Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies
Educational Leadership and Policy Studies Graduate Programs
The Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies offers a broad range of graduate professional programs in educational leadership and policy.
Graduate programs in educational leadership and policy studies promote the professional and intellectual development of practitioners, teachers, and scholars at all levels of education.
The department offers Master of Science in Education degrees in educational administration (PK-12), education and social policy, and higher education. The department also offers Ed.D. and Ph.D. degrees in educational leadership and policy studies with concentrations in educational administration, higher education, and policy studies (Ph.D. only).
Note: Prospective and current students can obtain the current degree requirements, program information and application deadlines from the department.
This course is designed to increase the students' awareness of learning in the classroom and to familiarize them with the role of the school and the community. Institutions and resources that support children and families will be addressed through large and small group sessions and field experiences. Emphasis is given to the diverse nature of schools, communities, and their populations. In addition, the course will acclimate students with the School of Education programs, admissions procedures, and curriculum offerings. Successful completion of this course does not guarantee eventual admission of the School of Education's Teacher Education Program. Prerequisite: Successful completion of C&T 100.
This course provides students with an introduction to key ideas and socio- historical forces that have shaped the contemporary educational system in the United States, drawing upon the disciplines of the historical, philosophical, and social foundations of education. The development of school and community relations will be a point of emphasis.
A historical approach to the major social and philosophical foundations of American education, with an emphasis on the relation of educational theory to classroom practice.
Only one enrollment permitted each semester. A maximum of four hours will apply toward the bachelor's degree. Prerequisite: Recommendation of advisor and consent of instructor.
The course provides the prospective teacher with an overview of the legal foundations of the American educational system including the ways schools and school districts are organized and run; the role of various levels of government and various governmental and educational officials in controlling education; the rights of students and teachers; the terms, conditions, and responsibilities of teacher employment. Prerequisite: Admission to the Teacher Education Program.
This course examines practices and policies occurring in k-12 and postsecondary educational institutions through the lenses provided by ethics. During the semester, we will read, discuss, and write about ethics in education from both theoretical and practical perspectives. Prerequisite: Junior standing or higher. The course is suitable for advanced undergraduate and master's degree seeking students.
A special course of study to meet current needs of education students, primarily for undergraduates.
A study of the changing role and character of childhood and youth as stages of life in the context of American urban and social history, with particular attention to education and human development. Prerequisite: Junior standing or higher.
This course will provide an introduction to the field of human performance technology (HPT) and how it is applied to productivity and efficiency problems in the workplace. Performance improvement methods include data gathering, analysis, change management, implementation, measurement and the integration of technology. The goal of this course is to provide students with a survey of the research literature and definitions of terminology central to the field of performance improvement. Special emphasis is on current and emerging technology and how it can be applied to human performance improvement in education and the workplace.
An introduction to the role, responsibilities, expectations and major duties of elementary, middle, and high school building administrators. Students are presented typical problems faced by school administrators through simulations and role playing and are expected, through reflection and discussion, to develop viable solutions.
A study of legal principles and issues affecting educational policy making and practice with emphasis on student and teacher rights, equity, and the administration of schools. Prerequisite: Admission to graduate study.
An overview of the theory and practice of the management, recruitment, selection, compensation, placement, and development of personnel in the school setting.
The course focuses on the role and effective use of school related data and its analysis in making decisions regarding school improvement, meeting the needs of students with exceptionalities, evaluating educational programs, developing student management strategies, and using instructional technology.
A study of the roles and goals of education in the United States, the interrelationships among schools and students, teachers, administrators, and parents, and the culture of schools.
Analysis of the role of social science in comparative education as perceived by different philosophies or schools of thought, such as Marxism, phenomenology, empiricism, pragmatism, and linguistic analysis.
An in-depth study of prominent European thinkers who have contributed to educational theory and practice (e.g., Rousseau, Pestalozzi, Herbert, Froebel, Montessori, Nietzsche, Freud, Piaget, Ortegay Gassit, etc.). Prerequisite: ELPS 770 or ELPS 771 is recommended.
This course is designed for beginning master's degree students and for doctoral students who have had no previous administrative experience in college or university settings. Students will be introduced to the function and responsibilities of major administrative divisions of a college or university and to the major tasks of administration: planning, programming, budgeting, staffing, managing. An emphasis will be placed on current issues facing higher education and students will be introduced to the major journals of the field. As part of the course requirements, students will spend some time familiarizing themselves with one or more administrative offices on a college campus. Prerequisite: Admission to study in higher education at the graduate level.
This course is designed to include the study of the history and development of student personnel services in higher education, the role and function of the student affairs administrator, contemporary issues and problems, and an understanding of the organization and role of student affairs administration within higher education settings. Prerequisite: Admission to the higher education program or permission of instructor.
This course provides an introduction to diversity, equity, and inclusion in higher education settings. The content introduces and applies key theories and concepts to the practice of student affairs.
This is an introductory course about college leadership that will provide an overview of concepts and theories for the practice of leadership in colleges and universities. Particularly, the content focuses on the application of theoretical perspectives for leadership practice. The aim of the course is to have students analyze and situate themselves as future higher education leaders and administrators. Subject matter includes, but is not limited to, topics such as: administrative leadership in higher education, fundamental leadership theories, managing people and conflict, fostering collaboration and leadership for diverse institutions.
A special course of study to meet current needs of education professionals -- primarily for graduate students.
This class provides students with an understanding multicultural education as an instructional concept, educational reform movement, and systemic process meant to ensure educational equity for all people, especially those who have been inadequately served and/or historically discriminated against because of their racial/ethnic or linguistic backgrounds, gender or sexual orientation, socio-economic status, and special needs. Students will examine different theoretical approaches that inform the practice of multicultural education and explore the contribution of various social sciences to the field.
This course will provide an introduction to the sociology of education. Specific topics will include: conflict over the purposes of education; how those purposes are-or are not-translated into actual classroom life; how educational systems have developed historically, how status, and more specifically race, class and gender relations, affect student experiences; and contemporary policy and reform movements. Prerequisite: Graduate Standing.
An examination of the major ideas that have shaped practice in the schools. Emphasis is placed on assisting the student with the development of a coherent and consistent personal philosophy of education upon which administrative practice can be based.
This course examines education in urban communities through the foundational disciplines of history, philosophy, and the social sciences. Particular attention is given to ways in which the changing social and political contexts of American cities affect the educational process.
A comprehensive study of influential persons and movements in the development of educational thought, Eastern and Western, from ancient times to the present. Emphasis on those ideas and historical roots which are relevant to contemporary issues in teaching and school administration.
An analytic inquiry into basic philosophical positions and issues relevant to education. The difference between ELPS 770 and ELPS 771 is that the latter is topically arranged and does not necessarily follow a historical sequence; it normally proceeds by problems and schools of thought.
A study of the relation between education and culture in America from colonial times to the present. American schools are considered in the wider context of cultural and social change.
This course will provide an introduction to the methodology of historical research in education. This course is designed to fulfill the doctoral core requirement for research methods in education for students interested in doing this type of research. Specific topics will include: the historiography of education; working with primary and secondary documents; oral history as method and documentation, quantitative approaches to history; constructing historical narratives; the question of interpretation.
An examination of the sources and uses of fiscal resources in education including underlying concepts from economic theory, the impact of values on fiscal policy, state funding formulas, and school budgeting and accounting practices.
An examination of current trends in personnel evaluation with a focus on clinical supervision and adult development. Students will participate in simulation exercises to develop skills in classroom observation, conferencing techniques, evaluation of teaching artifacts, and the construction of staff development plans.
A study of children and youth with particular emphasis on demographic characteristics of the population served by schools and implications of those characteristics for schools and schooling.
This course focuses on laws that apply to special education. The American legal system, particularly in respect to special education, the constitutional and statutory provisions of federal and state law and the judicial decisions interpreting those laws are reviewed. The course relates equal protection, procedural due process, and substantive due process doctrines to school practices affecting disabled children and examines the sex principles of P.L. 94-142 and similar principles in state legislation. This course is not the equivalent of or a substitute for ELPS 752. (Same as SPED 851.) Prerequisite: SPED 750 or permission of instructor.
An introduction to the foundations of and techniques associated with qualitative research methods. Students will practice interview and participant observation skills and will analyze and interpret data. Additional topics include crafting qualitative research questions, ethics of fieldwork, and establishing trustworthiness of data. Common traditions of qualitative methods employed in education and other related fields will be introduced.
The purpose of this course is to explore leadership in educational settings from a variety of perspectives. Readings come from a variety of disciplinary perspectives, such as sociology, organizational behavior, and psychology. The course considers various aspects of leadership and analyzes the leader's role from a symbolic perspective, as a manager of meaning, and critical change agent. The course challenges students to deconstruct leadership realities with the help of several critical perspectives with the goal of examine who the leaders are, who they will be in the future to address diverse educational organizations of tomorrow.
The purpose of the course is to acquaint students in higher education, and students from other areas who intend to work in the post-secondary setting, with the history, philosophy and development of higher education in the United States. The course focuses on three periods: 1) the founding of Harvard to 1965; 2) dissent, disruption, and change, 1965-1979; and 3) the future and crucial issues, the 1980's. European higher education and its early influence on higher education in the United States is also examined.
The characteristics of college students; impact of college on student behavior, changing attitudes, values, beliefs, and the implications of recent research on traditional and new students for instructional and administrative practices.
The purpose of this course is to provide an introduction to the scholarly research about American college students, with a specific focus on college access, persistence and student success for various student populations. The course also provides an overview of the policy implications and practical applications of this research for college and university administrators.
Nature, objectives, and basic procedures of assessment and program evaluation as applied to the various aspects of higher education settings. In addition to basic procedures for evaluating programs, topics covered include accreditation, program review, benchmarking, student outcomes assessment, and evaluation of teaching in colleges and universities. Prerequisite: ELPS 715 or equivalent.
This course is required as a final course for all master's students in higher education. It is designed to prepare students for professional life after graduation. Using a case study approach, students will examine the reality of practice in a variety of higher educational settings including relevant political and ethical factors. Prerequisite: Higher education students in last semester of master's coursework.
The purpose of this course is to examine the ways in which race and class shape access to, and experiences in, American postsecondary education. To deepen our understanding of these matters, we will engage five books that explore the topic from a different perspective (e.g., for profit colleges, admissions at selective institutions, race conscious admissions, Students of Color at highly selective institutions, etc.)
The on site development of the skills necessary to effectively function as a school building leader. Activities will be tailored to the needs of individual students in consultation with a university advisor and a field advisor. Internship credit in any one semester may not exceed five hours, and total credit may not exceed eight hours.
Prerequisite: Consent of advisor and instructor.
Graded on a satisfactory progress/limited progress/no progress basis.
Graded on a satisfactory progress/limited progress/no progress basis.
A study of the principles and techniques necessary for planning, developing, implementing, and monitoring a district strategic plan for improving the educational programs of elementary and secondary schools.
This course is an introduction to methods of inquiry in education policy and leadership studies. It is designed to help doctoral students explore possible research interests, formulate research questions, and to review a rich variety of approaches to inquiry in the field of education. Specific topics include: interview- and observation-driven studies, ethnography, feminist and narrative methods, legal and historical methods, questionnaire-driven studies, quantitative evaluation studies, and studies using administrative and large national data sources.
This course is an introduction to the field of education policy and the politics of education. The objective of the course is to provide students with an understanding of the forces that shape educational policy, with an emphasis on governance structures, stakeholders, public engagement, and current policy issues and political contexts.
A study of the principles and techniques necessary for coordinating, monitoring, and improving the educational programs of elementary and secondary schools.
The objective of this course is to understand the financial systems and mechanisms used by states in the funding of elementary and secondary education in the United States. In simple language, we will be concerned with five basic issues: (1) Where the money comes from; (2) How it is redistributed; (3) How it is spent; (4) The relative effectiveness of spending decisions including selected international comparisons; and (5) How the previous four financial activities participate in a common financial ecology. The course provides an overview of theory and concepts central to the understanding of school finance with an emphasis on policy issues. It also examines the mechanics of school finance funding in light of state policies.
An in-depth study of theory and research in personnel administration. The focus will be on current literature dealing with empirical assessments of personnel theory and techniques. Specific concepts to be considered include the following: educator characteristics, job analysis and design, personnel recruitment, selection and evaluation techniques, staffing and development, and labor relations. Prerequisite: ELPS 755 or its equivalent.
This class is an overview of basic and advanced sociological and political theories of organization, with specific application to issues and problems in K-12 education. It is designed for graduate students and practicing educational leaders and administrators who intend to utilize research on organizations in their studies of the governance of schools, the sociology and politics of education, and education policy. The topics covered include the origins and nature of modern bureaucracy, formal structure and function, organizational control, transaction cost economics, population ecology, resource dependence, the new institutionalism, organizational effectiveness and legitimacy, organizational culture, power and politics, and change.
This course emphasizes skills for effective and efficient business and financial management of school districts in a Kansas or Missouri context. Basic topics include: Short range and long range financial planning, analysis of financial statements, budget preparation, fund accounting and financial reporting, contracting of services including transportation and food services, staff salaries and benefits and insurance. The course also includes a number of strategic methods for institutional planning including: Cost Benefit Analysis, Cost Effectiveness Analysis, and enrollment, revenue and expenditure forecasting techniques. Prerequisite: ELPS 852 or its equivalent.
The focus of the course is the role of the public school district superintendent. Organized study will include assigned readings, lectures, guest speakers, discussion, and the completion of a study project. The course will include consideration of such topics as boardsmanship, community relations, district leadership, professional accountability, district maintenance and operations, professional employment and relationships with other agencies. The course is designed to serve the needs of those graduate students pursuing advanced study with the intention of completing requirements for district certification. Some students will also find the field appealing as an area for dissertation research. Prerequisite: Doctoral status in education administration or permission of instructor.
Course focuses on use of legal and moral reasoning in analysis of educational policy issues. Specific topics will vary depending on interests of instructor and students and current controversy. Examples of possible topics to be included: school desegregation, teacher collective bargaining, separation of church and school, equal educational opportunity. Prerequisite: ELPS 752, equivalent, or consent of instructor.
An examination of the origin, nature, and consequences of educational reform in the United States. The primary goal is to attain a balanced evaluation of current educational reform.
To aid administrators and prospective administrators responsible for organizing and administering programs of education for exceptional children, state and federal guidelines and regulations, legal aspects and financing of special education, planning a program, administering special services. (Same as SPED 971.) Prerequisite: Nine hours of Education including educational psychology and SPED 725.
This seminar addresses basic applied analytical skills for the study of topics in educational policy, leadership, and governance. It is designed to help professional doctoral students apply and extend their existing skills as they are working on their quantitative dissertations. Upon completion of this course, students should be able to: (1) draw on a basic repertoire of key methods that support applied analysis for professional doctoral students, (2) be able to determine the type of data and research design--and associated opportunities and constraints--pertaining to their research interests and the completion of their dissertation, and (3) make progress in aligning the conceptual and empirical components of their dissertation studies. Prerequisite: EPSY 710 or EPSY 711 or EPSY 870, or equivalent courses. Completion of quantitative research course requirements for the ELPS Ed.D. program.
This seminar is designed to help students develop applied econometric skills for analysis of large scale data in policy studies, with particular emphasis on education. The techniques covered in the course are applied to a variety of substantive topics. These topics may change over time given changes in the national and local policy agendas and concerns. At this point, they include teacher and school effects on student performance, faculty productivity in higher education, access to and persistence in higher education, race and class issues in the K-12 achievement gap, decomposition of school and nonschool effects, neighborhood influence on student outcomes, the dropout problem, and minority over-representation in special education. Upon completion of this course, you should be able to: (1) draw on a basic repertoire of models for application to study of key questions in policy analysis, (2) be able to explore more advanced applications of the models covered in the course and also explore new models, and (3) determine the basic requirements of and challenges in designing rigorous empirical studies in policy analysis. Prerequisite: EPSY 810 or EPSY 811 or equivalent courses (note: this course is not a continuation of ELPS 961).
This seminar is designed to facilitate proposal development for doctoral-level research in educational leadership and policy studies. The objective is to help students select and refine a topic, critically analyze existing research, set forth a theoretical framework, and design a research methodology suitable for your topic.
This course is designed as a graduate seminar to support advanced doctoral students as they begin the early stages of developing a dissertation. Students will explore and develop a research topic of interest for the purposes of their culminating project. The course will introduce students to various approaches to research and published scholarship. Major emphasis is devoted to developing competencies and research skills to complete the dissertation and to engage in future research.
A factual, descriptive, and analytical study of national systems of formal education, or schooling, as exemplified in contemporary educational establishments. Organizational and administrative policies and teaching practices, with emphasis on Germany, France, England, U.S.S.R., People's Republic of China and Japan. Other nations may be examined on an individual project basis. The difference between ELPS 971 and ELPS 772 is the philosophical emphasis of the latter.
The purpose of this course is to critically examine the scholarly research about American college students from societal, developmental, research, and institutional perspectives and to review the policy implications and practical applications of these findings for college and university administrators.
This course will advance the students' skills needed to consume quantitative data and apply critical analyses of data within the context of higher education recognizing the social, cultural, and organizational factors that influence stakeholders and the stakeholders' acceptance of data-driven conclusions. This course provides students with an opportunity to practice making data-driven decisions to achieve institutional goals and missions.
This interdisciplinary course provides an opportunity to read, reflect upon, and discuss ideas drawn from the emerging field of Science and Technology Studies (STS) in connection with education. Its focus is the interrelationships between technology, society, and education (defined broadly to include non-school and adult learning settings). It explores how knowledge, expertise, and authority are constructed within and across social and cultural groups, with particular attention social and economic inequality. It also considers the relationship between emerging technologies, educational experiences and the nature of "the self" in society, among other issues. Prerequisite: Admission to ELPS doctoral program, or permission of instructor.
This course is intended for doctoral students with significant administrative experience, this course focuses on the link between leadership theory and practice in postsecondary educational settings. The course content will provide students with a broad base of learning experiences related to leadership and leadership development with a specific focus on cultural dimensions, critical perspectives, and considerations for social justice in leadership. Students will be asked to reflect on their own journey of leadership identity and development and how that informs, supports, and influences practice as a higher education professional.
This course is designed for advanced doctoral students in higher education, particularly those who will be preparing unit budgets or budget presentations and those who make and implement fiscal policy (e.g., financial aid offers). The course material covers different types of college and university budgeting -- incremental, zero-based and formula -- and their impact on university revenues; statewide coordination and its impact on programs, program duplication and funding; retrenchment and quality issues; the legislative role in budget preparation; unified and comparative management systems (e.g., WICHE and NCHEMS); and the impact of federal contracting and student aid policies.
An overview of the developing law of higher education, with emphasis on and analysis of employer-employee relationships, student-faculty/administration relationships, and the impact of federal and state regulation on these relationships.
This course considers the role and circumstances of faculty in higher education including variations among different types of institutions. Topics include the history and demographics of the professoriate, the academic work environment and labor market, the role of faculty in institutional governance and policy making, and the social and political context of academia.
A study of contemporary post-secondary curriculum with particular emphasis on the nature of curriculum, the organization and structure of academic programs, the nature of change in academic communities and exemplary innovative institutions.
This course reviews evaluation and assessment processes typically used in higher education with an emphasis on application to practice. Topics such as developing, administering evaluation and assessment plans at the unit or college level, and reporting assessment/evaluation data are also emphasized. Prerequisite: The course assumes some prior knowledge of or experience with assessment and evaluation.
A theory-based course aimed at providing an understanding of the governance and organization of academic institutions -- particularly universities. Emphasis is directed toward an analysis of decision-making in these complex organizations.
This advanced course examines diversity, equity and inclusion in higher education settings, with an emphasis on exploring how theory and research inform practice. This course is intended for doctoral level students.
Supervised and directed experiences in selected educational settings. The advisor will schedule regular observations of the field experience and conferences with the student. Written summaries and evaluations of the field experience will be prepared independently by the student, a representative of the cooperating agencies, and the advisor. Open only to advanced students. Field experience credit in any one semester may not exceed five hours, and total credit may not exceed eight hours.
To meet the college teaching experience requirement for doctoral programs, a student shall engage in a semester-long, planned, instructional activity that shall include college classroom teaching under supervision. Planning shall be done with the advisor and/or the member of the faculty who will supervise the experience. The activity shall be done under the supervision of a member of the University of Kansas faculty or by an individual or individuals designated by the candidate's committee.
Prerequisite: Prior graduate course work in the area of study and consent of instructor.
Graded on a satisfactory progress/limited progress/no progress basis.