IHE Master's of School Administration Performance Report

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1 IHE Master's of School Administration Performance Report Appalachian State University Overview of Master's of School Administration Program The MSA program is housed in the Department of Leadership and Educational Studies (LES) in the Reich College of Education (RCOE). The MSA and its precursor MA degree at Appalachian State University have a long history of preparing school leaders for North Carolina. Appalachian has prepared approximately 18 percent of all practicing principals and assistant principals in the state, a percentage that would increase if superintendents and other central office personnel were included. The MSA program is in compliance with the Specialty Area Guidelines, Standards, and Competencies as established for the program by the NCDPI. The program is offered both on campus and at off-campus locations and includes NC Principal Fellows in its population. The number of students fully admitted and enrolled in the MSA program for this report year is 106. Appalachian s MSA program prepares education professionals for careers in public school administration. The program continues to prepare school leaders with an orientation to a leadership of teaching and learning, while also focusing on the management and structural orientation so that the importance of schools having good management systems is not neglected. Site-based decision making and high stakes accountability have become central foci of school performance in the state and the need to elevate the functions of leadership, particularly instructional leadership, has never been higher for the program. Support for the State Board of Education s priorities (High Student Performance; Safe, Orderly and Caring Schools; Quality Teachers, Administrators, and Staff; Effective and Efficient Operations; and Strong Family, Community, and Business Support) continues to be reflected throughout the program. As the state continues to face a growing shortage of highly qualified candidates to fill the increasing demand for school leaders to lead in school environments of escalating complexities, the MSA program believes that the strength of NC public schools rests largely on the strengths of those chosen to lead these schools and is actively finding and developing candidates who meet requirements for licensure to assume leadership positions. The entire orientation of the program is directed to the development of leaders who can enhance the instructional programs in schools, which is also the primary focus of NC and ISLLC standards and is supportive of the SBE priorities. The MSA Advisory Board, comprised of superintendents and key stakeholders and the Student Advisory Board, comprised of both on and off campus students, provide ongoing guidance and feedback for the program. Appalachian State University - 1

2 Special Features of the Master's of School Administration Program The program consistently and continuously assesses the curriculum and its relevance to current effective school leadership. Recent revisions place an increased emphasis upon the principal as instructional leader and include work in classroom assessment, school law, and administrative leadership and school organizational issues. Ongoing meetings with faculty from each department that delivers a course for the program result in richer collaboration on course content and evaluations. The internship focuses on the principal s role in leading a school to instructional excellence. Full-time students complete a full-year, full-time internship in which they function essentially as assistant principals. Part-time students complete a three-semester internship. Internships are co-constructed and co-supervised by faculty and the chief administrator in the field-based setting. Students are now required to complete several problem-based learning projects that indicate the student s ability to carry out a variety of school-based research activities. The program continues its participation in SREB s University Leadership Development Network and continues to strengthen its alignment with the knowledge, skills, and dispositions outlined in ISLLC and NCDPI program standards/ competencies. In addition, faculty have integrated specific modules and case studies focusing on identifying, analyzing, and preparing action plans for schools that focus on diverse student populations. This year, for example, faculty have integrated more diversity-related problem-based learning projects and initiated contact with scholars who focus on diversity; included were speakers/consultants, Drs. Emily Blake and Herman Moore, and case study analyses involving cohort groups. Students complete a series of Special Program Activities (SPA) intended to complement the already established academic work embedded in courses and internships. While the SPA carry no specific academic credit, they aid students in conceptualizing the work of school administrators as a complex, politically and culturally embedded endeavor. It is the intention of the faculty that these activities enhance students overall performances as school leaders. Students complete at least one SPA that results in a reflective product to be placed in the student s portfolio from each of the following performance categories: Professional Meeting and Conferences; Curriculum and Instruction; Instructional Technology; Assessment and Evaluation; Community and Culture; and General Leadership. The student is required to build a portfolio of experiences that demonstrates development in performing each of the programmatic standards. The final portfolio is presented and defended in lieu of a comprehensive examination. The portfolios become an assessment tool for the faculty to determine how well the program meets current standards and its own performance expectations. The program has always provided leadership in the state for offcampus delivery of programs and continues to meet a rapidly growing need for entry-level school administrators by offering the program to cohorts in Burke, Wilkes, Catawba, and Forsyth counties. Faculty members deliver some courses through distance learning and as web-assisted courses. Service to Public Schools Faculty are actively involved in the region as well as the state and nation by providing service to public schools in either instructional functions and/or in consultative roles. Service by various members of the faculty include: conducting training for the board of directors of a NC charter school, chairing the Principal Advisory Committee for the school, and serving as a member of the board of directors of the charter school; coaching and mentoring practicing principals and Appalachian State University - 2

3 other administrators in the region and state; conducting professional development training for assistant principals, principals, and other school administrators through sponsoring organizations such as Center for Creative Leadership, UNC Center for School Leadership Development, NC Public School Forum, and the NCDPI; serving in official and unofficial advisory roles to several regional public school systems and the NWRESA that often require participation in shaping policy initiatives in areas such as school law, technology integration, arts integration, research and data analysis, and grant writing; actively recruiting participants into four new cohorts to enable school districts to have a viable cadre of high potential applicants to fill school leadership positions; and providing legal advice to public schools in the capacity of hearing review officer for special education cases and case manager under NCGS Faculty regularly present to and collaborate with public school leaders at various locations. Services provided to the local district assist with open two-way communication between the two. Faculty serve as mentors for beginning principals and assistant principals in various counties; work with superintendents of the ASU Public School Partnership to organize and implement cohorts of MSA students; and facilitate two school leadership teams in Guilford County. Faculty also serve as advisor to Watauga County School District s Technology Advisory Committee, sit as a member of Watauga County School District s Research Committee, and provide advice and consultation in the areas of evaluation and measurement. Another is a member of the Board of Directors, Grandfather Academy (Charter School) and another serves as a consultant to the Local Charter School Initiative. A faculty taught in PEP s Developing Future Leaders Program, a program designed to recruit talented individuals into the MSA program. MSA faculty, and faculty who teach on a regular basis in the program, provide in-service classroom volunteer work in local schools by coaching Odyssey of the Mind and assisting with the federally funded GEAR-UP grant that focuses on after-school hours and with a 5th Dimension program at Ashe County Middle School. Faculty also worked with schools to integrate technology into the classroom. They also conducted workshops for teachers and administrators; assisted regional school personnel with integrating technology into their classes and schools; assisted local school districts in revising, updating, and developing technology plans; wrote and submitted technology grant proposals; designed and implemented technology staff development; and served as evaluators for the federally funded IMPACT grants held by schools in Ashe and Avery counties. Support for Beginning Administrators The program hosts a variety of guest speakers throughout the academic year. Included this year were three highly successful LES seminars focusing on a variety of themes after gathering input and considering the needs of beginning and practicing school administrators. Delivered by faculty members and by school practitioners, the themes this year were curriculum integration of technology into an IMPACT grant school s program, district leadership for technology integration (presented by a superintendent recipient of the AASA technology award), an overview of public school finance, lessons for NC schools from the Denmark model, and implications of No Child Left Behind for public schools, especially in the area of diverse student populations. All seminars support formal and informal conversations between students and practitioners. This year, the program hosted its first day-long symposium on school leadership that supported several seminar sessions and hosted two superintendents, a statistician from the state department, and a recognized state leader in education as speakers. Additionally, the program has a web page to make information more readily available Appalachian State University - 3

4 ( to current students, recent graduates, and our public school colleagues. The LES department also has a web page ( featuring articles and information about seminars, symposia, and colloquia that are available to our college faculties, students, and local districts. Notice of the publication The Perspectives, featuring ASU-authored articles, appears on the website and is sent each month to persons, including graduates, currently in the database. The program area has added both program graduates and practicing administrators to the distribution list. The program area placed 49 students in public school internship settings in the fall, 54 in the spring, and 8 in the summer. Faculty provide support for K-12 administrators and teachers through the internship program in identifying specific problems and developing alternative plans or programs that also address their needs that go beyond the purview of the internship. Program faculty members also provide technical assistance and support to principals and assistant principals who request support. This year at least 8 visits for the purpose of problem solving issues of curriculum delivery, diversity related instruction, scheduling, school climate, faculty and community relations, and school change took place. Often, but not always, such assistance takes place in the schools where interns are placed. Faculty members teaching in the program area were involved during the report year with responding and rendering support to inquiries from practitioners relating to solving particular problems, addressing particular needs, and/or performing professional responsibilities more effectively. Additional support was given this year through seminars offered in various school district areas focusing on resume writing and interviewing skills where students are asked to assess a particular NC district and develop a school profile from information available to them. Support for Career Administrators Faculty have provided support for career administrators through involvement in activities such as developing a unit of budgeting and finance for principals at request of local superintendents and practicing principals, responding to school personnel regarding school law issues, consulting regularly with technology directors in several districts in the state. Faculty met with district leaders, including but not limited to, Davidson, Rockingham, Lincoln, Hoke, Caldwell, Alexander, Iredell-Statesville, Newton-Conover and Stokes to explore new initiatives for leadership development for their principals and assistant principals. One faculty member regularly instructs in various professional development programs sponsored by PEP, including their Leadership Program for Career Administrators. A workshop on Data-Driven Decision- Making was conducted for administrators from Hertford County. Three workshops on Building Capacity for School Improvement, Managing the Process of Change, and Program Evaluation were conducted for all administrators in Lincoln County. Leadership seminars dealing with the book GOOD TO GREAT were offered to Hoke, Pender, and Pitt Counties and Mt. Airy City. Program faculty have also conducted workshops for superintendents (Rockingham, Caldwell, Stokes) who want current employees to become future administrators and whose desire is to build a cadre of highly qualified administrators. The program hosts speakers throughout the academic year who present on relevant topics for career administrators. An example of such efforts was a presentation sponsored by the program entitled Emerging Implications of AYP Determinations conducted by a senior researcher in the NCDPI. The program also had additional presentations by three NC district superintendents, as well as the leadership team of a regional elementary school. The program sends invitations for such events to the RCOE students and faculty, local and regional schools, central offices, and other interested Appalachian State University - 4

5 parties. Students and faculty extended personal invitations to persons they believed would find the topics applicable to their needs. More than 100 practitioners were in attendance at each and at least thirteen school districts represented. The program's participation in the SREB initiative also provides additional opportunities to support career administrators. The MSA Advisory Council, comprised of program area faculty, practicing and retired superintendents and central office personnel, practicing principals and assistant principals, and community representatives is working to determine how to better use the SREB project to provide greater support to career administrators in their own professional development, while at the same time involving career school administrators with the program s preparation of school leaders. The web pages cited above for beginning administrators are also ways of supporting career administrators. Faculty participate in the NC Professors of Educational Administration, a Division of the NCASA, whose purpose is to bring academics and practitioners into closer conversations about what is important in school leadership. This establishes a more concrete avenue for working with career administrators and providing greater support to larger numbers. Appalachian State University - 5

6 II. CHARACTERISTICS OF STUDENTS A. Headcount of students formally admitted to and enrolled in programs leading to licensure. Full Time Male Female Graduate American Indian/Alaskan Native 0 American Indian/Alaskan Native 0 Asian/Pacific Islander 0 Asian/Pacific Islander 0 Black, Not Hispanic Origin 2 Black, Not Hispanic Origin 4 Hispanic 0 Hispanic 1 White, Not Hispanic Origin 14 White, Not Hispanic Origin 21 Other 0 Other 0 Total 16 Total 26 Part Time Male Female Graduate American Indian/Alaskan Native 0 American Indian/Alaskan Native 0 Asian/Pacific Islander 0 Asian/Pacific Islander 0 Black, Not Hispanic Origin 0 Black, Not Hispanic Origin 0 Hispanic 0 Hispanic 0 White, Not Hispanic Origin 29 White, Not Hispanic Origin 35 Other 0 Other 0 Total 29 Total 35 B. Quality of students admitted to programs during report year. Masters MEAN GPA 3 MEAN MAT 43 MEAN GRE 1,309 MEAN NUMBER OF YEARS TEACHING EXPERIENCE NUMBER EMPLOYED IN NC SCHOOLS NA NA Appalachian State University - 6

7 C. Program Completers (reported by IHE). N= #Completing NC=# Licensed in NC School Support Personnel 8 2 Total 8 2 N NC D. Scores of school administrators on the SLLA. Specialty Area/Professional Knowledge School Administrator Licensure Pass Rate Number Taking Test Percent Passing School Leadership * To protect confidentiality of student records, pass rates based on fewer than four test takers were not printed. E. Satisfaction of program completers/employers with the program in general and with specific aspects of the program, as rated on a 1 (lowest) to 4 (highest) scale. Satisfaction with... Program Completers Employer Satisfaction with quality of MSA graduate program Satisfaction with technology preparation to support the instructional program Satisfaction with preparation in instructional leadership Satisfaction with preparation to assist teachers in meeting the needs of diverse learners Number of Surveys Received 6 6 Number of Surveys Mailed Appalachian State University - 7

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