Appendix F: Distance Education Program Being Planned

Back to Distance Education Programs List


SUBMIT DATE:04/19/2011 
Constituent Institution:NC Central University 
CIP Discipline Specialty Title:Secondary School Administration/Principalship 
CIP Discipline Specialty Number:13.0409 
Level:
Exact Title of the Proposed Program:Master of School Administration Online Degree Program 
Exact Degree Abbreviation:MSA 
Date of Initiation:01/1/2012 
Will this sequence of courses be completely individual access (e.g., Internet, videocassette)? YES 
If "yes," what will be the mode of delivery?online via internet 
If "no," list proposed sites. 
If short-based, length of time to complete the prog (e.g., 1 year, 18 mos.):2-3 years 

SACS/COC substantive change questions (1=Procedure One; 2=Procedure Two)

Site-based (where the instructor is present):

Is the institution initiating instruction where the student may earn more than 25% and less than 50% of credits toward a degree at a site 30 miles or more from the campus? (2) NO 
Is the institution initiating an (additional) off-campus site at which students may earn at least 50% of an educational program? (1) NO 
Is the institution adding significantly different degree programs at a currently approved site? (2) NO 
Distance learning (where instructor and student are geographically separated):
Is the institution offering its first credit courses via technology-based instruction by which students can obtain at least 25% of credits toward a degree program? (2) NO 
Is the institution expanding a previously reported program from less than 50% of credits to 50% or more of a degree program? (2) NO 
Is the institution adding a significantly different program from previously reported programs offered via technology-based instruction? (2) NO 
Does this action constitute a substantive change? If so, by what date should SACS be notified?  
1. Briefly describe the proposed program and intended audience.

The Master of School Administration online program at North Carolina Central University is uniquely designed to meet the current leadership challenges. The program is designed to educate and prepare a new cadre of twenty-first century school leaders that have the capacity, skills, knowledge, and dispositions to create educational environments that promote learning, value diversity, and respond to diverse culturally contexts. The Master of School Administration online program seeks to prepare successful school leaders who are skilled in identifying and analyzing those assumptions upon which schools operate that are incongruent with the potential of marginalized students. The goal of the Master of School Administration online program is to prepare school leaders who can transform any school environment. However, a unique focus of the newly redesigned Master of School Administration online program is to prepare culturally responsive leaders to transform schools in marginalized communities. The Master of School Administration online program defines marginalized communities as a group of people within an environment that posses a number of shared characteristics that may be barriers to learning and healthy social environments such as: low socio economic status, linguistic diversity, poverty, inequity, race, ethnicity, gender, special needs, and the high incidence of low academic achievement.

A central tenet of the newly redesigned Master of School Administration online program is to provide candidates with the capacity to deconstruct what is socio-culturally, cognitively, and politically adverse to students. The Master of School Administration online program prepares school leaders to reconstruct those assumptions into positive educational experiences and schooling outcomes for students. This approach is well suited for schools with multiple academic and cultural challenges characterized by the misuse of social capital. As such, the NCCU graduate will be uniquely sensitized and qualified to assess the variables that contribute to marginality and respond in a manner that sustains equity, equality and academic success in a school and its community.

The newly redesigned Master of School Administration online program emphasizes curriculum solidity. The program provides a rigorous curriculum. During the course of their program, candidates will be able to define and articulate the organizational goals to guide an educational community towards high academic and social standards.  The underlying premise of the Master of School Administration online program is to provide candidates with the expertise needed to understand diverse perspectives that contribute to educational problems locally, nationally, and around the world. The new courses in the program will also incorporate some of the latest technologies, couched in a multitude of online delivery modes (Ning and other Web-based social networks, forums, blogs, interactive-real time, and audio-video podcasts). All courses are aligned with the new standards for school executives (NC School Executive Evaluation Rubric).  The internship supervision component will be face to face.  This means that the internship supervisor will visit the site placement of students in order to supervise them during their internship.

The comprehensive framework for the program provides the skills, knowledge, and dispositions for candidate preparation as school leaders. The central curriculum assignments for the candidates are authentic, useful, and based on site-specific needs. The coursework also focuses on providing candidates with extensive clinical work in order to provide the contextual experiences needed to bridge the gap between research, theory development, and practice. The Master of School Administration online program believes that bridging the gap between the areas of research, theory development, and practice enables candidates to make the valuable connections needed to create real change in lives of the students they will one day potentially lead.

The Master of School Administration online program also focuses on transformative andragogy as a framework for preparing successful school leaders. According to Brown (2009), transformative andragogy is the “art and science of helping others to learn, think critically, and act responsibly; to examine beliefs, to accept, reject, or modify values, and engage in activism and advocacy with and for others” (p.15). This approach, along with the cohort model, is most advantageous for the adult learner because it combines adult learning strategies with peer support. This approach allows for variegated teaching strategies as well as group support. It also extends candidates’ social capital beyond the classroom by providing a network of colleagues that can provide a protective environment where they can feel safe and secure to navigate their world as school leaders.

The mission of the Master of School Administration (MSA) online program at North Carolina Central University is to prepare school leaders academically and professionally to advance consciousness of social responsibility in a diverse and global society. Central to our mission is the development of leaders who promote justice and who dedicate themselves to the well-being of marginalized communities. The newly redesigned Master of School Administration online program seeks to provide candidates with the capacity to be able to deconstruct assumptions that are socio-culturally, cognitively, ethically, economically, and politically adverse to students. The mission of the Master of School Administration online program is aligned with the mission of North Carolina Central University, the Department of Educational Leadership, Research and Technology, UNC Tomorrow’s goals, North Carolina Standards for School Executives and the mission of the School of Education.

The vision of the Master of School Administration online program is to prepare culturally responsive 21st century school leaders who can engage school communities in meaningful ways to positively affect the achievement of students from diverse cultural contexts and from marginalized populations. Culturally responsive leaders are visionary, committed to creating and sustaining positive social networks, raising the human consciousness, and advocating for social justice. The culturally responsive leader is well suited for forging mutually respectful relationships across cultural borders in schools with multiple academic and cultural challenges.  The culturally responsive leader is skilled in identifying and analyzing those assumptions upon which schools operate that are incongruent with the social capital of marginalized students and their communities. 

Program Goals:

·     Graduates will demonstrate an understanding of the important role a school’s culture plays in contributing to the exemplary performance of the school.  They will support and value the traditions, artifacts, symbols and positive values and norms of the school and community that result in a sense of identity and pride upon which to build a positive future.  In addition, they will “re-culture” the school if needed to align with school’s goals of improving student and adult learning and to infuse the work of the adults and students with passion, meaning and purpose. 

·     Graduates will ensure that the school has processes and systems in place for budgeting, staffing, problem solving, communicating expectations, and scheduling that result in organizing the work routines in the building.  They will be responsible for the monitoring of the school budget and the inclusion of all teachers in the budget decision to meet the 21st century needs of every classroom.  Effectively and efficiently managing the complexity of every day life is critical for staff to be able to focus its energy on improvement.

·     Graduates will be able to create conditions that result in strategically re-imaging the school’s vision, mission, and goals in the 21st century. To that end, they will create a climate of inquiry that challenges the school community to continually re-purpose itself by building on its core values and beliefs about its preferred future and then developing a pathway to reach it.

·     Graduates will set high standards for the professional practice of 21st century instruction and assessment that result in a no nonsense accountable environment.  They will demonstrate knowledge of best instructional and school practices and use this knowledge to cause the creation of collaborative structures within the school for the design of highly engaging schoolwork for students, the on-going peer review of this work, and the sharing of this work throughout the professional community.

·     Graduates will ensure that the school is a professional learning community.  They will ensure that processes and systems are in place, which result in recruitment, induction, support, evaluation, development, and retention of high performing staff. In addition, they will engage and empower accomplished teachers in a distributive manner, including support of teachers in day-to-day decisions such as discipline, communication with parents/guardians, and protecting teachers from duties that interfere with teaching, and practice fair and consistent evaluations of teachers.  They will engage teachers and other professional staff in conversations to plan their career paths and support district succession planning.

·     Graduates will design structures and processes that result in community engagement, support, and ownership.  They will proactively create with staff opportunities for parents/guardians, community, and business representatives to participate as “stockholders” in the school such that continued investment of resources and good will are not left to chance.

·     Graduates will build systems and relationships that utilize the staff’s diversity, encourage constructive ideological conflict in order to leverage staff expertise, power and influence in order to realize the school’s vision for success.  They will also creatively employ an awareness of staff’s professional needs, issues, and interests to build cohesion and to facilitate distributed governance and shared decision-making.

·     Graduates will demonstrate an understanding of the importance of 21st century technology tools in instructional and administrative processes.

The revisioned Master of School Administration online program facilitates and guides administrators to form and implement support systems that infuse 21st Century learning skills into education. The relationship of the projects to specific NC elements that incorporate the 21st Century skills embrace a vision of education that is inherent in both the NC Standards and the 21st Century skills, with a particular emphasis on the support structure areas that are more applicable to the school executive (i.e., standards, assessment, professional development, curriculum/instruction, and learning environments). The alignment of the MSA with the NC Standards provides the opportunities for candidate proficiency in the support system areas that, in turn, produce 21st Century outcomes for today’s students.

The Master of School Administration online program also focuses on transformative andragogy as a framework for preparing successful school leaders. According to Brown (2009), transformative andragogy is the “art and science of helping others to learn, think critically, and act responsibly; to examine beliefs, to accept, reject, or modify values, and engage in activism and advocacy with and for others” (p.15). This approach, along with the cohort model, is most advantageous for the adult learner, because it combines adult learning strategies with peer support. This approach allows for variegated teaching strategies as well as group support. It also extends candidates’ social capital beyond the classroom by providing a network of colleagues who can provide a protective environment where they can feel safe and secure to navigate their world as school leaders. (p. 63, MSA Revisioning Report)

This alignment of 21st Century skills into North Carolina’s standards for school executives, and the ensuing integration of the revisioned MSA to the standards, ensures the infusion of skills such as distributive leadership, personal responsibility, self-direction, social responsibility and accountability, analytic thinking, problem solving, communication and collaboration, as well as the additional identified competencies.

 

The intended audience of the MSA Online Degree Program are educators who are interested in becoming licensed school administrators.

 
2. Describe the proposed instructional delivery systems (e.g., on-site instruction by faculty, interactive video, Internet, etc.).

The new courses in the program will  incorporate some of the latest technologies, couched in a multitude of online delivery modes (Ning and other Web-based social networks, forums, blogs, interactive-real time, Elluminate and audio-video podcasts).  The School of Education has access to Elluminate to support live online instruction and Blackboard to support asynchronous delivery of instruction. Faculty are already trained to use both Elluminate and Blackboard. The online program would make possible for candidates in our distant partnership districts (Vance, Granville, Person, Franklin, Warren, and Weldon City Schools) to participate in the Master of School Administration online program.

 
3. Describe need for the program (referencing results of surveys or special studies).

21st Century Standards

To the extent applicable, the revisioned Master of School Administration online program focuses on 21st Century skills, content knowledge and expertise as integrated within and reflected by the NC Executive Standards. A significant increase in candidate fieldwork promotes a deeper understanding of the challenges associated with school leadership, rather than shallow knowledge. The program therefore works with its candidates in the same way that the 21st Century skills envision that their own work as school executives will work with their students, in that it engages candidates with the real world data, tools and experts they will encounter as a school executive. Just as students learn best when actively engaged in solving meaningful problems, so, too, our candidates will undergo similar experiences, therefore facilitating multiple measures of mastery.

The comprehensive framework for the program provides the skills, knowledge, and dispositions for candidate preparation as school leaders. The central curriculum assignments for the candidates are authentic, useful, and based on site-specific needs. The coursework also focuses on providing candidates with extensive clinical work in order to provide the contextual experiences needed to bridge the gap between research, theory development, and practice. The Master of School Administration online program believes that bridging the gap between the areas of research, theory development, and practice enables candidates to make the valuable connections needed to create real change in the lives of the students they will one day lead. (p. 63, MSA Revisioning Report)

Assessment of 21st Century Skills

The revisioned Master of School Administration online program calls for candidates (See evidences.) to support a balance of assessments, including high quality standardized testing, along with effective formative and summative classroom assessments. Their school inquiry and reform-mindedness allow candidates to achieve useful feedback on student performance that is embedded into everyday learning and exposes them to real-life work with technology-enhanced formative and summative assessments. Candidate portfolios simulate the kind of work they will be responsible for implementing in their own schools. (Program Goal, p. 64)

Graduates will set high standards for the professional practice of 21st Century instruction and assessment that result in a no-nonsense accountable environment. They will demonstrate knowledge of best instructional and school practices and use this knowledge to create collaborative structures within the school for the design of highly engaging schoolwork for students, the on-going peer review of this work, and the sharing of this work throughout the professional community.

Curriculum and Instruction

In curriculum and instruction, 21st Century skills call for a context of core subjects and 21st Century interdisciplinary themes. The school executive, in the revisioned Master of School Administration online program, enters his/her role with an excellent knowledge base and fieldwork in teacher supervision and evaluation, curriculum alignment projects, and school improvement data projects (as examples) that emphasize a competency-based approach to learning. In addition, candidates become experienced in recommending and implementing adjustments in these support structures to incorporate, for example, the integration of supportive technologies, inquiry- and problem-based approaches, and higher order thinking skills.

The newly redesigned Master of School Administration online program emphasizes curriculum solidity. The program provides a rigorous curriculum. During the course of their program, candidates will define and articulate the organizational goals to guide an educational community towards high academic and social standards. The underlying premise of the Master of School Administration online program is to provide candidates with the expertise needed to understand diverse perspectives that contribute to educational problems locally, nationally, and around the world. The new courses in the program will incorporate some of the latest technologies, couched in a hybrid of face-to-face and online delivery modes (Ning and other Web-based social networks, forums, blogs, interactive-real time, and audio-video podcasts). All courses will be aligned with the new standards for school executives (NC School Executive Evaluation Rubric). (p. 63, MSA Revisioning Report)

21st Century Learning Environments

 

The revisioned Master of School Administration online program facilitates school executive proficiency in the area of 21st Century learning environments (See also elements in professional development.) by supporting professional learning communities that enable educators to collaborate, share best practices, and integrate 21st Century skills into classroom practice, enabling students to learn in relevant, real world 21st Century contexts (e.g., through project-based or other applied work), facilitating equitable access to quality learning tools, technologies and resources, and supporting expanded community involvement in learning.

The vision of the Master of School Administration online program is to prepare culturally responsive 21st Century school leaders who can engage school communities in meaningful ways to affect positively the achievement of students from diverse cultural contexts and from marginalized populations. Culturally responsive leaders are visionary, committed to creating and sustaining positive social networks, raising the human consciousness, and advocating for social justice. The culturally responsive leader is well suited for forging mutually respectful relationships across cultural borders in schools with multiple academic and cultural challenges. The culturally responsive leader is skilled in identifying and analyzing those assumptions upon which schools operate that are incongruent with the social capital of marginalized students and their communities. (p. 63, MSA Revisioning Report)

Graduates will ensure that the school is a professional learning community. They will ensure that processes and systems are in place, which result in recruitment, induction, support, evaluation, development, and retention of high performing staff. In addition, they will engage and empower accomplished teachers in a distributive manner (including support of teachers in day-to-day decisions such as discipline, communication with parents/guardians, and protecting teachers from duties that interfere with teaching) and practice fair and consistent evaluations of teachers. They will engage teachers and other professional staff in conversations to plan their career paths and support district succession planning. (Program Goal, p. 64)

The NCCU Master of School Administration online program takes seriously Arthur Levine’s widely quoted 2005 study on educational leadership (http://www.edschools.org/pdf/Final313.pdf). This revisioning proposal is substantively compliant with Levine’s criteria for the education of school leaders, particularly with respect to the quality and quantity of the internship experience, adult learning theory, connection between theory development and practice, relevant coursework and fieldwork, experienced/practitioner-oriented faculty, and a highly coherent curriculum and a heavily research-based curriculum. Our students are required to take Introduction to Statistics as well as Data Analysis: School Assessments and Accountability.

The Master of School Administration online program supports most elements of the Wallace Foundation’s perspectives on the preparation of school leaders. The Master of School Administration online program has historically placed significant emphasis on the connections between theory and practice, a notion advanced by Wallace. In addition, the majority of the NCCU MSA faculty members have significant experience as school executives. The Master of School Administration online program will continue to work closely with our cross-functional team (comprised of superintendents and other district level personnel) to ensure that our candidates are exposed to the most current theories and practices, as well as culturally responsive leaders.

The NCCU Master of School Administration online program has always maintained significant and close integration with the national ISLLC/ELCC standards, and has aligned its courses with these standards. We are in the process of developing a program matrix that shows the connections between all program standards, such as the North Carolina Standards for School Executives and ISLLC/ELLC.

Teaching Working Conditions Survey (TWCS)

To do their jobs well, educators need supportive school environments where they are valued, trusted and can collaborate to improve instruction. Research has shown that the quality of teaching conditions can encourage or constrain good teaching and impacts student achievement. While strong connections among teaching conditions and teacher recruitment, retention and student success have been documented, up until now school executives have not had the kind of data necessary to understand and address these important issues. Understanding and improving teaching conditions can result in

1.     Increased student success,

2.     Improved teacher efficacy and motivation,

3.     Enhanced teacher retention,

4.     Targeted recruitment strategies to bring educators to hard-to-staff schools, and

5.     Equitable distribution of resources.

The Teaching Working Conditions Survey (TWCS) will be utilized in various courses as a part of a comprehensive data set to help preservice school executives understand school culture and school improvement initiatives. In addition, the TWCS will be used to provide “real world” lab experiences for students. For example, if the student needs experience in conducting clinical experience in a school environment that has a strong social capital index, the TWCS will be a data source used for selections of schools that meet this criterion. The students will also use the TWCS to develop empirical research that addresses the link between culturally responsive leaders and student achievement.

 

  At the present time, there are no other institutions offering an online MSA degree program within our area.  The nearest institution that is offering a complete MSA Online Degree program is Western Carolina University.

Any serious reconceptualization of a Master of School Administration (MSA) online program must consider the number of related or interrelated knowledge bases from which educational content, theory, and practice is derived. These knowledge bases are constructed in terms of educational fields such as education sociology, education psychology, education philosophy, education administration, education law and education policy, education learning theory, education curricula, educational technology, and education finance. Education knowledge bases serve as the research domains, under which phenomena, usually educational practices- or lack thereof- as well as conceptual changes in understanding are observed, analyzed, and either disseminated in the research literature or used for evaluative purposes. Master of School Administration online programs in the process of re-visioning its purposes, programs, processes, and resources must take into account how these various knowledge fields of education serve as a catalyst for the creation or progressive modification of theory and practice or the substantive basis for reactions to theory and practice.

 In addition, a major task of any “reconceptualization” or “re-visioning” process is likely to involve merger between the “voice” of the current and most reliable research literature and the “voice” of education practioners via expert audits and data-driven needs assessments. It is this merger-the one between what is known about school administration and the day-to-day performance of administrators in the field that must be at the forefront when considering changes in programs that prepare administrators. New standards, courses offerings and experiences, school partnerships and internships, and resources must be informed by knowledge bases for the fields of education sociology, education psychology, education philosophy, education technology, education administration, education law, education policy, education learning theory, education curricula, and education finance if they are to be relevant to participating stakeholders, particularly within the local, state, regional, national, and international contexts of their service.

Today’s school administrator (School Executive) must be informed by the field of education sociology. He/she should be well informed about groups and their identity and culture and how they are formed as well as how they relate to other groups.  The field of education psychology could play a crucial role in assisting the modern school executive in understanding human personality and exceptionalities as well as provide as dispositional understanding for successful communication and human relations. It is virtually impossible for a school executive to expect to be successful without the self-interrogation of his/her own education philosophy and that of the school system in which she/he is employed. Today’s school executive must be well informed about school law and policy so as to ensure that he/she and those under his/her leadership would not commit infraction of non-compliance. With academic success at a premium, principals must not only be visionaries and managers, but they must also be curriculum leaders. It is in this capacity that they must be informed by the most effective education learning theory and curricula design and implementation. The school executive of today must function in a post-modern world with technologies of all kind playing a key role. Technological literary, at one time a preference, is now presumed to be a part of their skill set. Without question, the school executive of today must be able to bring a system of ethics and a particular skill set of management to school finances. He/she must be informed by the field of economics, particularly as it relates to education finance. In short, the newly revisioned Master of School Administration online program is based on the above interdisciplinary/interprofessional discourse and reflected in such features as the program of study, clinical experiences, internship activities, the cohort model, and candidate/professional relationships.

The proposed curriculum is also interdisciplinary in design by process and product. The cross-functional team that contributed to the design and delivery model of the new Master of School Administration online program came from various disciplines – business, public administration, special education, education technology, and English. The curriculum is interdisciplinary in delivery in that local district personnel and “grass roots” community agencies, such as human and health services and the East Durham Children’s Initiative, will assist in providing real world application to culturally response leadership.

 
4. Projected total annual enrollment:
Year 1:45 
Year 2:60 
Year 3:75 
Year 4:90 
Year 5:100 
his intent to plan a new distance education degree program (or program site) has been reviewed and approved by the appropriate campus committees and authorities.
NO 
Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs
 
Contact Name:Alisa Taliaferro 
Contact Title:Assistant Professor 
Contact Email:ataliaferro@nccu.edu