Goals and Objectives

Program Goals

California's tremendously large and increasingly diverse student population in the public schools and community colleges presents numerous and significant challenges for educational leaders. The pressure of greater accountability for higher student achievement in an environment of uncertain and diminishing resources is one such challenge. Other challenges include fiscal responsibility within an aging infrastructure; meeting the learning needs of complex and diverse communities; oversight and implementation of federal and state education mandates; and retention and replacement of highly qualified education personnel in a collective bargaining environment.

Meeting California's Complex Challenges

The three program themes of Transformational Leadership, Critical Policy Analysis and Action, and Informed Decision-Making were identified specifically to form the basis for a program in which graduates will be better prepared educational leaders who meet and solve California 's complex education challenges. The program will result in graduates who will be:

  • Visionary and effective educational leaders grounded in applied research and policy development;
  • Knowledgeable and sensitive educational leaders skillful in guiding organizations to reach high levels of student achievement while promoting access and equity for all students;
  • Ethical educational leaders who model and promote high standards of professional conduct particularly in the development and implementation of education policy and practices impacting all stakeholders.

Student Learning Objectives

The Doctorate in Educational Leadership Program advances knowledge in the field through its distinctive objectives and learning outcomes, equipping school, district, and policy leaders with competencies grounded in strategic thinking and applied research. Doctoral students will have rich opportunities to participate in externally funded research projects on key leadership and policy issues. Additionally, doctoral students will develop the skills to be effective leaders because within the curriculum a practical skill based component has been infused in each class.Each course in the program will reflect each of the three themes and include class assignments and fieldwork to develop the knowledge, skills, and dispositions leading to the program goals identified above. The specific student learning objectives of the courses in the California State University, Sacramento Doctorate in Educational Leadership and Policy program are detailed in each course proposal. Corresponding means of student assessment are also described in each course proposal. A sample of student learning objectives for three courses in the program is shown below.

Transformational Leadership

Students will be able to:

  1. Reflect on personal leadership practices and cultural perspectives and recognize their impact and influence on school effectiveness.
  2. Understand, implement, and evaluate strategic practices based on various theories, models, and approaches for achieving organizational transformations.
  3. Analyze and evaluate the role of the strategic leader in planning and guiding the change process.
  4. Examine the dynamics of power and politics in organizational settings, with a focus on the interrelationships of leadership, human capital, vision, organizational culture, and privilege.
  5. Lead skilled facilitation of the change process including means of initiation, implementation, sustainability, evaluation, and continuous improvement.
  6. Develop methods and framework for building leadership capacity, coalitions and constituent support while working with resistance and conflict.
  7. Build a solid foundation through the integration of theory and practice in order to implement a planned change process in their home institution.

Policy and Practice for Educational Leaders

Students will be able to:

  1. Explain and evaluate the evolution of federal education policy and theories of public and private benefits of education.
  2. Explain and evaluate the respective federal, state, and local roles in policy making for education in view of theories of governmental intervention in society.
  3. Describe the relationship between policy and organizational capacity for implementation of policies.
  4. Analyze the education policy in California with specific consideration of educational agencies, coordinating boards, lobbying organizations, legislative bodies, executive agencies, and other that constitute the policy community.
  5. Identify the major policy issues impacting education today and develop and defend positions on them using a clear theoretical framework.
  6. Explain educational policy characteristics unique to California.
  7. Analyze and explain the key issues of equity and social justice in relationship to policymaking.
  8. Analyze proposed legislation affecting California education.
  9. Communicate effectively in writing and orally in a public policy environment.

Data-driven Decision-making for Educational Leaders

Students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate understanding of current local, state, and federal accountability systems.
  2. Identify data needed to approach particular educational problems and decisions.
  3. Explain role of technology in the collection and application of data for data-based decision making.
  4. Interpret assessment and achievement data with specific focus on disaggregated data reports.
  5. Critically analyze data to identify trends, problems, implications, and validity of data.
  6. Use data to plan and justify allocation of resources.
  7. Use data to plan and justify instructional program design.
  8. Communicate data effectively both in written and oral presentations.
  9. Explain relationship between data-based decision making and policy development.
  10. Prepare an accountability report specific to a K-12 or community college setting.