Fordham University’s Graduate School of Education is pleased to announce that its Educational Leadership, Administration and Policy division (ELAP) was selected this fall to participate in the inaugural Improvement Leadership Education and Development (iLEAD) initiative funded by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Fordham is one of only 11 universities chosen nationwide, and the only university in the northeast, that will take part. Graduate School of Education Dean Virginia Roach noted, “Being awarded the opportunity and some travel-related funding to take an active role in this prestigious program through the Carnegie Foundation, in collaboration with other top-notch educators, is a well-deserved recognition for the GSE. I commend Associate Professor of Education Dr. Margaret Terry Orr and the ELAP faculty for their commitment to excellence and continuous improvement in our school leadership curriculum.”
According to the Foundation, Fordham and the other identified institutions are exemplars among schools of education throughout the country that have embraced using Networked Improvement Communities (NICs) in conjunction with improvement science methods to make changes to their course and program offerings for school and teacher leadership. Specifically, the iLEAD program is designed to enhance and extend the efforts of these schools so that they may help enable more schools of education to realize the potential of the NIC approach for innovation and improvement. This approach is designed to positively shape university-based masters and doctoral educational leadership development programs, integrate improvement science and NIC approaches into coursework, foster collaboration among institutions of higher education (IHEs), strengthen relations with local education agencies (LEAs), and contribute to the resource bank available for course curricula and other instructional resources for IHE faculty, programs, and participants.
In preparing to drive this initiative, Fordham’s ELAP faculty has created a New York City and regionally-based member advisory group of faculty, K-12 school district leaders, and Fordham graduate students. Five core team members will also participate in four iLEAD sessions throughout the country during the 2017-18 academic year, plus gather at the 5th annual Carnegie Foundation Summit on Improvement in Education April 3-5, 2018. Participants will receive coaching during each session from Carnegie fellows and staff with experience in different aspects of improvement science and NIC initiation and development, plus have access to peer support from others in iLEAD.
Through this yearlong project, ELAP faculty will be redesigning and further refining the EdD and masters programs in educational leadership by moving partnerships to the center of the leadership development curriculum, forging more structured relationships, and engaging all students in inquiry-focused learning based upon authentic problems of practice. Central to this work will be strengthening partnerships with school districts in New York City and the metropolitan area to create greater understanding of critical problems of practice in the field and strategies for addressing them.