College of Education and Behavioral Sciences News
Academic Innovation Feature: Instructional Leadership, School Principal, MAE
- Wednesday, July 5th, 2023
WKU’s College of Education and Behavioral Sciences is not only educating tomorrow’s teachers, but the college also helps current teachers become principals. Educators from all over the state have jumped at the chance to prepare to become a principal.
Emily Tighe, current student and District Digital Learning Coach for Fayette County Public Schools, explained why she is in the program. “I chose to apply and participate in the Western Kentucky University Instructional Leadership Program because I am passionate about supporting teachers. Working in the education field has been a fulfilling experience for me, and I wanted to learn more about how to effectively support and grow teachers. Specifically, I decided to pursue my advanced degree at WKU because of their partnerships with professionals who are currently working in the field. One of my classes is being taught by a WKU professor and an Elementary Chief of Schools from Fayette County Public Schools, which gives me a valuable perspective from both the university and district level.”
Each student has different career goals, experiences, and needs as they balance school with working full-time and their professional life. This program is innovative and highly flexible, as current student and Special Education Consultant with Hardin County Schools Cain Alvey explained. “The program has been incredibly flexible to my needs and goals. In creating my continuum of courses with my advisor, I was able to apply the work I had done in my MAE program toward the completion of my certification. Within the classes, professors have been flexible and willing to modify the approach to assignments in order to view it from the role of a Director of Special Education rather than the original intent of a principal. On a personal level, I can truly say the program has exhibited flexibility. In a grand scheme, the program addresses the creation of a leader that works to create positive and transformative change within their environment, something which has been proven time and time again is a missing skill in many administrators throughout the nation.”
What kind of classes do you take if you want to be a principal or school leader? Program Coordinator Dr. Stacy Leggett said, “Our goal is to integrate theory with practice through full-time faculty and adjunct faculty who are exemplary P12 leaders. Our key assessments are based on the principle of applying theory to practice as students apply program learning to authentic assessments. To meet our students’ needs, we seek to balance asynchronous online learning, synchronous online learning through Zoom, and site-based learning through field experiences. Students focus on a student-selected problem of practice throughout the program. Their final semester, they design and lead a culminating project to address the problem.”
Anyone interested in learning more about the Master of Education in Instructional Leadership can call 270-745-4890 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.