of the California State University system, Dr. Charles Reed, for the Chancellor’s Fellowship, the flagship cohort of our program.

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