K-12 Administration (ADMN)
ADMN 4330 Culturally Responsive Leadership, Mentoring & Supervision (3 Credits)
The course is designed to assist mentors and instructional leaders in the development and application of skills and to bring these to day-to-day leadership in the current role of supporting a pre-service teacher. Students will analyze their leadership styles and apply their learning to leadership scenarios to refine their school leadership skills. Students will explore the mentor's role as an educational leader to enhance the existing educational experience for their pre-service teacher and classroom students. This course reviews adult learning theory, communication strategies, and problem-solving approaches for continuous school improvement and pre-service teacher supervision and feedback. This course includes studying and applying a variety of approaches for supporting, supervising, and evaluating educator effectiveness, including approaches to classroom observation; mentoring and peer support systems; and tenets of change theory related to school improvement initiatives.
ADMN 4700 Special Topics in K-12 Administration (1-5 Credits)
ADMN 4810 School Administration: Case Studies (3 Credits)
Focus on current critical aspects of work of effective superintendents and other administrators in key decision- making roles; includes reading, discussions and guest presenters who are practicing administrators; problem scenarios presented for resolution.
ADMN 4812 Perspectives in District Leadership (4 Credits)
District leaders must focus their actions on the common goal of improving student learning and school systems must be organized to make this the fundamental priority. The purpose of this course is to examine district-level leadership, policies, and practices that support a school community committed to and focused on achievement of all students. The district role is emphasized in supporting school improvement, closing achievement gaps, providing resources, monitoring and using accountability data, and working with the community and school board leadership. Responsible administration of human and fiscal resources is necessary to accomplish systemic instructional improvement at the district level. The goal is to prepare leaders who will lead school districts that are culturally responsive and promote equity and excellence. This course includes an experiential learning component.
ADMN 4817 Administrative Internship (0-6 Credits)
Opportunity to be supervised in on-the-job experience to better prepare school administration students for district administration careers.
ADMN 4819 Organization Theory & Behavior (4 Credits)
Educational institutions are complex, political organizations with a wide variety of constituents and many layers of sometimes competing cultures, systems, and explicit and implicit goals, Leaders who work with these systems must find ways to make meaning of the organization and the context in which work occurs. This course will look at organizational behavior from several points of view, with the goal of understanding major theories that have been developed and learning to apply these theories in the management and study of organizations. The roles and responsibilities of various members of the organizations will be examined as well as the governance and control issues surrounding education. Organizational analysis will be viewed through the lens of structural, political, human resource and symbolic frames. Students will critically learn and apply various organizational theories to expand your own beliefs about leadership and learning. This course includes an experiential learning component.
ADMN 4820 Educational Program Evaluation (4 Credits)
The purpose of this course is to review theories of program evaluation, evaluation designs and analysis, and current trends in evaluation. Program evaluation aims to determine whether a program, regulation, or policy is achieving its objectives by ascertaining whether it had the desired effect on intended outcomes. The evaluation process may include evaluation of programs, products, personnel, policy, performance, proposals, technology, research, theory, and even of evaluation itself. The course equips students with basic evaluation tools and understandings necessary to be thoughtful consumers and effective users of program evaluations in improving policy outcomes and designing more effective programs and policies. It is designed to provide students with the meaning and methods of program and policy instrument evaluation in education with the intent to contribute to informed decision making and enlightened change. Students analyze evaluations of the effectiveness of a variety of programs through discussion, field work, and case studies. This course includes an experiential learning component.
ADMN 4821 Improvement Science (4 Credits)
The course focuses on school reform and improvement through improvement science. Improvement science is an emerging concept which focuses on exploring how to undertake continuous quality improvement. The aim of this class is to explore strategies of improvement science to develop educators' knowledge and skills to uncover and use data that exist in classrooms and schools for the purpose of promoting educational change and improvement. The participants in this course will create and conduct an improvement science project. This course includes an experiential learning component.
ADMN 4822 Action Research and Systems Leadership (4 Credits)
This course will prepare students, as scholarly practitioners and academic researchers, to use action research methodology and systems leadership to solve equity related educational problems of practice. Action research, which was developed in education in 1940’s by Kurt Lewin, is practitioner-based research, based in traditional research designs. It is focused on improvement, connects theory to practice, encourages empowerment, and advocates for social justice.
ADMN 4823 Educational Policy Making in the United States (4 Credits)
This course focuses on the educational policy system, the policy process, and current educational reforms. In addition to an overview of the basic governmental structure, this course addresses the micropolitics of education, including how to implement and advocate for more equitable, socially just, and anti-racist policies to improve the quality and effectiveness of learning for children and families. Course activities facilitate the development of skills for addressing policies and practices that affect the success of all students and schools, learning how to identify and unpack current critical issues, and identifying where and how to act to influence policy decisions. This course includes an experiential learning component.
ADMN 4827 Foundations of Educational History and Philosophy (4 Credits)
This foundational course examines the various theoretical, ethical, historical and philosophical perspectives that will inform educational leaders as policy and change strategies are formulated. This course includes an experiential learning component.
ADMN 4828 Leadership for the 21st Century: Using Creativity to Build Effective Schools (3 Credits)
Designed to assist leaders, at the district or building level, in the implementation of standards-based education to improve student learning and achievement. Primary emphasis is given to applying strategies for addressing critical issues in sustaining the equitable access to learning in a standards-based educational organization.
ADMN 4834 Culturally Responsive School Leadership (3 Credits)
Extends understanding of complex systems' operations and responses by examining multicultural issues in the historical and social context and complexity of schools and school districts. Opportunities will be provided for students to develop an understanding of issues of diversity and the relationship of these issues to the roles and work of school/district administrators. The exploration of multicultural issues will occur through the examination of various themes relative to school/district administration such as curriculum, administration, human resources, policy and reform. Particular emphasis will be given to the exploration of the historical and future purposes of schooling in a democratic/pluralistic society in an effort to help students to develop critical knowledge and skills essential for providing leadership in 21st century schools.
ADMN 4835 Leading Teaching and Learning (4 Credits)
In this course, students will examine what it means to be a district-level leader focused on and supportive of learning by considering the roles and responsibilities of leaders related to teaching and learning, and by examining the challenges and opportunities inherent in that role. Topics of study relevant to instructional leadership include developing (a) coherent systems of teaching and learning, (b) professional community, (c) professional capacity, and (d) an equitable, student-centered learning climate. Students will gain practical and theoretical tools to improve curriculum development, instruction, and student achievement district wide. Students will meld theory and practice by using empirical thinking and evidence-based change to address social justice concerns within instructional programs in schools and school districts. We will look at how curriculum both reproduces and transforms society and how society both reproduces and transforms curriculum in schools. This course includes an experiential learning component.
ADMN 4836 Improving Organizational Culture (4 Credits)
The purpose of this course is to understand organizational culture as a complex and challenging issue to shape and lead. The complex culture of schools or other educational organizations means many things including climate, organizational members’ engagement, culturally competent practices and the quality of human relationships in the organizational environment. This course will enable leaders to analyze the components of an educational organization’s culture and develop specific plans to create a culture that supports improved learning outcomes for every student, using high-quality, best instructional practices. Following the collection and analysis of data, students will be prepared to serve as Equity Oriented Change Agents (EOCA), leading the improvement of school culture focused on equitable access to high-quality instruction and services for every student. This course includes an experiential learning component.
ADMN 4840 Strategic and Transformative School Leadership (9 Credits)
Effective school administration is guided by research and best practices which inform governance, vision, leadership, and implementation processes. Effective principals base their work on commitment to moral principles, core values, and the many dimensions of effective theory and practice. Understanding personal values, developing leadership skills and building a strong knowledge base regarding research and best practice are a key focus of the course. In addition, this course also examines strategies for visioning, mission building and branding; defining and assessing value and quality; developing competitive strategy; building networks and partnerships; assessing risk and gauging opportunity; building systems and sustainability; recruiting and developing staff, boards and stakeholders; engaging communities; and acquiring sources of funding. Students must be accepted into an ELPS certificate or MA program.
ADMN 4841 Instructional Leadership for Equitable Schools (5 Credits)
This course serves aspiring principals in the development and application of skills and knowledge associated with standards-based instructional practices, curriculum planning and development, assessment, and program evaluation. Students are assisted in developing and understanding issues of diversity and multiculturalism and their influence on the development and supervision of the instructional program. Although the major focus is on local aspects of standards-based education, some attention is given to the national role in this area. School leaders need to apply quantitative and qualitative research skills in a variety of ways to understand and improve the work of schools. This course reviews methods, applications, and data sources, including assessments and large-scale datasets, for continuous school improvement and program evaluation. In addition to the issues of instructional leadership, considerable attention is given to the examination of the needs of the individual student in the learning environment as well as research on learning styles, learning theories and models of teaching. Primary focus areas are supports for special education students, English Language learners, gifted students, and students in poverty. Students must be accepted into an ELPS certificate or MA program.
ADMN 4842 Human Resource Leadership (5 Credits)
This course focuses upon specific content relative to helping the principal effectively manage human resources within the school setting. It provides examination of organizational dimensions, planning, recruitment, selection, placement and induction, staff development, appraisal, rewards, collective bargaining, and practice of negotiation skills. The course includes study and application of a variety of approaches for supervising and evaluating instruction, including approaches to classroom observation; adapting, adopting, and designing various evaluation systems; advantages and problems of various student achievement and engagement indicators; induction, mentoring, and peer support systems; and leading professional development for self and staff. It includes the relationship of supervision and evaluation of teachers to the improvement of student learning, instruction, assessment and professional development. The legal and technical aspects of teacher evaluation are discussed, while outlining the role and responsibilities of the licensed evaluator in the annual process. Form and informal classroom observations and conferencing with practicing teachers are part of the requirements for this course. Students must be accepted into an ELPS certificate or MA program.
ADMN 4843 Strategic Resource Management for School Leadership (5 Credits)
This course focuses upon specific content relative to helping the principal effectively manage human resources within the school setting. It provides examination of organizational dimensions, planning, recruitment, selection, placement and induction, staff development, appraisal, rewards, collective bargaining, and practice of negotiation skills. The course includes study and application of a variety of approaches for supervising and evaluating instruction, including approaches to classroom observation; adapting, adopting, and designing various evaluation systems; advantages and problems of various student achievement and engagement indicators; induction, mentoring, and peer support systems; and leading professional development for self and staff. It includes the relationship of supervision and evaluation of teachers to the improvement of student learning, instruction, assessment and professional development. The legal and technical aspects of teacher evaluation will be discussed, while outlining the role and responsibilities of the licensed evaluator in the annual process. Formal and informal classroom observations and conferencing with practicing teachers are part of the requirements for this course. Students must be accepted into an ELPS certificate or MA program.
ADMN 4844 Critical Policy Analysis for Educational Systems (4 Credits)
The focus and heart of this course will be exposure to critical approaches to educational policy analysis. We will study how educational policies are the manifestations of power, privilege, values, and ideologies that affect students’ lives! Throughout the course, you will be provided with the exposure, space and opportunity to practice analyzing educational policies with a more critical, equity-oriented lens. You will walk away from this course with a trained eye to critically analyze policy beyond standards, accountability metrics, and compliance. The many components of this course will help you develop the knowledge and skills for policy analysis through a social justice lens and will allow you to draw out implications for school improvement and educational leadership.
ADMN 4848 Liberatory Design for School Improvement (4 Credits)
A school district is a large and complex business organization. By design, the course has a broad focus ranging from legislative issues, to manners and matters of local governance, to school finance, capital planning and budgeting concerns to more directed school and district support services. The course demands practitioners become aware of and demonstrate critical thinking as to what constitutes an effective and equitable use of people, time, technology and money in order to ensure achievement for all students. Being able to think differently, create a culture of innovation, and lead a systematic approach to implementing new ways of doing things is one of the most critical aspects of being a school leader. This course will be enhanced with a design thinking framework that takes a human-centered design approach to helping organizations innovate and grow.
ADMN 4849 Action Research for School Leaders (4 Credits)
This course emphasizes the use of research methods which are linked to research needed in schools. Students will learn to identify, analyze and solve problems. Some of the action research methods include focus groups, interviews, observations, school records and surveys. Capstone project will relate directly to the improvement of school policy and practice.
ADMN 4859 Action Research Capstone (1 Credit)
Provides support for students as they develop their action research project into the Capstone for the Masters in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies.
ADMN 4860 Principal Internship (2 Credits)
The purpose of a formal internship with a principal is to participate in supervised practical training in many of the aspects of school building administration. It is imperative that an applicant have as many first hand experiences as possible in all phases of building administration which focus upon the standards set for principals in Colorado. Must be accepted into an ELPS certificate or MA program.
ADMN 4900 Advanced Inquiry and Analysis (4 Credits)
This course is part two of a two-part course series. In part one of this series, Introductory Qualitative Research (RMS 4941), you learned about the foundations of qualitative research including philosophical perspectives, theoretical underpinnings, key characteristics, and common approaches to inquiry and research design: case studies, ethnography, narrative (testimonios), grounded theory, phenomenology, and action research. You ended the course with a design of a qualitative study proposal informed by the extant literature and your personal, practical, and intellectual goals. You completed the course with the design of a qualitative research study. ADMN [xxxx], Advanced Inquiry and Analysis, is the counterpart where you will go in the field to execute your qualitative study designed in your Introductory Qualitative Course. This intermediate level qualitative course builds on the content of other qualitative research courses at the University of Denver. In this course, you will continue to learn the skills and competencies needed to gather, analyze, and report high quality data. You will leave the course well-grounded in the application of the IRB process, data collection, data analysis, data interpretation, handling concerns about reliability, validity, and ethics; and writing the final report. The final product for this course will be the execution of a rigorous qualitative research design with preliminary findings that could be presented at a professional conference and with further development for manuscript publication.
ADMN 4991 MA Independent Study (1-10 Credits)
ADMN 4995 Independent Research (1-10 Credits)
ADMN 5900 Research Planning and Design (3 Credits)
This course is designed to support doctoral students to design research and successfully defend a research proposal for their culminating project/dissertation.
ADMN 5910 Dissertation Seminar for Educational Leadership and Policy Studies (2 Credits)
This course is designed as a workshop to support students in the ongoing development of the EdD Dissertation in Practice (DiP) or their PhD dissertation, to work collaboratively to finalize the literature review, research plan, and/or data analysis. Our work together will be highly interactive. Students are expected to work closely with their chairs /dissertation directors/advisors and other committee members throughout the process. Feedback from the instructor will in no way supersede the judgment of the chair/dissertation director or committee members. The purpose of this course is to guide students in completing the DiP or the dissertation. This is not a research methods course, but a doctoral dissertation course focused on the application of research understandings, knowledge, concepts, and terminology in the design of a dissertation. It is assumed that prerequisite research courses provide students with considerable information, foundational knowledge, and conceptual understandings of both quantitative and qualitative research methodologies and other relevant topics.
ADMN 5991 PhD Independent Study (1-10 Credits)
Special projects in the field of education, taken by arrangement of Educational Administration faculty.
ADMN 5993 Doctoral Research Seminar (1-5 Credits)
The Doctoral Research Seminar is designed to prepare students to undertake the completion of doctoral research or a dissertation. The research process can often be confusing and overwhelming, especially for students coming from a cohort-based program. This course assists students in turning a research idea into the EDD doctoral research project or a polished dissertation proposal and provides students strategies for making the process manageable and enjoyable.
ADMN 5995 Independent Research (1-10 Credits)