Facebook Pixel EALR: Faculty & Staff | Western Kentucky University Skip to main content

Educational Administration, Leadership, and Research

Dr. Gary Houchens
Dr. Gary Houchens
- Full Professor


  • B.A., Philosophy, Religion, & History, Western Kentucky University, 1993
  • M.A., History, Western Kentucky University, 2000
  • M.A.T., Education Administration, Oakland City University, 2003
  • Ph.D., Education Leadership & Organizational Development, University of Louisville, 2008


Gary Houchens is a former social studies teacher, assistant principal, principal and district administrator, serving in both public and private school settings.  He joined the WKU faculty in 2010. Dr. Houchens is active in education policy efforts, serving on the Board of Scholars for the Bluegrass Institute for Public Policy Solutions and as Senior Fellow with the Pegasus Institute. From 2016-2019 he was a member of the Kentucky Board of Education.

Courses Taught:

  • EDFN 576, Issues and Trends in Education
  • EDAD 590, Administration of School Personnel
  • EDAD 594, Seminar in Leadership: Auxiliary Programs in Education
  • EDAD 597, Problems in Educational Administration
  • EDAD 602, Introduction to School Leadership
  • EDAD 604, Creating a Culture of Achievement
  • EDAD 640, Introduction to School Leadership
  • EDAD 641, Building School Community and Culture
  • EDAD 642, Leveraging Community Systems and Resources
  • EDAD 643, Securing and Developing Staff
  • EDAD 649, School System Administration
  • EDAD 677, Legal Issues for Professional Educators
  • EDAD 683, Leading Teaching & Learning
  • EDAD 684, Instructional Leadership
  • EDAD 694, Seminar in Educational Administration
  • EDAD 696, Advanced Organizational Theory
  • EDAD 699, Education Specialist Project
  • EDLD 702, Education Leadership Doctoral Program Orientation
  • EDAD 707, Educational Leadership, Policy, and Politics
  • EDLD 710, Leadership Theory and Ethics

Research Interests:

Instructional leadership, school improvement, leadership coaching, education policy, social studies education

Selected Publications:

  • Kisa, N., Badavan, Y., & Houchens, G. W. (2020). Reasons for the theory-practice gap in the field of education administration. Kastamonu Education Journal, 28(4), 1629-1645.
  • Houchens, G. W., Niu, C., Zhang, J., Miller, S. K., & Norman, A. D. (2018). Do differences in principal and assistant principal perceptions predict student achievement outcomes? NASSP Bulletin, 102(1), 38-57.
  • Houchens, G. W., Zhang, J., Davis, K., Niu, C., Chon, K. H., & Miller, S. (2017). The impact of Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) on perceptions of teaching conditions in Kentucky schools. Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions, 19(3), 168-179. doi: 10.1177/1098300717696938
  • Houchens, G. W., Stewart, T. A., & Jennings, S. E. (2017). Enhancing instructional leadership through collaborative coaching: A multi-case study. International Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in Education, 6(1), 34-49. doi: 10.1108/IJMCE-07-2016-0057
  • Hagan, D., & Houchens, G. W. (2016). Catholic school faculty meetings: A case study linking Catholic identity, school improvement, and teacher engagement. Journal of Catholic Education, 20(1), 81-113. doi: 10.15365/joce.2001022016
  • Houchens, G. W., & Keaster, R. D. (2015). Enhancing teacher leadership through instructional rounds: A district case study.  In Warrick, D., & Mueller, J. (Eds.), Lessons in changing cultures: Learning from real world cases (pages 345-357). Oxford, UK: Rossi Smith.
  • Access to additional publications can be found at: https://works.bepress.com/gary-houchens/


  • Recipient of the Drewry and Shirley Meece Award for Outstanding Leadership for the Social Studies, presented by the Kentucky Council for the Social Studies, September, 2019.
  • Recognized for a Highly Commended Paper in the 2018 Emerald Literati Awards for the Internal Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in Education. http://www.emeraldgrouppublishing.com/authors/literati/awards.htm?year=2018
  • Nominated for Faculty Excellence Award in Public Service, College of Education and Behavioral Sciences, 2017-2018.
  • Commissioned to the Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels, July 2017.
  • Winner, Faculty Award for Excellence in Student Advising, College of Education & Behavioral Sciences, Western Kentucky University, 2015-2016.
  • Principal of the Year for work with at-risk students and their families, 2007.  Awarded by the FamilyWorks Therapy, Bowling Green, KY.
Back to Listing

Some of the links on this page may require additional software to view.

 Last Modified 9/11/18